'US still interested in installing puppet regime in Syria'
Having failed to secure domestic and international support for missile strikes on Syria, President Obama has retreated on military action only to win time for a better war pitch, according to Sarah Sloan of the Answer Coalition who spoke to RT.
The US President asked Congress on Tuesday to postpone a vote on
military action in Syria, agreeing to the Russian proposal to put
Syria’s chemical weapons under international control.
Despite the US backing away on its plan to carry out airstrikes,
the threat of military action against Syria remains, believes
anti-war activist, National staff coordinator at the Answer
Coalition, Sarah Sloan. In an interview with RT, she said she is
convinced that President Obama is likely to stay committed to the
plan of replacing the current Syrian government with a puppet
RT: What goal was President Obama pursuing in his address to the nation? Do you think he has succeeded in securing more support from people, the majority of which are strongly against any military action against Syria?
Sarah Sloan: President Obama gave this speech out of necessity. If it had not been scheduled, I do not think he would have spoken tonight. The reality is he is in retreat. He was not necessarily looking for this at this point to win people over. I do not think he did win people over with this speech. He is involved in face saving measures because he has faced such vast domestic and global opposition to his plan for military intervention in Syria that he has had to move away from it. And now he is trying to talk himself out, work his way out of the situation that he was placed in.
RT: Obama keeps on stating that the Assad regime was
responsible for the chemical attack without offering any sound
proof of this. Is he going to convince the nation while feeding
them with sweeping statements?
SS: That is absolutely not going to convince the nation. Once again tonight President Obama did not provide evidence, because in fact the US government does not have evidence that it was the Assad government that used chemical weapons. In fact there is plenty of evidence that the opposition forces did so. The Obama administration admitted when they went on the Sunday morning talk shows circuit that they did not have irrefutable proof, but just had a common sense test, which means they have no proof and it showed again tonight that they have no proof. And the reality is that common sense test tells us, it was not the Assad government who did this, because the Assad government at this particular moment certainly has no interest in doing something that would trigger a wider US intervention. It is only the opposition forces who want the US to intervene more heavily, who want US bombing of their own country, who had an interest in carrying out a chemical weapons attack.
RT: President Obama has spoken both about the
possibility of a military strike and about a diplomatic solution.
Is there a decision in sight?
SS: The bottom line is regardless of the exact nuances of the speech tonight, the Obama administration remains committed to the overall US objective which is the overthrow of the Syrian government. The US government through Democratic and Republican administrations alike seeks to overthrow any independent nationalist governments that exist in the oil rich Middle East. Obama has been committed to that strategy over the past two years, and although there haven’t been military strikes yet, they have provided economic, financial support to the opposition forces, they’ve provided them legitimacy by recognizing them. Talking about sanctions, we know weapons inspections were used in Iraq as a pretext for a wider war. These are all different tactics that have been pursued with the same objective. And we believe the Obama administration remains very committed to that objective. We don’t believe the threat of war has been completely averted. But we can see that the path has had to be altered because of the domestic and international opposition, which the Obama administration could not overcome. So we see now a turn to the use of different tactics, to the continuation of the tactics they’ve used over the past two years and potentially other tactics like what the Bush administration did in Iraq, where although there were UN weapons inspections that Iraq was complying with, although they were disarming in accordance with the UN resolution, the Bush administration declared that they were not in compliance and carried out a new invasion and a new war. So we believe we must still remain very vigilant in building opposition to the US government’s war designs in Syria. And there’s still certainly a threat because the US government certainly still has an interest in installing a puppet regime in Syria.
RT: Obama keeps on assuring that should a military
strike take place, it will be targeted and there will be no
long-term involvement. How can he guarantee that?
SS: Even if it is just one or two days of missile strikes as Obama claims that will cause great death and destruction for the people of Syria. We oppose military intervention even if it could possibly be as limited as Obama is pitching it. We know what that really is – it’s his attempt which is a failed attempt to win over the American public to this war because we know the American public opposes greater US involvement and so Obama is trying to sell the war in a way that he thinks people will accept. But the reality is that any death and destruction caused on the people of Syria by the US government is something that people in the United States and around the world should oppose. And this concept of no boots on the ground – which is really code for saying that all the death and all the bleeding will be on the Syrian side is not acceptable. It does not matter which side the bleeding and the destruction is on, this is the US government using a pretext just like they always do to carry out expanded intervention in a country where they have their own designs, that are not in the interest of the American people, not in the interest of Syrian people, not in the interest of the vast majority of the people of the world. Certainly Syria is part of the larger long-term objective that the United States has to control.
RT: We've heard some positive comments about the Russian proposal from Washington. Is this a way forward?
SS: It appears at this point for the Obama administration to be a way out of carrying out military strikes at least in the short term as they are unattainable given the level of opposition that exists both within the military establishment in the US, within the government, and amongst American and world public opinion. We do believe the Obama administration is going to pursue this proposal that there may be other issues that arise through this process where there’s an attempt to use the type of international courts and tribunals that are being used against other countries that the US targets and hopefully that would be something that China and Russia would oppose being included in the resolution. But at this point it has become a way out for the Obama administration. They are clearly pursuing a route to avoid taking military action at this point.