Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta (L), and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey speak to the media during a briefing at the Pentagon
American defense officials accuse Iran of training and aiding pro-regime militias in Syria. The accusations are hypocritical, coming from a country that does the same for the other side of the conflict, geopolitical analyst Eric Draitser told RT.
US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have shared their concerns about a growing Iranian presence in Syria and its role in backing the government of Bashar al-Assad during a news briefing at the Pentagon on Tuesday.
“There’s now an indication that [Iranians] are trying to develop – or trying to train a militia within Syria to be able to fight on behalf of the regime,” Panetta explained. It is “dangerous” that Iran supports a regime that “we think ultimately is going to come down,” he added.
Meanwhile, General Dempsey added that Iranian-trained militias are being used to take some pressure off of Syrian government forces, which have been worn out by the 18-month long war.
While Iran remains the Syrian government’s only real ally in the region, Washington continues to provide “non-lethal aid” to the opposition. The total sum that had been officially spent by the US on humanitarian aid to Syrian rebels exceeds $76 million. Earlier this month, reports emerged that President Barack Obama had also signed a secret order allowing the CIA and other intelligence agencies to support opposition forces seeking to oust the Assad regime.
Eric Draitser, a geopolitical analyst for stopimperialism.com, told RT that these comments by US military officials have shown an “unbridled hypocrisy “ coming out of Washington.
RT: So, Leon Panetta criticizes Iran for working to form a pro-regime militia in Syria, thus aggravating the situation on the ground. What are these accusations based on?
Eric Draitser: Well I think these accusations arise out of US disapproval of this recent summit, which the Iranians put forward in Tehran, that brought together Russia and China and Venezuela and many other players around the world. The United States was kept out of the summit, as were many of the US client states including Qatar and Saudi Arabia. So clearly, the United States is upset at the fact the Tehran is trying to play a central role in conflict resolution, a conflict that the US has been fomenting now for a year and a half.
The comments of course illustrate something far beyond that, and that is the unbridled hypocrisy of Washington – accusing Iran of doing precisely what Washington has been doing, namely forming militias and engaging in fomenting civil war.
RT: Just recently, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced additional multi-million-dollar aid to the Syrian rebels, but at the same time Washington accuses Iran of interference. How fair is it that it’s okay for them, but not Tehran to get involved?
ED: The United States is the pot calling the kettle black, essentially doing whatever it can to foment the chaos. To turn Sunnis against Shiites, to turn Alawites against Kurds and so forth, and try to destroy the Syrian state in that way. And then they turn around and say that the Iranians are doing the same thing by forming pro-Assad militias.
I think we could take it one step further to show that this really demonstrates the US’s desperation in Syria. They know that they are outmatched diplomatically, they are outmatched in terms of foreign policy. And so the only thing they can do is use Syria as an issue to demonize the Iranians, which is the ultimate enemy in the region for the US establishment.
RT: Is it possible for the rebels to win without the US meddling that you’ve mentioned?
ED: It is impossible for the so-called rebels to win anything without the support of the United States and their clients in the region. We know that the Free Syrian Army is little more than a disorganized gaggle of various terrorist organizations and other extremists. The Syrian National Council is made up primarily of US puppets from various think-tanks like the Brookings Institution and so forth. They have no clout in Syria.
There will be no cessation of violence, there will be none of these things until the United States determines that its policy of destroying Syria has failed and that they pull back from that. The so-called opposition will be left to fend for themselves, and they will surely be routed because they don’t have real support in Syria.