It seems clear now that the West wants to defeat Russia in Syria at all costs. This latest protracted confrontation in the Middle East can be understood as a proxy war of the US and NATO against Putin’s resurgent Russia. But Syria is just one zone of engagement in a much wider war against Russia that has been taking place since Putin started to stand up to the West. The same confrontation also occurs in Ukraine and formerly in Georgia, where Russia successfully halted, albeit temporarily, the Western advance. This amounts to a new Cold War or an undeclared war where East and West are once more in global confrontation.
To date the policy to unseat Assad has failed miserably despite the West’s imposition of punishing economic sanctions, its bombing of the country and the sponsoring, financing and training of what are little more than terrorist mercenaries. It is virtually impossible to distinguish the moderate rebels from the Islamist fanatics of ISIS (Islamic State).
In reality the root of the current refugee crisis in Syria lies in the strategy of “regime change” adopted by the West over many years. After its failure to effect regime change in Syria, the West now appears intent on ruthlessly exploiting the misery of the Syrian people that the West itself has contributed towards creating in the first place, using the human desperation as the latest leverage to weaken and inflict a final defeat on a country that has been outside its control for decades.
From this perspective the generous German ‘offer’ to take in 500 thousand Syrian refugees a year can be interpreted as a cynical strategic ploy to persuade the Syrian population to break their attachment to Russia’s last remaining ally in the Middle East; thus bribing a desperate people weakened by years of conflict. Such an enticement to escape from increasingly intolerable conditions will effectively decant Syria of the most able-bodied members of its population, who will be vital to help rebuild its economy in the future.
This new tactic seems to be working where sanctions and sponsoring terrorism have failed. Many of the refugees now fleeing the conflict are apparently former members of the Syrian armed forces who have simply become exhausted and had enough of the relentless fighting; this reduction in military personnel is seriously depleting Assad’s ability to resist ISIS.
Meanwhile, US Secretary of State John Kerry has threatened Russia for its alleged military ‘build up’ in Syria and NATO has inevitably echoed Kerry’s concerns. These accusations of an increased Russian military presence in the country conveniently ignores the longstanding cooperation between Moscow and Damascus and flagrantly dismisses the significant role that Russia is playing in assisting Syria to combat the advance of ISIS, which is supposedly the main rationale for the current US-led military operations in Syria.
Perhaps we must conclude that the West is not very serious about defeating ISIS or at least that it sees removing Assad as the top priority irrespective of the consequences. Washington does not even have a plausible puppet government-in-waiting to take the reins of power should Assad be toppled; the political vacuum is much more likely to be filled by ISIS.
Surely the West’s policy advisers understand this is the all too likely outcome.
Tightening the noose on Russia and Syria, EU states Bulgaria and SYRIZA-led Greece are now denying Russia the use of vital airspace to supply Syria, which is clearly a further calculation designed to weaken Damascus – although Iran has offered Russia an alternative flight route.
Furthermore, it needs to be stressed that, as has been widely reported, the so-called “moderate rebels” so assiduously promoted by the US are actually linked to Al-Qaeda, which makes for an unholy alliance if ever there was one. The end result of the conflict in Syria could be that ISIS will come to rule and it could even eventually head a pro-Western state. This outcome is not really so farfetched if one considers the repressive nature of some of the West’s other long-term allies in the region and around the world. Washington and the European powers have never really had a problem in dealing with dictators despite all their high-minded talk of human rights in this and in other contexts. Human rights discourse is simply another weapon in a strategic power game.
Another front in the war against Russia is Ukraine, which has been transformed into one of the most anti-Russian regimes in Europe and sees the extension of NATO right up to Russia’s border. NATO has been broadening its presence in Ukraine for some time but is making this new military relationship more formal with an official visit to Kiev by its Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg who was to take part in the Ukrainian Security Council. At the same time, Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry indicated that the opening of the very first NATO office in Ukraine is planned. Furthermore, Mikhail Saakashvili, the virulently Russophobe former president of Georgia, who is already the governor of Odessa, is now even being touted to become a future Prime Minister of Ukraine; which can only be interpreted in Moscow as a gross provocation.
Elsewhere, NATO member Turkey seeks to smash the Kurds who are not only officially branded as terrorists by the EU and US, but are seen as suspiciously socialist and subversive of the existing neoliberal order.
Turkey has been allowed to launch bombing raids on PKK camps in Northern Iraq, which the UN Secretary General has defended on the basis of the country’s right to self-defence. It needs recalling that Turkey was supposed to be joining the US-led campaign against ISIS but instead it preferred to use the occasion in an opportunistic manner to attack the PKK which it sees as its main enemy, while it has been accused of aiding ISIS advances, particularly in the case of the Kurdish border city of Kobane which had come under sustained attack from ISIS.
Ironically, it speaks volumes that the US is remaining largely silent and uncritical in face of the mounting death toll arising from Erdogan’s decision to abandon his rapprochement with the Kurds in favour of what increasingly looks like escalating into an all-out civil war. The West seems none too bothered about this outcome. We hear only muted complaints, for instance, when independent journalists are picked up and deported by Turkey.
In marked contrast to the criminalisation of the Kurdish movement in Turkey, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) of Iraq, which has always been tenaciously pro-Western, was fulsomely praised in Parliament by PM David Cameron on 7 September during the debate on Britain’s policy shift on taking in Syrian refugees in the wake of the outcry at the death of the Kurdish boy washed up on the shores of Bodrum, in Turkey. This praise for the KRG is meant to teach the PKK and its affiliates in Syria a hard lesson: they are being warned, ‘embrace our ideology and you will prosper, defy us and Turkish aggression will be mercilessly unleashed and we won’t help you’. The social confrontation now raging across Turkey has seen violent attacks on Kurdish organisations such as the burning of offices of the HDP, which led one commentator from Turkish Daily News to describe it as an impending Turkish ‘Kristallnacht’.
The conflict now raging in Turkey was initiated by President Erdogan after his failure to achieve a much sought absolute majority for his AKP in the country’s June election. Frustrated by the election outcome, he has since sought to find a means to reverse the setback setting his sights on the HDP whose surprise 14 percent in the poll denied Erdogan the victory which he virtually believed was in his grasp as a destiny. Hence, his increasingly erratic, manic and messianic approach to politics. This has laid the basis for an unnecessary conflict that might easily have been averted given the potential to build on all the efforts that had been put into the peace process with the Kurds. Sadly, a magnanimous and more imaginative politician who was truly concerned for the entire nation’s welfare rather than narrow party interest might have achieved a historic breakthrough. Tragically wise counsel from Turkey’s allies seems not to have been made available or at least what had been attempted has proved to be ineffective in deterring Erdogan from his destructive trajectory.
There are fears that a deal had been struck between US President Obama and Erdogan to allow Turkey to sort out its Kurdish problem by force in exchange for permitting the US use of Incirlik airbase to bomb Syria.
If the assumption that this is what was agreed is correct, the responsibility for the renewed conflict would lie not with Ankara alone. Not only will this be another ‘great betrayal’ of the Kurds by the Western powers, it will amount to a huge miscalculation in that the Kurdish social movement cannot simply be eradicated by employing force, however brutal that might be. This bloody course of action will simply contribute towards the further destabilisation of an extremely unstable region. The social conflicts inside Turkey will not easily be healed, but, in fact, they may well last for generations, significantly weakening the country in the meantime.
Incidentally, it might also be mentioned that some of the Gulf States, who are generally backing the “opposition” to Assad financially and diplomatically, are also seeking to gain an economic foothold into Ukraine by buying up tracks of fertile agricultural land, of which the country is plentiful, to obtain vital food resources to satisfy the needs of their own growing populations.
In addition, Qatar has recently played host to a conference of the so-called Iraqi opposition – with US support- one aim of which was to unite former Baathists and pro-ISIS groups in Iraq in a bid to change the government in Baghdad. This is yet one more zone of engagement in the wider confrontation.
The US has also found it impossible to renege on the Iran nuclear deal, but lobbied by its traditional allies in the region, Washington still seeks to contain any possible expansion of Tehran’s influence.
UK leaders demonstrate a similar negative attitude to Iran reflected in their reluctance to condone its involvement in any deal to resolve the conflict in Syria. Thus, replying in the Parliamentary debate to a call by Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn for an international conference on the Syrian crisis that would include Iran and Russia, Cameron was quick to remind MPs that Iran remains disqualified because of its alleged continued support for “terrorist” organisations such as Hezbollah in Lebanon.
This casual and routine repudiation of any proposals for peace talks to resolve the conflict only works to prolong the misery of the Syrian people whom the likes of Berlin and Brussels are currently proclaiming to offer a place of refuge. There is a certain contradiction here and the hypocrisy is quite nauseating.
Syria, Ukraine, Turkey, Iraq and Iran. These are seemingly separate conflicts with different causes and their own self-contained solutions, but underlying them there is a grand plan which is to exert control over a strategically vital region and by so doing gain possession of its rich resources. These conflicts are related zones of engagement within this overarching conflict. It amounts to an undeclared world war.
The roots of the current Syrian refugee crisis lie in the adoption of regime change as a key plank of US and NATO foreign policy. The suffering inflicted on the people of Syria by Assad is actually as nothing compared to the collateral damage that has been inflicted in the campaign to topple him and achieve strategic advantage against Moscow.
Sun 13th Sep 2015
Originally published at: http://londonprogressivejournal.com/article/view/2288/the-syrian-crisis-is-part-of-a-war-waged-on-russia-by-the-west
Every day signs are looming larger than life as we know it in the wealthiest nation on earth that it’s about to crash and burn, forever changing not for the better. The latest wake-up call arrived in a Guardian article earlier this week. The story features a secret prison not unlike the CIA torture detention centers all over the world whereby the Chicago police hold rounded up US citizens for hours or days at a time for interrogation. The same internationally illegal roundups of suspected “potential terrorists” (which by latest Gestapo America standards can easily be you or me) that the CIA ...
One way to understand the effect of 9/11, in most general terms, is to see that it allowed the agenda developed in the 1990s by neoconservatives—-often called simply “neocons”—to be implemented. There is agreement on this point across the political spectrum. From the right, for example, Stefan Halper and Jonathan Clarke say that 9/11 allowed the “preexisting ideological agenda” of the neoconservatives to be “taken off the shelf . . . and relabeled as the response to terror.”1 Stephen Sniegoski, writing from the left, says that “it was only the traumatic effects of the 9/11 terrorism that enabled the agenda ...
“The welfare of the people in particular has always been the alibi of tyrants.” (Albert Camus 1913-1960.)
On 1st May 2003, George W. Bush stood in a dinky little flying suit on the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln and in a super stage managed appearance told the lie of the century: “Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the Battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed. And now our coalition is engaged in securing and reconstructing that country.” (1)
The illegal occupation and decimation of Iraq continued until December 2011. In June 2014 they returned to bomb again ...
The American taxpayers have been fleeced for almost seventy years by a so-called «intelligence» agency that has systematically violated the US Constitution, broken practically every federal law on the books, and penetrated virtually every facet of American life. The Central Intelligence Agency’s creation was bemoaned by its creator, President Harry S Truman, who, in a fit of personal angst following the 1963 assassination of President John F Kennedy, wrote in a newspaper column,
“I never had any thought that when I set up the CIA that it would be injected into peacetime cloak and dagger operations… I, therefore, would like to see ...
The Syrian battlefield is now witnessing an escalation of the war. This is despite the fact that it is supposed to be a time of cessation of hostilities brokered by the US and Russia.
The Syrian war has two major fronts. The first and most important is in southern Syria, on the borderline with Israel and the occupied territories of the Syrian Golan Heights. This area is divided into two areas: the liberated area of Al-Quneitra, and the occupied area of the Golan Heights where Jabhat Al-Nusra and Al-Qaeda’s base their fighters.
Israel has been attempting to drive the Syrian army out ...
Krista Kennell | Shutterstock.com
Just as the Republican convention demonized Hillary (“Lock Her Up”), so the Democrats are demonizing Donald Trump. They refuse to support any policy that he backs, even when he says something progressive.
One might think that at least Bernie’s supporters would applaud Trump’s left-wing transformation of the old conservative, pro-corporate neocon Cheney-Bush core of the Republican Party. But nobody had a single good word to say about Trump’s assertions that he would wind down confrontation with Russia, reduce military spending on the grounds that NATO is obsolete, and oppose the TPP and TTIP as well as rewrite NAFTA’s terms.
The Democrats ...
Or Yugoslavia’s for that matter. The level of western cynicism on “territorial integrity” is far greater than you probably know. The Kosovo-Crimea discrepancy is just the tip of the iceberg
Earlier this month Obama gave an earful to Putin (from a G7 meeting held 2,000 kilometres away from Moscow) complaining that this day and age you just can’t go around violating the “territorial integrity” and “sovereignty” of other countries:
“Does he continue to wreck his country’s economy and continue Russia’s isolation in pursuit of a wrong-headed desire to recreate the glories of the Soviet empire? Or does he recognize that Russia’s greatness does not ...
James Bovard is the author of Attention Deficit Democracy, The Bush Betrayal, Terrorism and Tyranny, and other books. Bovard is on the USA Today Board of Contributors
The presidential campaign has mortified millions of Americans in part because the presidency has become far more dangerous in recent times. Since 9/11, we have lived in a perpetual emergency which supposedly justifies trampling the law and Constitution. And the illegalities will not end after Tuesday’s vote count. Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have signaled that they will perpetuate power grabs in the next four years.
For generations, politicians have touted voting as a magical process which almost automatically protects the ...
On Mar. 24, US president Barack Obama announced that all 9,800 US troops currently stationed in Afghanistan will remain until the end of 2015. This generated a fair amount of criticism: it was, after all, Obama’s promise that the last American troop would leave the country in 2014.
How have Obama’s plans for pulling out of Afghanistan fared so far?
Those expecting the US to leave Afghanistan, however, should take a minute to consider this: the US still hasn’t left Germany. In fact, there are quite a few places the US hasn’t left, and while certainly most of them don’t pose a threat to American soldiers, ...
Later this month, Barack Obama will become the first sitting US president to visit the city of Hiroshima, Japan. The dropping of an atomic bomb on Hiroshima by the American military on August 6, 1945, and the destruction three days later of the Japanese city of Nagasaki, rank among the greatest war crimes of the 20th century.
One would think that after 71 years, the United States would finally be prepared to acknowledge that the incineration of two defenseless Japanese cities, causing some 200,000 deaths, was a militarily unnecessary act.
Nothing of the sort will happen. Obama “will not revisit the decision ...
As of this moment, from the gentrified hipster hellholes in Brooklyn to the pedophile-infested devil-den of Hollywood to Satan-occupied Washington DC, liberals nationwide are wailing, howling, shrieking and blubbering over Barack Obama getting out of the White House. Their tears are gushing like rushing rivers breaking through weak dams in pusillanimous sadness, their little Judaized hearts are breaking into pieces of Gefilte fish because an end has come to the presidency of this man they repetitiously and affectionately refer to as “American’s First ‘Black’ President” who brought “hope and change” not only to the USA but the world at large. ...
On April 20 1955, Marijan John Markul entered the FBI’s Los Angeles office and told a shocking story. The man who then introduced himself as Marshal Josip Broz Tito was not actually him, but a Russian agent who assumed the identity of Tito after Josip Broz disappeared in Russia in 1937. This is stated in the FBI’s report from the beginning of May 1955, writes daily newspaper “Kurir”.
Secret FBI reports from the fifties were recently opened and released to the public.
Marijan Markul was born in Livno in 1909. He moved to the United States in 1936, and received citizenship in ...
First published by GR in February 2015 in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo Terror Attacks
The barbarous phenomenon we recently witnessed in France has roots that go back to at least 1979 when the mujahedeen made their appearance in Afghanistan. At that time their ire was directed at the leftist Taraki government that had come into power in April of 1978. This government’s ascension to power was a sudden and totally indigenous happening – with equal surprise to both the USA and the USSR.
In April of 1978 the Afghan army deposed the country’s government because of its oppressive measures, and ...
A single strategic IT manipulator virtually anywhere could swing the 2016 election with just a few keystrokes perpetrated in less than a minute. (Image: Lauren Walker / Truthout)The support of readers like you got this story published - and helps Truthout stay free from corporate advertising. Can you sustain our work with a tax-deductible donation today?
The way our electoral process now stands, electronic voting machines guarantee a Republican victory in 2016.
No matter what she does, Hillary Clinton - or any other Democratic nominee - cannot be elected without a fundamental change in the basic mechanics of how our votes are ...
GR Editor’s Note
Publicly available military documents confirm that pre-emptive nuclear war is still on the drawing board of the Pentagon.
Compared to the 1950s, the nuclear weapons are more advanced. The delivery system is more precise. In addition to China and Russia, Iran, Syria and North Korea are targets for pre-emptive nuclear war.
Let us be under no illusions, the Pentagon’s plan to blow up the planet using advanced nuclear weapons is still on the books.
Should we be concerned? Blowing up the planet through the use of nuclear weapons is fully endorsed by presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who believes that nuclear weapons ...
At a spring 2016 Republican debate attended by the Bushes, George H.W. “Poppy” Bush, looked directly at Donald Trump and gave him the “throat slit” gesture. The Bushes want the Clintons back in the White House.
“Poppy” trusted them with Arkansas in the 1980s, and with the White House in the 1990s, and he can trust them with the marching orders again. A Hillary Clinton presidency guarantees that all the things that the New World Order wants done will continue to get done.
The Clintons and Bushes have been criminal partners for more than 30 years. They and their colleagues have ...
The new Serbian Warsaw Ghetto in the occupied Serbian land of Kosovo
In Kosovo, in 1999, NATO orchestrated KLA terrorism to cause a cycle of attacks and repression which was used to justify military intervention under the pretext of protecting the civilian population. Thirteen years down the line, Kosovo has unilaterally declared its independence and inflicts the most outrageous discrimination on its Serb population … under the auspices of NATO.
Serbs may not have black skin, but they are being treated like white niggers of Europe. Every day. In the media. On the streets in Kosovo. The pogrom and ...
Totalitarian Rule In America: False Flags, Secret Prisons, Extrajudicial Assassinations, Media Censorship, The Rounding Up Of Alleged “Terrorists” …
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Categories: Middle East
Tags: America, Assad, CIA, Damascus, ISIL, ISIS, Islam, Obama, Pentagon, Russia, Syria