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America’s Creeping Regime Change in Syria

February 14, 2018 in Economics

By John Glaser

John Glaser

In eastern Syria last week, American air and ground forces
attacked Syrian pro-government military units, killing roughly 100
including some Russian advisors
. U.S. Army Colonel Thomas Veale

the attack as “taken in self-defense.”

“Self-defense”? Had the regime of Bashar al-Assad bombarded
Boston Harbor? No, but it had attacked a base, long held by Syrian
rebels, with U.S. military advisors present. Despite the
tit-for-tat chronology here, it’s hard to see how Veale’s
“self-defense” claim is tenable.

After all, as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson explained
last month, the Trump administration has committed to an indefinite
military presence of roughly 2,000 U.S. boots on the Syrian
battlefield. Are these troops present at the behest of the host
government? Certainly not. Has Congress ratified their deployment
in some way? Guess again. Are they there preempting an imminent
threat of attack on America? Nope. Are they under the mandate of a
UN Security Council resolution? No.

And you thought our
government toppling days were over.

In fact, the U.S. military presence in Syria has no legal
authorization whatsoever. Those American forces are cooperating
with Syrian rebels to, as Tillerson put it, “help liberated
peoples” in territory outside Assad’s control “stabilize their own
communities” and defend themselves against regime forces. This is,
he added, “a critical step to creating the conditions for a
post-Assad political settlement.”

Dispensing with the euphemistic flummery, U.S. forces are
engaged in a kind of creeping regime change operation — the
lessons of recent history be damned.

One might fairly argue that the Assad regime, in its brutality
against its own people, long ago forfeited the sovereign right to
defend its territory against an invading foreign army. Fine, but we
should be clear that Washington, in responding to the lawlessness,
is also acting lawlessly — hardly a lodestar mission of the
liberal, rules-based world order America claims to lead, and, in
the big picture, decidedly not a case of “self-defense.”

Quaint legalisms aside, the clash between U.S. and Syrian forces
should make clear just how dangerous our military presence in Syria
is. This particular incident, we can reasonably assume, didn’t
escalate only because the regime is desperate to avoid escalation.
Were they to counterattack, the Syrians surely know, the full might
of America would come crashing down upon Damascus, and that would
be the end of them all.

But that is by no means a reassuring “balance of terror,” the
term nuclear strategist Albert Wohlstetter used
to describe the deterrence model of the Cold War’s mutually assured
destruction. Indeed, the multi-sided chaos of the Syrian Civil War
is neither balanced nor stable and …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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