Hussein Malla/Associated Press
Written by Chris Floyd
Taking a page from the new bipartisan strategy now being employed in Afghanistan -- waging cross-border military raids into sovereign countries in order to protect a failing military occupation in a neighboring country -- the United States has apparently launched its first known incursion into Syria: the usual assault from on high with the usual tally of children as "collateral damage."
The attack comes as Syria takes another step in from the cold today when its foreign minister, Walid al-Mualim, visits London to hear praise for its newly conciliatory policies in Lebanon...The BBC report also touches on this theme:
[The attack's] timing is curious, coming right at the end of the Bush administration's period of office and at a moment when many of America's European allies - like Britain and France - are trying to broaden their ties with Damascus, our correspondent adds.As we have often seen, whenever one of the American elite's designated demons starts trying to make nice and act moderate, they are generally poked with a sharp stick in hopes of making them snarl again -- thereby continuing their highly useful function as bogey-men to keep scaring the American people into giving trillions of dollars (and the blood of their children) to the Pentagon and its corporate associates in the war profiteering industry.
Of course, petty murderous spite can never be overlooked in anything the Bushists do. From the Guardian:
Joshua Landis, an American expert on Syria, commented last night: "The Bush administration must assume that an Obama victory will force Syria to behave nicely in order to win favour with the new administration. Thus White House analysts may assume that it can have a "freebee" - taking a bit of personal revenge on Syria without the US paying a price."Some have also offered the idea that Bush is trying to make sure that Barack Obama is thoroughly tied down in the region when he takes office, forced to contend with a newly enraged Syria on the Iraq border, which the Bushists obviously hope will spur more terrorist attacks in Iraq -- on American forces and civilians -- thereby creating the "dangerous conditions" that will "justify" a continuing U.S. presence in the conquered land. (Yes, Virginia, fomenting terrorist attacks has long been a strategy of the American government, as we noted here -- and here -- years ago.)
It's unlikely that Obama will need much encouragement to keep a substantial U.S. military force in Iraq; that's been his plan all along. And as he has also advocated "carefully targeted" cross-border strikes into Pakistan, he can hardly object to the same tactic in Iraq. What's more, Joe Biden has already warned us that he and Obama are going to plunge head-first into an unspecified "foreign crisis" sometime next year, adopting highly unpopular policies that the poor, dumb benighted citizenry are just not going to be able to understand at first. A major incursion into Syria would certainly fit that bill -- although, admittedly, the venues and opportunities for Barry and Joe to prove their "toughness" are legion, given the vast and goading scope of America's military empire.
Of course, one can speculate on motives until the cows come home. (Or rather, until the chickens come home to roost, in the form of revengeful blowback against Americans. But none of the well-wadded, well-protected bipartisan Beltway barons are worried about that. After all, the more blowback, the more "emergency powers" they accrue.) But we should remember that Syria has been in the cross-hairs of several powerful factions in our militarist empire for years. The same gang that brought you the Iraq war -- and would love to bring you the Iran war -- have long been howling to put tanks on the road to Damascus.
Below is a piece that I wrote for the Moscow Times back in April 2003. Although a few details have changed since then, the column is still depressingly apt as an example of the imperial mindset that animates both parties in the corridors of Beltway power.
Some cynics claim that George W. Bush and his closest advisors -- whom cynics cynically refer to as "bloodthirsty corporate pimps" -- are just a bunch of vicious, shifty liars. But this column takes enormous umbrage at the heaping of such unsupported calumny upon the good names of these great leaders. They have been maligned, slandered, falsely accused. For when it comes to their plans for world conquest, these so-called "pimps" are as honest as the day is long.UPDATE: The New York Times, rather late to the party on this story, has more details.