Exclusive: Meddling by the U.S. and its allies was supposed to topple the Assad regime in Syria and give Israel a freer hand, but instead has brought Iran and other adversaries to Israel’s border, a risky moment, says Daniel Lazare.
By Daniel Lazare
There’s a rumor going around that the Syrian civil war is finally winding down and that the Baathist government is nearing its goal of driving out thousands of ISIS-Al Qaeda head-choppers financed and supplied – directly or indirectly – by the U.S., Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and the other Persian Gulf oil monarchies.
It would be good news if true. But most likely it’s not. While one stage in the Syrian conflict is coming to an end, another is beginning, and this time the results could be even worse.
The reason is Israel, until now the odd man in the latest Mideast wars. Despite intervening sporadically on the rebel side in Syria, the Jewish state generally held itself aloof from the conflict in the belief that events were breaking its way regardless of whether it stepped in or not. After all, why go to war when your enemies are doing a fine job of tearing each other apart on their own?
With President Bashar al-Assad expected to step down eventually, Israel figured that it only had to wait and watch as a hostile regime collapsed under its own weight as it thrashed about unable to restore order to Syria. Never in the Arab-Israeli hundred years’ war had Israel seemed stronger and the Arabs weaker and in greater disarray.
But then the unthinkable happened. Assad not only survived but prevailed. Backed by Russia, Iran and the Lebanese Shi‘ite militia Hezbollah, he has bottled up Al Qaeda in East Ghouta and Idlib province in the extreme northwest and is racing to lift ISIS’s siege on Deir-Ezzor along the Euphrates. If successful, the effect will be to clear a path straight through to the Iraqi border some 30 miles to the east.
U.S. military enclaves may remain in the northeast and in the southern border town of Al-Tanf. But it’s hard to see how they’ll have much of an impact as the Damascus regime tightens its grip on the country as a whole.
But rather than making a wider war less likely, the upshot is to make it even more. Having bet on the wrong horse, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu now finds himself facing a nightmare scenario in which Iran takes advantage of Assad’s winning streak to extend its reach from Iraq and Syria into Lebanon beyond. It’s not just a question of political influence, but of the emergence of a powerful Iranian-led military bloc.
Eleven years after fighting a vicious 34-day war in southern Lebanon, Israel thus finds itself facing not only Hezbollah but the Syrian Arab Army, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards, and Iraqi Shi‘ite militias – all backed by Russian military might – in a front extending across its entire northern border. All are battle-hardened after years of combat, better armed, better led, and more self-confident to boot. Israel finds itself confronting a new threat that is many times more powerful than Hezbollah (or Syria) alone.
Israeli consternation is not to be underestimated. One news outlet says the official attitude is one of “grave concern” while an anonymous government minister heaped blame on the U.S. for sacrificing Israeli interests:
“The United States threw Israel under the bus for the second time in a row. The first time was the nuclear agreement with Iran, the second time is now that the United States ignores the fact that Iran is obtaining territorial continuity to the Mediterranean Sea and Israel’s northern border. What is most worrisome is that this time, it was President Donald Trump who threw us to the four winds – though viewed as Israel’s great friend. It turns out that when it comes to actions and not just talk, he didn’t deliver the goods.”
Netanyahu is meanwhile off to the Black Sea resort of Sochi to confer with Russian President Vladimir Putin while, in Washington, Israeli military and intelligence officials are meeting with top Trump officials such as National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster and special Mideast envoy Jason Greenblatt.
Israel has also engaged in saber-rattling with regard to a missile factory that it says Iran is building in the Syrian port city of Baniyas. Gadi Eisenkot, the Israeli military’s chief of staff, said that stopping efforts by Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah to equip themselves with accurate missiles capable of striking deep inside the Jewish state “is our top priority.”
Adds Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s hard-right defense minister: “We know what needs to be done…. We won’t ignore the establishment of Iranian weapons factories in Lebanon.”
Words like that should not be taken lightly. Meanwhile, influential neoconservatives are joining the me-too chorus. At the Atlantic Council – the hawkish Washington think tank partly funded by the United Arab Emirates and pro-Saudi interests that functioned as an arm of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign – former Obama administration official Frederic C. Hof recently argued that the U.S. wouldn’t be in such a pickle if it had invaded Syria years ago:
“A Syrian opposition recognized by Washington in December 2012 as the ‘legitimate representative of the Syrian people’ should have been tasked with preparing for post-ISIS governance, and assisted to that end by an American-organized, multi-national effort. An all-Syrian stabilization force should have been built in a protected eastern Syria to pacify the area, facilitate humanitarian aid, and spur reconstruction.”
But now the U.S. is seemingly “indifferent” to what comes next once Islamic State is gone. As a consequence, Hof said, the Trump administration is effectively “install[ing] Iran as Syria’s suzerain, with the Assad entourage sifting through the country’s ruins for spoils and setting the stage for successive waves and varieties of extremism arising in response.” The only solution, according to Hof, is a radical strategic change “to prevent Iran and Assad doing their worst for the security of the United States, its allies, and its partners.”
With the Zionists and their neocon yes-men agreeing that something must be done, it seems that something WILL be done sooner rather than later.
Of course, a few complications could get in the way. One involves Russian President Vladimir Putin who, despite his close alliance with Assad, enjoys a solid working relationship with Israel and is none too eager to see war break out between the two countries. Another is the Syrian government in Damascus, which, under the leadership of the careful and cautious Assad, is none too eager to rush into a conflict that could conceivably prove even more ruinous than the one it is trying to finish up.
A Sick Kingdom
But even sober politicians like Putin and Assad may be unable to cope with the forces raging across the Middle East. The sectarian war that the Saudis unleashed more than a decade ago with U.S, help shows no signs of letting up. The kingdom is mired in an anti-Shi‘ite crusade in Yemen that it is desperate to escape, but doesn’t know how. It has suppressed a Shi‘ite uprising in Awamiyah, a city of 25,000 people in its own oil-rich Eastern Province, killing dozens according to Iranian sources and flattening an entire neighborhood, but dissent continues to bubble up ominously.
Saudi Arabia also has imposed an economic blockade on Qatar, and it is backing a repressive regime in Bahrain that has imposed a reign of terror on the country’s 70-percent Shi‘ite majority. Riyadh continues to engage in a dangerous war of words with Iran, which the royal family believes is engaged in an Elders of Zion-like Shi‘ite conspiracy to dismember the kingdom and wrest away control of Mecca and Medina.
The more paranoid Saudi leaders become, the more threatening Saudi Arabia grows – and the more resolved Iran becomes to make the most of its victory in Syria by fulfilling the ancient Persian goal of opening a corridor to the Mediterranean Sea. Aggression on one side leads to counter-aggression on the other, a process of mutual escalation that seems impossible to reverse.
Finally, there is the question of political stability – or, rather, an increasing lack thereof. In Iran, newly re-elected President Hassan Rouhani is locked in a growing confrontation with hardline Shi‘ite Islamists with little appetite for compromise.
In Saudi Arabia, power is in the hands of Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, a rambunctious 31-year-old who launched the disastrous war in Yemen in March 2015 – and then disappeared on a vacation in the Maldives as U.S. officials tried desperately to reach him by phone – and who more recently unveiled an ambitious economic reform program that so far has done nothing to stem the kingdom’s alarming decline. Despite vows to diversify the economy, non-oil revenue actually shrank by 17 percent this spring while foreign reserves have fallen by nearly a third since 2014. But that didn’t stop MbS, as he’s known, from committing himself to $110 billion in U.S. arms purchases in May or his father, King Salman, from spending a reported $100 million on a summer vacation in Morocco.
Saudi Arabia is thus becoming the sick man of the Middle East, one whose collapse could trigger a “geopolitical tsunami” sweeping across much of the region.
Then there is the United States, where politics are even more unsettled. As President Trump careens from one disaster to another, foreign policy has grown both unpredictable and bellicose. One day, America’s second popular-vote-losing president in 16 years is calling for regime change in Tehran, the next he’s threatening Pyongyang with “fire and fury,” and then he’s blustering about some unspecified “military option” with regard to Venezuela.
The fact that Trump has so far demonstrated little follow-through is hardly reassuring. Sooner or later, rash rhetoric can only lead to rash actions, if not on America’s part then someone else’s. The shakier Trump grows, the greater the likelihood that he will engage in some risky adventure in order to strengthen his grip.
A number of forces are thus converging: political instability in Tehran, Riyadh and Washington, a growing thirst for more war on the part of Israel and the U.S. foreign-policy establishment, and a growing defensiveness on the part of a “Shi‘ite crescent” stretching from Yemen to southern Lebanon. The United States, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and others have already plunged Syria into death and destruction by sponsoring a murderous Sunni Salafist assault on one of the most diverse populations in the Middle East. The big question now is whether, with Israeli help, they are about to impose another.
Given the vicious cycle of violence in the Middle East, one that the U.S. has done its level best to worsen at every step of the way, it’s hard not to believe that even worse may be ahead.
Daniel Lazare is the author of several books including The Frozen Republic: How the Constitution Is Paralyzing Democracy (Harcourt Brace).
You’ve got this backwards. Let’s just look at the chessboard: in 2011, a Syrian army 350,000 strong with 3500 tanks and 400 warplanes sat on the border. Now, how many? Assad would be lucky to muster 20,000 troops in the actual Syrian army; his population is down by half; the number of operational warplanes available to him- non-Russian- can be counted on the fingers of two hands.
And as for the Iranians and Hezbollah units in the country, compared to the Israelis, they are practically unarmed. No tanks, no aircraft, no personnel carriers, no artillery. They are extremely useful for beating down an equally poorly armed rebellion. But they are not an army in the modern sense.
This is a threat?
Syria is destroyed. It won’t rise again for at least a half a century. The Iranians, if the war is won, will go home, as will Hezbollah, and count their losses.
Assad, Iran, and Hezbollah will all be far too busy over the next ten years dealing with pacifying the wreck of Syria and Iraq and snuffing out ISIS to have any interest in Israel.
Israel won this war. The only thing they can do to lose it is try to overplay their hand- and bounce the rubble.
This opinion puts you squarely in the minority, for most everybody else believes Israel was a big loser.
“Most everybody else” includes Israel.
After decades of examining the claims of Israel and of my own US Government that Iran is a leading sponsor of terrorists and an aggressive threat to world peace, I have yet to see any significant evidence supporting those claims. This article certainly does not provide any. No doubt both the Israeli government and my Government are disappointed and distressed that their plans for undermining and overthrowing the Syrian government are not being fulfilled, but why should I be disturbed? Is it really credible that Iran is creating a military alliance that poses an existential threat to the US or Israel? Give me a break.
It is my opinion that Saudi Arabia realizes that its oil economy is doomed; and that therefore, they must invent a new economy. The Israeli and American interests have promised to help Saudi Arabia in this quest —-IF and only if, Saudi Arabia performs service by becoming the new jerks of the Mid East, taking the heat off of the Israelis. Another grand strategy by our “smart-assed” State Dept. people – the same people who advised our military in Iraq to start blowing up mosques to ignite a Sunni/Shi-ite inter-tribal war. That was our glorious “surge” then, and this Saudi Arabian misbehavior is our “last chance surge” now. I hope it fails.
Yes, it has.
We have statements going back to that bloated, corrupt killer, Sharon, advocating America do something about a whole list of countries, including Syria.
He included, over and over, Iran, and that fact is certainly the greatest potential future threat for the Mideast.
There is some talk about Israel and Saudi Arabia directly intervening in Syria.
This would be completely unacceptable to most of the world.
But Netanyahu is nothing more than a violent gangster, one now teamed up with a Saudi tyrant, so it could happen.
Would Russia stand by and watch this happen after all their heroic efforts?
While Netanyahu may be a violent gangster, he is but one in a country of millions like him. I see the attempts by the media in Israel to blame everything wrong in Israel on him, including the indictment for corruption, as if, if only he were to be removed, Israel would once again smell as sweet as a rose. Baloney! Netanyahu represents the evil that is Israel. Take him out and the next thug will fill his shoes.
Getting rid of Netanyahu won’t make a damn bit of a difference. Getting rid of Israel and its cronies in congress will change the world.
This can’t be good news to the wreckers of the Middle East.
If the author’s conclusions are true, it’s the best news I’ve heard in a long time.
“which the royal family believes is engaged in an Elders of Zion-like Shi‘ite conspiracy to dismember the kingdom and wrest away control of Mecca and Medina.”
I find this hard to believe. Maybe they say they believe this, but my understanding is that this is the true underlying aim of ISIS: to wrest control of Mecca and Median away from the House of Saud, because the ISIS people are even more fundamentalist than the Saudis. so, how come the Saudis are funding ISIS? And, havene’t the Saudis prevented Shiites from traveleing to Mecca, thus preventing them from performing one of the necessary rituals of a Muslim?
Someone should get rid of the Saudis ASAP—then we might see a much nicer version of Islam taking over!!
Maybe if Israel was more dishonest, and lied more, and maybe if Israel could build more buffer zones, and more steal land to expand its’ borders, and maybe if they bought more foreign politician’s at above wholesale prices, and maybe if Israel could increase its’ control to every media stream, and maybe if they killed more Palestinian children, and maybe if the can talk the USA into going to war against Iran, and maybe if Israel uses the pictures of dead babies trick again, it’s always good for donations, well maybe then Netanyahu could gt some rMaybe. Just saying…maybeest.
Dear Dan. Since in your 1st sentence containes the lie or the bullshit that Syria is in a “civil war. Fucikng fake news and pro Israeli propaganda. You, sir, are part of the Problem!
Donald jr and Eric Trump are of military eligible age, in their 30s. I wonder why they don’t enlist to go fight our incessant wars abroad? Obama has a daughter who can serve in our military. Clintons daughter was too. Yet we don’t see them ‘fighting for our country’. Because we aren’t fighting for our country.
Israel occupies, has essentially annexed, a part of Syria, the Golan Heights with its valuable water sources and freely violates Syrian territory to bomb non-Isis, Syrian government military installations at will. Israel benefited when The US destroyed Iraq based on deceptions and lies and benefited again when NATO destroyed Libyan stability, and relative prosperity, under Gaddafi to turn that country into a failed state run by warlords and terrorists who send desperate migrants on to Europe. It is Israel which would benefit from any war against Iran that is continuously threatened by US neocons. Concomitantly, Israel occupies Palestinian territory and holds hostage some two million Palestinians in the barbed wire prison of Gaza. As a result of these invasions, occupations and annexations, Israel has solidified its position as the most powerful military in the region and the only one possessing nuclear weapons. The US has gained nothing and lost much, including blood and treasure, from its Middle East wars which are not being fought for any American advantage but for the benefit of others.
We’ve reached a point of absolute “post-reality” here in the West. The U.N. rubber stamps imperial invasions on behalf of the West’s empire led by the U.S. Human rights groups like Amnesty International, spread pro-regime change war propaganda on behalf of these wars, i.e. “Iraq incubator babies,” “Gaddafi’s Viagra fueled rape camps.” Corporate media throughout the West repeat such baseless war propaganda, and even “progressive media” like Democracy Now get into the act. The vast majority of Western media now work ceaselessly to create a false reality in which any challenge to the official narratives of empire gets one labeled “Putin’s useful idiot,” etc. That anyone would or could believe a single word coming out of these various Western institutions is beyond comprehension at this point. We are being lied to non-stop, 24/7 by collections of individuals so amoral, violent and unconcerned with human or planetary welfare that we need not speculate about the possibility of a “dystopian future.” That “future” is here and now for much of the planet! Pretending to ourselves that the violent chaos being sown by our psychopathic empire in the Middle East is about our leaders “failing to learn from our mistakes” is willful self-deception. When such “mistakes” are repeated decade, after decade, only those choosing not to see what is in front of them can label such behavior as anything but what it is: “imperial policy” plain and simple. Devoid of ethical concerns and moral compass, devoid of any basic human compassion, our policy makers and their “full spectrum dominance” philosophy are simply the current delusional manifestation of Hitler’s “Thousand Year Reich.” We U.S. citizens play the role of the German public, knowing that barbarity is being conducted in our names, but to fearful to make our voices heard. “Home of the free and the brave” – indeed.
Gary – so well said! The propaganda is purposeful and the perpetual wars are too. Planned, engineered, manufactured – not “mistakes”. Thank you, Gary.
Hmmm, who could do diplomacy in Israel and Palestine? Jared Kushner, or the diplomatic corps? I go with jared any day, because when he says he loves you , he goes to Jared.
Another ‘phase’ may not happen if Russia decides it won’t tolerate another US/Israel attempt at ‘regime change’. It’s risky but they may be able to draw a line here, with (political) support from China. I hope so, for the sake of the Syrian people.
For the sake of all of us.
I may be blowing hot air here, for what I know about international finance you block-print with a crayon on an 8×10″ sheet of paper. That said, here goes.
“Russia pays off balance of Soviet Union’s foreign debt “
Russia has been diligent about establishing a reputation of paying its debts. Next:
Russia is trying really hard to get established as having a sound currency. This is why it isn’t likely that gold is going to ever drop to low levels, for Russia and China seem to be buying every speck of the metal which is sold at their “bids”. Finally:
Speculation: What if this alternative of SWIFT is turned into a competitor of the original? Taking down the almighty dollar would hurt the US about as bad as anything I can imagine. “Come deal with us” would be the pitch, and a sound Russian financial system along with backing from China wouldn’t be any kind of drawback!
This currency war is an inevitable consequence of capitalism, as are all kinds of war and criminal activity. Capitalism and honesty and peace do not mix.
the definition of peace is freedom from disturbance…….disturbance is the norm in 3d 4d space time….period. to embrace a false hope of “peace” goes against the reality of nature……..
Just 8 men on this planet own the same amount of wealth as the poorest 3.6 billion people do, but everybody wants to talk about this war and that politician instead of about how we could fix all our greatest problems at once by taking the harm out of capitalism with a just cap on personal fortunes.
Exactly. I second your motion! Now we need to get others to join in. The oligarchs may not wish to join in. What to do about that? Aye, there’s the rub………….
A cap on personal fortunes is a fine idea, and a cap on incomes, or very heavy taxation above some more than adequate income like 150K. I mentioned this in a library discussion group of twenty a while back, and two right wingers left the library in furious agreement to stop this subversion of the essence of their world.
$150K? That is subsistence wages here in California!
Good article by Thierry Meyssan on the arms/weapons pipeline:
“Over the last seven years, several billion dollars’ worth of armament has been illegally introduced into Syria – a fact which in itself is enough to disprove the myth according to which this war is a democratic revolution. Numerous documents attest to the fact that the traffic was organised by General David Petraeus, first of all in public, via the CIA, of which he was the director, then privately, via the financial company KKR with the aid of certain senior civil servants.
Thus the conflict, which was initially an imperialist operation by the United States and the United Kingdom, became a private capitalist operation, while in Washington, the authority of the White House was challenged by the deep state. New elements now show the secret rôle of Azerbaïdjan in the evolution of the war.”
A private capitalist operation!
“The arms transported to Afghanistan were delivered to the Talibans, under the control of the US, which is pretending to fight them. Those delivered to Pakistan were probably destined to commit Islamist attacks in India. We do not know who were the final recipients of the arms delivered to the Republican Guard of President Sassou N’Guesso in the Congo, or those delivered to South Africa under President Jacob Zuma. The main arms dealers were the US firms Chemring (already mentioned), Culmen International, Orbital ATK (also mentioned) and Purple Shovel.”
Note the line: “which is pretending to fight them”. The weapons were sent from all over the world to Azerbaïdjan, who then used “diplomatic flights” (which are exempt from being searched) to get the weapons to the terrorists in Syria and Iraq. So you can’t physically search “diplomatic flights”, but these flights are still supposed to supply explicit details of the cargo transported.
“However, at the request of the US State Department, at least Afghanistan, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Bulgaria, Congo, the United Arab Emirates, Hungary, Israël, Pakistan, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Turkey and United Kingdom closed their eyes to this violation of international law, just as they had ignored the CIA flights to and from their secret prisons.”
Lots of moolah being made!
And those smart and industrious Syrians who had the government-funded and Soros-funded NGO’s knocking on their doors, convincing them to sell their homes and businesses and flee to Europe, will once again return to Syria. Home is home, after all.
The elite tried their best to steal Syria’s best and brightest, to leave the country with nothing. If you lose your doctors, nurses, university professors, engineers, you’re running on empty. These people are now returning.
Hopefully Syria, with the help of the West, can rebuild an even brighter future, along with Iraq and Yemen.
But just think of the riches that the arms dealers and weapons manufacturers (along with politicians, ex-generals, etc.) raked in during this chaos. Fortunes were made. In their minds, as with Madeleine Albright, it was all worth it.
With help from the West?? Haven’t we “helped” enough already? With helpers like these…..
mike k – money, your tax dollars.
Yesterday I read an article that stated that Erdogan and Syria had met and Turkey was now on Syria’s side (well, not on Syria’s side, but no longer fighting against Syria). No doubt Erdogan is ticked off about the U.S. favoring of the Kurds, but even more, he’s reading the writing on the wall – Russia, Iran and Syria are kicking butt.
It was all a big gamble by the U.S., Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, Turkey, Israel to take out Assad, and it has failed.
And, gee, maybe when history is written, we just might find that Trump had his hand in this. Maybe, just maybe, he told the Saudis to get out of Syria, stop arming the terrorists, and make amends with Iran. Maybe he told Erdogan that the U.S. is no longer going to be funding ISIS and trying to take out Assad.
Maybe Trump bombed an empty runway in Syria, bellowed at North Korea, mega-bombed a virtually-empty part of Afghanistan, and is sending more troops into Afghanistan in order to placate the neocons. l mean, he can’t pull out of Afghanistan, can he? The arms/drug dealers would have a hissy fit. They need their fix.
Israel is the only one turning purple from anger. Expect a major false flag event in three, two, one.
Yeah. And maybe Trump is an Angel dancing on the head of a pin.
mike k – don’t you find the timing a little coincidental, mike? I mean, the terraists were winning and then suddenly they weren’t? What happened?
The Saudis are talking to Iran? What? Turkey is getting out of Syria? The U.S. are no longer aiding the terraists? What?
One thing I’ve discovered about pins, Mike: they can burst little bubbles.
God is a Real Estate developer – with offices ’round the nations – they say one day He’ll liquidate his holdings up on high – I say it’s all speculation
The Lord Almighty, Limited – with his chosen elect – sit on the Up On High Development Board quoting the bible as they hoard – the Good Book has a new look I suspect
So save one last dance for the Savior – when that final Hail Mary is said – Life is a dancehall – that’s why we’ve got all those
little angels dancing round with pinheads
apologies to Michelle Shocked – mike k made me do it – and anyway it feels like we tragicomedic humans are so close to auto-annihilation we’ll save God the trouble of having to liquidate “his holdings”
Or maybe Trump didn’t do any of those things. Seriously, links or it didn’t happen.
Drogon – yeah, right after you provide links on Russiagate. Too coincidental to not have had something to do with Trump. What, the neocons, after years of trying to overthrow Assad, just decided to pull out because they’d rather go bowling? Saudi Arabia is talking to Iran because it missed its company?
The thing is that no one knows for sure what went on. If you can speculate, then so can I. At least mine fits a timeline – occurring during Trump’s presidency.
b-e is voicing reasonable speculation on Trump intentions, given the oddities of recent events that cannot yet be explained. There are certainly grounds to wonder at the seeming abandonment of Syria operations, and the KSA-Iraq/Iran approach, We are all sufficiently familiar with events to need no links there.
The author hasn’t been keeping up with the news on this.
“Israel Struck Syrian and Hezbollah Arms Convoys Nearly 100 Times in Five Years, Top General Says”
Haaretz Aug 17, 2017 10:33 AM
The little shithole of a nation-state is outraged that Syria wasn’t destroyed as per instructions.
The wonderful Nobel Peace Laureate Obama made sure Holy Israel got some US bombs to take care of situations like this.
“U.S. Quietly Supplies Israel With Bunker-Busting Bombs”
NYT SEPT. 23, 2011
This “Nobel” person also made sure Iraq didn’t get any airplanes to defend against the ISIS takeover of much of that nation.
with Israel using the whip hand it holds over all US political institutions, and with that thieving and murderous little place mixing gasoline and matches at every opportunity, I believe that “worse” is a very safe prediction.
Saudi Arabia has asked Iraq to be the mediator between itself and Iran. If this is an accurate report, then this is good news.
“The government of Saudi Arabia has sought the help of Iraq’s prime minister to mend relations between Riyadh and Tehran, according to news reports.
Citing Qasim al-Araji, Iraq’s interior minister, the Iraqi satellite channel Alghadeer reported that Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, had asked Haider al-Abadi to lead the mediation with Iran.
“During our visit to Saudi Arabia, they also asked us to do so, and we said that to [the] Iranian side. The Iranian side looked at this demand positively,” Araji was quoted as saying by Alghadeer on Sunday.
“After the victories that Iraq has achieved, it [Saudi Arabia] began looking to Iraq, at its true size and leading role.
“The calm and stability and the return of relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia have positive repercussions on the region as a whole. […]
The Iranian news agency ISNA quoted Araji in Farsi as saying that Mohammed bin Salman wanted to “ease tensions” with Iran.”
From the article it appears that Russia, Syria, Iran, and Hezbollah are doing just fine. As for the “political instability” in Iran, it is not as unstable as one would believe since the three factions that are vying for power in that nation have been doing so for many years and so far there has been no political collapse, probably due in large part to the cultural traditions that act as a set of constraints.
Israel has little choice but to accept the growing new status quo. It cannot begin a new conflict without causing serious reactions in Lebanon, Syria, Iran, and Hezbollah, let alone Moscow. The US population has no interest in the current conflicts and even less for any new ones and even if the US tried to ratchet up the tensions again, what proxy forces would the US then use?
The author also forgot to mention Turkey, which is leaning towards increased cooperation with Russia while at the same time cutting off support for its ISIS proxies as a condition.
Economically Israel is increasing bad straits as BDS takes an increasing toll while its political infrastructure is beginning to hemorrhage considering that Israel has spent its entire existence benefiting from the capabilities of its US benefactor while increasingly becoming a right-winged institutional dictatorship to not only the Palestinians, as it has for 60+ years, but now also to its own people as the international Jewish Community begins to deteriorate from large scale inter-marriage and disinterest, especially among millennial Jews. Fortunately, for the rest of the entire world, there may be very little real alternatives for Israel but to begin to accept that it may have to exist as a second rate military power considering that most of the military hardware it receives from the US is mostly junk when compared to the modern and advanced equipment that Russia has at its disposal.
Finally, the author fails to mention the fact that the Israeli IDF is not now and never has been a “world class” military. All of the IDF’s operations have been against second rate military opponents with the exception of the Jordanian troops in 1948, Egypt in 1973, who nearly defeated the Jewish State, and defenseless civilians. No military becomes combat experienced from such operations.
as a result the combat hardened Iranian troops serving in Syria, the Syrian Arab Army, as well as Hezbollah Units have become quite lethal militarily in comparison to Israel’s troops…
Very good points from Steve N. I spoke to a US military officer who observed Israeli forces up close in Lebanon till they finally withdrew in 2000. He had very favourable expectations, but this deteriorated into something like contempt, describing them as “tenth rate.” Particularly scathing of general indiscipline towards civilians who were initially quite well disposed towards them. Robbing and assaulting people at check points. Molesting women. Breaking into people’s homes and stealing. A particular “party piece” of Israeli troops was defecating inside people’s homes and using them as a toilet. Killing people without any cause. Kidnapping people and trying to threaten and blackmail them into becoming informants. Kidnapping young children to use as human shields. If this was intended to generate terror and crush any resistance, it didn’t work. Civilians lost any fear they had and just felt hatred for them. They took them on at every opportunity and drove them out.
Interestingly, Israeli/ Jewish people said the worst problem in Israel comes from orthodox/ fanatical Jews v. “ordinary” Jews. Orthodox Jews move into an area and try to impose their beliefs on everybody else. Tell people they can’t drive their cars on a Saturday, vandalise their cars if they ignore them. Tell shopkeepers they have to close on Saturday, smash their windows and throw dog dirt inside the shops if they refuse. Storm up to a parent who has taken his little daughter into a children’s playground because there are little boys aged 3-4 there. Jews sometimes drive out these fanatics with violence if they try to settle in an area.
Yeah, the same can be said of Bloomingburg, New York.
What a disaster. When will the rank and file ever recognize the criminality of their political parties and their corporate masters?
Useful idiots one and all!
Exactly. I think Mossad will organize such a bestial false flag, that USA will be all for war with “Assad”. Very possible that they will kill children for this. A lot of them. Babies.
How I hope that I am not right! But zionists are not intelligent, they will continue to use their “false flag + MSM” tool. One wonder if they are people at all.
I’m sure Little Princess Shiksa “let’s bomb Syria, daddy” Ivanka can be relied on to deliver the goods.
Don’t you just love it when a plan comes together? Chalk up another rip roaring success for the Neocons and the Kosher Nostra to add to all the others.
It doesn’t really matter what Trumpenstein decides. Maybe one or other of the feuding factions that passes for the US government will just start one on their own account. The Pentagon will decide to “accidentally” bomb somebody again. Or our Saudi friends will decide to start yet another war. The last ones have worked out so well. Or maybe a few false flags from our Zionist or Turkish friends. We can always rely on them to get things going.
I apologize for being off topic, but I have to state that in the most recent issue of the Nation magazine they actually buy right into the canard that the Kremlin hacked/interfered in our 2016 presidential election. They go on to virtually malign those of us who actually spout the truth and have facts on our side (VIPS report, etc.) that no such election meddling by Moscow occurred.
Drew: I quit subscribing to Nation about eight years ago when it starting inching towards the New York Establishment ‘s ideology. So is Amy Goodman. All those Brooklyn, New York Foundations who support them are what they are.
Excellent points Dave P.
I have decided to pull back on teh The Nation
I became quite disenchanted last summer with their lauding of attempts to obstruct Trump’s rallies.
Since then I have found them to be more and more predictable and annoying.
For years I gave gift subs to various friends and family
This year I have decided not to do this anymore. I’ll maintain my own sub to keep an eye on what the left is saying over there. It is a shame that the one person who has spoken some common sense in connection with Trump is Stephen Cohen, married to Katrina van den Heuvel, of the Nation. Apparently he cannot get any of his [oints across Nation editors and columnists. Katha Pollitt has become for me one of the most annoying.
It seems the pseudo-left has been given instructions to promote the notion that the zionist entity is about to intervene and “clean up the mess” in Syria and even Lebanon. Over at the ever nauseating CounterPunch a writer a few days ago shilled a preposterous scenario where Hezbollah was to be “destroyed” along with bombing on “both sides if the Syria/Lebanon border” by the ” super-army” of the zionist entity. This article by Daniel Lazare is more if the same. So after the murky vague certainty of your prediction could you give us a detailed scenario of how the supersoldiers of the zionist entity will carry this out? Remember, Dan, you said action was soon, even imminent.
The “‘ever nauseating Counterpunch”? No wonder you find the investigative articles here repugnant. You just can’t handle the truth.
Counterpunch is now as loathsome and nauseating as the Soros funded Faux Left Amy Goodman and Democracy Now. You just have to follow the money. Our Hebrew friends had their butts kicked the last two occasions they tried to “destroy Hezbollah.” They don’t really have much appetite for Round Three. They’d rather get their thirty shekel goy whores in Congress to get the US to act as their dumb muscle again and do it for them.
“Counterpunch is now as loathsome and nauseating as the Soros funded Faux Left Amy Goodman and Democracy Now.”
I can understand how a fan of Stormfront might feel that way.
Never heard of Stormfront, just don’t like Soros and his paid stooges in the Faux Left.
No, I have been wondering at some of the articles I have seen at CounterPunch recently.
Is somethinggoing on there?
They do seem to be parroting a lot of MSM BS.
Also, there is no comment function at CP, so their assertions just sit there with no reality checking or discussion from readers.
Why do you post here? This is an investigative journalists site like Counterpunch. Do you expect a lot of right wing BS on either of these sites? Why don’t you take your altright stuff somewhere it is more appreciated? Or is someone paying you to dis this site?
I should be so lucky. I could do with the money. No, I just call out garbage for what it is. Completely free of charge.
This is indeed a site for investigative journalists. Very good ones, for the most part. That is precisely why it does not deserve to be compared with a detestable leftist propaganda mill like Counterpunch. I find it odd that you choose to post here. Mark is a venerable poster here and I find many of his posts informed and useful.
I was a regular follower of Counterpunch site, until they went the way of Huffpo and others and made a hard new-left turn. So sad, but nothing lasts forever.
mike k is quite right: Counterpunch is a site with some diversity of opinion and many intelligent articles. It varies from center-left (once center in the mass media) to somewhat further left (once center-left). There are some articles that appeal only to the left, which I do not read. Those who dislike them all are extreme rightwing, come here only to disrupt, and would be disrupting CounterPunch if they allowed comments.
“I was a regular follower of Counterpunch site, until they went the way of Huffpo…”
Sure you were.
Counterpunch hasn’t changed since I became a regular follower in the 1990’s.
Possibly you linked to one of Alexander Cockburn’s contrarian articles on climate-change from Drudge, or someplace similar.
“On August 23, Vladimir Putin will meet in Sochi with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who will be in Russia on a working visit.” – http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/55386
I believe the PM is taking the head of Mossad with him.
Should be an interesting meeting.
Sure glad that the U.S. sold weapons to everyone and his brother in the region – that is – those weapons they just didn’t give away outright. And now we have a complete moron in charge of the U.S, whose understanding of much beyond the chocolate cake on his plate is non-existent. Oh, and Hillary! My God, we wouldn’t want a woman with a brain in office, would we? Doesn’t conform with our political prejudices and idiocy.
As long as the brain in question was not soaked in evil, I for one would welcome a female President – like Jill Stein.
Stein (like all third party candidates in the US) was a vanity candidate.
And voters for Stein (and any other third party candidate) were vanity voters who like to delude themselves into thinking that (in some small way) they aren’t responsible for the horror the US subjects much of the rest of the world to.
We get to choose the lesser-of-two-evils in presidential elections- most voters understand that by their 18th birthday.
NOT so. Stein was on at least 95% of the ballots. 95%. 95%. 95%. Stein, Johnson, Trump, Clinton ALL had a chance to win. People like YOU chose to play another round of lesser of two evils, sinking us further into evil. Own it, Mr. BS.
I do own it.
It’s the people who pretend that their hands are clean with their third-party vanity votes that don’t.
I proudly voted for Stein! Killary is a joke. Ian done with voting for the lesser of two evils!
“I proudly voted for Stein!” = ‘I wished for a unicorn!’
Who says she’s the lesser? You think it’s impossible to be more evil than Trump? We could be at war with Russia and China right now.
Just today I read that a Massachusetts state Representative switched to independent because 2/3 of her constituency is independent.
Do the math. 1/3 of the people in her district identify with old-fashioned demonicans or repulsocrats..
Gosh, an anecdote.
You convinced me.
Huh? This is not making sense.
If you register “independent” in Massachusetts, that means you are a member of a minuscule party, the Independent Party. It doesn’t mean you are an independent in the commonly understood, generic meaning of the word (politically speaking). AFAIK the Independent Party doesn’t hold primaries, and if you are registered Independent, you can’t vote in any primary.
If you want the choice of deciding which primary to vote in in Mass, depending on which primary is more important to you at the time, you must register as “unenrolled.”
Furthermore, the maths in Garrett’s comment are not making sense to me. How about some documentation of these assertions? Which Mass rep.? Which district?
i refuse to play the lesser of 2 evils game anymore. Now thst are voting is controlled bye homeland security we will never have a say who is elected cause they control everything now. so the lesser of the 2 evil wont matter cause are vooting system is now controlled even more
@ BobS: “And voters for Stein (and any other third party candidate) were vanity voters who like to delude themselves into thinking that (in some small way) they aren’t responsible for the horror the US subjects much of the rest of the world to. … We get to choose the lesser-of-two-evils in presidential elections- most voters understand that by their 18th birthday.”
I don’t see it that way. The lesser of two evils meme is a logical fallacy. Those who fall for it are responsible for the drift of the Democratic Party to the right. Only costing a major party an election will move it in the direction you want it to go. So long as you can be counted on to vote for the lesser of two evils, you’re part of the problem not its solution. See my essay on the topic at https://relativelyfreepress.blogspot.com/2014/08/the-lesser-of-two-evils-is-still-evil.html
“Oh, and Hillary! My God, we wouldn’t want a woman with a brain in office”… Hillary’s brain is programmed by remote control. Whether it be a loose cannon or a guided missile, civilization is threatened with destruction.
I think the Sexism card is overplayed i’m for a women president but hillary is a monster. she is a corporate shill. and trump is just as bad. we need real candidates ones that actually work for the people not company’s
While reading this excellent Daniel Lazare article, it came to me that the Islam religion is a way of controlling people — controlling the populace. (Most everyone here already knew that. This just indicates how much a novice-to-this is learning!) My next thought was that Wahhabism is the strictest of all the Muslim religions and that it’s the goal of Saudi Arabia to make sure that Wahhabism is “installed” in Syria and elsewhere. After some interesting research and learning more about “control of the masses via religion,” I happened upon an article by Allistair Crooke (one of our favorites here) at Huffington Post. It’s titled: You Can’t Understand ISIS If You Don’t Know the History of Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alastair-crooke/isis-wahhabism-saudi-arabia_b_5717157.html (I was glad to see Huffington Post published Mr. Crooke.)
I am religious, a Christian, and I do not agree with many of the articles I read today on the subject of “religious control,” but advocate everyone’s being a free moral thinker and agent. Also, respect for “right of conscience,” without attempt to influence others, “doing unto other as you would have them do unto you”! Neither Islam nor the Wahhabi sect has a monopoly on controlling through religion; it’s something everyone should be alert to. Therefore, I say unto you, “Watch!”
In terms of mind control and causing harm in the world, some “Christians” need to take a good look at their own religion’s horrific historical record. Notice that I do not say that all Christians share this distorted understanding and use of the “Prince of Peace’s” message. Having practiced with a Sufi Guide for some years, I also know that some Islamists practice a distorted and evil form of their religion, but not all, thanks be to Allah! And praise be to God!
BTW I do not identify with any specific religion myself. You could say that I embrace the truth to be found in parts of all of them, but don’t choose to privilege any particular one. The sources of my spirituality are legion, and many are outside of what most would consider “religion”.
Belief in an afterlife is already clear evidence of psychosis. Eliminate that false belief and you are forced to deal with the reality of existence as a one-time ephemeral thing and so would concentrate on making it as peaceful and equable as possible for all involved.
Begin the morning by saying to thyself, I shall meet with the busybody, the ungrateful, arrogant, deceitful, envious, unsocial. All these things happen to them by reason of their ignorance of what is good and evil.
— The Meditations
By Marcus Aurelius
Translated by George Long
More about Marcus Aurelius: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marcus_Aurelius
Great comment, and yes mankind should center their thoughts, and actions, around nature.
Mike K, I know! — I’ve picked up on your ideas, your beliefs, that you’ve had a Sufi Guide, that you practice and believe in love. I appreciate that, and many things you say I agree with. A little caveat in what you said, however, that “…you don’t choose to privilege any particular one [religion/group/sect]. It’s just that most people might say — I would say in fact — that “I” am privileged to be a part of _________[whatever]. I can’t think that I’m doing the privileging but I am the privileged; that is, that the something is greater than I myself. That’s my take.
All religions can be and probably are to some extent a means of control, including Christianity, but that is not how the Master Christian taught and illustrated it. I said as much in my post above when I said, “Neither Islam nor the Wahhabi sect has a monopoly on controlling through religion; it’s something everyone should be alert to.” My epiphany this morning was recognizing the intentionality of a government to control a whole populace through a state religion that would punish severely any citizen who was not in strict compliance with its restrictive religious teachings. A government’s obvious easiest and best means of control! (So obvious that I wonder how I could not have thought of it before! I’m sure I knew it, but hadn’t put it all together.) The difference in my mind was and is — if one sincerely believes something, one wants to be obedient to it. If one wants to control others, then he tries to make them sincerely believe something, and that there will be punishment (corporeal, or after death, or rewards after death) if they don’t adhere to it. I grew up with an emphasis on the separation of church and state. We need to cherish that, because greed, power and corruption in government will take your beliefs and use them against you. Power in the hands of tyrants is capable of anything.
“..the Islam religion is a way of controlling people..”
Religion is a way of controlling people.
Yes, please drop your tithing in the ushers basket.
I agree that Islam seeks submission and is a tool to control the population. However, I think it is important to add historical context to your conclusions. First, as I understand history, the Church is not inherently tolerant, but rather a secular enlightenment movement by Voltaire, Rousseau, Locke which changed the philosophical outlook of Western society. Second, the UK and US Empire’s make a deliberate policy to promote and align with the most draconian strains of Islam, as a means to upend any sort of stability in the Muslim world; this is not an accident; the House of Saud was installed by the UK and is now the US’s strongest ally. It does not choose to support stable secular intellectuals who would responsibly run their countries in a sane way, because such rational stable regimes, would pose a threat to their hegemony and control of resources in the area; In fact, I would argue based upon the past couple of decades, that chaos and hell on earth is exactly what the Christianity has in mind for Muslim countries.
It is clear as the nose on everyone’s face that what we have been experiencing is a Christian and Jewish war against Islam. These wars drive and create extreme behavior in societies. Hitler, Stalin, Mao and A-bombs, all came after decades long wars in which millions of people died. What you are witnessing is not a normal Islam during times of peace, but Islamic nations under siege, and dont forget Islam was created by a former warriors who knows how to organize society to fight back. Whether it was his chief purpose in creating the religion is a debatable topic in which I am by no means qualified to answer.
“what the Christianity has in mind for Muslim countries.” is not in the mind of the Man Jesus.
He is the one in whom those who receive His gift of salvation put their trust.
He is not interested in “religion”. He made that clear to the Hebrews of old.
He certainly doesn’t side with those members of the Anglo-American Empire who have been busy annihilating one Arab (Muslim) country after another since they first reneged on their McMahon-Hussein Agreement of 1915, and then brought it up to a full head of steam by attacking Irak in 1991 and another nine helpless victims thereafter.
Wahhabism is a cancer on Islam! Most Muslims are sick of this Saudi backward mentality. The are the kinds of people in SA that the prophet was sent to teach and confront !
Will this be the eventual outcome? See link below:
November 25, 2014
“Will the War Criminals Perpetrate Nuclear War?”
The war criminals who planned and conspired  for all the misery, mayhem, destruction, slaughter, killings, maiming, and poisoning [1a] of numerous countries are still running wild. What country will be next for these warmongers?  Could it be Ukraine? After all, these crazy imbeciles of organized evil [3a] have already perpetrated regime change there and caused a civil war. Now these lunatics are hell bent on trying to bring regime change in Russia….
[read more at link below]
…and so the plot thickens. And with all that President Trump managed to piss off Pakistan in his address on Afghanistan last night!
Polls say the USA is seen as the greatest threat to world peace. I say those voting are ignorant as to the “influence”
on the US by Israel and AIPAC. Evidence supports Mossad actions behind 911 ( Dancing Mossad). The USS Liberty has been covered up for years. Look at Palestine in 1947 and then today. Israel is pulling a gradual takeover of the entire region. Interestingly, the current Jewish population has little genetic ties to this region whereas many of the original tribes stayed in the region and assimilated with the Palestinians. Who really started the war in 1967- covered up for years.
The import of the article is that the US, if not the entire Middle East, would be far better if the US stopped trying to shape events.
Is it in the interest of the US to side with Israel now, since the blunders of the US and the studied neutrality of Israel, have resulted in a gathering coalescence of Iranian-sponsored forces hostile to Israel, as well as Saudi Arabia.
My opinion is that before was a good time for the US to stop interfering, and now is just as good a time. I think Israel, as the one threatened, is most likely to be creative and flexible in defusing the danger when it doesn’t have the US military guarantee. The article pointed out that good relations with Israel are a Russian priority, so Russia would be a good way to leverage some security for Israel. Of course, it may involve some warm-water port facilities, which would upset the neocons, but the long-term interests of the US are in a stable region, even if the arms companies come a little short on their profits.
To be specific, much depends on whether Iran is making a display of bellicosity, or is really aiming at a self-destructive nuclear war to destroy Israel. I think Israel is in a much better place to make that determination: also, it’s Israel in the fire if they get it wrong. I don’t understand why Israel wants the US to do its work, as the US is highly likely to follow its precedents, and botch it badly.
Ronald B, Yours is a good summary of the article. I agree with you that the US should stop supporting Israel and get out of the Middle East as quickly as possible. Then would not All Be Well? There’s been great progress in Syria, and then, all of a sudden, there’s havoc in Raqqa, civilians not allowed to leave. Here’s a quote from an August 19 Rt.com Op-Edge article titled ‘Role of US in Syria unnecessary, they should withdraw as soon as possible’: “At least 40 civilians have reportedly been killed in a US-led bombing raid on the Syrian city of Raqqa, according to local sources.” And the link: https://www.rt.com/op-edge/400526-syria-us-isis-civilians/
There are very few genuine U.S. interests outside the Western Hemisphere (those interests PRIMARILY being that we see to it that our Canadian and Mexican neighbors are doing very well and content within their borders). That’s how far we’ve allowed ourselves to be sucked into the schemes and machinations of wannabe Global Imperialists (MOSTLY the ideological descendants of the keepers and caretakers of former Euro-British Empires, mostly of intelligence, financial, and business demeanor, with an imperial faction here within our borders that never let go of Tory aspirations for being a part of “Glorious” Empire). WWII was pushed as the reason for our World-wide involvement to “Keep the Peace”, which got twisted into an Imperial Pax Americana, which can NEVER happen. Our military should never be outside our borders without blue U.N. helmets on. Period.
This is my first time commenting here. I just recently discovered this site.
I am in complete agreement with Brad Owen’s comment. I sometimes think about what situations around the world are so important to American interests that I would be OK with my own children risking their lives to fight in those places. It is extremely rare that I see some interest that is so vital that I would be willing to see my own children put at risk.
I think we should work towards disengaging from military activities outside of the North American continent, with the exception that we could work collaboratively through the UN to prevent genocide where possible. We should stop trying to be the world’s policeman. 5% of the world’s population cannot sustainably control the other 95%.
Excellent. You got a hit in your first at bat. Congratulations!
Thank you for endorsing this idea. It should become the basis of our foreign policy, and our two neighbors the main focus of our foreign aid activities. Canada doe ‘the need much in the way of help from us (but we should listen to any suggestions they have for aid). Mexico, however, is in need of a Marshall Plan level of aid from us. We should give it as payback for the foreign policies of our Imperial Globalists who’ve induced a failed state status in Mexico, turning them into a major drug-producing cartel in service to our banks, and pharma corporations (Afghanistan is the other deliberately induced failed state serving the same purposes of the Global Imperialists). We should render any assistance wanted to combat their drug cartels, wearing the blue helmets of the U.N. of course? We ourselves are in need of an FDR-style New Deal for our own reconstruction. JFK’s NAWAPA program should be revived and pursued for the great benefit of ALL the North American Continent.The monies for this shift in policy will come from the great savings we were denied by the MIC when the Cold War ended with the dissolution of the USSR/Warsaw Pact grouping, when our thousand foreign base should have been shut down or turned over to the host nations. Our military should cost only 10% of what we currently pay for it, and reorganized into a National Guard; land service, air service, sea service, space service, ready for service to the U.N., as we are one of five permanent members of their security council. We also need to checkmate our own Imperial Globalists somehow, so that we never get sucked into their schemes, memes, and themes, ever again.
1. Israel has not been “neutral.” It created ISIS, Israeli Secret Intelligence Service. It has been supporting the jihadi head choppers from the outset, and agitating ceaselessly with its AIPAC fifth column for the dumb US goys to do likewise. It has provided air cover for the Syrian terror groups.
2. Israel is not threatened, it threatens everybody else, including the US. This rogue state has a huge western supplied illegal nuclear arsenal of 400 nuclear warheads targeted at all its neighbours, and its huge stockpile of chemical and biological WMD. Germany gave it 6 very advanced nuclear missile submarines comp[lately free of charge. Israel has incited and instigated every conflict in the region.
3. Iran is not “making a display of bellicosity.” It is responding calmly to constant provocations and attacks from Israel and the US. Iran does not have an illegal nuclear arsenal. The Zionist Regime does.
4. Israel wants the US to act as its dumb muscle and do its bidding and its dirty work. Why not when you can just snap your fingers and get your thirty shekel whores in Congress to jump up and down like trained seals?
Great nutshell summary.
Nobody is “threatening” the State of Israel.
Except Yahweh, who made it very clear a couple of Millennia ago that He hates hypocrites.
Unfortunately, their claimed antecedents were as deaf as the members of the current “State”.
“The shakier Trump grows, the greater the likelihood that he will engage in some risky adventure in order to strengthen his grip”. Absolutely true. Trump needs a war to validate his presidency and the only war that will bring him any benefit is the “war on Putin”. He has to get Putin out of Ukraine and, ideally, out of power before Russiagate widens into an investigation of his business dealings with Russia and his taxes. Syria is the obvious place to start. Putin has bogged himself down in an unwinnable guerrilla war. The problem in Syria is that the US ran a rebellion rather than a guerrilla war. The rebels tried to conquer and hold territory. Without an air force they were sitting ducks for Assad’s (and later Putin’s) aviation. The US didn’t want to use its air power directly against Putin. That was logical inasmuch as the best strategy is to bleed the Russians white in a long, slow war until Putin gets out of Ukraine. The next step in Syria will probably be to go over to a proper guerrilla war, with bombs targeting Assad’s officials and the Russian military. Sooner or later, Trump will see that nothing else will get him out of trouble.
Are you aware that Syria is a sovereign state and that Israel is in violation of the numerous international laws?
As for Ukraine, the ziocons-arranged regime change in Kiev has resulted in a lot of Ukrainians relocating Russia. The western Ukraine seems to move towards the unification with the former proper owners, the Romanians and Polish.
Your battle cry for “Syria’s guerilla war” is a battle cry for more of ISIS/Al Qaeda terrorism (financed by the US/Israel/SA) against the sovereign state of Syria. It is very easy to deduce that you have only virtual familiarity with war. A real soldier prefers diplomacy, whereas warprofiteers and scoundrels agitate for a war that will be fought by other people.
By the way, enjoy your Volodimir Groysman; he represents ethnically the whole 0.02% of the Ukrainian population.
The creature plainly approves of the continued murder of Syrian civilians, which is entirely consistent with Talmudic Law that states that killing civilians is not just permissible, but is in fact a ‘mitzvah’ or good deed.
I don’t know where to start with this garbage.
1. The Russians are not in the Ukraine (except the Crimea, which voted by an overwhelming majority in a referendum monitored by observers from 23 countries to reunify with Russia.) Photographs of “Russian tanks invading Ukraine” the US Congress found so convincing turned out to be stock footage of Russian Army manoeuvres held in the middle of Russia 10 years previously.
2. Trumpenstein is not going to start a war in Ukraine to cover up Russiagate investigations. There is nothing to cover up. This is a hoax that was dreamt up by Clinton to explain away her electoral defeat. It is already deflating, and the Left have had to find another diversion in the Trump Racism/ KKK trope. Bill Clinton took $500,000 of the Russians for a single speech in Moscow. The Russians were allowed to buy up most US uranium after they made a big donation to the Clinton Foundation/ Slush Fund. There is nothing to find out about Trump’s Russia connections/ taxes. If there was the Deep State and their lapdog Mainstream media would have leaked it months ago.
3. Putin is not bogged down in a guerrilla war. A guerrilla war needs the support of the population, which supports Assad. No Syrians want to be ruled by these foreign head choppers. The jihadis are overwhelmingly non Syrians, foreigners from 100 countries. They are a busted flush, despite tens of billions of dollars and tens of thousands of tons of weapons from the US/ UK/ Turkey/ Qatar/ S. Arabia/ Israel. The foreign sponsored terrorist invasion of Syria has failed, like the Nazi invasion of Russia was broken at Stalingrad. Syria is the rock on which US aggression and western imperialism have broken. This was achieved by the heroic resistance of the Syrian Army and People, with assistance from Iran and Hezbollah, with the intelligent deployment of limited military resources by Putin. It is the US, specifically the Neocons and their declining band of satellites and satraps, who are running around like headless chickens trying to find someone to blame for the debacle. The war is not yet over, but it is running down. The idea that terrorism is going to provide some kind of solution to save Trump is laughable. The Syrian people have had to deal with western sponsored jihadi terror for the past 6 years. They are used to it and they will deal with it.
Reassuring to see knowledgeable and realistic comment that doesn’t unnecessarily stoke hysteria.
The comment above about Putin being bogged down is laughable. It belongs up there near the top of the anti-Russian hysteria in the US pushed by the zio cons..
Indeed, the Syrian Army, supported by Russia, hezbolla, Iran, is and has been kicking ass for a number of weeks if not months. This is one of the most remarkable things to my mind; the Syrian Army has been fighting this fight at great cost for several years and have suffered thousands of casualties in usually the better trained and better led units leading the fight. Yet, they mount continued large scale operations with competence and experience. I for one am impressed but would give the Russians a huge amount of credit.
Contrast that to the US debacle in vietnam in the last few years whereas the vietnamese military was decimated after many years of fighting and heavy casualties amongst the best officers and non-commissioned officers. As a result, their competence suffered greatly and we saw the result.
“Contrast that to the US debacle in vietnam in the last few years whereas the vietnamese military was decimated after many years of fighting and heavy casualties amongst the best officers and non-commissioned officers. As a result, their competence suffered greatly and we saw the result.”
Surely one reason for that was the low morale and the heavy use of heroin—encouraged by the CIA itself.
WTF, CIA? Which hole is your head up?
See writings of Alfred McCoy on this subject.
Fully agreed, except for your labeling the neoliberal right-wing establishment as ”the Left”. If a leftist had somehow been elected as POTUS, he would have to face the same hostility from the neoliberal establishment, if not more. Apart from that, your post is splendid.
A very good summation of the Syrian debacle that I assume most informed individuals would agree with. You don’t mention Hezbollah, but take note that they have emerged many times more powerful than they were when, in 2006, they sent terrified Israeli soldiers fleeing in panic out of South Lebanon.
Uh… I don’t think so….
First off, Putin is hardly bogged down in Syria. He has used very measured responses to either increasing his military presence in Syria or reducing it depending on conditions.
As to being in Ukraine, where is all this coming from? If he has troops in the Donbas I doubt they are very numerous or if so they are volunteers from the Ruissian Army. Most of the Donbas is being defended by citizens living there with Russian military assistance.
As to a guerilla war in Syria, this type of conflict requires civilian cooperation for cover. Does any one really believe that Syrians are going to act as cover for new guerillas entering their country after defeating some of the most heinous in modern history? Please…
Not much to add to the rebutals several folks have given to Mr. Kenny. I would add only that he is being suicidal in his wish to remove Vladimir Putin from the presidency of Russia. He’s totally clueless if he thinks a replacement would simply be some cowering ass-kisser of Washington like Yeltsin. It would be an angry ultranationalist who would quickly call Washington’s bluff and the nuclear war would be on. Besides, Kenny seems oblivious to all the assistance that Putin gave Obama to resolve several critical issues, including the removal of all chemical weapons from the SAA arsenal and the signing of the anti-nuke treaty with Iran. (Of course, Kenny will deny reality and blame the chemical attacks by the rebels/terrorists on Assad and will claim that Iran is welching on the anti-nuke treaty when in fact the guilty party is the Americans.) Kenny seems as duplicitous and ungrateful as Obama was when it comes to the valuable help that Putin has repeatedly offered to prevent Washington from self-destructing. Every time he’s repaid with treachery rather than thanks. The world will lament when he’s gone and no longer able to offer assistance to arrogant fools.
Indeed, I whole heartedly agree with your assessment. Had we been fortunate enough to have had someone like Putin as our president instead of the string of Zio ass-kissers since Kennedy was bumped off, We would have been infinitely more prosperous instead of draining our treasure and blood in wars for Israel.
Russia helped cover Chernobyl in Ukraine while US backed nazis destroyed democracy there and chased a short supply of skilled farmers into Russia.
Yes, I know, advanced city dudes think farmers are stupid oafs. But that’s only because oligarchs don’t need to eat and are naturally immune to cancer.
Your stinking Syrian ‘rebels’ were always just a bunch of psychotic takfiri butchers. Why don’t you join them, you effing hero, so that you can cut some children’s throats yourself? I’m sure you’d LOVE it.
February 21, 2016
Someday if bloody wars should ever come to you
You will realize, what other people went through
You could see your homes reduced to smoking rubble
You will ask, if still alive: “Who created this hellish trouble?”
Your “leaders” of course, could be the answer
They bombed other countries and created disasters
Now it’s your turn to feel the anguish and pain
You can “thank” your “leaders,” are they totally insane?
Where will you run to, if this should come to pass?
Will you be wandering like refugees, forced to eat grass?
You did not speak out as your rulers set countries on fire
Will you now start complaining, when your state is dire?
There is an old saying, “you reap what you sow”
Could your turn be coming, do you not know?
There is a price to be paid for creating slaughter and death
People out there know: They have no countries left…
[read more at link below]
An excellent, thought provoking poem. Thanks for expressing my own thoughts so well.
Round, and round, we go, where we will stop no one knows. Tell me, where do you thing the spark will ignite global war? If global confrontation does break out, will Israel survive the first round? Will the U.S. somehow get crushed inside of Afghanistan, just by the enclosed power of geography, of how Afghanistan geographically is situated? Would S Korea, and Japan, become no more? Ugly stuff, with loads of questions. Let’s talk about the possible strategies, and possible outcomes, because after all that’s all us peons have left for us to do.
Fantasies of the course of apocalypse can be entertaining, or terrifying, but as accurate maps of the chaos that will unfold, they will always be inadequate. That nightmare will have it’s own insane and unpredictable unfolding. All rational thinking will be useless in that time.
Since waking up to the notion that all may not be as I had believed, I began pulling at that lose thread which eventually undid the veil placed over my eyes. The American plan for full spectrum dominance of the globe seems more and more a zionist idea planted in the American collective mind.
Ultimately if America is no longer able, or willing to provide for the zionist, the zionut will bring the ceiling crashing down on top of all our heads, including their own. Their Samson option calls for burning the globe in a nuclear fire should the zionist project see it’s end imminent. This event will catch the majority of humanity by surprise.
After having conducted several thought experiments, they all end with the same conclusion.
Americans have two options, continuing their efforts to balkanize the Russian Federation, the People’s Republic of China, and bringing Iran to heel. Or they can join a multilateral relationship with the above mentioned.
The first scenario will ultimately end in a nuclear exchange, the Russians, and Chinese, although formed of multi-ethnic communities, they have been living together in peaceful codependence for hundreds of years. They will not turn on each other so easily. Iran is unified as one nation, not likely to fall without a fight which Russia, and China would join because they would be next.
If America chooses to abide by a common international law, and stops it’s efforts to contain China’s economic potential, the US dollar will lose it’s global dominance. America would be broke, and not 1980’s or 30’s broke, but really broke. If America cannot provide financial and military aid to the zionut, the latter will burn the globe rather than leave it to legitimate nations.
The link is to a video produced by a group of people who have in my opinion arrived at the same conclusion … the collapse of the current civilization is now inevitable … best to prepare for the possibility of surviving it … and if successful in surviving … a big ‘IF’ … create a value system which learns from the mistakes of the past.
It is very debatable that “If America chooses to abide by a common international law…the US dollar will lose it’s global dominance. America would be broke.” Trade would likely improve without US warmongering, the primary cause of movement to other currencies. The US could predominate in peace as in war, although a slow decline to the world average is likely regardless.
If you visit the Wikipedia entry on the ‘Samson Option’, you will see that a certain Jewish Professor writing in the Los Angeles Times (and published!) in 2002, recommended that Israel use its nukes to cause a ‘nuclear winter’ to decimate humanity, for the crime of centuries of Jew hatred. Charming stuff, but entirely consistent with Talmudic law.
What a tangled web we weave, when our “civilization” is based on war, greed, and violence – rather than love and mutual care. Stay tuned for the spectacle of our inevitable self-extinction……
The decisive peacemaking factor may be the success of Saudi-Iran concilation, whether it can move from mere placation of the greater Shiah power toward a Sunni-Shiah alliance including Egypt, and domination of the regional troublemaker Israel and its “hundred years war”.
Saudi Arabia is very weak apart from mercenary forces, and must now fear conquest. If it decides to continue fueling AlQaeda or Isis in Syria, a foolish but simple “defensive” move, it may soon find that battle on its own soil, and may well be conquered. If MbS is well advised and intelligent, he will see that anger will destroy, and diplomacy alone will save Saudi Arabia, and will best secure the interests of the region and its peoples.
Jordan is a key, and appears to have almost no trust (8%) of the US or Russia; it is never mentioned in MSM, so there must be a hidden story there. Qatar with the US command base is another key, and so is Turkey. The people of the US gain only by reconciliation, but US policy is controlled by the 98% zionist traitors in Congress.
If the US “threw Israel under the bus” it is none too soon after Israel doing so to the US for seventy years, effectively destroying democracy in the US. The demise of Israel is a likely and welcome precursor to the demise of the US, both due to the imperialism of economic oligarchy, although likely by different means.
Sam F: Excellent summary and right on the mark. But as you said “US policy is controlled by the 98% Zionist Traitors”, it is highly unlikely that Israel and US will take the peaceful route. Both these Nations were born out of violence and unfortunately seem like not capable of accepting peace.
Putin and Assad, no doubt want a peaceful solution. But knowing the history of The Western Nations, they are not for peaceful solutions. They are for domination and complete control of the dark, brown and yellow people, and also control over those backward Slavic People who happen to be unfortunately situated next to them.
Would not it be wonderful if the parties can sit together and agree not to interfere in each other’s affairs, and help each other instead of fighting for domination – as most of the commentators on this site and other peace loving people wish. But Zio-Neocons do not think this way. What is coming is more death and destruction, and possibly a wider War.
Let us hope that diplomatic solutions are forced upon the warmongers; it would indeed be wonderful. If we see wider war, it will certainly be another US zionist scam in collusion with the MIC, ever more obvious to the people of the US, and likely to discredit both Dems and Reps in 2018 and 2020.
It’s time for Progressive Independents and Libertarian Independents (or facsimiles with any names they choose) to gather in their respective corners, organize, and wrench us from our servitude to the corrupted, bought-and-paid-for Democratic/Republican Parties. This undeserving duopoly serves no one but their puppet masters – unfettered Capitalism, Militarism and Zionism.
I’d say 90 percent Zionist Traitors, the next 10 percent are multi- ethnic parasites who understand their careers benefit from sucking up to the Zionist parasite, money changers. But point taken.
Both were mentioned 2000 years ago in Revelation 13.
One is a two-horned head on the Beast out of the Sea; the other the Beast out of the Earth.
Their demise is around the corner.
My earlier comment (a response to Dave P) should have read:
“Both these Nations were born out of violence and unfortunately seem like not capable of accepting peace.”
Both were mentioned 2000 years ago in Revelation 13.
One is a two-horned head on the Beast out of the Sea; the other the Beast out of the Earth.
Their demise is around the corner.
It is the tragedy. American people are by experience and history capable of understanding the world today, but are kept under control. Those in control do not want American prople to suceed. They want only to use them in order to gain power. Some get it today, but others are taken in by the noise of globalist sloganeering.
But here is the dillema. Thise yellow and brown people or backwards Slavs are nuclear powers today. Tommorow it may be South Africa or Brazil or Egypt or Turkey.
The problem is — all the stupidity around the globe is done in our name. Even though we could be prosperous and on friendly terms with most of the globe. Our masters however have other plans — for us and the rest of the world. Somebidy mentioned Jordan. With over 50% if population PALESTINIANS Jordan is a time bomb. This is why our neocons kind of clise their humanitarian eyes when Jordan banned Salafism. They know that as an ONLY trully open country to US interests the ruling royalty is supported to the hilt. But it is unstable and is looking for some diversification of relationship.
Additionally, it will be interesting to see what influence Putin may have on Netanyahu in view of the “under the bus” result the Trump-Tillerson-Mattis change of tactics in Syria has brought about for Netanyahu’s interests and paranoia. Turkey has now gone cold on the US, warmed to Russia, stopped its support of jihadists in Syria, negotiated with Syria to control the Kurds in the north along the Turkey border, and moved toward alliance with Iran as well as Qatar, and Iraq has canceled the September election re independence for its own Kurds due to threat of increased violence. Is a new spirit of cooperation or “partnership” starting to make way, or is the situation about to move into a new “vicious cycle of violence” as Lazare fears.
There should be some eventual accommodation of Sunni autonomy in Anbar (W & SW Iraq) adjoining Saudi Arabia, which would keep the Sunnis happier there and in Syria, but it may look to Iraq too much like Isis for now. If it could be fully demilitarized, patrolled by Iraqi forces, and peaceful from the start, they might allow it. If Iraq or Syria do not grant equal rights and economic opportunity to Sunnis, it will be hard to prevent insurgency or forge an alliance with KSA.
These are the kinds of situations in which the US still could help in diplomacy and development aid, if it had honest intentions of assisting anyone. But of course the US oligarchy has no such intentions.
We have the Israelis unhappy because the Trump-Military administration has pushed aside the neocon playbook in allowing Syria to make strong progress toward getting its country back. Maybe it’s more importantly the Russians leading the diplomacy in subtle ways. They of course are blamed, as though conspirators. Instead Russia is a part of a developing coalition. As part of this we have wavering or unclear states as to which way they will go, as with Egypt, Iraq, Jordan. The recent fracturing into an absurd spat of KSA with Qatar is ludicrous, a sign of KSA decay. Add Saudi Arabia to wavering, already noted to be sniffing around at deals with Iran and Iraq. Turkey is fed up with the US. In Turkey’s view It has no effective policy in terms of the Kurds along their southern border with Iraq. So what we’re seeing is an alternative force in the region offering itself, and quite possibly growing. This is the key problem with Trump for the neocon establishment. They think he doesn’t know foreign policy from a hole in the ground, and unfortunately we do know that’s where he keeps his head most of the time.
Indeed Russia may be the source of future moderation and diplomacy in the Mideast.
Trump’s adviser generals may be figureheads, pacifiers, or planners of new insurgencies.
The Afghanistan surge may be a diversion, but it could divert from peace or secret wars.
This link from Fort Russia, a pro-Russian blog. For what it is worth, it does reflect the nuance of the visit. A couple of comments are worth the read as well (the picture makes the link worthwhile).
Meanwhile, a delegation headed by the head of Mossad is either scheduled to visit or has already visited US State Dept group, which awaits on knee pads. Interesting, Dina Powell will also attend. It prob goes without saying, but she is very much in the zionist camp.
Voltaire blog has a brief note on this visit.
Well said, Sam F…
Very impressively considered, Sam. Yes, the Jordanian Monarchs have had side deals with the Zionists since prior to the 1947/1948 Nakba. The Platform of Nutty Yahoo’s Likud Party specifically states that – while they consider Jordan to be part of their Greater Israel Colonial Conquest and Ethnic Cleansing Program – they will leave it be for now, as long as it continues to do the bidding of the Zionists.
“when our ‘civilization’ is based on war, greed, and violence”
Back in 1791 Tom Paine wrote, “That there are men in all countries who get their living by war, and by keeping up the quarrels of nations, is as shocking as it is true.”
War Profiteers and the Roots of the War on Terror
mike k, the entire earth is hostile territory. Take a look at the natural world where a life must be taken in order for another life to survive….even in the microscopic world only the most adaptive survive…..Inevitable extinction is guaranteed for the weak and unprepared……Alice doesn’t live in wonderland……hope for the best but be prepared for ………
John, one may look to nature to find rationales for any ideology one prefers. You’re reflecting the Social Darwinist, Spencerian “survival of the fittest” rationale for conflict as the “natural” cause of inevitable inequality.
One can also see all of nature as the enormously complex and carefully balanced cooperation of symbiotic organisms.
But we’re really talking about human beings, not ants or even chimpanzees. Humans clearly evolved propensities for violence and competition. But we also clearly evolved propensities for peace and cooperation. In fact, the latter is what has allowed we physically “inferior,” “naked apes” to rise to the level of hegemony we believe we have.
If one wishes to draw upon the Naturalistic Fallacy, one must consider whether human society is “naturally” akin to the common chimpanzees – which live in smallish, strictly hierarchical and frequently violent troops – or the bonobo chimpanzees which live in large, egalitarian bands that exhibit almost no violence whatsoever, but in which each individual has sex many times each day… and often several each hour.
We are exactly equally genetically related to each.
BTW: When Christian Europeans first witnessed bonobos performing every sort of sexual act (coital, oral, digital, same sex, group, etc.), they were so offended that they slaughtered those lovely creatures mercilessly. I guess they saw the chimps as similar enough to humans to apply onto them European Christian sexual “morals,” and punished them for their “failure” to do repress their sexuality.
Lol……The first example of collateral damage for the sake of “upholding righteousness”……
Here is an article that looks at why the current U.S. moves in Syria should come as no surprise to the world:
The intelligence community in America seems unable to learn from its past mistakes.
Sally, I read your article/link. Very informative. Thank you.
They are not mistakes in their view. They are simply strategic actions to keep the Middle East and its resources under their control. The destruction and human misery produced are obviously irrelevant to them.
This is all about Oded Yinon, 1948 and even before…
St Andrews archives has it:
PART 1: Faking the Case Against Syria
PART 2: Op Change of Location
PART 3: The Salvador Option in Beirut
Why would they learn? Thry are doing whatever they want, not accountable to the public — but to their shadowy masters.
As there are now yoo many centers of power, it is anyone’s guess who will provoke an incident.
However, the interesting story that blames the new crown prince for all Saudi ills present and past, even though it is clear that the belowed CIA friend, Al-Najaf — the deposed Saudi Crown Prince was the man in charge that overreached in Yemen war, Qatar debacle etc.
And that the new MbS — a man who never studied in the West and thus has no baggage from his student days that can be exploited by intelligence. But he has to turn the ship around, and blaming him for lack of sucess after a few months rule. But more importantly, Qatar crisis is diffused, Turkey remains there, and Saudi Arabia is looking for solution to Yemeni crisis. The new prince has already tackled Wahabi establishment, and many more changes are under way — such as the role of Egypt in Sunni affairs that will remove pressure from Saudi Arabia and aGulf that imploded.
Yes, neocons are alarmed about Iran, but as Putin told Netaneahu, judge Iran by todays standards, not the ones of third century. But who are the allies in the Middle East today that would support US or Israeli fantasies of Iranian expansion. There is nothing any can do about the fact that Shia population actually lives there. In Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, UAE, Yemen and Saudi Arabia. And yes, in Iran and Azerbaijan. The silly plan — to use Saudi Kingdom to rally Sunni world backfired. Sunnis of Turkey, Egypt, Sudan, Pakistsn, indonesia and world around do mot support anti-Shia crusade. The only ones that remain steadfast US and Saudi allies are Clinton admirerers in Bosnia snd Kosovo. Even there population symphatizes with Turkey not Saudi Wahhabism.
Without anyone to rely on, Israel is trully isolated. US might cannot force anyone to provide even sybolic verbal support for Israel’s “fear” of Iran. As for Israel even its own population does not believe in sucess. They are voting with their feet. Over 300,000 have returned to Russia in the. course of last year.
Truly informative, Bianca. If so, and I sense what you say comes from knowing the players well, There’s cause for hope that Israel with US neoconservative backing will not have their ‘greater Israel’ (Yinon Plan 198?) realized. oomm.