Tuesday, February 18, 2014

March 3-4, 2014: Washington Prepares For New Military Operation Against Syria?! | New York Times (NYT) | March 22, 2014 thru September 2014, through 2015 ?

Washington forever scheming in Syria and in Geneva >>  http://www.voltairenet.org/article182232.htmlJPEG - 15.6 kb

While negotiating with one hand in Geneva, with the other Washington is preparing a new military operation against Syria. Whatever the sequence of events, it will be sure to advance its pawns one way or another. War comes at no cost to Washington. It is the Syrians who are dying. To save time, it submitted to the Conference participants a Statement tabled by the "opposition". Behind a conciliatory rhetoric, there are at least three traps that Thierry Meyssan breaks down for us.

The second round of the Geneva 2 Conference opened on a very different tone from the first one. U.S. ambassador Robert S. Ford is no longer heading the "opposition" delegation and it is unclear who is now responsible for Syria in Washington. In any case, the representatives of "opposition" arrived with a "Statement of Basic Principles" [1] designed to set Damascus up for the same trap that Walid Muallem had laid for them during the first session: force him to answer his own ground. Damascus wanted to broach the fight against terrorism, but the "opposition" responded with a detailed description of the composition and mission of the Transitional Governing Body.

It was a particularly good move considering that, during the first session, Muallem had reached out to public opinion inside Syria, and sometimes in the Arab world, but never to that in the West. If he had wanted to target this audience, he should have started by focusing on international law before discussing the means to enforce it: the fight against terrorism. But first seeking to bolster the legitimacy of Damascus, he endeavored to expose the crimes perpetrated by the "opposition"-backed jihadists and the colonial ambitions of John Kerry.

Occupying the empty field, the United States dictated to the "opposition" a Statement which is based on the resolutions of the Security Council and the Geneva 1 Final Communiqué, that is to say on texts endorsed by all the states sponsoring the peace conference.
The Statement begins by detailing what the Body is supposed to be. Naturally, it will be neutral, inclusive - i.e. comprising all components of Syrian society-, peaceful - i.e. it would end the war-, and the guarantor of the territorial integrity of the country. Its function is to create an environment enabling the Syrian people to develop its own constitution and appoint its institutions.

- The first problem with this Statement is that it contravenes the practice of the armed groups. While the National Coalition expresses itself in a perfectly democratic language, the groups who are fighting on the ground have continued to brutalize minorities and try to impose a Salafist organization of society. Granted, most of these groups do not recognize the authority of the Coalition, but its legitimacy hinges on their actions.
Moreover, everyone have been aware of the hypocrisy since the beginning of the crisis: the best speakers for democracy in Syria being the absolute rulers of the Gulf dictatorships.
- The second problem with the Statement is the method to determine the Governing Body. Washington wants to impose it, as it did in many other countries. Hence it masterminded Geneva 2, as it did the Bonn Conference on Afghanistan: the great powers would negotiate among themselves and designate a Syrian Karzai. Damascus, however, continues to cite the Final Communiqué of Geneva 1, that "It is for the Syrian people to determine the future of the country." Therefore, not only must the new constitution be approved by referendum, but the result of Geneva 2 may not be implemented unless it is ratified by President al-Assad. As it happens, he has committed himself to submitting it to a referendum.
Moreover, this remark reflects on the legitimacy of the "opposition" delegation. As noted by Sergey Lavrov in his opening statement at the conference, its current composition flies in the face of the Geneva I communiqué, which stipulates that "the peace talks should be open to all parties in Syria committed to a political settlement so that they will take an active part in the process and play their role." However, the "opposition"delegation boils down only to the National Coalition, notwithstanding the fact that it has been repudiated by a majority of its members.
- The third hitch is that the Statement affords Washington the possibility to organize a Serbian-style regime change, by orchestrating a "color revolution". The Kosovo war ended in a cease-fire followed by elections in Serbia. Through a crafty psychological campaign, the CIA got a pro-American candidate elected. Then it had Slobodan Milošević arrested and tried in The Hague for crimes against humanity. Since at the end of two years, the Court found no evidence to support the charges, Milošević was murdered in his cell. Ultimately, the Serbs fought for nothing because today they have lost Kosovo and are governed by those who bombed their country to smithereens.
The Statement thus contains an astonishing contradiction: it calls for the deployment of the United Nations throughout the country from outset of the transition, but it excludes them from the process. Instead, it affirms that its supervision will be entrusted to "independent organizations of international civil society." In Central and Eastern Europe, these organizations were called Freedom House, Open Society Foundation and National Endowment for Democracy (NED) . The first is historically linked to both the United States and Israel , and the second is headed by business magnate and speculator George Soros, and serves the interests of both the United States and Israel, while the third is not an association, but a joint US-British-Australian body, created at the initiative of President Ronald Reagan to extend the work of the CIA after the scandals of the 70s. These organizations hand out billions of dollars everywhere they can to corrupt elites and to buy States.
In July 2011, Washington had sent an official Canadian delegation to Libya to propose a solution identical to the one applied in Serbia: a cease-fire followed by a transition period during which the "independent organizations of the international civil society" could deploy inside the country. Faced with Muammar el-Gaddafi’s refusal, NATO decided to enter by force.
In addition, the Statement stipulates that the Transitional Governing Body should create mechanisms to hold accountable "persons who have committed violations of human rights and international laws." This phrase points directly to the arrest and transfer to The Hague of President al-Assad, during the transition period, for crimes against humanity. A procedure which should conclude, as for Milošević, by his death in his prison cell. There is no doubt that Washington’s candidates would win the elections once President al-Assad is eliminated from the game and the pseudo US associations deployed on the ground.
Therefore, much remains to be discussed in Geneva. Meanwhile, President Obama received the King of Jordan in California. The two men agreed on how the army currently being constituted in Jordan should again attack Syria. The deadline for Washington’s war plans is 30 September 2014. During the following seven months, the "opposition" should attempt to reverse the military balance of power and, at a minimum, take the south to install the seat of a provisional government. It is always better to have two irons in the fire.  [1] “Statement of Basic Principles by the Geneva 2 Syrian Opposition Delegation”, Voltaire Network, 12 February 2014.
Thierry Meyssan
Thierry Meyssan French intellectual, founder and chairman of Voltaire Network and the Axis for Peace Conference. His columns specializing in international relations feature in daily newspapers and weekly magazines in Arabic, Spanish and Russian. His last two books published in English : 9/11 the Big Lie and Pentagate.

President Obama and King Abdullah II of Jordan, Brendan Smialowski/Agence France-Presse, Getty Images 
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. — President Obama announced during a meeting here Friday night with King Abdullah II of Jordan that he would seek to renew a five-year aid package to help Jordan bear the burden of the more than 600,000 Syrian refugees who have fled the civil war there.

Mr. Obama, amid broader discussions with King Abdullah about the stalemate in Syria, also announced that the United States would guarantee $1 billion in loans to help keep Jordan’s wavering economy afloat. 

The president briefly outlined that aid package as he spoke to reporters at Sunnylands, the Southern California estate where Mr. Obama met with the king for 2 hours and 15 minutes over what the White House called a working dinner.

Calling the Jordanians “very generous,” Mr. Obama said, “It’s very important for us to make sure that we’re supportive of the kingdom in accommodating all these refugees.”

Mr. Obama’s discussions with the Jordanian king are part of an intensive diplomatic outreach to the Middle East over the next month, as the United States conducts risky negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program, gropes for a political solution to the fighting in Syria, and tries to nudge the Israelis and the Palestinians toward a peace agreement.

Obama Meets With the King of Jordan

President Barack Obama meets with King Abdullah II to pledge $1 billion in loan guarantees for Jordan and to consider new ways to pressure the regime of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel will make a trip the White House on March 3, and Mr. Obama is scheduled to meet with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and, possibly, other Persian Gulf leaders during a visit there.

In their talks Friday, the president and Jordan’s King Abdullah discussed a vast range of regional issues, including the Middle East peace process, administration officials said. But the dominant issue was Syria, whose civil war has placed heavy burdens on its neighbor.

Syrians are only the latest group to seek the relative stability provided by Jordan, which has also taken in large numbers of people fleeing fighting in Iraq and Sudan in recent years. The United States aid package, which expires in September, has been valued at $660 million a year.  

Jordan’s economic problems have been made worse by militants’ attacks on a natural gas pipeline from Egypt, which has been in upheaval since the Arab Spring uprising in 2011.
It is not the first time that Mr. Obama has used Sunnylands — a 200-acre estate built by Walter H. Annenberg, the publisher, philanthropist and ambassador who died in 2002 — as a diplomatic backdrop.

Last year, he hosted President Xi Jinping of China at Sunnylands for a two-day meeting that was noted for its unusual informality and was interpreted as a milestone in their nations’ often tense and generally stilted four-decade diplomatic history.

Sunnylands is “conducive to a conversation” between Mr. Obama and King Abdullah, “given all the issues they face and given their warm relationship,” said Eric Schultz, a White House spokesman.

Mr. Obama will be staying at the estate through Sunday — the canary-yellow master bedroom is equipped with speakers that pipe in the songs of the birds outdoors.

The president arrived at the Palm Springs International Airport about 7:30 p.m. Pacific Time on a day when the temperature hovered around 90 degrees.

Hours earlier, Mr. Obama delivered remarks in Fresno, Calif., more than 300 miles to the north, about the federal response to California’s severe drought. The water shortage has placed extra scrutiny on usage here in the Coachella Valley, where intensive irrigation has transformed the desert scrubland into lush lawns and golf courses.

Palm Springs residents use 736 gallons of water per day, among the highest usage rate in the state, according to a state database.

The president has no public events scheduled beyond the meeting with King Abdullah, and he is expected to spend much of the time golfing. (He does not have to go far for a quick fix: Sunnylands has a nine-hole course.)

King Abdullah arrived here on Thursday, and visited with Gov. Jerry Brown of California ahead of Mr. Obama’s arrival. “Meeting with the King of Jordan to discuss drought, the efficient use of water and renewable energy,” Mr. Brown said in a tweet that included a photo of the two on a sunny path, in unnecessary blazers.