Voice of Russia
July 23, 2013
The dressing down and attempted humiliation of General Martin Dempsey, the Head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, by superannuated life-time bureaucrat John McCain, was another in a long series of attempts to push the U.S. military into another act of aggressive war by those controlling Washington. With the amassed U.S. and NATO military forces and hardware around Syria and the advancements made by the Syria Army, the likelihood that the U.S. will invade and commit another act of aggressive war against yet another country they have helped to destabilize and tear apart seems very likely. Regular Voice of Russia contributor Rick Rozoff spoke to the VOR about these matters and more.
This is John Robles I’m speaking to Rick Rozoff, the owner and manager of the Stop NATO website and international mailing list.
Robles: Hello Rick. How are you this evening?
Rozoff: Very good John.
Robles: What is going on with all the saber rattling surrounding Syria? Do you think there is a chance that the U.S. may be up to something, or that they are planning an invasion in the near future?
Rozoff: They certainly intend direct military action against the government of Syria, and you characterized it correctly by using the term saber rattling. Gunboat diplomacy and brinkmanship and other similar terms from the colonial era I think also are apropos in this context.
What is most disturbing, and it’s something that many of your listeners may be aware of by now, but just today the Senate confirmation, actually reconfirmation, hearings for the chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff and his second-in-command, General Martin Dempsey, was dressed down rather rudely and even brusquely by Senator John McCain, who in recent years with his colleagues, Lindsey Graham from South Carolina, and until recently, until he retired, Joseph Lieberman from Connecticut formed a triumvirate of U.S. Senators, almost like the imperial Roman proconsuls that would travel around the world inciting hostilities against other countries. We’ve talked about this on your show before. A traveling war circus is how I characterized it, but you know, McCain and Graham being the two survivors of that trio.
McCain, in so many words humiliated, this is really pretty stark. I’ve just seen the transcripts of it and accounts of it but I can imagine what this looks like, to see a superannuated, life-time bureaucrat like McCain, dress down and attempt to humiliate the head of the U.S. armed forces and essentially accusing him of being cowardly and indecisive and irresolute because he won’t go to war against Syria – there is no other way of interpreting McCain’s comments – and then finally browbeating Dempsey, the same Dempsey who had warned earlier this year, in February, that enforcing a no-fly zone over Syria ipso facto constituted war, an act of war, which in fact it would be. Finally, coaxing out of Dempsey the statement that no options were off the table and that “kinetic strikes”, meaning air strikes and strikes on the warships in Mediterranean, were something the U.S. military has considered, so I can’t think of any other way of describing or characterizing or interpreting the comments both by McCain and by the U.S. military chief Dempsey except an avid and almost passionate desire to have some sort of military action taken against Syria.
Now we have to remember, this occurs immediately after joint massive military exercises in two countries bordering Syria led by the United States. That is, in both Jordan and Turkey, almost simultaneously. They overlapped towards the end of June, Eager Lion as it was called in Jordan, where there are 8,000 troops from 19 nations. These are NATO nations, the U.S. and its allies, and their Arab allies, through the Mediterranean Dialogue and the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative.
The reports came out, and they were picked up by the Voice of Russia, as a matter of fact, from other press-wires, that the US intended during the course of those exercises, to retain 700 troops in Jordan along with Patriot Interceptor missiles of the sort that NATO has now deployed in Turkey and military aircraft, I believe F-16s. And in Turkey you had similar large-scale multinational exercises between NATO members and their Arab allies, involving NATO AWACS surveillance aircraft and 50 fighter jets.
So, you see the potential for military buildup. Some of these are annual exercises, like the Eager Lion one in Jordan, but the fact they’re being held in countries bordering Syria, with just the cast of characters you would expect to participate in an attack on Syria, something comparable, perhaps even on a larger scale perhaps, comparable to what was used against Libya two years ago and were used in the invasions and occupation of Iraq both in 1991 and in 2003.
So, we have all this going on at the same time. Incidentally increasing encroachment around Syria, and incidentally one step removed, around Iran, with the U.S. son-of-Star-Wars missile shield system, Patriot missiles and eventually Standard Missile 3 and other interceptors and radars, is a pretty ominous development. It suggests that again they’re preparing for war.
And we have to recall that NATO has only twice before deployed AWACS and interceptor missiles, Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missiles, and that was in 1991 for the attack against Iraq, and in 2003 for the invasion of Iraq.
One would be hard-pressed to miss the analogy in the fact that the military buildup, and this is all compounded by, and this came across in the Senate hearings today, it is compounded by the fact that Martin Dempsey, the head of the US military, acknowledged, what everyone now knows, is that the tide has turned inside Syria, where government forces and their allies have scored fairly decisive, and I think at this point irreversible gains against internal rebel forces and their foreign mercenary allies, or backbone, and the more desperate the situation becomes for the U.S. and its NATO partners’ proxies inside the country, I think the more apt the hotheads like McCain and company are going to be in terms of pushing a direct U.S. military aggression.
Robles: How far along would you say is the political buildup compared to before the invasion of Libya, before the invasion of Iraq, Afghanistan? Do you see the same mechanisms and strings being pulled? Or was McCain kind of on his own here? What’s going on there?
Rozoff: I am glad you asked that question, particularly about Libya. This is maybe a study on two different scenarios, opposing scenarios, with Iraq which eventually culminated in the U.S.-British attack on and invasion of the country in March of 2003, there’d been a build-up, I think in a lot of people’s minds for a year and a half since events of 9-11 2001. It was clear that the U.S. was going to use those attacks in New York and Washington, D.C. as a pretext for invading Iraq.
So there was plenty of time to anticipate and to organize against what was maybe not an imminent, but was certainly an unavoidable, inexorable threat to Iraq, whereas with Libya it was a matter of only some six weeks between the first protest that erupted in Benghazi, and the first U.S. and British cruise missiles that landed inside the country.
So, the turnaround time was appreciably abbreviated, in relation to previous wars such as that eight years earlier in Iraq in 2003.
I fear, then, that the Libya precedent is more likely to be at work with Syria, that with the turn of a dime, if you will, that the U.S. and company, which has amphibious assault ships right in the Eastern Mediterranean now, which participated for example, in the Jordanian exercises and in the official U.S. Armed Forces publication Stars and Stripes, they had an article four-five days ago the actual quote was “U.S. amphibious assault navy vessels are parked off the coast of Syria”, or words to that effect.
It is clear that the U.S., through the Sixth Fleet in Mediterranean and NATO through Operation Active Endeavour in the Mediterranean, the U.S. Fifth Fleet in the Persian Gulf, that they have the military assets, particularly the naval ones, to put in place very quickly.
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