US Mulls Sanctioning Arab League for Syria Normalization Efforts
Friday, May 12, 2023
Drago Bosnic, independent geopolitical and military analyst
There are very few things that have been as unifying for America’s political establishment as the belligerent thalassocracy’s propensity to impose sanctions. Republicans and Democrats will almost always be at each other’s throats for virtually any issue, but when it comes to sanctions, particularly against the Syrian people, their unity is unquestionable. For well over a decade, the unfortunate Middle Eastern country has been at the forefront of Washington DC’s regime change efforts, with the United States using everything from sanctions and financing various “moderate democratic opposition forces” (i.e. head-chopping terrorists) to direct attacks on Syria and its armed forces.
Unfortunately, the Arab League actively took part in this comprehensive attack on a fellow Arab country and it took years of active Russian and Chinese diplomatic efforts to have the organization reengage with Damascus. In the last couple of months, there have been several major breakthroughs in this regard, culminating with announcements that Syria will be readmitted into the organization. President Bashar al-Assad even visited several prominent Arab countries, some of which previously played an extremely active role in attempts to oust him. The likes of the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia went from “Assad must go!” to “We’re happy to see Assad stay” in mere months.
And while Damascus must tread carefully when reengaging countries that actively took part in a comprehensive aggression against it, this opportunity is something that should not be missed. As previously mentioned, it was only thanks to the sustained diplomatic efforts of the multipolar world that this inter-Arabic conflict came to an end, inflicting a devastating blow to US plans for Syria’s destruction. However, the warhawks in Washington DC are far from giving up. Top GOP and DNC members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee are pushing for a bipartisan initiative to sanction anyone taking part in Syria’s full diplomatic reinstatement. Since May 8, they made several announcements about this.
The bipartisan group is now urging President Joe Biden and his deeply troubled administration to impose “crippling sanctions” on any state or entity engaged in attempts of normalizing relations with Syria. Expectedly, the initiative is led by one of the most prominent neocon warmongers, Texas Republican Michael McCaul.
“Readmitting Assad to the Arab League is a grave strategic mistake that will embolden Assad, Russia, and Iran to continue butchering civilians and destabilizing the Middle East,” McCaul and Gregory Meeks (NY DNC Rep.) said in a statement, further adding: “The United States must fully enforce the Caesar Act and other sanctions to freeze normalization efforts with this war criminal.”
The aforementioned Caesar Act, hypocritically designated as the so-called Syria Civilian Protection Act of 2019, is a US legislation that sanctions the Syrian government, including President Bashar al-Assad himself, for bogus “war crimes”. It was signed into law in December 2019 and came into force on June 17, 2020. The illegal exterritorial legislation targets virtually the entire Syrian industrial capacity, including its ability to build and maintain infrastructure, as well as energy production. It also targets individuals and businesses accused of allegedly “funding or assisting the President of Syria”. This also includes entities from other countries, including Russian and Iranian companies taking part in the reconstruction efforts in Syria.
Essentially, the Caesar Act adds insult to injury in terms of well-over-a-decade-long unprovoked US aggression on Syria by imposing economic sanctions that are specifically designed to prevent the rebuilding of the devastated country, further prolonging the suffering of the Syrian people. Worse yet, all this is done under the endlessly hypocritical pretext of “protecting” the same people whose lives it has been destroying for more than ten years. The US political establishment decided to keep enforcing the illegal sanctions even after the disastrous earthquake that killed thousands and left tens of thousands homeless in the already ravaged country. It has also prevented or at least significantly complicated international relief efforts.
However, it seems the Caesar Act will soon be used against US “partners” that have been nearly 100% compliant up until recently. This includes Saudi Arabia and Jordan, both of which still have extremely close relations with the Pentagon. On May 9, Damascus and Riyadh formally announced the restoration of their official diplomatic relations. The move is directly tied to Syria’s readmission to the Arab League.
“The State Department denounces Syria’s readmission to the Arab League. We do not believe that Syria merits this decision by the Arab League at this time,” State Department spokesman Vedant Patel said on May 8, adding: “We continue to believe that we will not normalize our relations with the Assad regime, and we don’t support our allies and partners doing so either.”
As previously mentioned, sanctions are not the only way in which the US is conducting its well-over-a-decade-long and truly unprovoked aggression on Syria. The Pentagon has approximately 1000 soldiers illegally occupying nearly all of eastern Syria, as well as an occupation force in the area around their base of Al-Tanf. The forces deployed in the east are openly stealing Syrian oil, while those in Al-Tanf are training and equipping several US-backed terrorist groups whose sole purpose is to continue destabilizing the country. If Syria normalizes relations with virtually the entire Middle East, this could severely undermine US efforts to keep its war on Syria going on indefinitely. This is yet another proof that war, death and destruction are the primary “export commodities” of the world’s terrorist No. 1.
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