Saturday, 25 February 2012

Spoiling for War on Syria

by Stephen Lendman

My PhotoNearly a year ago, Western-backed insurgent violence erupted. Heavily armed foreign fighters supplemented internal ones. Al Qaeda's very much involved.

Russian and Chinese peace initiatives are spurned. Washington, rogue NATO partners, and pro-Western regional allies want conflict.

Reports suggest Jordan's hosting 40,000 heavily armed insurgents along Syria's southern border ready to intervene. Former Libyan Al Qaeda commander Abdelhakim Belhadj commands nearly half of them.

Iraqi fighters are massed to Syria's east, ready to join them. So are so-called Free Syrian Army insurgents north in Turkey. Perhaps escalated violence is planned for Sunday, February 26, when Syrians vote up or down on Assad's new draft constitution.

A mass supportive turnout would embarrass Washington, its allies, and insurgent leaders. Preventing it violently may be planned.

Syrian National Council and Free Syrian Army dissidents reject it out of hand. So does Washington. White House spokesman Jay Carney called it "laughable. It makes a mockery of the Syrian revolution. Promises of reforms have usually been followed by an increase in brutality and have never been delivered by the regime" since protests began.

Other US officials made similar disparaging remarks. Washington want protracted conflict to replace Assad with a pro-Western regime.

They ignore his repeated good faith reform announcements and thousands of released prisoners. At the same time, insurgent violence continues. He's blamed for confronting it responsibly. So would other leaders to restore order.

Fundamental International Law

International law backs them. The UN Charter's Article 51 states:
"Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this right of self-defense shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security."
In addition, individual states may use defensive force against armed attacks until the Security Council acts. Other exceptions don't apply, including armed reprisals. Calling them unlawful, the General Assembly said all states must refrain from using them.

The right of self-defense is limited solely to deterring armed attacks, preventing future ones after initial assaults, or reversing the consequences of enemy aggression, such as heavily armed Western-backed Syrian insurgents.
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian  
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