Was Syrian “Regime Change” Planned in 1957? (Video)
As I have been hearing the war drums beating louder and louder for the invasion of Syria, albeit the President’s resistance, I remembered a Guardian article, I have read years ago.
According to the article, published in the Guardian newspaper on September 27, 2003, America’s CIA and Britain’s MI6 security forces made plans to overthrow the Syrian government in 1957 and assassinate three of its key leaders, because the country was increasingly orientating towards Moscow and threatening the West’s oil supplies.
Matthew Jones, a specialist in international history at Royal Holloway, University of London, discovered the plans in the private papers of the –then- Defense Secretary for the Conservative Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Harold Macmillan. Apparently, the Secretary Duncan Sandys was keeping notes of the meeting that took place in Washington in September, 1957, between the British PM Harold Macmillan and the US President Dwight Eisenhower.
Article reports that the document, approved by London and Washington, named three men as targets: Abd al-Hamid Sarraj, head of Syrian military intelligence; Afif al-Bizri, chief of the Syrian general staff; and Khalid Bakdash, leader of the Syrian Communist party.
Few months before the meeting, in March 1957, the US Congress passed the “Eisenhower Doctrine,” which named “international communism” as the greatest threat to the region and promised financial help to any country that tried to resist it. It authorized the president to send US troops to any Middle East country that need help against “communist aggression.”
What is now called “War on Terror” was called “Communism” at the time.
Although Syria itself had little oil, it had control of one of the main oil arteries of the Middle East, the pipeline which connected Iraq’s oilfields to Turkey.
Part of the “preferred plan” said: “Once a political decision is reached to proceed with internal disturbances in Syria, CIA is prepared, and SIS [MI6] will attempt, to mount minor sabotage and coup de main incidents within Syria, working through contacts with individuals.”
The plan also called for funding of a “Free Syria Committee”, and the arming of “political factions with paramilitary or other actionist capabilities” within Syria. The CIA and MI6 would instigate internal uprisings and stir up the Muslim Brotherhood in Damascus.
The article concludes that the plan was never used, chiefly because Syria’s Arab neighbors could not be persuaded to take action and an invasion from or through Turkey alone was thought to be unacceptable.
The video attached to this article is from Democracy Now and dated March 2, 2007. It is an interview conducted by Amy Goodman with U.S. General Wesley Clark (Ret.) explaining that the Bush Administration planned to take out 7 countries in 5 years: Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Iran.
Image Credit: http://ww2db.com, Caption: British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan and US President Dwight Eisenhower, Bermuda, Mar 1957