10/3/11 Why Syria?

The U.S. "MENA" (Mideeast / N. African) 'arab spring'campaign is central to the broader bipartisan NSS Agenda: control of the African continent and 'restructuring' Arab nations under US domination to eliminate capitalist rivals and obstructionists and most critically, to suppress genuine revolutions, are essential to secure and expand the U.S. global supremacy won through imperialist WW2.

'Arab Spring' in Syria, a critical regional campaign in US global domination war, same producer, director, 'sectarian civil war' / 'humanitarian' R2P script, with Syrian leads.
The MENA campaign goal is the African continent, which means extremely complex, contradictory situations en route requiring restructuring of the Arab world and Africa.
Strengthen control in 'cooperative' countries by replacing long-unpopular US installed, unpopular rulers unable to preventing/suppressing new mass anti-imperialistzionist uprisings, with liberal pro-US proxies able to stave off genuine revolution and support USAFRICOM/NATO expansion in Africa and the Arab world.
With 'uncooperative' successful nations like Libya, Syria and Iran, popular rulers who resist US domination, must be overthrown: fund/arm a destabilzing 'opposition', relying on expats and native pro-west bourgeoisie, to create chaos, and, as in Iraq, to manufacture 'religious / sectarian strife' called 'civil war' pretext for US/UN "R2P invasion to 'protect civilians'
mainly endangered and killed directly and indirectly by US invasions.
With genuine mass resistance in US imperialism's key mideast clients, especially Israel, Saudi Arabia (Bahrain), the US supports rulers' violent suppression of opposition with soft & hard power not covered by 'strategic information' / news, increased military support ($60 billion + to *Saudi Arabia for 'regional security', heavily directed against USrael's main regional power problem Iran,..as you'll see below.

As growing anger and desperation portend 'homeland' revolts, a counter-revolutionary all-amerikan-social-media Arab Spring, not called a 'revolution' by state-media pimps, has been unleashed: a liberal * 'anti- 'inequality' movement, hoisting RW&B flags of death and destruction, proudly proclaiming it is not anti-capitalist, is a giant catchall net designed for people to vent and show their 'power' - like staged bridge arrests - to divert and subvert the growth of a revolutionary anti-capitalist socialist movement - the fear of which is rooted in '60's' reality when a strong anti-Vietnam war movement and the Black Panther Party reached, radicalized and organized millions around a revolutionary line, bringing north amerika closer to revolution than ever before or since. What Kissinger called nearly a 'power vacuum': translation: capitalism getting vacuumed into the dustbin of history!

* Meet the class-race privileged liberal Green Party/Ralph Nader 'Occupy Wall St. reformists, here: http://wilderside.wordpress.com/about-me/
Frisbee-throwing hipsters camping out on cardboard in a New York City park in the financial district, Occupy Wall Street appears to be gaining ground. From the modest 200 occupiers last week, numbers of protesters rose to an estimated peak of approximately 3,000 to 5,000 at the weekend's march. Media attention has grown exponentially. After taking their inspiration from the Egyptian "one demand" model, Occupy Wall Street have released their list of "one" demands, bringing much-needed clarity to their objectives. The movement has moved to reach out to a broader base, including labor unions and big name celebrities like Michael Moore and Susan Sarandon....
Anonymous developed a Twitter application called URGE launching an online campaign designed to quell potential violence. Anonymous "culture-jammed" Twitter with messages to keep protests peaceful, using top Twitter trends from around the world. The involvement of Anonymous activists has also helped the movement make new connections...the movement has sparked similar activism in Chicago, Boston, Denver and other cities throughout the US. Much has been written about the "Twitter revolution" dimension of the Arab Spring; now it looks as though, in this emerging alliance between street protest and online activism, the Arab Spring is turning to American Fall....http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/sep/27/occupy-wall-street-anonymo

" the council rejects foreign interference in Syria...but appealed for international protection of Syrian civilians..."
Syrian Opposition Groups Create National Council to 'Overthrow' Assad
10/2/11 VOA News
(File Photo - September 15, 2011) Syrian opposition members who announced a Syrian National Council Sunday in Istanbul, Turkey. The Syrian National Council, to unite opposition groups inside and outside Syria, rejects foreign interference in Syria...but appealed for international protection of Syrian civilians from a government "war" against them. Its members include representatives of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, secular groups, Kurdish factions, the Damascus Declaration pro-democracy group and Local Coordination Committees, which have led Syrian street protests... Syrian government troops regained control of the central town of Rastan on Saturday, after several days of fighting insurgents, including some army defectors who joined the opposition...[but] retreated from the town ahead of the government takeover.

Turkey readies sanctions against Syria:
"Turkey is reverting to the U.S. and European line on Syria. The relationship with Syria has collapsed and it is heading for a freeze."
http://in.reuters.com/article/2011/09/28/idINIndia-59593120110928

US backed terror campaign to liberate Syria for democracy
Syrian Authorities Seize Smuggled Weapons
10/3/11 VOA News http://www.voanews.com/english/news/middle-east/Syrian-Authorities-Seize...
Photo: AP Syria's official news agency SANA shows weapons cache found in the province of Homs, Syria, September 27 authorities say were smuggled in from Turkey. It included more than 150 shotguns and Kalashnikov rifles and several rocket-propelled grenade launchers. The report comes a day after SANA said gunmen in the northwest killed the 21-year-old son of the country's top Sunni Muslim cleric in an ambush. The cleric, Grand Mufti Ahmad Badreddine Hassoun, is considered a close supporter of President Bashar al-Assad's government and has echoed its claims that Syria's unrest is the result of a foreign conspiracy.

10/3 BBC TV News in America from D.C., reported this in the context of escalating 'Gadafi loyalist violence' theme, with mention only of 'top religious leader's' murder
Newspapers too depoliticize and disinform, to make islam /religion, not politics the target: in fact the 'spate' of terrorist anti-government assassinations included 5 top academicians, one a nuclear engineer
Syrian top religious leader's son killed
3 October 2011, http://en.trend.az/regions/met/arabicr/1939411.html
The spate of targeted killings targeting high-profile figures started late last week. Since Sunday, seven noted figures, including five top academicians, have been assassinated...Armed terrorists killed the son of Syria's grand mufti and a Syrian university professor, the latest victims of a new wave of assassinations...Sunday, an armed terrorist group ambushed Saria, son of the leading clergy, Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun, and professor of history at Aleppo University, Mohammad al-Omar, while the two were on the way to the Ebla University in the northwest of the country, Syria's state Arab News Agency (SANA) reported. Wednesday, terrorists killed nuclear engineer and university professor, Aws Abdel Karim Khalil, and Tayssir al-Oqla, a senior security officer, respectively in the western cities of Homs and Hama. Syrian authorities have blamed the unrest since mid-March on "armed gangs" financed by the West and some Arab countries.

Three (?!) killed in Syria trying to defuse bomb
2 October 2011 http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/world/87127/three-killed-in-syria-trying-t...
Syria's official news agency said three security personnel were killed trying to defuse a bomb near the capital Damascus...also three civilians working with the police were killed by gunmen loyal to the opposition in the city of Hama BBC reported

10/2/11 Key Syrian City, Homs, Takes on Tone of a Civil War
(earlier headline "Grim signs of civil war spread in Syrian city")
by Anthony Shadid, http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/02/world/middleeast/homs-syria-spirals-do...
HOMS, Syria — The semblance of a civil war has erupted in Homs, Syria’s third-largest city, where armed protesters now call themselves revolutionaries, gun battles erupt as often as every few hours, security forces and opponents carry out assassinations, and rifles costing as much as $2,000 apiece flood the city from abroad, residents say....Analysts caution that the strife in Homs is still specific to the city itself, and many in the opposition reject violence because they fear it will serve as a pretext for the government’s brutal crackdown.But in the targeted killings, the rival security checkpoints and the hardening of sectarian sentiments, the city offers a dark vision that could foretell the future of Syria’s uprising as both the government and the opposition ready themselves for a protracted struggle over the endurance of a four-decade dictatorship.“We are done with the protesting phase,” said a 21-year-old engineering student on the condition of anonymity...Homs is a microcosm of Syria, with a Sunni Muslim majority and minorities of Christians and Alawites, a heterodox Muslim sect from which President Bashar al-Assad draws much of his leadership. Six months of protests and crackdown here have frayed ties among those communities, forging the conditions for urban strife....a paroxysm of violence echoes the sectarian vendettas still besetting Iraq... as insurgents kill government supporters and informers, residents say.

'sectarian war' m.o. developed by Rand Corp. for Iraq and "Muslim world"
U.S. Strategy in the Muslim World After 9/11... "15 Sep 2010 ... RAND Project AIR FORCE (PAF) ...suggests exploiting Sunni, Shiite and Arab, non-Arab divisions..."
www.rand.org/pubs/research_briefs/RB151/index1.html

U.S. secretly backed Syrian opposition groups WikiLeaks cables
By Craig Whitlock, Published April 17, 2011
http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/us-secretly-backed-syrian-opposition...

Syrian Opposition is a conglomeration of Western-backed NGO “human rights activists”
http://alethonews.wordpress.com/2011/03/25/syrian-opposition-is-a-conglo...
Syria was included in George Bush’s “Axis of Evil” and in a 2007 speech by US General Wesley Clark slated for destabilization and regime change.
The Syrian revolution uses a strikingly familiar logo. The Otpor fist was originally used [NB: by US/Soros eastern european 'color revolutions' for control of former Soviet nations] in Serbia in 2000, and handed off to the various movements trained by the US funded *CANVAS organization, including the Tunisian & Egyptian youth movements- now the Syrian Youth Revolution. “A prominent Syrian opposition figure says the country is “a bomb, ready to explode” as protesters demand freedom and an end to president Bashar al-Assad’s “cancerous regime,” reports Australia’s ABC News. This prominent Syrian opposition figure is “human rights activist” Haitham Maleh, of the Human Rights Association of Syria, recently released from a Syrian prison.
Haitham Maleh, and Muhannad al-Hassani, another activist whose plight is being used to stir up unrest, both received “pro-bono” legal services from the CFR stacked “Freedom Now” organization. Freedom Now receives funding from the George Soros Foundation, Moriah Fund, the Lantos Foundation which includes Israeli President Shimon Peres as an “adviser,” Real Networks Foundation (which also funds Democracy Now) and the Charles Bronfman Prize which proclaims on its website “Jewish Values. Global Impact.” Freedom Now also receives “pro-bono” legal support from the Pillsbury law firm, a CFR corporate member.
Understanding who these “human rights activists” are, who is supporting them, and the role they play in the latest round of the Western-backed “Arab Spring,” we can better understand articles like the Jerusalem Post’s ‘More than 100 killed in Syrian anti-government rallies.’ In the very first paragraph, the article concedes the reports cited are from human rights activists and witnesses, thus a continuation of the absurd, unsubstantiated reporting seen earlier in Libya where unverified reports by the criminally irresponsible corporate media laid the groundwork for an equally criminal military intervention.
The London-based Syrian Human Rights Committee put on a poorly staged demonstration outside the Syrian Embassy in England. As silly as SHRC looks, a good majority of the information the mainstream media reports on from Syria comes from “human rights organizations” like this.
Kamal Labwani, in 2005 was arrested in Syria after returning from a trip to Europe and the US where he met with government officials, journalists, and “human rights” groups in his effort to “change” the Syrian government. Amongst U.S. officials Labwani consorted with was George Bush’s Deputy National Security Adviser J.D. Crouch. Considering that the US had openly declared Syria a rogue-state, and was targeted in a speech by John Bolton for possible US military action, Syria’s accusations that Labwani was guilty of “communicating with a foreign country and inciting to initiate aggression against Syria”, it doesn’t seem so far fetched. In most nations the punishment for treason is death... Labwani got 12 years. Once again, we see an entire Western - backed opposition in tandem with corporate media... all part of a now irrefutably larger agenda consuming the Middle East and Northern Africa.

*CANVAS (Center for Applied NonViolent Action and Strategies) has worked with activists from 50 countries. It cannot point to 50 revolutions
2/16/11 by Tina Rosenberg http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/02/16/revolution_u?page=0,7
The most prosaic reason is that often the people it trains aren't the ones in charge of a movement. Some groups, like Georgia's and Ukraine's dissidents, choose to model themselves on Otpor. In Iran, by contrast, though small groups of CANVAS trainees held successful actions, the leaders of the Green Revolution have not adopted Otpor's tactics...CANVAS has worked with dissidents from almost every country in the Middle East; the region contains one of CANVAS's biggest successes, Lebanon, and one of its most disappointing failures, Iran. Popovic wonders whether Iran could turn out differently next time: What would happen if the Green Movement organized not around election fraud, but staged a Salt March instead, focusing on unemployment, low wages, and corruption? Iran is like Tunisia and Egypt: a young, relatively well-educated population and a corrupt authoritarian government dependent on fear to keep people in line....

"PREVENTIVE WAR & DIPLOMACY": U.S. via its UN FRONT, PUBLICLY DECLARES & LEGITIMIZES MERGER OF HARD & SOFT POWER WAR CRIMES IN THE NAME OF GLOBAL 'PEACE, PROSPERITY & DEMOCRACY'

...For the United States, preventive diplomacy means combining all the tools of international leverage -- including the use of force -- to prevent conflicts from breaking out or preventing conflicts from getting out of hand...also building sustainable economies and functioning democracies..."Peace, prosperity, and democracy cannot endure if imposed from the outside," U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice said (no hint of irony).... not explicitly defending armed intervention but arguing for its use in some cases. "We should cease to make false distinctions between peacekeeping and prevention; they are in fact inextricably linked," she said. Some countries explicitly defended the U.N.-sanctioned international military intervention in Libya and called for harsher U.N. measures against the Syrian regime. http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2011/09/22/un_security_council_d...

NB old strategy expanded to merge hard & soft power:

'Preventive diplomacy' is the latest buzzword in international relations.
January 24, 1995 http://articles.latimes.com/1995-01-24/news/wr-23626_1_preventive-diplom...
...The Council on Foreign Relations, long known as the voice of the foreign policy Establishment in the United States, created a Center for Preventive Diplomacy a few months ago.
Using "crisis prevention," President Clinton sent J. Brian Atwood, administrator of the Agency for International Development [USAID] to countries in the Horn of Africa last June...
One problem is that these officials--gathering information, analyzing trends, traveling abroad--function like a miniature State Department...."Not all member states see this as a good thing. For some it seems to threaten unwanted interference in their internal affairs or their relations with other countries."

(excerpt) United States Institute of Peace: "Violent Conflict: A Strategy for Preventive Diplomacy” ..."African Economic Community (MENA) would help Israel become integrated regionally..."
www.raco.cat/index.php/RevistaCIDOB/article/viewFile/28043/27877
After the Gulf War, the United States took the initiative in a series of meeting under the framework of the Madrid Conference for Peace in the Middle East (1991), Conference followed by the Economic Summits in Madrid (1993), Casablanca (1994), Amman (1995) and Cairo (1996). The objective was to create a Middle East and North African Economic Community (MENA) that would help Israel to become integrated in the region. It is significant to note that the first meetings dealing with security issues in the region, namely the Arms Control and Regional Security Working Group (ACRS), were made possible because of the American pressure on both Arabs and Israelis. Yet, in spite of the progress in identifying certain confidence-building and arms control measures,the ACRS has produced limited results in large part due to the boycott by Syria and the continuing great suspicions that exist between the partners of the Peace process. ...
Today, the EMR partners are confronting major questions not the least of which is the following: Israel seems very reluctant towards participating in a process that would be incompatible in one way or another with its exclusive security ties with the United States, and inasmuch as the United States’ security interests in the Middle East are based on overwhelming military capability, such capability gives to this country enough leverage for influencing any trans-Mediterranean security framework.

"The goal of the SCC is to become the bridge between the U.S. officials and the Syrian people"
Syrian Organizations in the United States form a Syrian Coordination Committee (SCC)
United Business News, http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/syrian-organizations-in-the-unit...
www.reuters.com/article/2011/08/03/idUS256973+03-Aug-2011+PRN20110803
http://americansyrians.com/syria/

NB: A short course: soft-soaped pro-imperialist analysis reveals why Assad/Syria is in 'arab spring' crosshairs; centrality of a 'final solution' to Palestinian resistance for security of US proxy 'israel', the role of Arab client states; the bogus Palestine "state" issue with intended compromise of renewed Palestine-USsrael "negotiations" aka "peace talks"; UN as US instrument
US priorities in Syria, and the broader Mideast'

Israeli-Palestinian peace talks under threat from Hamas. Can Syria help?
9/16/10 Correspondent, CSMonitor http://axcessnews.com/index.php/articles/show/id/20874
Beirut, Lebanon - With Gaza rocket fire and Israeli air strikes providing a potent reminder of Hamas's potential to destabilize Israeli-Palestinian peace talks US envoy George Mitchell arrived in Syria today looking to secure broader regional support. The US also believes that hopes of an eventual Israeli-Syrian peace track are dependent on the continuation of the Palestinian track.
"If Hamas succeeds [in scuttling the talks], the prospects for eventual Syria-Israel talks are zero," says an analyst closely following the talks, who asked not to be identified. "... the priority of effort - virtually all of it - is putting Palestinian-Israeli direct talks on a sound basis."
American diplomats have trodden the path to Damascus repeatedly the past 18 months as part of a renewed attempt to engage the Syrian leadership ... Progress has been slow, analysts say, complicated by waning US influence in the region, Israel's preoccupation with Iran, and the complex and ever-changing interplay of the region's key powers, such as Turkey, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. The US hopes a comprehensive peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors not only will end the Arab-Israeli conflict, but will blunt some of Iran's regional influence. Iran has an alliance with Syria dating back 30 years...
The US signaled a renewal of diplomatic relations in 2009 - a move calculated to woo Damascus away from Iran and tap its leverage over Hamas and Hezbollah. But more than a year later, Washington has yet to send a new ambassador, and sanctions remain in place. The Obama administration decided to focus instead on relaunching the Israeli-Palestinian peace track, regarded the keystone to resolving the broader Israeli-Arab conflict.
Aside from the Israeli-Palestinian talks, the US has grievances with Syria that can hamper diplomatic moves to resume negotiations between US ally Israel and Syria. They include Syria’s continuing support for militant [NB: US calls "terrorist", like any serious opposition] anti-Israel groups such as Hamas and Iran-backed Hezbollah in Lebanon....
Syria's sometimes contradictory policies tend to divide analysts into two camps: some believe Syria is the lynchpin for Middle East stability. If Syria's interests are satisfied, such as the return in its entirety of the Golan Heights captured by Israel in 1967 and perhaps permitted a proprietary role in neighboring Lebanon, it will distance itself from Iran, thus weakening Hezbollah and Hamas. Other analysts believe Syria prefers to sit in the middle and play regional spoiler, ensuring it cannot be ignored - but deferring hard decisions that could end up undermining the regime.
[NB: latest scheme: bogus brouhaha over USsrael-controlled, non-militarized Palestinian "state" see http://www.burbankdigest.com/node/367 & http://www.burbankdigest.com/node/368]

NB: Syria is the only Arab state allied with Iran which refuses to submit to US:

"A FREE AND DEMOCRATIC SYRIA IS THE BEST WAY TO UNDERMINE IRAN"
3/31/10 By Ribal Al Assad, Director of the Organisation for Democracy and Freedom in Syria (ODFS)
http://www.odf-syria.org/news/articles/odfs-director-ribal-alassad-write...
Syria qualifies as an afterthought when discussing the threat of Iran. But to dismiss this country as a minor player in the region is dangerously to underestimate the significance of its links with Iran. At the end of February the leaders of the Syrian and Iranian regimes met in Damascus...Iran is a major influencer in the Middle East. Its tentacles stretch deep into Syria, the West Bank, Iraq, Lebanon and Afghanistan. Iran’s aim is to manipulate and use proxy groups to exert greater influence and control in the region....The Organisation for Democracy and Freedom in Syria (ODFS) aims to campaign for several fundamental developments; human rights guaranteed by law, a free media, economic liberalisation, and zero tolerance of extremism...Engaging with Syria is fruitless for as long as the Syrian regime sees Iran as his benefactor and friend....
ODFS researches and analyses current events and policy in Syria and the Middle East, and provides information to governments, civil servants, media, think tanks, academics, students, the public and all other interested parties in Britain and around the world. What we do. Coming Soon http://www.odf-syria.org/about/what-we-do Founder & Director Ribal al Assad, lives in London, studied politics at Boston University, holds a degree in Business from the InterAmerican University in New York. He is fluent in Arabic, English, French and Spanish.

While Iran would like normalized relations with Washington and the West, it is much more interested in maintaining its independence in foreign policy matters, not unlike China since establishing relations with the US. As one Iranian official told me at the conference, when Iran re-establishes ties with the US, it won't behave like Saudi Arabia or Turkey under the Justice and Development Party.The combination of geography, demography and resources means Iran will remain at the center of an intense geopolitical struggle... Geopolitical Journey: Iran at a Crossroads | STRATFOR Private Intel

NB: US needed time to put heavy carrot-stick pressure on Arab surrogates for support, including suppression of the masses where necessary:

"Why Syria is the linchpin"
What's at Stake if Syrian Regime Falls
3/28/11 http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2011/0328/What-is-at-stake-if...
Syria is a gateway for Iran's influence in the Middle East, but it has also been a relatively predictable neighbor for Israel. If Assad's regime comes unhinged, that could all change
Syria is the geostrategic linchpin connecting Iran to Hezbollah in Lebanon, granting Tehran a toehold on Israel’s northern border...If Syria falls into turmoil, analysts say its neighbors – chiefly Iraq, Iran, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia --- but also the US and possibly even Israel --- will try (!!!) to influence the outcome....
Ahmad Moussalli, professor of politics at the American University of Beirut says “Syria holds the cards of Iran, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad, and Hamas, and whatever regime rules in Syria, it will not want to throw away those cards for nothing.”...If a collapse of the Assad regime leads to the emergence of a stable Sunni-dominated order, “it would represent a clear and severe blow to Hezbollah, Iran and to some degree Hamas,” says a Lebanese political analyst who requested anonymity because of the tensions in Lebanon generated by the Syria crisis. The analyst added that a Sunni regime in Syria would attempt to cut off Iran’s access to Lebanon and reduce Hezbollah’s influence....

WikiLeaks Cables Reveal US Regime Change Strategy in Syria
A U.S. STATE DEPARTMENT CABLE OBTAINED BY WIKILEAKS Original Document (PDF)
8/6/11 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/world/wikileaks-syria/cable...
www.informationclearinghouse.info/article28781.htm
BEHAVIOR REFORM: NEXT STEPS FOR A HUMAN RIGHTS STRATEGY
This cable represents a follow-up to "Re-engaging Syria: Human Rights" (ref A) and outlines ongoing civil society programming in the country, primarily under the auspices of the Bureau of Human Rights and Labor (DRL) and the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI).

WikiLeaks Cables Show US Strategy for Regime Change in Syria as Protesters are Massacred
By Kevin Gosztola 8/6/11 http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article28781.htm
For the past five to six years, the US has used what could be called a two-pronged strategy to push for regime change in Syria: supported “civil society” activists and external opposition organizations... also worked to delegitimize, destabilize and isolate the country through sanctions and various other measures to exploit vulnerabilities.
A [US embassy] cable from December 13, 2006, opens with the conclusion that the Syrian government ended 2006 “in a position much stronger domestically and internationally than it did [in] 2005.” It features a collection of vulnerabilities and possible actions that could be taken to undermine the Assad regime.
The vulnerabilities listed include: the Rafiq Hariri investigation and tribunal (Hariri was a Lebanese Prime Minister who was assassinated in a major car bombing); the alliance with Tehran; the regime’s “inner circle”; divisions in the military-security services; the corrupt Baathist elites; previous failures of reform; the economy; the Kurds; extremists and the “Khaddam factor” (Abdul Halim Khaddam is an exiled former Syrian Vice President, whose name appears in a number of the cables released thus far.)
Some of the proposed actions for exploiting these vulnerabilities are outlined in the cable:
* ENCOURAGE RUMORS AND SIGNALS OF EXTERNAL PLOTTING:
The regime is intensely sensitive to rumors about coup-plotting and restlessness in the security services and military. Regional allies like Egypt and Saudi Arabia should be encouraged to meet with figures like Khaddam and Rifat Asad as a way of sending such signals, with appropriate leaking of the meetings afterwards. This again touches on this insular regime,s paranoia and increases the possibility of a self-defeating over-reaction.
* THE KHADDAM FACTOR
…We should continue to encourage the Saudis and others to allow Khaddam access to their media outlets, providing him with venues for airing the SARG,s dirty laundry. We should anticipate an overreaction by the regime that will add to its isolation and alienation from its Arab neighbors…
* HIGHLIGHT KURDISH COMPLAINTS: Highlighting Kurdish complaints in public statements, including publicizing human rights abuses will exacerbate regime,s concerns about the Kurdish population. Focus on economic hardship in Kurdish areas and the SARG,s long-standing refusal to offer citizenship to some 200,000 stateless Kurds. This issue would need to be handled carefully, since giving the wrong kind of prominence to Kurdish issues in Syria could be a liability for our efforts at uniting the opposition, given Syrian (mostly Arab) civil society’s skepticism of Kurdish objectives.
* PLAY ON SUNNI FEARS OF IRANIAN INFLUENCE: There are fears in Syria that the Iranians are active in both Shia proselytizing and conversion of, mostly poor, Sunnis. Though often exaggerated, such fears reflect an element of the Sunni community in Syria that is increasingly upset by and focused on the spread of Iranian influence in their country through activities ranging from mosque construction to business. Both the local Egyptian and Saudi missions here, (as well as prominent Syrian Sunni religious leaders), are giving increasing attention to the matter and we should coordinate more closely with their governments on ways to better publicize and focus regional attention on the issue....
What this shows is US diplomacy, which includes covertly funding Syrian opposition groups and supporting actions to advance regime change in Syria, to advance American hegemony through the buildup of “civil society” and so-called advancement of “human rights” have failed and innocent civilians are paying the price.

"The goal of the SCC is to become the bridge between the U.S. officials and the Syrian people"
Syrian Organizations in the United States form a Syrian Coordination Committee (SCC)
United Business News, http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/syrian-organizations-in-the-unit...
www.reuters.com/article/2011/08/03/idUS256973+03-Aug-2011+PRN20110803
http://americansyrians.com/syria/

US soft power Infowar grows -see US 'preventive diplomacy' definition merging hard & soft power:

U.S. government broadcasting expands use of social media in Middle East
09/30/2011 http://www.nextgov.com/nextgov/ng_20110930_4992.php?oref=rss?zone=NGtoda...
As social media becomes a primary tool for communication, organization and subversion across the Middle East, the U.S. government's foreign broadcasting arm is increasingly relying on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to communicate with its audience. The weekly program Eye on Democracy, which runs on the Arabic language Alhurra station, has had a social media presence since it went on the air in 2006 and has done significant reporting on the Arab world's use of social media both before and after the Arab Spring uprisings in Egypt, Tunisia and elsewhere.
Alhurra is part of the Broadcasting Board of Governors' Middle East Broadcasting Network division, which also includes Radio Sawa, the BBG's Arabic language radio station....Voice of America's Persia News Network, which broadcasts Parazit, is blocked in Iran, so the show's viewers come entirely through encrypted pipes on the Internet...Alhurra, "the free one," began broadcasting to the Middle East in 2004....has gained popularity in the wake of the Arab Spring uprisings, though, especially in Egypt...a documentary titled Tunisia: The Republic of Facebook, that aired July 1, interviewed many of the nation's leading online activists. About 90 percent of them told him the Tunisian uprisings would have been impossible without Facebook, he said...

INFOWAR: Microsoft-Skype & social media
"It seems they got better in tracking satellite mobiles”
by Joshua Landis, May 8th, 2011, http://www.joshualandis.com/blog/?p=9646
Communications have been key to the Arab Spring. The Syrian uprising is no exception. Facebook, Youtube and Twitter have been huge. The Syrian crackdown is compromising many of those medium. As more human rights group activists are arrested, passwords will be revealed and opposition networks exposed, allowing the government to arrest uprising leaders and track down opposition cells...the satellite phones that provided the main secure link between activists and journalists in Beirut and those leading the revolution inside Syria are now falling...
Joshua Landis: Director: Center for Middle East Studies and Associate Professor, University of Oklahoma

NB: deja vu US Syrian 'arab spring' like 'new' military dictatorship in Egypt:

Syrian opposition takes shape - call on army to back protesters
www.nytimes.com/2011/04/28/world/middleeast/28syria.html

“National Initiative for Change” Program of Syrian Opposition Liberal Wing
NOVANEWS http://www.shoah.org.uk/2011/04/30/“national-initiative-for-change”-program-of-syrian-opposition-the-liberal-wing/
The following press release from the liberal wing of the Syrian Opposition is notable because it does not include anyone I know who belongs to the Muslim Brotherhood or Islamic currents of the opposition or speaks for it. Many animators of the movement are academics in the US – Najib Ghadbian, a political science professor, and his wife, Mouhja Kahf, a talented poet, both teach at the University of Arkansas.Ammar Kahf, probably a brother, is a grad student at UCLA. Radwan Ziyadeh is now visiting at George Washington University and was at USIP. Ammar Abdulhamid was visiting at Brookings’ Saban Center. Khawla Yousef, another signer and activist, is his wife. Ausama Monajed is the head of public relations at the Movement for Justice and Development in London, in the news recently for getting 6 million dollars from the US. Osama Kadi is co-founder and president of Syrian Center for Political and Strategic Studies SCPSS NGO registered in Washington DC.
Their strategy is to ask the Syrian Army to turn against the president, as in the case in Egypt. This is an unlikely scenario because the Syrian Army has remained loyal to the President. The opposition has been claiming that soldiers have been shooting other soldiers for refusing to shoot on protesters. This is not convincing and seems to be the product of wishful thinking. Of course, if the revolution grows in size and force, the Sunni military officers will come under increasing social pressure to resign or defect. The political reform plan is admirable....

Syrian opposition vows to 'break the regime'
http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2011/04/20114274815152261.h...
Activists say democratic transition will safeguard the country from "a period of violence, chaos and civil war". Syrian opposition figures said their "massive grassroots revolution" will break the regime unless President Bashar al-Assad leads a transition to democracy.The statement Wednesday from an umbrella group of opposition activists in Syria and abroad, called the, National Initiative for Changes statement said a democratic transition will "safeguard the nation from falling into a period of violence, chaos and civil war. If the Syrian president does not wish to be recorded in history as a leader of this transition, there is no alternative left for Syrians except to move forward along the same path as the Tunisians, Egyptian and Libyans before them" ...
The UN's top human rights body agreed to hold a special human rights session on Syria to try to stop the security forces' brutal crackdown on protesters.The 47-nation Human Rights Council in Geneva will convene the special session on Friday, requested by the US and endorsed by 16 member states including Britain, France, and Japan.No Arab countries were among those requesting the session, which requires endorsement by one-third of the forum's membership to convene...
Syria's UN envoy Ambassador Bashar Ja'afari told reporters that Assad had instructed the government "to establish a national commission of inquiry and investigation about all the casualties among civilians" and the envoy pledged "full transparency". "We have nothing to hide. We regret what's going on, but you should also acknowledge the fact that this unrest and riots, in some of their aspects, have hidden agendas," he said, adding "some foreign governments were trying to destabilise Syria."

'ARAB SPRING' PREPARATIONS
U.S. regional domination blocked by Iran
The Obama Pentagon has negotiated the biggest-ever U.S. arms deal with controversial ally Saudi Arabia.
9/14/10 http://theweek.com/article/index/207051/americas-largest-ever-arms-deal
The Obama administration is set to notify Congress of an arms deal with Saudi Arabia worth $60 billion, a U.S. record, with another $30 billion in naval defenses under negotiation. The initial agreement involves advanced fighter jets and attack helicopters and is expected to clear the Senate and House without major modifications...This is about containing Iran: Arms sales to Saudi Arabia used to raise Israel's hackles, Ian Black says in the Guardian, so it's "striking" that "pro-Israel lobbies" are fine with any deal, much less one this big... because Israel, and many Arab states, now fear Iran more than the Saudis. The U.S. does, too, which helps explain..."Arms deal: Saudi Arabia and US put 9/11 behind them"

Security Industry: Saudi Arabia's $60 billion in U.S. arms
The US has sold up to $37 billion in arms to Persian Gulf states, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait from 2005 to 2009
http://www.upi.com/Business_News/Security-Industry/2010/10/22/Saudi-Arab...
The purchase, say military analysts and diplomats, aims to bolster the region's defenses against Iran. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Political and Military Affairs Andrew Shapiro told a news conference this week it didn't anticipate any objections to the sale from Israel... "it will enhance regional security and stability rather than diminish it," he said.
The Jerusalem Post reported that Israeli concerns were allayed by the fact that Saudi Arabia's shopping list didn't include long-range weapons that could potentially pose a threat to the Jewish state and the arrival of F-15s to Saudi Arabia wouldn't be until 2015, the same year Tel Aviv is to take delivery of more advanced F-35s. The State Department's announcement also revealed the deal would include up to 1,000 1-ton, bunker-buster bombs that would "enhance the capability of Saudi Arabia's air force to bomb hardened bunkers and tunnels such as those the West believes are used by Iran to hide nuclear and ballistic programs," The Wall Street Journal reported. Tehran has long contested U.S. and Israeli concerns over its nuclear program, saying it is intended to serve only peaceful purposes.The US has sold up to $37 billion in arms to Persian Gulf states, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait from 2005 to 2009.

"Saudi Royal Family Agrees to Buy $60 Billion of U.S. Weapons It Doesn’t Need...Biggest $60 Billion US-Saudi Weapons Deal Ever...will include advanced fighter jets and military helicopters, part of a broader policy to create more allies in the region against Iran. Saudi Arabia spent $36.7 billion on arms between 2001 and 2008, according to Congressional Research Service report.

9/15/10 Analysis: Saudi deal could be first of more Gulf U.S. arms pacts capitalizing on fears of war with Iran to sell more weapons to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Arab neighbors of the Islamic republic.http://www.reuters.com/article/2010/09/15/us-saudi-usa-arms-idUSTRE68E3BH20100915

Getting Serious in Syria
Michael S. Doran and Salman Shaikh, * Saban Center for Middle East Policy of the Brookings Institution.
http://www.the-american-interest.com/article.cfm?piece=1001
...How can the United States compress the timeline of collapse so as to minimize human suffering and ensure the speediest rise of a new order hospitable to the United States? To do so, Washington must first jettison the completely unsupportable pretense of a regime-led transition toward democratic reform. This policy only encourages Assad to think that he can ride out the protests. Instead, the United States should be working assiduously to convince Assad to go, and to go soon.
This task of persuasion should entail five steps:
1. The United States must begin with a strong declaratory policy announcing that it is now working to build the best possible bridge to a post-Assad Syria.
2. Washington should then convene a conference of interested powers, in conjunction with Turkey and France, to develop a Syrian “contact group” devoted to establishing a stable order and to preventing a power vacuum. Crucially, such a contact group should also seek to involve Arab states such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
3. The United States must work with other key actors to help turn the Syrian opposition into the nucleus of a transition government. As the experience with the Libyan opposition forces has shown, engagement with the Syrian opposition movement would prove invaluable to increase its effectiveness and professionalize its efforts.
4. The United States must promote defections from the Syrian security services with an eye both to convincing Assad to leave and to preserving the Syrian Armed Forces as a future national institution. In doing so, Washington must warn officers, down to the brigade level, that they are being monitored and that they will be held personally accountable for the atrocities that are committed under their command. (This should not be a bluff.)
5. The contact group should take all available steps to starve the regime of cash and other resources, including taking a leadership role on preventing the regime from generating revenue from oil exports.
Michael S. Doran is senior fellow at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy of the Brookings Institution. Salman Shaikh is director of the Brookings Doha Center and fellow at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy. A version of this essay will appear as a chapter in the forthcoming book from the Saban Center at Brookings, The Great Arab Awakening: America and the Transformation of the Middle East (Brookings Press, 2011).

* Saban Center for Middle East Policy is a research organization established at the Brookings Institution in 2002 through the donation of nearly $13 million by the Israeli media-mogul Haim Saban. Its current director is Martin Indyk, who earlier founded the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, an AIPAC spinoff, to counter the Brooking Institution which was seen as not pro-Israel enough. http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Saban_Center_for_Middle_East_...
Vice President for Foreign Policy at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. Indyk served as U.S. ambassador to Israel and Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs during the Clinton Administration. He is known as the framer of the U.S. policy of dual containment to 'contain' Iraq and Iran, both viewed as Israel's two most important strategic adversaries....
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martin_Indyk

Syria accuses Israel of posing 'nuclear threat' to the world
"21 Sep 2011 Reuters http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/syria-accuses-israel-of-po...
In a U.S.-led move, the IAEA's 35-nation board voted in June to report Syria to the UN Security Council over its refusal to allow agency inspectors to visit the Dair Alzour site. Russia and China opposed the move...Israel and the United States see Iran -- and to a lesser extent Syria -- as the Middle East's main proliferation threats, accusing Tehran of seeking to develop a nuclear arms capability in secret...Relations between the two [Syria and Israel] are especially fraught in the nuclear arena. Israel bombed a Syrian desert site in 2007 U.S. intelligence said was a nascent reactor intended to produce plutonium for nuclear weaponry. Syria denies this...Israel is widely believed to hold the Middle East's only nuclear arsenal...
"In the Middle East there is a unique feature: Israel is the only country which has a military and nuclear arsenal, outside the realm of any international control," Syrian Ambassador Bassam Al-Sabbagh told the IAEA's annual General Conference. For the November talks to be successful, "all participants should be parties to the NPT (Non-Proliferation Treaty) and the agenda of such a meeting should focus on the issue of creating a nuclear weapons-free zone in the Middle East".
Israel is the only country in the Middle East outside the NPT. Arab states, backed by Iran, say Israel's stance poses a threat to regional peace and stability. They want Israel to subject all its nuclear facilities to IAEA monitoring. Israel says it would only join if there is a comprehensive Middle East peace with its longtime Arab and Iranian adversaries. If it signed the 1970 NPT pact, Israel would have to renounce nuclear weaponry...
Arab nations dropped plans to single out Israel over its presumed nuclear weapons at this week's gathering of International Atomic Energy Agency members, calling this a goodwill gesture in the run-up to the Nov. 21-22 discussions.

The Threat from Syria
2009 Report http://www.missilethreat.com/thethreat/pageID.252/default.asp
MissileThreat.com is a project of The Claremont Institute devoted to understanding and promoting the requirements for the strategic defense of the United States.
Since the early 1980s, Damascus has openly provided material and political backing to the militant Islamic terrorist group Hezbollah, gaining Syria a prominent place on the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism. In its ceaseless struggle against Israel, Hezbollah has committed terrorist acts against Israelis and Americans, including the suicide bombings of the U.S. embassy and the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut. For the past half century, Syria's overriding military objective has been the destruction of Israel....

Israel and Syria Trade War Threats
2/4/10 Jerusalem, http://abcnews.go.com/International/israel-syria-trade-war-threats/story
The two nations have been at loggerheads ever since the Six Day War in June 1967. Israel occupied the Syrian Golan Heights and has remained there ever since. Syria demands the return of its territory as a condition for peace. Several rounds of U.S.-backed negotiations have come and gone. The most recent talks were mediated by Turkey but were scuppered by Israel's military offensive against Hamas in Gaza at the end of 2008...Israel has made it clear that Syria must make a strategic turn away from friendship with Iran and its regional allies in exchange for a handover of occupied territory. Today, [Israeli Foreign Minister] Lieberman signaled he thought this most unlikely. "Whoever thinks territorial concessions will disconnect Syria from the axis of evil is mistaken. Syria must be made to understand that it has to relinquish its demand for the Golan Heights," he said. Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said earlier this week he feared an absence of a meaningful peace process with Syria would lead to war.

Israel - Syria diplomatic ties have not been established, and the countries have fought four major wars, in 1948, 1967, 1973 and 1982....
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel_–_Syria_relations
In US-brokered Syrian-Israeli talks in the 1990s, Syria demanded that Israeli future withdrawal be to the "June 4, 1967 Lines"...
In 2010, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad accused Israel of avoiding peace, and Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem warned that in the event of a future war, Israeli cities would be targeted... Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said the Syrian military would be defeated in a war with Israel, and Assad and his family would be forced from power....
High points of hostility in the 2000s included the Ain es Saheb airstrike Israeli Air Force mission against Palestinian militants inside Syria in 2003 and Operation Orchard Israeli air and commando mission against Syria's alleged nuclear program in 2007. During the 2006 Lebanon War, Syria provided support to Hezbollah, and allowed Iran to ship supplies to Hezbollah through its territory. Later, Turkey organized peace talks between the two countries, but Syria later withdrew in response to the 2008-2009 Gaza War.

ISRAEL SLAUGHTERS AT LEAST 20, INJURES SCORES MORE, INSIDE SYRIA
6/5/11 Israeli troops battle protesters in Syria, 20 dead
www.msnbc.msn.com/id/43284111/ns/world_news-mideast_n_africa/t/israeli-t...
Israeli troops Sunday battled hundreds of pro-Palestinian protesters who tried to cross Syria's frontier with the Golan Heights...Israel had promised a tough response after being caught off guard in last month's demonstrations, when [IDF] troops killed more than a dozen people along the Syrian and Lebanese borders. In Syria, hundreds of unarmed protesters managed to breach the border and entered Israel-controlled Golan for several hours. The May 15 unrest occurred on the anniversary of Israel's birth in 1948, a day the Palestinians refer to as the "nakba," or catastrophe. Sunday's clashes marked the "naksa," or setback, the term the Palestinians use for the defeat in the 1967 Mideast war. During that war, Israel conquered the Golan Heights from Syria, the West Bank and east Jerusalem from Jordan, and the Gaza Strip and Sinai peninsula from Egypt in just six days.

war criminal provocateurs:

Ford Attacked by Thugs in Syria -- Again
http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2011/09/29/robert_ford_attacked_...
Ford's determined effort to publicly show support for protesters is clearly angering the Assad regime, but it is also convincing his detractors in Washington he should be confirmed as the permanent ambassador in Syria. "When an ambassador makes a statement in a country that's critical of that country's government, when that government visits an opposition or a site where a protest is taking place, the statement is much more powerful -- and the impact and the attention it gets is much more powerful if it's an ambassador rather than a low-level diplomat," Ford told The Cable in an interview last week.

Clinton Blasts Inexcusable Assault on US Syria Envoy
9/29/11 http://www.voanews.com/english/news/US-Condemns-Attack-on-Envoy-in-Syria...
... Clinton condemned what she termed an “inexcusable assault” on the U.S. ambassador to Syria by a pro-regime crowd as he met an opposition figure Thursday in Damascus. The attack on Ford coincided with new Syrian charges that the United States is inciting armed groups to violence against security forces...accusing Washington of inciting armed groups to violence, and a pro-regime crowd attacking U.S. Ambassador Robert Ford. A jeering crowd of about 100 Syrians pelted the U.S. diplomat and aides with tomatoes and eggs Thursday as they arrived in Damascus to meet with leading opposition figure Hassan Abdelazim...Ford is risking personal harm to monitor events and maintain contacts with the Syrian opposition...Clinton called the veteran U.S. diplomat a “vital advocate” for a people “under siege” by the Assad government, and urged the U.S. Senate to confirm Ford, in Syria on a temporary basis to avoid Republican veto.

Syrian President Bashar Assad target of war crimes investigation
http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-syria-tribunal-20110...
A fact-finding mission funded by at least one Western government is gathering evidence to be used to indict Bashar Assad over his brutal crackdown on Syria's democracy movement.
At least one Western government is bankrolling a project to gather evidence that could be used to indict Syria's President Bashar Assad at an international tribunal over his crackdown on the country's democracy movement, said a jurist leading the effort and a diplomat whose government is sponsoring it. The fact-finding mission mostly involves assembling testimony from Syrian refugees to sustain a war crimes trial at the International Criminal Court, said the diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity...
Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former Jordanian Foreign Minister Marwan Muasher called on the Security Council in June to authorize the ICC to investigate Assad on charges of crimes against humanity....

What Does ICC Stand For? Imperialist Crime Cover-Up
By Diana Johnstone, http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article28241.htm
June 03 2011, Counterpunch
...The International Criminal Court is an instrument not of international justice but the judicial arm of Western intervention in weaker countries. The ICC could well stand for Imperialist Crimes Cover-up...it studiously ignores truly “international” crimes, such as U.S. and NATO aggression or the many massacres of civilians that result... the only alleged crimes it has undertaken to prosecute have all been the result of internal conflicts taking place in countries on the African continent... as a way of putting political pressure on, or justifying military action against, weak governments the Western powers want to replace with leaders of their choice...one of the most blatant illustrations of double standards. The United States manipulates the ICC without recognizing its jurisdiction, and having further protected itself by bilateral agreements with a long list of countries that provide immunity for United States citizens as well as by Congressional laws to protect U.S. citizens from the ICC.
Concerning the Kadhafi indictment, Scheffer is quoted by AFP as saying the move might increase pressure on Kadhafi to think about finding refuge in a country that has not agreed to ICC jurisdiction. This is a senseless remark, since Libya itself has not agreed to ICC jurisdiction. Nor has Sudan, which has not prevented the ICC from going after its president, Omar Al Bashir, even though the ICC is supposed to apply only to countries that have recognized its jurisdiction. But non-recognition of ICC jurisdiction proves to be of no protection for weak countries... Diana Johnstone, author of Fools Crusade: Yugoslavia, NATO and Western Delusions, can be reached at diana.josto@yahoo.fr

Syrian Leader Blames ‘Foreign Conspiracy’ for Turmoil
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/31/world/middleeast/31syria.html
CAIRO — The much-anticipated speech by the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, on Wednesday was a well-choreographed effort to showcase his firm grip on power, as he refused to offer concessions and labeled pro-democracy demonstrators as either “duped” or conspirators to destroy the nation...
Mr. Assad fell back on the strongman’s standard justification for holding on to power: “The first priority,” he said, “was the stability of Syria.”...
He acknowledged that Syrians’ demands had not been met, but said the grievances were “being used as a cover to dupe the people to go to the streets.” He added that the state would not put changes into effect under outside pressure. “We are not in favor of chaos and destruction.”... It was unclear how most Syrians would receive Mr. Assad’s speech... “The slogans of the protesters will change from ‘The people want to reform the regime’ to ‘The people want the fall of the regime,’ ” said Ammar Qurabi, chairman of the Syrian National Association for Human Rights, who was in Egypt at a conference. “Assad has proven that this is a regime that cannot change.”