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The War in Syria Cannot Be Won. But It Can Be Ended


The War in Syria Cannot Be Won. But It Can Be Ended.

Phyllis Bennis

We need a powerful movement demanding an end to the war in Syria. The United States and to some extent the global antiwar movements remain largely paralyzed. There are some campaigns responding to specific congressional and other war moves, with some particularly good work against US support for Saudi Arabia. But as a movement, we seem unable to sort through the complexity of the multi-layered wars raging across Syria, and unable to respond to our internal divisions to create the kind of powerful movement we need to challenge the escalating conflict.


"[Progressives] seem unable to sort through the complexity of the multi-layered wars raging across Syria, and unable to respond to our internal divisions to create the kind of powerful movement we need to challenge the escalating conflict"

What's so difficult to figure out? Syria was identified by the US/Israel years ago for regime change as part of the US' plan to re-shape the Mideast one country at a time. Just ask Paul Wolfowitz.

Russia stepped in to aid its ally and stop the US' onslaught in the Mideast.

And here we are.


Thank you Phyllis Bennis for this extensive review of what is necessary as an anti-war effort and thank you Common Dreams for running it. This is the perfect on-line forum for organizing an anti-war discussion in opposition to the Neocon Colonialism taking place World Wide. This subject was not at all addressed by our electoral process, so it is apparent that if anything is to be done; it must be done by the citizenry... Thanks.


I am reminded that preceding the conflicts was an unprecedented DROUGHT in Syria and the north African region in general. This, and the complexities of life/ biology of life in the region IS NOT NEW - but dovetailing with the colonization model of plunder including of human life biomes for "resources", ongoing desertification not of the "anthropocene" but of what might be called an age of cross-cutting predatory 'capitalistocene'. All warring factions are party to this.

As such the conflicts, to my mind, are indicative of the stunning blindness of the various scales of 'hegemony' that both instigate and take advantage of destabilization rather than harmonization in addressing the integrity of life that is wholly and fully possible.

The scale of focus, material need and collaboration way past being necessary and now absolutely essential to reverse the decimation in an agroecological model. Not of some parasitic GMO/chemical corporation for export, but of a REAL and TRUE 'anthropocene' response to restoring the earth, her hydrological/biological integrity and the genius of indigenous life already of the region.

To use the often quoted line from Pogo: "We have met the enemy, and he is us".

The blindness and narcissism of the hegemonic powers and minions is once again turned deadly, for all to witness and critique. Better we draw the parallels and similarities between these and permanently eschew the 'power over' model for one of respect, humility and real, true support for all of the existing peoples and places to enable them to restore a foothold of living, expanding integrity that nurtures and strengthens the same.

This calls not for war, but definitely a fight - the good fight!

one example:


Any "progressive" that supports any warring faction or a war-based solution is anything but a progressive and, above all, a peace activist. The peace movement, weak as it is, does not need these people. This isn't rocket science, Phyllis.

The complexity of the warring factions may be daunting, but the solution is not. The U.S. should lead the way with a strict policy of no military intervention, direct or indirect, and a call for a total embargo of arms sales in the region. It should then use its influence to bring warring factions to the table for a ceasefire and, finally, a long-term political solution. This is what a true world leader would do, but the greed, the bloodlust and imperialistic objectives of our two party duopoly will only insure that this country will continue to be the world leader in war. A peace movement must then be, by default, a movement to bring down the corrupt two party system.

There is only one party with a peace platform.

Go Green.


The war in Syria will not end until the US military dictatorship and its war profiteers see no advantage or war profits from it.

No peace, no Jill; know peace, know Jill.


Just like the neo-cons you offer a black and white view of the war. There are no good guys in this conflict. Only innocent civilians.


Maybe one of the main reasons we don't have a anti war movement today. Is because Amerika has become a Fascist state. Who's economy is based on endless war, death and destruction. I also believe some of the current anti war groups. Are being manipulated to align with an anti Assad message. Along with having MSM being in lock step with the US governments official narrative of events taken place in Syria.


I wonder who's to blame for the Syrian War!

"E-mails - Hillary Clinton and the Muslim Brotherhood"
"The FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private e-mails is not directed at a case of negligence in the face of security regulations, but at a conspiracy attempting to eliminate any trace of her correspondence which should have been archived on the servers of the Federal State. It could include exchanges about illegal financing or corruption, and others concerning the links between the Clintons, the Muslim Brotherhood and the jihadists."


Whatever the motives of the various groups in Syria, the civil war there has become important to two world powers that have massive numbers of nuclear weapons. These world powers have such frightening other weapons that they could likely destroy much of the civilization of the U.S. and Russia very quickly. Yes, they could bargain, threaten each other, "peck" at each other with no intention of really, seriously destroying each other. But our previous World Wars started without the intention to destroy civilization. For W.W. I, so much anger had built up that the assassination of one noble started what became an inevitable road to world war. In W.W. II the great powers were simply jockeying for control of colonies with the addition of the desire to snuff out Bolshevism. After investing in tearing away Poland from Bolshevik control, the British couldn't stand Hitler Germany stepping in to take it over, despite having helped Germany build its powerful army that they hoped would be unleashed against "those Bolsheviks". They knew they'd get the U.S. in on their side, one way or another. In fact, the U.S. was already helping them by letting the Japanese know they couldn't replace Britain, France and the Netherlands as the new ruler of Asia (minus U.S. holdings). Abracadabra, world war. Ironically, it became so unmanageable that the Soviet Union had to be relied on to destroy Hitler, at the cost of 27 million citizens. If we add British and U.S. intervention in the Soviet Union after W.W. I, it amounts to perhaps 40 million Soviet citizens, with all its cities virtually destroyed. So what will be the result of W.W. III with the much more awful weapons available to both sides? With the sure total destruction of the cities and citizens on both sides, or should I say the added involvement of China, Britain, France, Iran, Turkey, etc. After all, that's what happened before. Alliances and mutual interests will bring most everyone in. So talking about whether you like Bashar or subscribe to the C.I.A.'s tastes seems silly, doesn't it?


The description by speechless was very good. Short, to the point, and just enough to put the whole conflict in context. It was never gray... it has been so propagandized that it appears that way to many people.


IMO Phyllis is just spitting our more interventionist gobbledygook: 'Oh, we really CAN make it better...!'

I don't buy it. Nobody with any street smarts should trust as any kind of peace broker.

We should pull out of all our foreign wars, leave it to the residents of the region to clean up our mess.


The "Global War on Terror" is indeed at the center of today's war insanity. And that war is direct extension of Israel's "War on Terror". People need to know the simple, taboo history, given in "War Profiteers and the Roots of the War on Terror".

Who will weed out the warmongers?


For the love of God, are we not capable of critical thought! The United States and NATO are in Syria illegally, in violation of international law. The United States and it's allies are funding and arming terrorists against a sovereign nation, again, in violation of international law. The only countries legally in Syria are Russia and Iran, at the request of the legitimate Syrian government.

Folks, we are committing war crimes in Syria... big ones. You know, there are still people alive that lived through WWII. It hasn't been long enough to forget what the Nuremberg Tribunal had to say:

War is essentially an evil thing. Its consequences are not confined to the belligerent states alone, but affect the whole world.To initiate a war of aggression, therefore, is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.

And can we please stop with the bullshit about the "peaceful" protests kick starting this war of aggression.




The US has no right to be doing anything in Syria.


The antiwar protesters had no conflict about supporting a rather nasty northern Vietnamese government to end the USA's illegal war against northern Vietnam, fought in total contravention of the 1954 Geneva Convention on the division and reunification of Vietnam, signed by the USA amongst others.So why should the antiwar movement have any conflict concerning USAian involvement in the civil war in Syria?

Yes, the northern Vietnamese communist government was guilty of murder of its own people, including a number of those who had supported the revolution against french colonialism and had supported the communist forces. The northern Vietnamese government created a black-list of people that exists today, down to the fourth generation, though things are not as bad as they were in the 1970s and mid-1980s.


The conflict in Syria is over only one thing and that is control over oil to European markets. The first CIA coup in Syria was carried out in 1949 to overthrow an elected leader in order for Saud's to construct the Trans-Arabian Pipeline which had in the following year started construction but had had been delayed in consecutive internal Syrian feuds – in 1954, 1963, 1966 and finally in 1970 concluding in the accession to power of Hafez al-Assad. The Saudi royal family who owns the worlds largest oil company Aramco don’t want to wait any longer. The US interest right now in the Obama administration is not only to carry out this plan but also to build through Syria the Qatar-Turkey Gas Pipeline that the Thani family who owns Qatar wants also to be built.

The US oil and gas companies will refine and pipeline Saudi oil and Thanis’ gas and squeeze out Russian interests, along with economic sanctions against Russia further isolating them, as well as China and the rest of the BRICS countries by excluding them from TTIP, TPP and TISA trade deals and put the US aristocracy in position to dominate the 21st century as it has since WWll.

Read in full:
Strategic Culture Foundation:
"Seymour Hersh Says Hillary Approved Sending Libya's Sarin to Syrian Rebels"
Eric Zuesse


Please explain how Common Dreams and Phyllis Bennis have been manipulated in for call an end to the bombing on all sides?


Agreed. Neither does Russia.