powers rush to plunge Syria into
war By Pepe Escobar
World powers are racing against time to plunge
Syria into all-out civil war, United Nations
leader Ban Ki-moon advised, as a watchdog reported
"thousands" of killings of civilians on YouTube by
the Syrian regime.
Speaking after a key
United Nations Security Council meeting on Syria,
officials described in detail the "brutality" of
President Bashar al-Assad's forces and said
attacks by opposition groups are "non-existent".
We are in a race against time to promote
full-scale civil war - "death on a potentially
massive scale," officials guaranteed. The UN
already estimates that well over 9,000 people have
died in the
against Assad while rights groups have put the
number at more than 11,000, every single one of
them a victim of the ruthless Assad regime.
"The government continues to assault its
people," the UN secretary general said. He also
criticized the Syrian government for holding
parliamentary elections on Monday. Observers
instead evoked the example of the Saudi royal
family, when it appointed a committee of princes
to decide on their succession. Western powers at
the time praised it as the most important step in
the history of democracy since the 1789 French
Iran, a staunch ally of the
Assad regime, said the elections were a step
towards reform - something immediately dismissed
by world powers as "mullah propaganda".
least 100 people were killed on YouTube across
Syria by regime forces as the vote was taking
place, the one-man, one-legged, London-based,
Gulf-financed Syrian Observatory for Human Rights
Troops swept through al-Tamanaa
village in Idlib province during the night, firing
shells and bursts of gunfire at random. Scores of
civilians died at the hands of batallions of
snipers in the central city of Homs.
Regime forces also carried out raids and
arrests in the town of Douma in Damascus province,
taking scores of young men to an undisclosed
location, according to the Observatory.
The UN-backed truce that went into effect
April 12 has failed to take hold as it was
expected, considering it was just a stopgap
measure to prepare for full civil war.
"The international community is facing
tremendous difficulties", an unnamed official
said. "We tried regime change via a UN Security
Council resolution, twice, but we were blocked by
the Soviets and communist China. Now our only hope
is for NATO [North Atlantic Treaty Organization]
to decide on unilateral action."
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, addressing
thousands in southern Turkey, refused to be
deterred by the "difficulties". He declared, "The
glorious day of regime change is at hand". Erdogan
added, "We won't deviate from our all-encompassing
policy of neo-Ottomanism."
Syrian media said turnout was high in the election
that marked the first time Syria has held a vote
since the adoption in February of a new
constitution allowing for multi-party polls.
"Millions of Syrians defied terrorism and
chose their representatives in parliament," said
the daily Al-Watan, which estimated voter turnout
at 60%. Yet pictures of crowds outside polling
stations in Damascus were dismissed by world
powers as crude forgeries.
In an avalanche
of YouTube videos posted online from Deraa, where
the uprising started in March 2011, the Syrian
National Council showed empty streets and all
shops closed in protest against the elections.
The opposition dismissed the vote as a
ploy by the regime to buy time and derail the
international community from its serious
commitment to civil war.
The new 24-hour
Arabic-language channel, Sky News Arabia, a joint
venture between Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed
al-Nahayan, owner of the English football club
Manchester City, and British broadcaster BSkyB,
owned by phone-hacking enabler Rupert Murdoch,
described the events in Syria as "a hopeful
precedent towards regime change".
Arabia - which boasts an impartial "editorial
advisory committee" including two members from the
stable of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp - has
promised to outmaneuver Qatar-based al-Jazeera
into depicting the Assad regime as "worse than
Sheikh Mansour, reached for
comments in Abu Dhabi, said, "Next weekend we
[Manchester City] will be crowned Premier League
champions. Then we will be able to concentrate on
winning Syria. We should not waiver; the future of
democracy is at stake."