Press TV has conducted an interview with Brian Becker, with the ANSWER Coalition, from Washington about how the initiative to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons and Israel.
The following is an approximate transcript of the interview.
On this draft resolution, does it really make a difference if Chapter 7 is going to be included, military action under that taken, if none of the veto-wielding Security Council members - Russia, China, United States, France and Britain - can vote against that resolution?
Not only that the US could act unilaterally if it wanted to, like in the past.
The Obama administration with Secretary of State Kerry assert, wrongly I believe, that they have the right to carry out unilateral action against Syria. They said that they had that authority to do it before.
They said they were consulting with Congress because they chose to consult with Congress and then later they chose to go through the UN after Russia provided an offer to have Syria ban chemical weapons.
They say they have this exceptional right; they call themselves the exceptional country, meaning the country can exempt itself from all international norms, treaties and laws, which clearly the UN Charter does not give them that right, but they still assert that they have that right.
For we, the people in the United States, and I think people around the world who have opposed a military strike on Syria, we say to them that they don’t have that right, that that’s wrong, that it’s wrong politically, it’s wrong morally and it’s certainly wrong legally.
Our guest, Mr. Miller, seems to have a crystal ball to indicate what’s going to happen in the future, vis-à-vis in terms of Iran and other factors that he stated there.
On this chemical weapons issue and the Syrian government submitting itself to inspection and eventually for weapons destruction, do you think that’s going to pave the way for other countries that do have nuclear weapons, not to mention in the case of Israel they’ve undeclared it, that they will now have the possibility to have to submit their chemical weapons or even for inspection their nuclear arsenal, let’s say in the form of signing on to the NPT?
That’s one of the reasons Israel is so clearly unhappy about a peaceful potential settlement of the Syria crisis: one, they want to get rid of the Assad government; they were hoping for Western intervention because the so-called rebels, the armed groups who are having arms funneled to them by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey and coordinated by the CIA in Jordan, those forces can’t win without Western intervention.
But Israel, as you may be suggesting has another overriding concern, which is that Israel has weapons of mass destruction. Not only does it have many nuclear weapons, not only does it have them and does not sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, not only does it not allow international atomic energy inspectors into Israel, but Israel also has biological weapons and Israel has chemical weapons. Israel was willing to sign the chemical weapons ban but then never ratified that ban. So, Israel has chemical weapons, biological weapons, nuclear weapons. It is the big possessor of weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East. It doesn’t want any of the countries it targets for destruction, the governments it targets for regime change to have those kinds of weapons.
But you see, President Obama, when he spoke at the United Nations, he said that 98 percent of humanity had rejected chemical weapons. Well, he had to be thinking at that moment that the principle ally of the United States, the American extension of power in the Middle East - that is the Israeli government - possesses chemical weapons and biological weapons and nuclear weapons and will not get rid of them. Nor does the US want to put pressure on Israel.
What’s happening inadvertently as a consequence of the way this drama has unfolded, of course now there will be international attention not just on Syria, not just on Egypt, which has chemical weapons, but also on Israel.
And why not have a regional ban on chemical weapons and weapons of mass destruction? Let’s start with Israel, which possesses the greatest quantity of these weapons of mass destruction. That’s what all the world is going to ask right now and that’s what the government in Israel is so against what’s going on.
Your response to comments [regarding Israel’s possession of weapons of mass destruction] made by our guest in London, Mr. Richard Millett.
Israel relegated to itself the right to bomb Iraq in 1982. It bombed Syria. It seized the Golan Heights. It seized the Sinai. It seized the West Bank. It seized Golan Heights.
The United Nations, if we want to talk about resolutions passed, resolution 242 insists that Israel give back land that it’s stolen from the Arab nation - that was 46 years ago. No enforcing resolution against that.
But now you paint the picture in order to avoid the question of whether Israel does or does not have weapons of mass destruction, you say, ‘well, Israel intents, its motivation is very pure; the others are the consummate evil, but Israel is really a peaceful entity.’ It doesn’t answer the question. Do they or do they not illegally possess weapons of mass destruction? You know the answer is yes.
Go ahead, Brian Becker [regarding Mr. Miller’s response regarding Israel’s weapons of mass destruction].
It’s not a question of obsession about Israel, I’m obsessed… if we want to be obsessed about anything it’s US policy in the Middle East, which, yes, gives Israel three billion dollars each year or more in order to carry out perpetual occupation of Arab lands.
But I’m also concerned about Saudi Arabia’s role and Turkey’s role and Qatar’s role because all of these organizations along with the British and the French and the United States have been sending large quantities of arms to armed organizations, so-called rebel groups, to foment civil war against a sovereign nation, a nation that the United States is at peace with. This is not legal activity.
I’m not even talking about Israel here. Israel is part of it.
I’m talking about the US policy, which has been to carry out regime change in Syria as they did in Iraq, as they want to do in Iran, as they did in Libya.
It’s not about chemical weapons. It’s not about democracy. It’s not about human rights. It’s because the United States wants to be the dominating power in this oil resource-rich part of the region - of the world!
This is a big blow that came to the SNC (Syria National Council) and to the Free Syrian Army (FSA) this past week and that was when these insurgent groups, 13 of them including a powerful al-Qaeda-linked faction, have slammed the SNC, saying it no longer represented their interests.
At the same time, you’re having the al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIS, that have set up a 48-hour deadline for the Free Syrian Army to surrender. That’s an ultimatum that came into effect on Thursday.
I can’t even call it infighting between the FSA and these groups because, really, that’s almost another war from what it sounds like here - altogether spelling out a disaster for the SNC, for the FSA.
What’s going to happen based on this particularly development, do you think, in terms of the SNC itself and of course what’s going to happen on the ground?
The armed struggle going on between the different armed rebel groups in Syria is the natural consequence of the fact that they themselves are representatives of other forces. They are proxies. They are proxies of Saudi Arabia. They are proxies of Qatar. They are proxies of Turkey. Then the so-called moderate opposition is the proxy of the Western powers.
Of course, all of the foreign forces that have their own national interests or perceived or stated national interests in Syria want their own armed groups, the ones that they fund, the ones that they finance, the ones that they arm, to do the work that they want to have done.
It made it clear in the last week that it was really only Western intervention, major military intervention by the United States, and they were hoping with Britain and France as well, that could have quickly turned the tide so that the western proxies could have gotten the upper hand in the Syrian battlefield.
That was the basic strategy of Obama and Kerry before they were stopped in their tracks by both domestic and global opposition.
But it shows that the opposition in Syria is not viable. It really is just an extension of foreign powers even though of course many Syrians have legitimate valid criticisms against the Assad government. But the armed groups are really representing those who give them their arms and who give them their money and I think that’s the reason this opposition has fractured.
Brian Becker, same question to you, if you can explain that to Richard Miller, in terms of who’s backing them.
There should be no confusion. It’s not just, quote, wealthy individuals. It’s Saudi Arabia, the Saudi monarchy, which is trying to overthrow the Assad government, which is trying to also weaken the armed resistance and civil resistance forces in Lebanon as part of its efforts regionally to undermine influence of those who have been resisting Western imperialism and colonialism and who are in solidarity or in some sort of alliance either militarily or diplomatically with Iran.
The United States, the Western forces have used Saudi Arabia and they haven’t cared too much the fact that Saudi Arabia is in fact arming the most extreme al-Qaeda forces in Syria because they have a bigger agenda. They don’t care so much who the foot soldiers are, they want the bigger agenda to be achieved.
What is that bigger agenda? Destroy all independent nationalist governments in the Arab world and in the Middle East. That means destroying the Syrian government, then destroying or reorganizing the constellation of forces in Lebanon, and ultimately to isolate Iran so that the US can carry out what it has been determined to do since 1979, which is to carry out regime change against the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Again, why? Not because the United States loves democracy - because the United States imposed the Shah of Iran on the Iranian people starting with the coup in 1953, the British-CIA coup. And then they had 26 years of the most brutal dictatorship under the Shah.
The US was very happy about that government not because it was anti-democratic, but because it was a proxy, it was an extension of American power in a very important region of the world where two thirds of the world’s oil is.
The big picture is that the United States is will to make an alliance with Saudi Arabia, which has a narrower regional interest, but the US is willing to make an alliance with them in order to carry out their fundamental objective, which is to overthrow Syria and then to overthrow the Iranian government.
It’s part of a regional plan. We can’t think of it as the American government, the French government, the British government, the former colonizers of the Middle East, those who have imposed dictatorships on the Middle East, suddenly have a tender spot in their hearts for the needs of Arabs and Middle Eastern people for democracy. That’s not what’s driving their foreign policy.