Wednesday, 19 August 2015
Report on Convention: Veterans for Peace gives Assad & ISIS a new tool
"Michael T. McPhearson, Executive Director of VFP, cited the campaign to stop Obama from attacking Syria in the wake of the 21 August sarin attack, saying "We stopped a war with Syria." I imagine that was welcome news to the people that lost their lives to a government air strike in Douma on Sunday. Even though Obama is now at war with ISIS in Syria, he is careful not to interfere with Assad doing things like he did on Sunday.
Obama never had any real intention of attacking Assad after the massive chemical murders anyway. Obama only made his "red-line" statement to tell Assad there would be no military intervention from the US so long as he kept killing the old fashion way. All that VFP and others in the peace movement did with their "No War on Syria" protests of September 2013 was to give Obama "Left cover" for his plan to renege on his promise to the Syrian people.
Veterans for Peace invited to the convention, as honored guests, three people who acted like Assad's attorneys after the sarin attack. Phyllis Bennis, Ray McGovern and Sy Hersh where all prominent in defending Bashar al-Assad from charges that he was responsible for the chemical murders before he turned over his sarin stockpiles and the OPCW made the match. After the "danger" to their "client" had passed, they dropped interest in finding the real killers. They should have acted like the people's prosecutors in a mass murder case, instead they played the role of the devil's advocate. They should have been out for justice for the victims no matter where it led, but they were only in it to get Bashar al-Assad off.
It was obvious Michael hadn't given much thought to the effects of this decision inside Syria where it was cheered by Assad supporters and seen as a knife in the back by his opposition. He wasn't aware of the massive defections from the Free Syrian Army to the jihadists that this precipitated and he hadn't seen the connection between America's reneging on that promise and the rise of ISIS and the fall of Mosul, Iraq in its wake.
For four years now, VFP has campaigned against the imposition of any no-fly zone that would have taken away Assad's ability to bomb his people whenever and however he liked, and for four years now VFP has opposed anyone providing any weapons, including air defense weapons, to the people Assad is bombing. Former US Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford was interviewed by the BBC after the Douma airstrike. He said the fact that Assad can bomb civilians with impunity and the opposition has no effective air defense weapons are the result of "a conscious American decision." These are decisions that VFP supports. The real Obama policy has been one of "closet support" for the Assad regime from the beginning. It is a policy that VFP has given "Left" cover to. By seriously opposing Obama's pretend policy of regime change, VFP has help him sell it despite all evidence to the contrary."