Obama was Pushing Regime Change in Syria for a Year
March 13, 2012 • 7:37AM

The Obama Administration was fully pushing regime change in Syria as early as April 2011, at the very outset of the demonstrations for reform. According to a senior Syrian official, in mid-April 2011, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman explicitly told a Syrian diplomat that the Assad regime was about to fall, and that the Sunni majority within the Syrian Army was going to crush the Alawite minority and take power. Feltman claimed that these events would play out in a matter of weeks or months.

At the time that Feltman laid down the U.S. policy of regime change, the protests against the Assad government had barely begun. But already, on March 6, 2011, Time magazine had called for an open revolt to bring down the Assad government.

According to the same senior diplomat, the U.S. has tried, repeatedly, to convince Syrian diplomats abroad to defect from the Assad government, with lucrative offers of jobs, college scholarships and other bribes. But so far, not even a junior diplomat has gone over to the regime change sponsors (when a junior minister in the oil ministry reportedly defected last week, the Western media was all over the story hyping it as a turning point).

The reality is that the Syrian Army's defeat of the foreign-backed insurgents in Homs was a strategic turning point for the time being. The strategy of the U.S., French, British, Saudi, Qatar and Turkish-backed armed insurgents had been to establish control over Homs and the 10 mile strip from the city to the Lebanese border, to create a parallel to the "liberated zone" in Benghazi, Libya, which was key to the NATO regime-change invasion there. With the defeat of the armed rebels in Homs (they were forced to abandon the entire corridor and take refuge across the border in Lebanon), a turning point was reached, according to the senior diplomat.