Despite public denials, military preparations for intervention in the horrendous Syrian crisis are quietly afoot in Washington, Paris, Rome, London and Ankara. President Barack Obama is poised for a final decision after the Pentagon submits operational plans for protecting Syrian rebels and beleaguered populations from the brutal assaults of Bashar Assad’s army, DEBKAfile’s Washington sources disclose.

This process is also underway in allied capitals which joined the US in the Libyan operation that ended Muammar Qaddafi’s rule in August, 2011. They are waiting for a White House decision before going forward.

In Libya, foreign intervention began as an operation to protect the Libyan population against its ruler’s outrageous crackdown on dissent. It was mandated by UN Security Council. There is no chance of this in the Syrian case because it will be blocked by a Russian veto. Therefore, Western countries are planning military action of limited scope outside the purview of the world body, possibly on behalf of “Friends of Syria,” a group of 80 world nations which meets for the first time in Tunis Friday, Feb. 24, to hammer out practical steps for terminating the bloodbath pursued by the Assad regime. 

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So we were told that NATO would protect the Libyan people from Gaddafi; by the time their operations wound down, after 10,000 sorties, Libya, which was the closest thing to a 1st world country in Africa lay in ruins with tens of thousand Libyans dead while tens of thousands more lay maimed and mutilated. Why does CNN not show us photos of the now 'Free and Democratic' Libya? Why not indeed? Because the country lies in ruins; that is the true face of US / NATO democracy missions. But hey don't forget to watch American Idol or the Bachelor or Whitney Houston's biography! Who cares about a few thousand dead Libyans or a few million dead Iraqis. After all killing a few million Iraqis is a small price to pay for Freeing them from the tyranny of Saddam who allegedly killed them by the hundreds! Lest I be accused of defending so-called Tyrants, I defend not Saddam or Gaddafi or Assad! I do not believe there is a single righteous ruler in all of the world today, they are all tyrants more or less, the only difference is the degree. And on the degree of Tryanny, Saddam Gaddafi and Assad are small potatoes compared to the Chinese or the Saudis or Pinochet or Peron or ....the list is endless. So the hypocrisy of claiming that these murderous missions are about Freedom and Democracy makes me want to throw up!