Jaisal Noor of The Real News Network asked Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges how Obama’s decision to delay a congressional vote on a military strike on Syria fits into the U.S. government’s overall mission there. Are American leaders simply interested in weakening the Syrian government through a prolonged civil war?

Hedges responded:

That’s clearly the Israeli policy. They want arms to be provided to the rebels in sufficient quantities to continue the war so that the Syrians will tear their country to pieces, which is what they’ve been doing over the last two years. I suspect that’s also the American policy as well.

You have to remember that in recent weeks the rebels, who are quite fractious and have spent a certain amount of time shooting each other, have been reeling backwards. And dropping the quantity of Tomahawk missiles on Syria that has been proposed from the Eastern Mediterranean would clearly shift the balance of power. I was in Bosnia during the NATO bombing campaign and watched after that campaign as the Serbs reeled backwards.

But I think that there is a deep amount of cynicism at work here, in which outside forces, led by Israel and probably Saudi Arabia, and probably the United States as well, would like to keep this conflict going as long as possible to essentially destroy both factions within the war and render Syria a ruin. Much of Syria, of course, has already become a ruin. But I think that that’s clearly the Israeli policy, and I think that that’s probably, at its deepest level, something that’s been embraced by the United States as well.

Human rights activist and environmental scientist Rania Masri added:

We also know from statements from Secretary of State John Kerry that he made at several different so-called friends of Syria conference[s], that he went on record as saying that what the United States wants to do was to balance the powers on the ground. He did not talk about regime change. He did not talk about stopping the conflict. He did not talk about resolution. He talked about a balance of power on the ground.

So I would argue that in addition to [a] recent discussion that Senator McCain has been having about so-called regime change, that the first objective that they have is the full destruction of Syria. Once Syria is destroyed to their liking, then they can go in and replace it with their own puppet, akin to Ahmed Chalabi.

— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.TheRealNews:

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