by Jeff Steinberg
British Foreign Secretary William Hague and French Foreign Minister Alain Juppé are both flying into New York City for the Jan. 31, United Nations Security Council debate on a European resolution demanding that Syrian President Bashar Assad step down within 15 days. The real intent of the debate is to put the squeeze on Russia and China, who both remain adamant that they will veto any resolution that opens the door for military action and regime change. This was evidenced by typical vicious statements by U.S. UN Ambassador Susan Rice, who once again accused Russia and China of supporting a murderous regime and blocking the international community from fulfilling its responsibilities under the post-Westphalian dogma of "R2P" ("Responsibility to Protect"). British Prime Minister David Cameron was equally explicit, issuing a statement as Hague was en route to New York, that said, in part, "We believe the UN must act to support the people of Syria and that Russia can no longer explain blocking the UN and providing cover for the regime's brutal repression." Russia still has an alternative draft Security Council resolution circulating, that would propose mediation between the Assad government and the opposition, to create a national unity government. Russia has offered to mediate such talks in Damascus, Cairo, or Moscow. The Syrian National Council has rejected the Russian offer.
According to a senior U.S. intelligence source privy to the debate within the U.S. National Security Council, there is a consensus for regime change involving Obama and the National Security Advisor Donilon (and, by some accounts, even Hillary Clinton is going along with this notion that Assad has to go). Britain, France, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the other Gulf Cooperation Council countries are all on this line, and this is what was behind the withdrawal of the Arab League monitors this past weekend. When Saudi Arabia pulled its personnel out of the monitoring team, Qatar followed suit, and that broke any possibility of the Arab League remaining on the ground.
The source also said that as of now, due to strong continuing opposition from the Joint Chiefs of Staff, there will be no direct U.S. military involvement, beyond the providing of arms, training and logistical and communications support for the Free Syria Army. This means that the most likely prospect is a brutal and prolonged foreign-backed surrogate war to unseat the Assad regime, that could take months or even years.
Lyndon LaRouche noted yesterday in discussions with colleagues that the British are still absolutely committed to provoking a general war against Russia and China, using Iran and Syria as the pretexts. Their timetable has been badly thrown off, by war-avoidance efforts from Russia, China and military institutions in the U.S., Israel and other nations. And now, the acceleration of the disintegration of the British imperial financial system, particularly on continental Europe, is further wrecking havoc.
This week, it should be noted, inspectors from the IAEA are in Iran for at least three days. In a statement today, the Iranian Foreign Ministry announced that the inspectors would be given unfettered access to all nuclear sites they ask to visit. And several very senior inspectors were given visas to participate in this visit, a further encouraging sign that at least Iran is serious about the resumption of the P5+1 talks soon. The senior U.S. source confirmed that direct talks are ongoing to set the date, location and ground rules for those talks. These factors are further delaying the London target date for war, but by days or weeks at the most, according to the source.
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