Monday, April 10, 2017

Syria: What Do We Know

Assad had it wrapped up. Assad was looking secure. Hell, rebels were signing peace agreements, other rebels were evacuating Aleppo on buses, and even Trump and Tillerson said Assad's control and victory was a fait accompli.

Then an unverified gas attack with several child victims. Child victims don't work when it's European or American children dying at the hands of terrorists. They only work when the Empire can spend money on military toys to force regime change. Trump sent 59 missiles, not much different from Obama's normal actions, but these were lobbed at an Assad air force base.

Roughly one week was all it took for a policy to change and for a president that had campaigned on non-intervention to talk of intervention without clear details. But what do we know? I've been writing on Syria for years now. Sometimes to spotlight how the Saudis and Qataris want a pipeline, the Middle East map will be remade, the Israelis want Oded Yinon implemented, or that some want to use Syria to get to Iran. Conspiracy theory has become openly stated goals from the likes of Bill Kristol and Jennifer Rubin.

We know the interests all ready for intervention beyond the odd fight against ISIS while our partners support ISIS. We know that ISIS is weakened. We know the CIA and DoD are fighting a proxy war as their separately armed militias have even fought each other. We know now Syria has Russia, Iran and possibly China saying enough, and that further action will cause retaliation (the summer 1914 situation). We know that just a week ago, the US State Department and President Trump both said regime change was not a goal, but are now backing off that. We know Secretary of State Tillerson has a meeting with Russian Minister Lavrov next week.

The dark view is that the natsec community or deep state has nudged President Trump down a path of escalation and full on war in Syria. This comes with grim possibilities in the region as the Russians and Iranians have supersonic missiles that could overload and take out American ships in surrounding waters. The Straits of Hormuz could become a hot point, and what happens to the fragile American psyche if a carrier or destroyer is sunk and is flashed on the television screen 24/7 for a week? Nuke exchange? End of USG as its last shred of legitimacy collapses? The last one is a potential upside.

The lighter view is that this is an example of geopolitical brinkmanship as the Syria war looked to be wrapping up, and the Trump administration wanted something as leverage before the Tillerson-Lavrov meeting in Moscow next week. No 4D chess, more Nixonian mad bomber for this week's meeting.

Unless you're in the White House or have a trustworthy source, no one knows anything. There is the possibility that regime change could be redefined to "Assad lives out retirement in exile and a new coastal minority general hand-picked by the Kremlin that was loyal to Assad will be the new head of state". We could see Syria split as specific interests in the game want. Do not count this out as a coastal Assad led Syria still blocks the Saudi-Qatari pipeline. Assad was within his right to protect his regime from the outside funded and armed insurrection, and he was also the weasel that sheltered Iraqi insurgents that fought US soldiers in Iraq.

America will find out shortly what is in store. There is another set of things we know. We all know the on the ground force with the best intel and knowledge of Syrian fighting that is fighting ISIS is Assad's force. We know with American air support and American restriction of rebel supplying by Turkey/KSA/US State/CIA, Assad could mop them up quickly. We know America should be fighting with Assad not against him.

We also know that the civil war in Syria was part of the CIA/State Arab Spring project. America, the Gulf kingdoms, Turkey. Israel and the EU's culpability in this gruesome multiyear war is a black mark on the rotten history of America's global empire. We know that what America and its wealthy partners should do is find a peaceful resolution to the Syrian conflict, send those Syrian men too scared to fight back home, and pledge billions to rebuilding the Syria they destroyed. Historical sites thousands of years old are not coming back, but running water, working electricity and basic shelter are possible.

Syria has suffered enough. No war in Syria. Send reconstruction funds, not bombs, and leave Syria alone to try to rebuild what they lost.


peterike said...

Excellent common sense. So it will likely not work out the way you say it should.

Trump could be playing a more clever game, but it feels like he's just been rolled. To some extent, I wonder if exhaustion is playing a role. Trump was tireless in the campaign, an unstoppable machine. But the guy is 70 years old. It has to all have taken a toll. Not just the physical strain of the campaign, but the relentless attacks, assassination threats, attacks on his family, etc. Maybe he's just giving in on things because he's worn down and doesn't want to fight any more.

If so, at least there's a chance of a bounce-back.

Anonymous said...

The Syria missiles were momentous: It showed we couldn't vote our way out of the neocon timeline. We had no option.

Its not that Trump is suddenly Bush, just that there's no win-win. And Trump chose his side. That land and those oil profits are zero sum, and we're on the same team we always were.

We may not go to war, but the chain of events that will happen regardless is already written:

Syria will balkanize, puppet leaders installed, Israel will grab strategic land. Gulf state pipeline interests will get more and more of the European market and choke off the Russian economy. When Russia is sufficiently weakened, Iran can be messed with and regime changed. Once Iran is dominated an oil pipeline to East Asia can finally be western-controlled and Russia will be weakened even further. All the while NATO advances and begins to finish the balkanization of Russia that was already started, most notably in the gas rich Caspian basin region. Then regime change in what remains of Russia the neocon magnum opus.

The western corporate oligarchy will control all oil trade and strategic land between Europe and Asia no matter how much blood or injustice it takes and there is nothing we can do to stop it.

All justified with "dead babies" and "human rights violations" along the way to pacify the 100 IQ crowd.

Anonymous said...

Our economy may just be far too intertwined with the Israeli-Gulf State interests to switch teams.

As in, Trump may not have lied on the campaign or sold us out. He may not have known - might have been recently "persuaded" these interests have leverage over us and can crash our economy unless we give them their war.

In a weird way the "petrodollar" is the carrot and the stick. It enriches the country, but tethers it to the bloodthirsty islamo-ashkenaz alliance.

sykes.1 said...

Yes, regime change happened in Washington. Next time, bullets not ballots.

The bigger problem is that the neocons and Deep State seem intent on another Korean War. Removal of the Kim regime will require a few hundred thousand US troops on the ground and tens of thousands of US casualties. And it won't work unless China supports us. What is their price?

Robert What? said...

If the Israelis want "regime change" in Syria (and let's be honest: that is what this is all about) then let them take care of it. There is no gain for the US in deposing Assad. But there are great potential downsides including hundreds of thousands more Muslim refugees. (No one cares about the Christian refugees) But the Israelis don't care about more refugees because they know that is Europe's problem.

Alexandros HoMegas said...

I really doubt about a war with North Korea.

Anonymous said...

Robert What,

More refugees are not only not Israel's problem, they are BOON to Israel. The less mudslimes in "Greater Israel" the better for them.

The open secret is that at the end of this conflict, Israel will get some land as part of the Syrian "partition" plan.

It is disgusting that Trump is going along with this.