Israel’s Deputy Prime Minister called for war with Syria. William Hague echoes this sentiment, as plans for imperialist intervention develop

‘Since in the not-distant past the [Nato] powers chose military intervention in Libya, here the required conclusion would be immediate military intervention to bring down the Assad regime.’

These were the words of Israel’s Deputy Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz, voicing his country’s unambiguous support for an imperialist intervention in Syria, announced on Israel’s official military radio network, Army Radio.

Israeli President Shimon Peres said, without any apparent irony, ‘We cannot remain indifferent to the tiny coffins that contain the bodies of children. The massacres get worse each day.” He claimed to ‘have the deepest respect for the rebels who expose themselves to live fire and I hope that they will win.’

Mofaz’s statement, quoted in the Independent, represents a significant escalation of Israel’s Syria policy – a clear departure from their ambivalent attitude maintained so far.

Assad has gone on a brutal offensive in recent weeks in an attempt to break the deadlock between his regime and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) forces. The understandable outrage over the mounting death toll, and the sense of helplessness such reports engender in the public, is being hijacked by the western powers, who are desperate to ‘do a Libya’ in Syria. Indeed Shaul Mofaz’s words make direct reference to the NATO bombardment of Libya. But instead of liberating the country from a dictator, the fate of the Libyan people was placed in the hands of another form of subjugation – at the mercy of an international neoliberal alliance. A death-toll of around 8,000 was transformed into a death-toll of 30,000, with the speed and deadly intensity which only advanced western armaments can deliver. British Foreign Secretary William Hague also beat the drums for intervention which, if it happens, will be the fourth war with a Muslim country in just over a decade. ‘We don’t want to see the Annan plan fail but if, despite our best efforts, it does not succeed, we would have to consider other options for resolving the crisis’, Hague told told the House of Commons on Monday.

Hague added: ‘In our view all options should then be on the table’. He said that he couldn’t rule out military intervention, ‘because we really don’t know now how this situation is going to develop or how terrible it is going to become’.

Israel made reference to the Libyan intervention, but Hague sought to dig further back in time in an attempt to apply fresh gloss to the west’s pitiful ‘humanitarian intervention’ line, this time evoking the Balkans war of the 1990s. That conflict left the former Yugoslavia to descend into sectarian violence and NATO air strikes left 1500 dead. This time the stakes are much greater for western imperialism, which was badly shaken by the Arab Revolutions which began in Tunisia in December 2010 and soon spread to Egypt and beyond. That is why the imperialist powers will do anything they can to co-opt the Syrian revolution. That is why it is essential that their reactionary intentions are exposed.

Dan Poulton

Dan is a writer, broadcaster and campaigner.  His most recent documentary was The New Scramble For Africa and his documentaries have appeared regularly on the Islam Channel. He is an organiser for Counterfire and a regular contributor to Counterfire site.

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