“In the event of a de-facto partition of Syria, the US and its allies will get a strategically important region. It is through Deir Ezzor that the proposed gas pipeline from Qatar is supposed to run….The Deir Ezzor province is also home to Syria’s largest oil deposit, the Al-Omar. …the city and the province are of particular value since the deposits there contain the highly valuable light sweet crude usable in the production of gasoline and diesel fuel.” — South Front, “The Stronghold of Deir Ezzor; What You Need to Know”
The United States is not going to launch a preemptive attack on North Korea. The risks far outweigh the rewards and, besides, the US has no intention of getting bogged down in a conflict that doesn’t advance its geopolitical objectives. The saber-rattling is just an attempt to divert attention from the Syria-Jordan border where the US and Jordan are massing troops and equipment for an invasion of Syria. That’s what’s really going on. The Korean fiasco is a smokescreen.
True, the Trump administration is milking the situation for all its worth, but that doesn’t mean that they want a war with the North. That’s not it at all. Washington wants to deploy its controversial THAAD anti-missile system to South Korea, but it needs a pretext to do so. Hence, the ominous threat of an “unstable, nuclear-armed North Korea”, that’s all the justification Washington needed to get its new weapons system deployed. Mission Accomplished.
But the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system (THAAD) isn’t aimed at North Korea, it’s aimed at China, and China knows it which is why it has protested its deployment repeatedly. The US wants to surround China and Russia with military bases and missile systems that are integrated into its broader nuclear weapons system. These lethal systems are a crucial part of Washington’s plan to pivot to Asia and rule the world into the next century. Here’s the rundown from Tass:
“Anti-missile elements that are being deployed around the world are part of a very dangerous global project aimed at securing US’ overall overwhelming superiority to the prejudice of security interests of other states….The US missile defense architecture is tilting the strategic balance of forces in the area of offensive weapons and creates more and more serious risks of global instability.” (“US anti-missile systems in Eastern Europe violate INF Treaty”)
And here’s how Russian President Vladimir Putin summed it up:
“The US is developing an anti-missile defense system which”….when it is operational… “there will be a moment in time when our entire nuclear capability will be neutralized, which means that the entire global balance of power will be overturned.. This means one of the powers will have absolute security and be able to do whatever it likes in regional conflicts. We’re talking about unrivaled power in global conflicts. ..This system forces us to create weapons that can nullify the system asymmetrically.” (Tass)
Is missile defense something the American people should want?
Heck no. Just think of the number of people that Uncle Sam has slaughtered in the last 16 years. Now try to imagine if all the constraints on Washington’s rampaging were removed allowing the US to conduct its bloody war on the world with complete impunity?
No one in their right mind would ever give the Washington crazies that kind of power. It’s a prescription for global annihilation. Besides, absolute security for one country means no security for everyone else.
But deploying the THAAD anti-missile system is just one part of Washington’s North Korea swindle. The fear-mongering is also being used to grease the wheels of the Military Industrial Complex (MIC). Here’s the scoop from The Hill:
Sen. John McCain
“Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) push for a $7.5 billion fund to bulk up the U.S. military’s capabilities in the Asia-Pacific is gaining momentum as tensions with North Korea mount. The commander of U.S. forces in the region threw his support behind the idea this week, “This kind of money can help us bring together our allies and partners,” said Patrick Cronin, senior director of the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security. …The … proposal has gained more visibility amid the intensifying concerns over North Korea and its nuclear program.” (“McCain plan gains momentum amid North Korea threats”, The Hill)
So the MIC lackeys in Congress had already been pushing this latest boondoggle, but they needed a trumped up crisis in North Korea to put them over the finish line. Typically, the process is called “creative advertising”, which means scaring the shit out of the public so you can rip them off. Here’s more from the same article:
“I’d like to thank Chairman McCain and this committee for proposing and supporting the Asia-Pacific Stability Initiative,” Adm. Harry Harris, commander of U.S. Pacific Command, said at Thursday’s hearing. “This effort will reassure our regional partners and send a strong signal to potential adversaries of our persistent commitment to the region.”
The weapons manufacturers love sugar-daddy McCain who’s always on-hand with gobs of moolah.
“We can thank North Korea for one thing in this,” said Harry Kazianis, director of defense studies at the Center for the National Interest”. “They’re amplifying the imbalance in the Asia-Pacific.” (The Hill)
Good idea, let’s thank North Korea for this latest windfall for the weapons makers. Why not? Let’s send Kim a nice big valentine from the American taxpayer with John McCain’s name writ large at the bottom.
In any event, Washington’s policy towards North Korea hasn’t changed. All the chest thumping and fireworks are just part of a circus sideshow designed to justify additional defense splurging and missile deployment. At the same time, the media is trying to divert attention from critical developments in the Middle East, particularly the Syria-Jordan border where Washington has rallied its proxy-fighters into a makeshift army that will (likely) invade southern Syria, charge northward to Deir Ezzor, establish a no-fly zone over the occupied territory, and partition the area east of the Euphrates preventing loyalist forces from reestablishing Syria’s sovereign borders. That appears to be the basic game-plan. Check this out from the Middle East Monitor:
“The Syrian regime of President Bashar Al-Assad said that his country has information that Jordan is planning to send its troops into southern Syria in cooperation with the United States…
“We have this information, not only from mass media, but from different sources”…
Speaking to The Washington Post, King Abdullah of Jordan reiterated that a planned joint operation could take place against terrorists. “It is a challenge, but we are ready to face it in cooperation with the US and Britain.” (“Assad accuses Jordan of planning Syria invasion”, Middle East Monitor)
The pretext for the invasion will be to fight ISIS, but the real goal is to seize the eastern part of the country consistent with a plan that was concocted by the Brookings Institute two years ago. After 6 years of covert support for CIA-backed militants on the ground, the Trump administration appears to be leaning towards a more traditional military approach. Here’s more from the LA Times:
“Reports have also emerged of Jordanian and U.S. troops on the section of the Jordanian border opposite southwest Syria, a possible prelude to a campaign in which rebels, supported by Jordanian and coalition forces on the ground, would overrun Islamic State’s pocket in the Yarmouk basin, near southwestern Syria’s borders with Israel and Jordan.” (“How long can Jordan keep walking the Middle East tightrope?”, LA Times)
Naturally, Moscow is concerned about the developments on the Jordanian border. Last week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov issued a statement saying,
“We will pay special attention to the issues most important for us which concern the situation on the Jordan-Syria border.”
Also worrisome, is the fact that US Defense Secretary James “Mad Dog” Mattis has been traveling across the Middle East rallying Washington’s allies in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Israel. Mattis sees the fighting in Syria as a proxy-war between the US and Iran for influence in the region. This same erroneous view is shared by all of the main powerbrokers in the Trump administration.
“Everywhere there’s trouble in the region, you find Iran,” Mr. Mattis said on a stop in Riyadh, adding that nations in the region are working to “checkmate Iran and the amount of disruption, the amount of instability they cause.”
These latest developments take place just days before the resumption of negotiations in Astana, Kazakhstan (May 3 and 4). Russia, Turkey, Iran and a number of the leaders from the rebel groups will gather to see if they can agree on the terms of a ceasefire and an eventual settlement to the 6 year-long war. The Trump administration’s cruise missile attack on a Syrian airbase in early April has boosted the morale of many of the jihadists militias and is keeping them away from the bargaining table. In other words, Trump’s unexpected escalation has sabotaged Putin’s efforts to resolve the crisis and end the hostilities. The last thing Washington wants in Syria is peace.
A number of reports have confirmed that Trump has handed control of his foreign policy to his Generals, Mattis and McMaster. And while Mattis has shown little interest in getting more deeply involved in the Syrian conflict, McMaster sees Russia as a “hostile revisionist power” that “intimidates our allies, develops nuclear weapons, and uses proxies under the cover of modernized conventional militaries.”
McMaster is a hard-boiled militarist with a driving animus towards Russia. In a speech he delivered at The Center for Strategic and International Studies, McMaster offered this remedy for so called ‘Russian aggression’. He said:
“what is required to deter a strong nation that is waging limited war for limited objectives… is forward deterrence, …(is) convincing your enemy that (he) is unable to accomplish his objectives at a reasonable cost.”
McMaster can be expected to use his “forward deterrence” theory in Syria by trying to lure Putin into a confrontation with US forces east of the Euphrates. But there’s no reason to think that Putin will fall into the trap, in fact, it seems highly unlikely given the potential for a catastrophic face-off between the two nuclear-armed superpowers. Instead, Putin will probably take the high-road, present his case to the UN Security Council, and denounce the US intervention as another example of Washington’s destabilizing and expansionistic foreign policy.
Putin’s worst mistake would be to base his strategy entirely on the situation on the battlefield. He doesn’t need to liberate every inch of Syrian soil to win the war. Let the US and its proxies seize the territory, establish their military bases and no-fly zones, throw up a DMZ along the Euphrates, and wade deeper into the Syrian morass. Putin has other fish to fry. He needs to focus on winning hearts and minds, strengthening alliances and building a broader coalition. He needs to look like the only adult in the room, the rational leader whose sole ambition is to end the dispute and restore security. He needs to establish a contrast between his behavior and that of his recklessly-violent and mentally-unstable rival, Washington, whose flagrant disregard for international law and civilian lives has plunged the Middle East and Central Asia into chaos and carnage.
If Putin’s ultimate goal is to rebuild the system of global security based on the bedrock principles of national sovereignty and greater representation for all the countries in the world, he must lead by example. Restraint and maturity in Syria will move him closer to that goal.
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 email@example.com.
Obama is the first president to keep the US at war for the entirety of his eight-year regime. During 2016 alone the US dropped 26,171 bombs on wedding parties, funerals, kid’s soccer games, hospitals, schools, people in their homes and walking their streets, and farmers tilling their fields in seven countries: Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan. 
What does the administration have to show for eight years of illegal military interventions in seven countries, none of which comprised a danger to the US and against none of which the US has declared war? Terrorism was created by US invasions, no wars have been won, and the Middle East has been consumed in chaos and destruction. Worldwide hatred of the United States has risen to a record high. The US is now the most despised country on earth.
The only purposes of these crimes is to enrich the armaments industry and to advance the insane neoconservative ideology of US world hegemony. A tiny handful of despicable people have been able to destroy the reputation of the United States and murder millions of peoples, sending waves of war refugees to the US and Europe.
We call these “wars,” but they are not. They are invasions, largely from the air, but in Afghanistan and Iraq from troops on the ground. The invasions by air and land are entirely based on blatant, transparent lies. The “justifications” for the invasions have changed a dozen times.
The questions are: If Trump becomes president, will Washington’s massive crimes against humanity continue? If so, will the rest of the world continue to tolerate Washington’s extraordinary evil?
Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts’ latest books are The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West, How America Was Lost, and The Neoconservative Threat to World Order.
Vladimir Putin addresses the State Duma’s plenary session
April 22, 2016
The President reviewed the Duma deputies’ results and work over the last five-year parliamentary session.
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Colleagues,
I wanted to meet with you as the parliament’s sixth convocation comes to the end of its mandate and thank you for your work over these years. I want to thank you and say a few words about the results of your work. Of course, I want to take a look forward too at the tasks the next parliament will have before it.
But first of all, let me turn to the tragic date we are marking today. Seventy-five years ago, Nazi Germany treacherously invaded the Soviet Union and the Great Patriotic War began. By this time, as we know, the Nazis has already enslaved many European countries.
The Soviet people took the brunt of the Nazis’ force, but they met the enemy with tremendous unity and resistance, and withstood the onslaught, fighting literally to the death to protect their homeland. They drove the enemy right back to its lair, inflicted a crushing defeat on the invaders and achieved the Great Victory.
Today, we bow our heads before this heroic generation. Our fathers and grandfathers gave their lives to save Russia and all of humanity from the fascist scourge. We will always remember their sacrifice and courage. We treasure the bright memory of all who gave their lives in that war, and all our veterans who are no longer with us now. I propose that we honour their memory with a minute of silence.
(Minute of silence)
It was the Nazis who unleashed this war. Their ideology of hatred, blind faith in their own exceptional nature and infallibility, and desire for world domination led to the twentieth century’s greatest tragedy.
We know the biggest lesson of that war: it could have been prevented. It could have been stopped if efforts had been made to firmly rein in the Nazis and their accomplices’ wild ambitions in time. But this did not happen. Our country, the Soviet Union, made direct proposals for joint action and collective defence, but these proposals were simply left hanging.
The leaders of a number of Western countries chose instead to pursue a policy of containing the Soviet Union and sought to keep it in a situation of international isolation. But it was Nazism that was the real and terrible global threat. Politicians underestimated its danger, overlooked the threat and did not want to admit that enlightened Europe could give birth to a criminal regime that was growing ever stronger.
The international community let its vigilance down and lacked the will and unity to prevent this war and save the lives of millions and millions of people. What other lesson do we need today to throw aside tattered old ideological differences and geopolitical games and unite our forces to fight international terrorism?
This common threat is spreading its danger before our very eyes. We must create a modern collective security system beyond blocs and with all countries on an equal footing. Russia is open to discussions on this most important issue and has repeatedly stated its readiness for dialogue.
For now though, as was the case on the eve of World War II, we see no positive response. On the contrary, NATO is stepping up its aggressive rhetoric and aggressive actions close to our borders. In this situation, we have no choice but to devote particular attention to the tasks we must address in order to increase our country’s defence capability.
I would like to thank the State Duma deputies for their deep and substantive understanding of Russia’s state interests and for knowing how to defend these interests decisively. Of course, I also want to thank you for your consolidated legislative support for the proposals on strengthening our country’s security.
Colleagues, your work and its results deserve a worthy assessment. It is particularly important that the laws you have adopted have played a big part in enabling us to fulfil our social obligations to our citizens, develop our most important economic sectors and improve our country’s political system. I want to stress this point.
You have accomplished a tremendous amount of work in all these areas. This successful work is the result of the efforts made by all parliamentary parties and their willingness to pursue a constructive dialogue with each other, with the Government, and with the other participants in the legislative initiative.
A truly historic result of this convocation’s work was the legal integration of Crimea and Sevastopol, which followed on your sincere and heartfelt moral support for the peninsula’s people on the eve of the referendum on joining the Russian Federation. You were active in supporting the view shared by the vast majority of Crimea and Sevastopol’s people, sometimes emotionally, and when needed, very professionally.
During this time, all parliamentary parties displayed a degree of unity of which your voters can be deservedly proud. In a very short period of time, you adopted more than 120 laws that smoothed the way for Crimea and Sevastopol’s entry into the Russian Federation. You helped people to get through the transition period’s difficulties, feel at home in Russia and know that their rights are reliably guaranteed and new opportunities have opened before them.
A readiness to consolidate for the sake of the tasks at hand and for Russia’s sake is this convocation’s distinguishing feature. It is very important now that the next parliamentary convocation continues these traditions, including this strict respect for the rules of parliamentary ethics. Continuity in law-making work is of tremendous importance.
This ensures the legislative base’s quality and also the authoritative reputation of the entire Russian jurisdiction. We should most definitely continue the practice of annual reports on the state of our country’s legislation. These reports are drafted by both chambers of the Federal Assembly together with the regional parliaments. This is a very useful practice, I think, very important work.
I want to stress particularly that the legislative branch is an independent branch of power and no opportunist, short term interests or desire to push some decision through as fast as possible should interfere with its work. There should be no hasty or superficial approach when examining and adopting laws. I particularly emphasise this point. The key task for the new convocation in the law-making process will be to ensure a well-planned and systemic legislative process with deep and substantive discussion of draft laws.
Colleagues, I particularly want to mention your great contribution to developing our political system. You have passed a whole swathe of laws that strengthen Russia’s democratic foundations, make the political system more transparent and effective, and set higher standards for political competition.
We now have ten times more political parties than we did five years ago. But we know very well that the political system’s quality cannot be measured by the number of parties, but by their ability to influence the decision-making process regarding the issues of greatest concern to our people.
The parliamentary parties have considerable advantages, and these opportunities are deservedly earned. But during the upcoming election campaign, you will have to pass the test once again before your voters. The executive order setting the date for the State Duma election has already been signed. The election will take place under the mixed-member system on September 18th.
Let me stress that the State Duma will soon get an influx of deputies elected in single-seat districts, and this will bolster considerably the parliament’s representative functions and ties with the regions. It is very important that your work gives our people added guarantees of their social rights. These rights should be guaranteed by laws that regulate education, healthcare, and the housing and utilities sector.
You have devoted much effort over these last years to precisely these issues, including support for motherhood and childhood. These are complicated issues of course, difficult problems, but their resolution is crucial for our country’s future. All of the different issues are important of course. Security and international affairs are important, but nothing is more important than the economy and the social sector.
We have put together an effective anti-corruption legal base over these last years, toughened requirements to all categories of civil servants, and introduced bans on opening accounts in foreign banks and possessing foreign companies’ assets.
Now we must ensure that all comply strictly with the law no matter what the office they hold. I am sure that we all share a unanimous position on this issue. I note too that the laws you have passed on strategic planning and industrial policy are extremely important, as is the law on priority development areas, for example.
The work on modernising civil law continues, including incentives for business and investment and measures to combat internet piracy. You have also passed the law on parliamentary oversight, which will most certainly raise the prestige and significance of the deputies’ work.
Improving our environmental legislation is an area of much importance today. Protecting nature and the animal and plant world and guaranteeing people’s right to a good natural environment are common tasks for all political parties. I know that during this parliament’s term you have examined draft laws on the preservation and restoration of forests and ensuring forest fire prevention. The new State Duma will have to continue this work just as actively as you have, all the more so as we have declared 2017 the Year of the Environment.
All parliamentary parties have also shown unity on foreign policy issues. I already mentioned this. Yes, there were some attempts to play up differences between parties, but no one succeeded in splitting your unity and splitting the consolidation in our society and between your voters. At the same time, your contacts with colleagues abroad have become more intensive.
Friends, many political parties have already set dates for holding their congresses to announce candidates and present their campaign programmes. Essentially, the election campaign has begun. Ahead of you is some fierce competition, debates with opponents, and a far from easy time for all who will be taking part in these elections.
I hope that you will do everything possible to ensure that this election is honest, open, and takes place in a spirit of mutual respect. It is also my hope that you will hold a battle not of mudslinging against each other, but of ideas, the implementation of which should strengthen our country and raise our people’s living standards. I appeal to you to do this.
It is very important that all political parties realise their responsibility for preserving social stability and strive not just for the best election results, but for voters’ trust in the election’s outcome. I am sure that stability and trust are key factors and foundations for our country’s successful development.
You are all experienced people and have traversed all the difficulties of election campaigns before. But let me say again nonetheless that the most important players now are not the parties and candidates, but the voters, our country’s people. They are most important. It is they who give you the powers to decide their biggest problems so as to make our country an independent and effectively functioning state in which people can live and work in comfort and safety.
I am sure that you understand well the tasks before our country today. You have already demonstrated this through your work as deputies based on the principles of patriotism and service to people. You have succeeded in developing high standards of political and parliamentary culture and applying them in practice in your everyday work. It will be useful for our country and for the voters if this constructive political style becomes the distinguishing feature of this election campaign too.
You all have much work ahead of you. No matter where you will be working in the future, I wish you professional success and satisfaction, and I want to thank you once again for the very important and responsible work you have done in the Russian parliament.
Thank you very much.
How the United States presumes to possess the authority to determine the fate of a sovereign nation thousands of miles from its own shores in the Middle East is never explained by US Secretary of State John Kerry when he recently announced a new ultimatum leveled at Damascus. Nor is it explained why Syria should capitulate to US demands to begin a political transition that has demonstrably left other nations across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) divided, destroyed, and safe-havens for state-sponsored terrorism years after “successful” US-backed regime change has been achieved – Libya most notably.
Yet despite all of this, according to the Associate Press (AP) in their article, “Kerry warns Assad to start transition by Aug. 1 or else,” the United States fully expects Damascus to concede to a “political transition” engineered by Washington, leaving the nation in the hands of verified terrorists linked directly to the political and militant forces currently laying waste to Libya and those nations that put them into power.
The article reports:
Secretary of State John Kerry warned Syria’s government and its backers in Moscow and Tehran on Tuesday that they face an August deadline for starting a political transition to move President Bashar Assad out, or they risk the consequences of a new U.S. approach toward ending the 5-year-old civil war.
AP would also claim:
…it’s unlikely that the Obama administration, so long opposed to an active American combat role in Syria, would significantly boost its presence beyond the 300 special forces it has authorized thus far in the heart of a U.S. presidential election season. More feasible might be U.S. allies like Saudi Arabia giving the rebels new weapons to fight Assad, such as portable surface-to-air missiles.
Again, the US is making demands of “Syria’s government and its backers in Moscow” while it is openly allied with Saudi Arabia who is admittedly backing US State Department-listed foreign terrorist organizations including the Al Nusra Front – quite literally Al Qaeda in Syria and Iraq.
This point has inconveniently surfaced even across the West’s own media, including the Independent in an article titled, “Turkey and Saudi Arabia alarm the West by backing Islamist extremists the Americans had bombed in Syria.” In it states that:
Turkey and Saudi Arabia are actively supporting a hardline coalition of Islamist rebels against Bashar al-Assad’s regime that includes al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, in a move that has alarmed Western governments.
The two countries are focusing their backing for the Syrian rebels on the combined Jaish al-Fatah, or the Army of Conquest, a command structure for jihadist groups in Syria that includes Jabhat al-Nusra, an extremist rival to Isis which shares many of its aspirations for a fundamentalist caliphate.
Despite superficial attempts to portray Al Nusra at “arms length” from Saudi Arabia, and thus from Saudi Arabia’s closest and most valuable ally, Washington, the inseparable nature of those the US and Saudi Arabia are supporting and those they claim not to support is documented fact.
America Essentially Demands Syria’s Surrender to Al Qaeda
Considering the verified nature of the so-called “opposition” in Syria and the verifiable nature of what US foreign policy has done to Libya – leaving it to this day in the hands of state-sponsored terrorist organizations including the notorious “Islamic State” or ISIS – what the US is essentially demanding of Syria and its allies is capitulation to Al Qaeda.
It is a surreal full-circle US foreign policy has made, from first creating Al Qaeda in the late 1980’s jointly with Saudi Arabia and elements within the Pakistani government, then claiming to have been struck egregiously by the terrorist organization on September 11, 2001 triggering over a decade of very profitable war, before finally arriving in Libya and Syria beginning in 2011 where once again US politicians found themselves standing shoulder-to-shoulder with literal commanders of Al Qaeda and its affiliates, waging proxies wars against their collective enemies.
Indeed, US Senator John McCain would find himself in a Libya utterly devastated by NATO at the end of 2011, shaking hands with the commander of US State Department-listed foreign terrorist organization, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) – literally Al Qaeda in Libya. The LIFG commander, Abdelhakim Belhadj, had at one point been arrested by the US before being handed over to the Libyan government and imprisoned for his terrorism.
Syria’s Clear Course of Action
Syria is undoubtedly being overrun by heavily armed and extremely dangerous terrorists backed by foreign powers. These are terrorists that have proven already in Libya, that upon coming to power, they will first carry out genocide against their ethnic and political enemies, then transform Syria into a devastated wasteland and springboard for terrorism and proxy war elsewhere in the region – likely Iran and then southern Russia.Syria’s only clear course of action is to resist and defeat these terrorist factions and restore order within the nation’s boundaries. It must do this by interdicting terrorists and their supplies along the Turkish-Syrian border in the north, and the Jordanian-Syrian border in the south. It is abundantly clear that the terrorists operating within Syria cannot sustain their fighting capacity without significant and constant logistical support from their foreign sponsors beyond Syria’s borders. This fact alone, undermines the legitimacy of the so-called “uprising” and “civil war” in Syria that upon closer examination is clearly a proxy invasion.
The US’s Clear Course of Action
The US itself, in its own military manuals (MCWP 3-35.3) regarding combat operations, states in reference to defeating terrorism that:
In countering this threat, [it should be determined] whether it is internally or externally directed terrorism. Terrorism rooted externally must be severed from its roots. Against internal terrorism, [attempts should be made] to penetrate the infrastructure and destroy the leadership of the terrorist groups.
The US has already boasted of having struck hard at the leadership of various terrorist groups in Syria it claims to be at war with, yet these groups appear unfazed. This is precisely because the terrorism is being direct externally, from Turkey and Jordan where the US itself has based its forces for its ongoing Syrian operations. The clear and obvious course of action for the US is to identify the “roots” of this externally directed terrorism and “sever” them.
However, the US refuses to do this. Instead, even as it continues its feigned war against terrorism in Syria, it is doubling down on support for its proxies, including Turkey, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia, who in turn, are harboring, arming, funding, training, and directly supporting the very terrorist groups the US claims to be fighting.
US Secretary of State John Kerry threatens a “new approach” by the US in Syria, if Syria does not capitulate to what is essentially the end of its existence as a functioning nation-state. The “new approach” is likely simply the continuation of existing plans to incrementally invade and occupy Syrian territory, particularly in the east through the infiltration of Iraq-based Kurds operating under US proxy Masoud Barzani, as well as to trigger a cross-border incident north of Aleppo by using their ISIS proxies to attack Turkish targets – reminisced of staged attacks Ankara had planned earlier during the war to justify the invasion and occupation of northern Syria.
Warning the world of the “success” America’s previous “political transitions” have wrought in Libya or Iraq, and raising awareness of the current nature of US-Saudi support for Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups in Syria today, is essential in undermining the legitimacy and authority upon which the US is attempting to base its demands directed at Damascus. The demands are illegitimate and the authority they are made with constitutes not principles nor rule of law, but naked and unjust aggression that must be resisted today lest it succeed and set a precedent for further acts of injustice against other nations tomorrow.
Washington and NATO governments lose patience at Russia and Syria wins in the public polls. The West pushes to achieve their ends by any means possible, and they will do it over the public’s dead bodies, if need be. Despite the high-sounding patriotic rhetoric, their ends were never for the public. Those who believe the fear-mongering and the lies are fools. Those driving Western federal policies and in the Pentagon and military establishment are truly mad.
According to Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten (German Economic News), on April 23rd, U.S. President Barack Obama is “demanding the active deployment of the Bundeswehr [Germany’s armed forces, including their Army, Navy, and Air Force] to NATO’s eastern borders” at Poland and the Baltic republics, to join the quadrupling of America’s forces there, on and near those borders of Russia. (This is an extreme violation of what Russian leader Mikhail Gorbachev agreed to when he ended the Soviet Union and its NATO-mirror organization the Warsaw Pact, but it’s actually culminating a process that began shortly after he agreed to America’s terms, which included that NATO “not move one inch to the east.”)
Furthermore, DWN reports that on April 25th, the U.S. President will hold a “summit meeting” in Hannover Germany with the leaders of Germany (Angela Merkel), Italy (Matteo Renzi), France (Francois Hollande), and Britain (David Cameron). The presumed objective of this meeting is to establish in NATO’s countries bordering on Russia, a military force of all five countries that are headed by these leaders, a force threatening Russia with an invasion, if NATO subsequently decides that the ‘threat from Russia’ be ‘responded to’ militarily.
NATO’s surrounding Russia with hostile forces is supposedly defensive against Russia — not an offensive operation. During the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, America’s President JFK didn’t consider Soviet dictator Nikita Khrushchev’s plan to base nuclear missiles in Cuba to be ‘defensive’ on the USSR’s part — and neither does Russia’s President Vladimir Putin consider America’s far bigger operation, of surrounding Russia with such weapons, to be ‘defensive’ and not offensive. The U.S. Government, and NATO, act as if Russia is surrounding them, instead of them surrounding Russia — and their ‘news’ media transmit this lie as if it should be taken seriously, not as its being a lie; but, in actual fact, NATO has already expanded right up to Russia’s western borders.
Obama is thus now adding to the economic sanctions against Russia that he had imposed allegedly because of Russia’s alleged ‘seizure’ of Crimea from Ukraine after Obama’s coup overthrew Russia’s ally Viktor Yanukovych who led Ukraine until the coup in February 2014.
Right after Crimeans voted overwhelmingly to rejoin Russia, Obama slapped sanctions against Russia (even though Western-sponsored polls in Crimea, both before and after the coup, had shown higher than 90% support by Crimeans for rejoining with Russia), and nuclear weapons were prepared, both on the U.S.-EU side and on the Russian side, for a possible nuclear war.
This is no mere restoration of the Cold War (which was based upon the capitalist-communist ideological disagreement); it’s instead getting forces into position for a possible invasion of Russia, pure-and-simple — raw conquest — though no major news-media in the West are reporting it as beingsuch.
That preparation doesn’t necessarily mean a nuclear war will result. Russia might accept whatever the demands of ‘the West’ are, and thus lose its national sovereignty. Otherwise, ‘the West’ (the U.S.leadership, and the leaderships in its allied countries) might quit their evermore-ominous threats, and simply withdraw from Russia’s borders, if Russia stands-its-ground and refuses to yield up its national sovereignty.
Basically, the U.S. leadership decided to take over Ukraine, and refused to acknowledge the rights of the Crimean people to reject being conquered by the U.S. — and Russia’s leadership decided toprotect them against the type of invasion that subsequently occurred in Ukraine’s former Donbass region, where the opposition to Obama’s coup was even more intense.
Supposedly, ‘the West’ is asserting that Russia is somehow in the wrong here; but, since even the head of Stratfor has called what Obama did in Ukraine “the most blatant coup in history”, and since the fact that it was a U.S. coup has been documented extensively on cellphone and other videos, and inthe most thorough academic investigation that has been performed of the matter — and was even acknowledged by Ukraine’s Petro Poroshenko, a participant in the coup, to havebeen a coup — and since evidence survives on the Internet of the U.S. Embassy’s preparations as early as 1 March 2013for the February 2014 coup; and since even the U.S. government’s hired polls showed that Crimeans rejected overwhelmingly the U.S. coup and supported rejoining Russia; the question still needs to be answered: What basis of ‘the West’s’ aggressive actions threatening Russia’s national security is there, other than such lies by the West, against Russia’s President? And, that’s a very worrisome basis — worrisome regarding, essentially, dictatorship in ‘the West’, rather than regardingany dictatorship outside ‘the West’. The dictatorship here seems clearly to be coming from the West,against the East.
Back in January, Russian President Vladimir Putin called-out American President Barack Obama on Obama’s big lie, that America’s “ABM” weapons to disable in-flight nuclear missiles were being installed in Europe in order to protect Europe against Iranian nuclear missiles, but now the U.S. acknowledges that Iran doesn’t have, and won’t have, any nuclear missiles, and yet Obama is stepping up (instead of ending) those ABM installations — even though the alleged anti-Iranian reason for them is gone. The only actual reason they have been installed, Putin argues, is in order to enable a blitz nuclear attack against Russia, which will include disabling Russia’s retaliatory capacity.
Any in-depth news-report about Obama’s organizing for a possible invasion of Russia, needs to deal, therefore, with the key question: What basis of ‘the West’s’ aggressive actions threatening Russia’s national security is there, other than such lies by ‘the West’? And, if there is no honest answer to it, then the only rational response by Western publics, to what Obama and his foreign allies are doing, is to recognize what is actually happening and to take action against their own leaders, before this increasingly high-stakes confrontation — of no benefit but only extremely high costs, to publics around the world — becomes terminal. In that instance, Western publics need to defend themselves against their own nation’s leaders. This is a situation that is frequently encountered in dictatorships.
The key questions are not being asked in the Western press; they are being ignored by it. Unless these questions are publicly dealt with — and soon — the answer, to them all, could well be terminal. Consequently, any ‘news’ medium that fails to address them is less than worthless; it is sheer propaganda that merely parades in the mask of being a ‘news medium’: the potentially terminal questions are then being ignored, and lies are promoted instead, which distract the public from the most urgent public-affairs issue of them all, in our era, not draw the public’s attention to that overriding international-affairs issue.
The closer that things are getting to a nuclear war, the more difficult becomes either side’s backing down from it — and this is especially the case with the aggressor (most especially when it falsely claims that it is being aggressed-against, and this is the reason why the lies urgently need to be exposed).
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.
Since 2011, Syria has fought desperately to hold itself together as a single, unified nation. Threatened from the beginning by the “Libya precedent,” Washington and its regional allies have openly conspired to divide up Syria as a consolatory objective upon failing to topple Damascus outright.
US policymakers, some of whom had previously played a role in laying out invasion and occupation plans for Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, have published numerous op-eds and entire policy papers regarding the planned partition of Syria.
It was hoped that the Syrian government could be pushed from Damascus and sent fleeing to Syria’s western provinces of Latakia and Tartus. From there, the US hoped to create a Saudi-Qatari-Turkish dominated central state with a Kurdish territory linked up with US-backed Kurds in northern Iraq. Forever divided against itself, Syria would never again function as a powerful ally of nearby Iran, Lebanon’s Hezbollah or Russia and distant China.
Russia’s intervention in Syria has all but prevented Damascus from falling. And while the Western media has attempted to claim the intervention has made little difference, so successful has it actually been that attempts by Turkey to establish its long-sought after “safe zone” in northern Syria have also all but evaporated.
Syrian troops backed by Russian airpower have moved from Latakia along Syria’s border with Turkey toward the now much reported-on A’zaz-Jarabulus corridor while another force pushes north from eastern Aleppo toward the Turkish border. Elsewhere, Syrian forces are securing Damascus, pushing Western-backed militants over their southernmost border with Jordan and pushing east toward Raqqa itself.
What is left?
What has been left for the US and its regional allies is a possible attempt to invade and occupy Syria’s northeast. The US has already been allegedly carrying out ground operations in this region supposedly in support of “Kurdish” and “Arab” forces that make up what it calls the “Syrian Democratic Forces.”
The U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported Friday that Russian experts had “arrived to explore” the Qamishli airport’s “readiness and to check what is needed to develop and use it” near the Turkish border. The report added that Russian warplanes were expected to use the airport in the “coming days and weeks.” Qamishli is located south of the Turkish border town of Nusaybin.
The US has even allegedly begun constructing, or rather restoring, an airstrip within Syrian territory. The BBC in its report Syria conflict: ‘US expanding air strip’ in Kurdish north claimed:
Satellite imagery appearing to show the US expanding a formerly disused air strip in Kurdish-controlled northern Syria has been seen by the BBC.
The images, from the security analysts Stratfor, show a runway near the town of Rmeilan being extended from 700m (half a mile) to 1.3km.
That would make it more suitable for a larger aircraft such as a Hercules.
A spokesman for the US Department of Defence said its small team in Syria needed “occasional logistical support”.
The US inviting itself into sovereign Syrian territory and creating a military base to supply its ground forces operating there without UN Security Council approval or invitation by the Syrian government sets a dangerous and unacceptable precedent. But assuming the United States has no interest in actually upholding the very international law it attempts to justify its numerous extraterritorial adventures with, what options does Syria have to head off what is a well-documented conspiracy to strip it of its own sovereign territory and expand from there toward Damascus itself?
The answer can be found in Qamishli, Syria, teetering near the Syrian border with Turkey and only 50 miles west of the US’ alleged airstrip in Rmeilan. Qamishli is the site of what is alleged to be a growing Russian presence, including a burgeoning airbase.
The International Business Times reported in their article US Forces Setting Up Base In Northern Syria Near Russian Forces In Qamishli Airfield: Report that:
…Russian experts had “arrived to explore” the Qamishli airport’s “readiness and to check what is needed to develop and use it” near the Turkish border. The report added that Russian warplanes were expected to use the airport in the “coming days and weeks.” Qamishli is located south of the Turkish border town of Nusaybin.
It would be the check to America’s latest, and perhaps final move in an overarching game the West has been sorely losing in Syria.
Check or Checkmate?
Russian forces, if they are indeed setting up in Qamishli, will establish a permanent bastion in Syria’s northeast. When inevitably Syrian forces cut off terrorists from their foreign supply routes and reestablish control over Syria’s largest cities back west, they will be able to reenter the northeast of their nation in force with Russian backing up to and including onto the doorstep of any illegal US occupation. There would be little the US could do to stop this, and no strategic or tactical means of “holding” territory already under the control of Syrian-Russian forces.
The US in this scenario is reduced to a trespasser coming up to an occupied house, unable to do anything else but leer through the window. While the US would surely be trampling the flowerbed outside the home, it would be unable to access anything of value within it.
Syria and Russia are displacing US ambitions to occupy Syria with physical forces that once in place will be difficult to remove. The US will come to the bargaining table with its “Syrian Democratic Forces” operating at the fringe of Syrian territory, with a Russian airbase standing between it and Syria’s interior. Meanwhile, the lion’s share of military victories against both Al Qaeda forces masquerading as the West’s “moderate fighters” and the “Islamic State” (IS) itself goes to Russia and Syria, not the US.
It is becoming increasingly difficult for the US and its allies to explain just what they are actually even doing in Syria besides perpetuating the war for as long as possible. It is clear that the only progress being made in Syria against the forces of extremism is being made by the long-chastised Syrian government and their Russian, Iranian, and Lebanese allies. It is also clear that remaining hurdles preventing the final restoration of peace and order in Syria is the US and its regional allies who insist on propping up armed groups opposed to the Syrian government, and direct threats and undermining by the US itself aimed at Damascus.
It should be abundantly clear that the US has lost the political war, the proxy war and now possibly checked in the “base war” as well. How much more the US wants to lose before withdrawing from yet another quagmire of its own creation depends on how much credibility the US believes it can still afford to lose as it pursues hegemony openly in front of an increasingly aware global public that has begun effectively fighting back.
Ulson Gunnar, a New York-based geopolitical analyst and writer especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.