Putin’s “Line in the Sand”: No “Regime Change” in Syria

Global Research, September 17, 2015

“Obama administration officials, who have been negotiating with Turkey for months, said Thursday that they had reached an agreement for manned and unmanned American warplanes to carry out aerial attacks on Islamic State positions from air bases at Incirlik and Diyarbakir. The agreement was described by one senior administration official as a “game changer.” New York Times, July 23, 2015

The Syrian war can be divided into two parts: The pre-Incirlik period and the post-Incirlik period. The pre-Incirlik period is roughly the four year stretch during which US-backed Islamic militias and al Qaida-linked groups fought the Syrian army with the intention of removing President Bashar al Assad from power. This first phase of the war ended in a draw.

The post-Incirlik period looks like it could produce an entirely different outcome due to the fact that the US will be able to deploy its drones and warplanes from a Turkish airbase (Incirlik) that’s just 15 minutes flying-time from Syria. That will boost the number of sorties the USAF can able to carry out while increasing the effectiveness of its jihadi forces on the ground which will conduct their operations under the protection of US air cover. This will greatly improve their chances for success.

The New York Times calls the Incirlik deal a “game-changer” which is an understatement. By allowing US F-16s to patrol the skies over Syria, Washington will impose a de facto no-fly zone over the country severely limiting Assad’s ability to battle the US-backed militias that have seized large swaths of the countryside and are now descending on Damascus. And while the war cannot be won by airpower alone, this new tactical reality tilts the playing field in favor the jihadis. In other words, the Incirlik agreement changes everything.

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The Obama administration now believes that regime change is within its reach. Yes, they know it will require some back-up from US Special Forces and Turkish combat troops, but it’s all doable.  This is why Obama has shrugged off Russia’s plan for forming a coalition to defeat ISIS.  The US doesn’t have to compromise on these matters because, after all, it has a strategically-located airbase from which it can protect its proxy-army, bomb cross-border targets, and control the skies over Syria. All Obama needs to do is intensify the war effort, put a little more pressure on Assad, and wait for the regime to collapse. This is why we should expect a dramatic escalation as we begin Phase 2 of the conflict.

Russian President Vladimir Putin knows this, which is why he’s sending more weapons, supplies and advisors to Syria. He’s signaling to Washington that he knows what they’re up to and that he’ll respond if they carry things too far. In an interview with Russia’s state Channel 1, Putin said, “We have our ideas about what we will do and how we will do it in case the situation develops toward the use of force or otherwise. We have our plans.”

The administration is very nervous about Putin’s plans which is why they keep probing to see if they can figure out what he has up his sleeve. Just days ago,  Secretary of State John Kerry phoned his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov to express his concerns about “an imminent enhanced Russian military buildup” in Syria. The call was a clumsy attempt to trick Lavrov into volunteering information that might shed light on what Moscow intends to do if Washington goes ahead with its regime change strategy.  But Russia’s foreign minister didn’t take the bait. He stuck to his script and didn’t tell Kerry anything he didn’t already know.

But the fact is, Putin is not going to allow Assad to be removed by force. It’s that simple. Obama and his advisors suspect this, but they are not 100 percent certain so they keep looking for confirmation one way or the other. But Putin is not going to provide a clear answer because he doesn’t want to tip his hand or appear confrontational. But that doesn’t mean he’s not resolute. He is, and Washington knows it. In effect, Putin has drawn a line in the sand and told the US that if they cross that line, there’s going to trouble.

So it’s up to Obama really. He can either seek a peaceful solution along the lines that Moscow has recommended or push for regime change and risk a confrontation with Russia. Those are the two choices.

Unfortunately, Washington doesn’t have an “off” switch anymore, so changing policy is really not in the cards. Instead, the US war machine will continue to lumber ahead erratically until it hits an impasse and sputters to a halt. Once again, the immovable object will prevail over the unstoppable force (as it did in Ukraine), albeit at great cost to the battered people of Syria, their nation and the entire region.

Keep in mind, that the imperial plan for Syria is subtler than many people realize. As the Brookings Institute’s Michael E. O’Hanlon states in his piece titled “Deconstructing Syria: A new strategy for America’s most hopeless war”:

The plan… would not explicitly seek to overthrow him (Assad), so much as deny him control of territory that he might still aspire to govern again. The autonomous zones would be liberated with the clear understanding that there was no going back to rule by Assad or a successor. In any case, Assad would not be a military target under this concept, but areas he currently controls… would be. And if Assad delayed too long in accepting a deal for exile, he could inevitably face direct dangers to his rule and even his person.” (“Deconstructing Syria: A new strategy for America’s most hopeless war”, Michael E. O’Hanlon, Brookings Institute)

This is the basic plan: To seize major cities and large parts of the countryside,  disrupt supply-lines and destroy vital civilian infrastructure, and to progressively undermine Assad’s ability to govern the country. The ultimate goal is to break the state into a million disconnected enclaves ruled by armed mercenaries, al Qaida-linked affiliates, and local warlords. This is Washington’s diabolical plan for Syria. It is strikingly similar to the Zionist plan to “effect the division of the whole area into small states by the dissolution of all existing Arab states.” (“The Zionist Plan for the Middle East”, Israel Shahak) In fact, it is virtually identical.

It’s clear that Obama is emboldened by the Incirlik deal and believes that, with Turkey’s help, he can achieve US imperial ambitions in Syria. But it’s not going to happen.  Russia, Iran and Hezbollah are prepared to defend their ally Assad and stop Washington dead-in-its-tracks.  Obama will have succeeded in destroying another sovereign nation and scattering its people across the Middle East and Europe. But the US mission will fall short of its original objectives. There will be no regime change in Syria. Putin, Nasrallah and Khamenei will make sure of it.

Mike Whitney lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.com.

Victoria Nuland attempts another coup — Kiev Version 2.0 — in Macedonia

Posted on Strategic Culture Foundation, February 16, 2015
By Wayne Madsen

After having initiated her well-planned Maidan Square uprising in Kiev in early 2014, triggering Europe’s worst conflict in Ukraine since the Balkan Wars of the 1990s, Victoria Nuland, the Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, recently attempted a Kiev-style putsch in Macedonia aimed at overthrowing that nation’s democratically-elected government of Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski. It is a hallmark of neoconservatives like Nuland and her arch-neoconservative husband, the Brookings Institution’s Robert Kagan, to disregard democratic elections if their candidates fail to win election. Although Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych and Macedonian Prime Minister Gruevski were elected in free and fair elections, by all international metrics and norms, their governments were not as pro-NATO and pro-U.S. enough for the liking of Nuland and the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) cabalists that surround her husband.

Nuland’s tactics differed somewhat in her Ukrainian and Macedonian campaigns. Her signature challah bread offerings to protesters at Kiev’s Maidan Square took the form of unsolicited offerings to the Macedonian press suggesting that Gruevksi was wiretapping as many as 20,000 Macedonians and that a videotape proving it was secretly made by Macedonia’s George Soros-financed leader of the opposition, Zoran Zaev, in a meeting he had with Gruevski.

Nuland has been charged by Macedonian intelligence with conspiring with Zaev of the Macedonian Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM), the former Communist Party that has been thoroughly co-opted by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Soros operative. Also charged in the attempted putsch against Gruevski is Radmila Sekerinska. Zaev and Sekerinska are said by Macedonian insiders to be nothing more than fronts for former Prime Minister and President Branko Crvenkovski who continues to head up the SDSM and accept large amounts of largesse from such CIA NGO laundry operations as the National Democratic Institute (NDI), National Endowment for Democracy (NED), Freedom House, and Soros’s Open Society Institute (OSI) to foment a themed revolution against Gruevksi’s right-of-center VMRO-DPMNE government.

Gruevksi, unlike many U.S.-installed and -influenced governments of the region has been reluctant to apply sanctions against Russia over Ukraine. That stance has earned the government in Skopje the enmity of the Obama administration and most notably, Nuland, whose rhetoric echoes leading neo-conservative war hawks such as Republican senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham. In fact, Nuland’s husband has the distinction of working as a foreign policy adviser for both McCain and presumptive 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

In response to Zaev’s charge that Gruevski wiretapped 20,000 Macedonians, including taping phone calls between Zaev and his young daughter, the Macedonian government charged that it was Zaev and his associates, working with a foreign intelligence agency believed to be the CIA, to overthrow Gruevski’s government. An obvious flight risk, Zaev was ordered to turn in his passport to the authorities. Others, in addition to Zaev, accused of working with the CIA to oust Gruevski include Zaev’s associates Sonja Verusevska and Branko Palifrov, as well as the former director of the Office of Security and Counter-intelligence (DBK), Zoran Verusevski. Gruevski charged that Zaev threatened to disclose sensitive information about his government provided to the SDSM by the CIA, referred to as “the bomb” in the Macedonian media, unless Gruevski appointed a caretaker government that would lead to early parliamentary elections. Gruevski has called Zaev’s gambit nothing more than blackmail pressure in order that a snap election be called. As far as pressuring the Gruevski government to resign and call early elections, Nuland resorted to the same gambit that was used in Kiev to oust Yanukovych.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reporter Michael Martens, who reported on the Macedonian coup plot, claimed in an interview with Macedonian television that his initial report on the wiretapping issue had been altered by certain parties inside Macedonia. Martens said that with a population of 2 million, to wiretap 20,000 people would have even far exceed the capabilities of the East German Stasi. In any event, Martens said the 20,000 figure was not true and that Macedonian media and politicians had misquoted him and his article. However, the truth has never been on the side of provocateurs like Nuland and her neoconservative cabal of plotters and disinformation specialists.

The unapologetic foul-mouthed Nuland met on the side of the 51st Munich Security Conference in Germany with Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki and President Gjorge Ivanov to express her displeasure at Gruevski’s insurrection charges against her friend Zaev and his SDSM co-conspirators. Earlier, Nuland had offered to mediate a long-standing dispute between Greece and Macedonia over the latter’s use of the name Macedonia, which some Greeks consider to be a solely Greek name. Macedonian observers viewed Nuland’s interest in the name dispute to be a trap that would enable a pro-U.S. government, along with the Zionist and global banker baggage that comes with any such «themed» coup d’etat, to seize power in Skopje. Nuland and her co-conspirators were hoping for a replay of Kiev in what can be termed «Kiev Version 2.0.»

Nuland and her co-conspirators in Skopje are alarmed over the speed at which the Macedonian security services rounded up the coup plotters. Macedonian police, in raids conducted in Skopje and Veles, seized five laptop computers, three desktop computers, 19 mobile phones, 100 CDs and DVDs, 17 hard disks, and 9 savings deposit books used by the coup plotters, including a number linked to Soros-financed NGOs. The bank accounts of the plotters reportedly were flush with healthy cash deposits from the CIA as the date of the planned coup approached.

The use of social media by the Soros/CIA coup plotters should come as no surprise. Social media served at the very core of the themed revolutions sponsored by the CIA and Soros twice in Ukraine (Orange Revolution and Euro-Maidan uprising), Jasmine Revolution (Tunisia), Lotus Revolution (Egypt), Rose Reviolution (Georgia), Tulip Revolution (Kyrgyszstan), and Green Revolution (Iran). In the case of Macedonia, there are clear indications that the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) Thomas Melia, responsible for DRL’s work in Europe, including Russia, as well as the Middle East and North Africa, conspired directly with Zaev to mount a coup against the Gruevski government. Melia is the former deputy director of Freedom House, a Cold War-era neoconservative bevvy of U.S. war hawks based in New York. Although founded in 1941 by such progressives as Eleanor Roosevelt, Ralph Bunche, journalist Dorothy Thompson, novelist Rex Stout (creator of Nero Wolfe), and Republican presidential candidate Wendell Willkie (who would be considered by today’s Republicans in the U.S. as a stark-raving liberal), Freedom House has devolved into a neoconservative chatter source having employed as their board members in recent years such war hawk cretins as Paul Wolfowitz, Ken Adelman, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Donald Rumsfeld, and Otto Reich. Freedom House has been caught red-handed funneling CIA money to opposition groups in Iran, Sudan, Russia, and China. In essence, Freedom House, like Soros’s NGOs, serves as a conduit for CIA support for rebellious opposition forces in dozens of countries around the world, countries that now include Macedonia, as well as Hungary, Venezuela, Syria, Egypt, Serbia, Jordan, Mexico, and Cuba.

What occurred in Macedonia was a classic disinformation ploy to mire the democratically-elected government in a bogus political scandal. The ploy is directly from the CIA playbook and it is now being carried out against Presidents Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner of Argentina, Dilma Rousseff of Brazil, and Michelle Bachelet of Chile. All face financial scandals cooked up by the CIA and its owned and operated media in the three nations. In Macedonia, the Soros-influenced media and Radio Free Europe are part of the operation.

Nuland’s vulgar language is only matched by the vulgarity of her backroom operations to unseat democratically-elected governments. «Nuland» should become a noun meaning disgraceful diplomatic conduct, in the same manner as the terms «quisling,» meaning «traitor» and derived from the actions of Norwegian Nazi leader Vidkun Quisling, and «boycott,» meaning the cessation of all business with a targeted entity and made famous by Irish land agent Captain Charles Boycott, became part of the English language.

 

http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2015/02/16/nuland-attempts-kiev-version-2-skopje.html