If America can bypass the Security Council, what more the Syrian Government?

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The United States, led by Barack Obama himself, has finally bombed Islamic State (IS) targets inside Syria – a bombing campaign of which is unauthorized by the United Nations and the Syrian government.

The United States has begun an air campaign and cruise missile attacks against IS targets in Syria on Tuesday morning, together with aircraft from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates as confirmed by the US Central Command. Just in case the Syrian government poses a risk to the American intrusion into their country, the United States also employed, for the first time, F-22 stealth fighters to evade radar.

Over the past few weeks, the United States claimed it had ‘broad international support’ which is essentially a coalition of the killing repressive regimes in the Middle East. Having an uncanny resemblance to the WMD formula against Iraq a decade ago, Washington’s fear mongering against the IS threat operating in Iraq and Syria is subject to contempt especially given that its ‘broad international supporters’ are they themselves involved in toppling Bashar Al Assad’s government and having the ultimate goal of isolating Iran.

The completely illegal airstrikes has provoked reactions from the international community as it is perceived as a backlash to the United States support for ‘moderate’ Islamists in the Middle East to foster regime change against non-allies.

In a statement, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said “now that the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (IS) has been appointed United States’ archenemy, I’d like to recall that ISIS militants are the very same people evolved and powerful sponsorship and material support from abroad at the time of the regime change efforts in Libya and later or when the same process was attempted in Syria.”

Referring to Moscow’s efforts to mediate in the now three year war in Syria, Lavrov added that “they never listened to us when we proposed to unite our efforts and help the Syrian government and the moderate, patriotic Syrian opposition to form a united front against terrorists swarming all over the Syrian Arab Republic – they never listened to us.”

As for Obama, in a letter to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, said that the Syria airstrikes are justified because Syria is “unwilling to protect or unable to prevent the use of its territory” by IS. Obama has forgotten that the Syrian government has been fighting these Western-backed terrorists for three years now, where the ongoing destruction of Syria is as a result of Washington’s backing of so-called moderate rebels in Syria and the wider Middle East.

The Nobel Peace Prize recipient, Obama’s recent campaign to ramp up militarism abroad, from nuclear weapons modernization, establishing new bases to contain China, increased use of drone warfare to name just a few, went against his campaign of scaling back his predecessor’s global war on terror.

Obama has been sucked into the same military aggression founded on systematic and enduring lies, which is part of its ‘responsibility to protect’ but not against extremism, but rather responsibility to protect its greedy interests. Such arrogant imposition of its interests abroad is hardly surprising as it is perfectly in line with America’s sincere belief in its own exceptionalism, just in different packages.

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Obama affirms NATO’s self-fulfilling prophecy to relevance

100415a-HQ28-001 NATO Headquarters Brussels.

US President Obama’s visit to the former Soviet republic of Estonia can’t be more timely as talks of establishing a rapid military force to counter the perceived Russian aggression and fighting between the government of Kiev and separatist rebels in the East intensifies.

During the visit to Estonia, Obama announced that the “door to NATO membership will remain open” and reaffirmed the principles that guided NATO, such as strengthening countries outside the alliance, including Ukraine, to improve their military.

The visit comes a day before a NATO summit to be held in Wales. Dubbed as “the most important gathering of NATO leaders in more than a decade”, the summit will discuss issues relating to America’s failure in Afghanistan, the new threat of Islamic extremism, and the situation in Ukraine.

On the one hand, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk flirted with the NATO membership, stating his eagerness in making Ukraine part of the military alliance, “I consider the most correct decision would be to accept Ukraine as a member of NATO.”

Interestingly, France also made news when it changed its mind on the delivery of two Mistral warships to Russia, ordered back in 2011, because of their ‘concern’ over the situation in Ukraine. While all this is happening, four NATO warships from the US, France, Canada, and Spain will reportedly enter the Black Sea sometime this week and a military drill involving US troops will be held in Ukrainian territory this month.

A return to NATO’S core mission

There is no doubt that the situation in Ukraine has ‘reawakened’ NATO’s reason for existing after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Contemporary observers agree that after the Cold War, with no main adversary to confront, NATO faced a nagging existential threat. For its main advocate at least, the United States has made sure wars for profit will continue to emerge, as long as it sticks to its policy of meddling in other country’s affairs.

Indeed, the alliance has come a long way of finding its raison d’etre to exist, from the much opposed Balkan wars in the 1990s to its intervention beyond Europe, namely the failed military adventure of the Afghanistan war. Eyebrows were raised during the surprise war between Georgia and Russia in 2008, but pragmatism prevailed over talks of Georgia’s annexation to the Western military alliance, as doing so might provoke Moscow’s sensitivities.

Needless to say, the situation in Ukraine today is more of an existential threat to Russia’s security than during the Georgian conflict, because of the existence of its Black Sea fleet in the Crimea. If all of Russia’s actions vis-à-vis Ukraine can be summarized in one line, then it definitely would be that Russia’s core security concerns would have been breached if Ukraine were to host the overt stationing of NATO forces there as a result of its membership.

The West’s intervention in stoking regime change in Kiev has finally paid off with the installation of a leader who is bent on welcoming imperialist money and military but with the side effect of rousing the ire of Russia. For his part though, Putin has calmly outlined his 7-step plan to stop hostilities in Eastern Ukraine. Whether his plan will be recognized by Kiev remains to be seen, but it is unlikely to be taken seriously as Ukraine’s leaders are too busy inviting the West for NATO membership.

In a recent statement, Arseny Yatsenyuk insisted on Western meddling in Moscow’s sphere of influence as if Ukraine was part of the EU, saying “we are waiting for decisions from NATO and the EU on how to stop the aggressor.” He further rejected Putin’s peace plan, stating it is “an attempt of eyewash for the international community ahead of NATO summit and an attempt to avoid inevitable decisions from the EU on the new wave of sanctions against Russia.”

The EU also has not minced its chance to further escalate their relationship with Russia, where incoming European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogheirini announced that a new round of sanctions will be decided within a week.

At the present trajectory of international relations, it is tempting to assume that over the course of 20 years, the West, particularly NATO, has had its way with its relentless expansion towards the East. Indeed, the military alliance has essentially ‘invaded’ former Warsaw Pact members. To Russia’s eyes though, a further expansion to its very borders are a real cause for concern, especially in these days of World War memories, where the wounds from Russia’s involvement in the imperialist wars are still relatively fresh. We can only hope the West does not provoke Russia to act on those memories and fears.