Are Assad’s Days Numbered?

2015.1.13.Assad.mainSyrian President Bashar al-Assad speaks at a news conference in Sofia, Bulgaria, on November 9, 2010. (Photo via Shutterstock)Supposedly, the US-led coalition’s bombing in Iraq and Syria is solely to occur on ISIS targets and the Obama administration et al. is not interested in using this strategy as part of a broader plan to take out the Assad regime despite Chuck Hagel’s insistence that they do so. Currently, this would indeed appear to be the case if the mainstream media is anything to go by – however, there are some problems with this proposition that the powers-that-be intend to leave the Syrian regime in power.

First, the United States, NATO and their allied players in the region (namely Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and to some extent Israel) are still overtly supporting, training and funding rebels who are in the business of trying to topple Bashar al-Assad. In some cases, these rebels have actually been making some successful advances on government forces. Turkey has been aggressively criticized for not playing a greater role in combating ISIS, but note that Recep Tayyip Erdogan has insisted that Turkey will do so only if the strategy does creep into a broader one in which Assad is removed from power. I wonder why that might be.

Moreover, the US Congress just recently passed Resolution 758, which calls on the Russian Federation to “cease its support for the Assad regime in Syria,” as well as passing the Ukraine Freedom Support Act of 2014, which directs the president to impose sanctions on “an entity owned by the government of the Russian Federation or controlled by its nationals that transfers or brokers the transfer to, or knowingly manufactures or sells defense articles transferred to, Syria or into the territory of a specified country without its government’s consent.”

Why would they be doing all this if the US government intended to leave the Assad regime in its place?

It was speculated that Hagel lost his job because, among other reasons, he recommended the anti-ISIS mission to involve the broader strategy to take out Assad as stated above. If this was the case, why then is the United States still calling on Russia to cease its support for the Assad regime while tactically trying to create a huge distraction in Ukraine and cripple Russia’s oil market at the same time?

We shouldn’t be surprised – it wouldn’t be the first time the mainstream Western media have not reported the complete picture. In particular, Western media have gone to enormous lengths to paint Russia as the sole aggressive player in these issues. So, let’s really analyze what has happened in 2014 in one short paragraph.

A leaked phone call in which Victoria Nuland of the US State Department discussed the pro-fascist politicians she would like to see placed inside the Ukrainian government was conveniently misrepresented by the media as a scandal with the juicy gossip merely being that Nuland had said “f*** the EU.” The annexation of the Crimean peninsula after a referendum that resulted in an overwhelming majority in favor of secession can only be described as peaceful; conversely, the current conflict in East Ukraine is a massive indiscriminate shelling campaign by Kiev, which has resulted in hundreds of civilian deaths. There has still been no evidence given to prove beyond good measure who, how and why Flight MH17 was shot down though the mainstream media has made it quite clear who we are supposed to believe was behind the tragedy. George Friedman, the founder and CEO of Stratfor (the “shadow CIA” firm) called the toppling of Viktor Yanukovych in Ukraine the “most blatant coup in history.” As it transpires, Yanukovych’s replacement, Petro Poroshenko, worked as a mole for the US State Department. He was even referred to as “our Ukrainian insider.” Furthermore, how many people in your circle of friends have even heard of the Odessa massacre?

The previous paragraph represents a glimpse into how the media systematically lies, obscures and/or misrepresents important issues. It takes more than observing the headlines of the news to find the evidence in the hyperlinks above – and let’s face it, how many people take the time (or even have the time) to do that?

Where Will This Lead Us?

If the United States and other players in the region continue to provide air support, funding and training for rebels who are advancing toward the Syrian government, then it is only logical that one day Assad will become the real target of this campaign. Looking at his human rights record, should we even care?

It should be obvious that if there is one lesson we can truly say that we have learned from the post 9/11 cycle of war, it is that imperialist powers forcefully removing a dictator (whether Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi or Assad), combined with the funding and arming of extremist groups linked to al-Qaeda and other affiliated organizations, have not and cannot ever provide any hope for stability in the Middle East.

But maybe that was never the point.