19 November 2011
Russian warships have entered Syrian territorial
waters in an aggressive move designed to prevent any NATO-led attack on the
country under the guise of a “humanitarian intervention”.
“Russian warships are due to arrive at
Syrian territorial waters, a Syrian news agency said on Thursday,
indicating that the move represented a clear message to the West that
Moscow would resist any foreign intervention in the country’s civil
stepped up efforts to defend Syria in
recent days, with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov keen to frame the
violence in the country as a civil war in defiance of claims by western
powers that President Bashar al-Assad has overseen a bloody crackdown
on innocent protesters.
As we saw prior to the
attack on Libya, which was also framed as a
“humanitarian intervention,” NATO powers are keen to demonize Assad’s
government by characterizing attacks by his forces as atrocities while
largely ignoring similar attacks by opposition forces, such as this week’s
raid on a Syrian air force intelligence complex that killed or wounded 20
U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner rejects Russia’s claim
that Syria is in a civil war, stating,
“We believe it’s very much the Assad regime
carrying out a campaign of violence, intimidation, and repression
against innocent protesters.”
Of course, we heard similar rhetoric even as
NATO-backed Al-Qaeda rebels were commandeering fighter jets and firing
in Libya, actions also undertaken by “innocent
protesters,” we were told at the time.
As we have
previously reported, despite overwhelming speculation that Iran
will be the next target of a military assault, Syria is the likeliest target
for the next salvo of NATO-backed regime change.
US President Barack Obama got the ball rolling back in August when he
called on President al-Assad to step down.
The United Nations has already withdrawn all
non-essential staff from the country.
Without Russia’s help, Syria would be largely
defenseless against a NATO attack.
“I don’t see any purely military problems.
Syria has no defence against Western systems… [But] it would be more
risky than Libya. It would be a heavy military operation,” former French
air force chief Jean Rannou
Given that the western press has proven adept at
manufacturing lies to justify military interventions, whether the actions of
Assad’s regime represent genuine atrocities or legitimate conduct in the
midst of a civil war remains unclear.
Some have claimed the
abuses are being
embellished, while both former CIA agent Robert Baer and ex-MI6
officer Alastair Crooke point out that the Syrian people definitely
want change, but not in the form of a NATO “humanitarian” assault.