Clinton Announces New Strategy for Destablizing Syria

Secretary of State Working to Rehabilitate Anti-Government Terrorists in Syria

Tayfun Gol

At an Oct. 31 news conference, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton revealed the new imperialist plans to reshape the leadership of the so-called Syrian opposition in the ongoing effort to overthrow the Syrian government.

After announcing the dismissal of the Syrian National Council from the leadership, Clinton told news reporters about an upcoming meeting in Doha, the capital of Qatar, to be attended by dozens of new opposition leaders. In a tone that made it clear that U.S. imperialism will continue to dictate the plans for the new opposition, Clinton said: “We have recommended names and organizations that we believe should be included in any leadership structure”.

The same day after a meeting in Turkey, some members of the SNC expressed their willingness to unite behind a transitional government in the next months. Despite staunchly supporting a U.S. led intervention in Syria, SNC has lost favor with their imperialist masters since they have not been able to attract mass support for the task of overthrowing the Syrian governnment. This should not be surprising given the fact that SNC is mostly made up of pro-Western figureheads who live abroad with no base or legitimacy inside Syria.

In order to be able to justify the new plans to the Western public, Clinton also had to unwillingly admit the illegitimacy of SNC as a representative of the Syrian people when she said: “This cannot be an opposition represented by people who have many good attributes but who, in many instances, have not been inside Syria for 20, 30, 40 years. There has to be a representation of those who are in the front lines fighting and dying today to obtain their freedom.”

Who is really behind the extremist forces and sectarian violence in Syria?

While it is now clear to everyone including the imperialists that that SNC, outside Syria, does not represent the people of Syria, the opposition forces Clinton champions as the freedom fighters inside Syria do not represent the people of Syria either.

According to an official report by the German Federal Intelligence Service, only 5 percent of the opposition forces fighting in Syria are Syrian. From the very beginning of the uprising in 2011, the main armed group, the Free Syrian Army, a proxy force of NATO on the ground in Syria, has been funded and armed by Saudi Arabia and Qatar —client states of the U.S.—along with Turkey, a NATO member. The FSA is made up mostly of Sunni extremists with a considerable number of Al-Qaeda members. The other main opposition force, the Muslim Brotherhood, is no different: all these forces are opposed to a secular Syrian society.

The Sunni extremist nature of the opposition has increasingly accentuated the sectarian nature of the violence over the course of the civil war. That opposition forces are responsible for terrorist attacks on civilians along with countless reported incidents of kidnapping, torture and execution based on the religious identities of the victims is not even being denied by the Western media anymore. With the overt or covert support by the U.S. and its regional client states of the opposition forces, it is undeniable that the U.S. and its allies are responsible for the terror that has been unleashed on the people of Syria.

With that in mind, it is not surprising that Clinton would try to disassociate her government from these terrorist acts by the following words: “There needs to be an opposition that can speak to every segment and every geographic part of Syria. And we also need an opposition that will be on record strongly resisting the efforts by extremists to hijack the Syrian revolution,”

What do the real opposition groups say?

In connection with this brazen lie by the Secretary of State, it is also important to note that legitimate opposition groups like those that were part of the National Coordination Committee which at one point campaigned on the basis of opposition to foreign intervention, sectarianism and violence, were quickly neutralized and pushed aside at the start of the conflict since they were not willing to follow the roadmap dictated by the imperialist powers.

One of the main grassroots organizations with a substantial base support, the Syrian Communist Party, while critical of the social and economic policies of the Syrian government that have increased the hardship on poor and working people, has nonetheless been calling for strategic unity in order to prevent the imperialist plans from succeeding in Syria. In a recent interview with the Cuban newspaper Granma, Ammar Bagdach, secretary general of the Syrian CP expressed this position with the following words:

“If the current Syrian government were overthrown, what would ultimately follow as a result would be a government of the Muslim Brotherhood and this would be an important defeat for the people of Syria who have been living in a secular, modern system, who have never known sectarianism. But we are optimistic, while the struggle is still going on, we are certain that we will not be defeated.”

When asked about what the principal tasks of the Syrian CP have been since the crisis, he responded: “In the first place, the struggle to preserve Syria’s national independence, sovereignty and anti-imperialist patriotic line, and for the interests and demands of the most disfavored popular masses.” Referring to a placard that was held up in one of the mass mobilizations which took place last year outside the embassies of the imperialist powers, he defiantly added: “It is illusory to believe that Syria can be broken.”

Who has the right to determine the future of Syria?

Is it imperialism or the people of Syria who have the right to determine Syria’s future? That is the main question to answer. Despite massive U.S. and client state support to opposition groups fighting inside or outside Syria, despite this or that imperialist plan and despite the mass media lies, the people of Syria continue to fight relentlessly to defend their sovereignty. It is not the U.S. Secretary of State or a group of ‘opposition’ leaders handpicked by their imperialist masters while living in this or that European capital, not a Saudi or Qatari monarch or a NATO client Turkish Prime Minister and it certainly is not a group of NATO backed terrorists who should determine the future of Syria.

That honor belongs to the people of Syria themselves.

Hands off Syria!

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