Kofi Annan’s Syria “Peace Plan” Is Pretext For Intervention

Creating a pretext for imperialist military intervention

Tayfun Gol

An official source at the Syrian Defense Ministry announced a decision to halt the armed forces’ missions starting the morning of April 10, the deadline for a cease-fire negotiated as part of the “peace plan” spearheaded by former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan with the Syrian government. The same source added that the armed forces would be on alert to confront any attack by armed terrorist groups against civilians, law-enforcement members, the armed forces and private and public facilities.

Reports indicated increased fighting between the imperialist-backed opposition groups and the Syrian army, as well as terrorist acts on civilians and government forces as the deadline for the cease-fire approached.

Heavy clashes in Aleppo took place, including an assault by an opposition group, the Free Syrian Army, on an air force base.

Also leading up to the deadline, the Syrian Arab News Agency reported that 10 law-enforcement members and a civilian were killed by gunfire in the al-Sukkari region of Aleppo.

In another attack at Hreitan, an officer of the Syrian army and two security personnel were killed on April 7. While in Homs, Syrian authorities dismantled a number of explosive devices rigged for remote detonations in the Deir Baalba neighborhood.

The Syrian government has sent letters to the U.N., pointing to the recent increase in terrorist acts committed by the armed “resistance” groups in Syria, especially after the Syrian government had reached an understanding on Annan’s peace plan.

In a statement, President Assad said that the ceasefire would only succeed if the opposition groups committed to it as well. On April 8, Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Ministry spokesman Dr. Makdessi criticized Annan’s recent speech at the U.N. Security Council for claiming that Syria had pledged to withdraw troops from cities by April 10. He affirmed that this was a wrong interpretation, especially given that Syria had not been provided with any written guarantees that the armed groups had agreed to stop the violence, nor any guarantees that Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey would commit to stop funding and arming these terrorist groups.

As a response to this statement, Rifat al-Asaad, leader of the Free Syrian Army opposition group, was quoted by Reuters as stating that he would not deliver written guarantees, adding that “the regime will not implement this plan” and that “this plan will fail.” Confident of imperialist support, he said that his organization does not recognize the Assad government and the FSA will silence its weapons only after the Syrian troops have retreated to their barracks and removed all checkpoints.

The Syrian opposition has so far categorically refused to accept any resolution that does not enforce Assad’s removal.

‘Enemies of Syria’ conference

Meanwhile, in the so-called “Friends of Syria” conference held in Istanbul, Turkey, attended by a slew of Western imperialist governments and their regional client regimes, the main opposition body, the Syrian National Council, has announced that opposition forces as well as soldiers who defect from the Syrian army will be paid salaries. These salaries will be funded by Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the mercenary oppressive monarchies that have long been in the service of imperialism.

In the same conference, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton upped her rhetoric in favor of military intervention in Syria, warning of “serious consequences” if Assad fails to implement Annan’s cease-fire plan. “The world must judge Assad by what he does, not by what he says. And we cannot sit back and wait any longer.” Before this conference, Clinton was in Saudi Arabia, meeting King Abdullah to discuss the details of a unified strategy against Syria.

The Syrian government has called the conference in Istanbul a gathering of the “enemies of Syria.”

The Syrian Communist Party-Unified released a statement, noting that hope for peace is mixed with caution now that “the proponents of democracy” in the Gulf states and emirates have, both openly and secretly, committed themselves to support and arm the groups that plant organized terror and horror in Syrian towns and cities, especially after the failure of their project to have the Syrian crisis internationalized. They called on all opposition forces and groups to “lower the ceiling of their demands” in order to defend Syria’s national sovereignty.

In a statement released April 8 by the Syrian Human Rights Network, the group explained that the explicit support for armed terrorist groups from countries such as Turkey, Britain, Saudi Arabia and Qatar hinders the chance of any international resolution on Syria, calling it blatant international hypocrisy.

According to the same statement, guarantees that armed opposition forces will withdraw must be presented to the Syrian government before similar withdrawal guarantees are asked of them.

The SHRN noted that the Syrian army and law-enforcement forces were present in cities to protect civilians from terrorism, violence and violations carried out by armed groups, and that locals often demanded that the army enter their towns and remain there to protect them.

It is becoming increasingly obvious that Annan’s peace plan is nothing more than a pretext to justify military intervention in Syria. The Syrian government has stated that they were willing to cooperate with this plan in order to “remove all excuses” for possible international intervention.

While ignoring the basic demands by the Syrian government for guarantees that the opposition forces will stop the violence, the plan demands that the Syrian government withdraw all its forces. The utter hypocrisy of this “peace” plan becomes more obvious when one takes into account the fact that the same U.S. and NATO forces that are pressuring the Syrian government for a cease-fire are already on the ground in Syria collaborating with the FSA, providing training, weapons and intelligence support, and making a total mockery of international law in the process.

The imperialist powers and their “peaceful” mouthpieces like Kofi Annan have never had any intention of finding a peaceful solution to the conflict in Syria. It is especially interesting to note that Annan is the main author of the notorious “Responsibility to Protect” doctrine, which essentially advocates the “right” of imperialist powers to engage in armed intervention for “humanitarian” purposes. The real intention of the imperialist powers regarding Syria is the overthrow of the Syrian government by any means possible in order to replace it with a client regime.

Hands off Syria!


Imperialists Use U.N. Against Government of Syria

Joyce Chediac

The Syrian government agreed to accept the joint U.N.-Arab League-Kofi Annan plan for a ceasefire on March 27, according to Annan’s spokesperson. The former U.N. general secretary then demanded that Damascus “put its commitments into immediate effect.” (CNN.com)

The terms of the agreement have not been released, nor is it clear if the agreement will hold. But one thing is certain: The Arab League and U.N., especially former U.N. head Annan, are not playing an impartial role in Syria. They are providing a cover for imperialist intervention meant to weaken the Assad government. Their goal is not to help the Syrian people, but to tighten the West’s grip on the strategic, oil-rich Middle East.

No matter what Washington shouts about human rights, the Assad government’s alleged excesses or mistakes are not really the issue. The Pentagon and Wall Street seek to break the anti-imperialist alliance among Syria, Iran and Hezbollah in Lebanon, and return the area to direct imperialist slavery. The question is: Who will prevail in the Middle East, imperialist or anti-imperialist forces?

The day before this agreement the White House and Turkey announced plans to expand “nonlethal” assistance to the Syrian opposition, including the so-called Free Syrian Army. They are sending communications equipment and medical supplies. All this contributed to the pressure on Damascus.

U.S.-NATO intervention in Libya began with such nonlethal aid to the opposition. This quickly led to eight months of so-called humanitarian bombing, which destroyed Libya’s infrastructure and left untold numbers dead.

According to recent Wikileaks reports, NATO commandos are already on the ground in Syria.

Annan fronts for imperialist intervention

Russia and China, concerned about how naked imperialist aggression in the Middle East would affect their interests, vetoed two U.N. Security Council resolutions condemning Syria. By doing this they denied the U.S. and NATO the diplomatic cover it needed for upping its aggression. So Washington, London, Paris and others turned to Annan to fill this need.

Annan’s rounds of shuttle diplomacy, one-sided calls for a Syrian government ceasefire and for outside “humanitarian” aid, are really calls for foreign intervention. They have so far provided justification for the open Western “nonlethal” support for the Syrian opposition.

This is not the first time Annan has played this role. In 2004, as U.N. secretary general, he bestowed a U.N. mandate on the U.S., French and Canadian intervention that deposed Haiti’s constitutionally elected Lavalas government of Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Annan’s stated reasons were the same then as now: an alleged impending “humanitarian catastrophe.”

Annan provided a similar U.N. cover for French imperialism to tighten its colonial grasp on the Ivory Coast in 2006.

The Arab League’s “peace proposals” are also designed to impose a pro-imperialist settlement on Syria. Leading the charge against Syria is Saudi Arabia, a notorious violator of human rights, especially those of women. The Saudi government provided troops and tanks in 2011 to help the Bahrain government repress demonstrations demanding political freedom and economic equity.

Abuses in Bahrain & Israel ignored

The Western powers, their clients in the Gulf Cooperation Council and the Arab League, and Turkey have accused the Assad government of atrocities and claim they want to save and protect the Syrian people. Consider their hypocrisy and silence on the question of human rights in Bahrain and Israel.

Twenty Bahraini doctors and nurses are about to be tried for a second time on fabricated charges of “subversion” for treating demonstrators wounded by that government’s repeated brutal crackdown against protests.

These medical personnel were previously convicted by a military tribunal and sentenced to up to 15 years in prison. World-renowned surgeon Ali Al Ekri was assaulted and arrested while performing surgery.

These crimes against humanity don’t get front-page play in the establishment media. Western officials are not lining up to denounce the government there for “killing its own people.” Bahrain’s government is a U.S. ally, and Bahrain is home to the U.S. Fifth Fleet.

On March 26, the Israeli government cut all ties to the U.N. Human Rights Council and forbid its entrance into the country. Why? Because the council adopted a resolution this March condemning Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank and Gaza, and announced plans for a fact-finding mission to investigate. The White House is stone silent about this arrogant disregard for a U.N. agency. Why? Israel is the Pentagon’s most strategic ally in the Middle East.

Instead, all attacks are focused on Syria, a key country in the Middle East, which the U.S. and European imperialists seek to reconquer. The imperialists seek to misuse the mass uprising in that region so they can destroy all manifestations of democracy, human rights, independence and self-determination.

The imperialists must be stopped at all costs.