[This column was written for the Unz Review]

Trump pulled the trigger, but instead of a “bang!” what the world heard was a demure “click”. Considering that we are talking about playing a most dangerous game of potentially nuclear Russian AngloZionist roulette, the “click” is very good news indeed. But, to use the words of Nikki Haley, the US “gun” is still “locked and loaded”.

There are a number of versions out there about what really happened, but I think that the most likely explanation for that “click” is a combination of two events:

  1. The US did go out of its way to avoid even giving the appearance of attacking the Russian or Iranian forces in Syria. With these kinds of rules of engagement, the target list and flight trajectory of the US missiles was easy to predict for the Syrian air defenses.
  2. The Syrian air defenses, now integrated with the Russian C4ISR networks and probably upgraded, performed way better than most people had expected.

I honestly don’t know who in the US should get the credit for doing the right thing, but that person(s) deserves our collective gratitude. Rumors say that Mattis was the man, others point to Dunford and some even to Trump himself (I doubt that). Again, I don’t know who did it, but this action deserves a standing ovation. The fact that this (predictably) dismal performance was then covered up with silly statements about a “perfect strike” and “all missiles hit their target” is standard operating procedure, a basic exercise in face-saving and an attempt to appease the always bloodthirsty Neocons. The most important lesson from this latest development is that there are still some people in key positions in the US who did what had to be done to avoid a catastrophic escalation in Syria. The question now is how long can these “sane forces” (for lack of a better identifier) continue to resist the “crazies”?

Needless to say, the Israel Lobby and the Neocons are absolutely furious. And just to add insult to injury, the Russians are now saying that they will provide the Syrians with S-300 batteries (which would be able to track and engage Israeli aircraft practically from their take-off). I would argue that the Israelis did that one to themselves with their own missile strikes at the worst possible time, but the fact this is self-inflicted does not make it less painful for the Israelis.

But the biggest problem is that this outcome, while very positive by itself, really solves nothing. The key unresolved issues are

  1. Does anybody, especially the UNSC or/and Russia get to “veto” the AngloZionist Hegemony’s actions anywhere on the planet? The official US position is a categorical “no!”. The outcome in Syria, however, does strongly suggest a “yes”.
  2. Is the US willing to come to terms with the fact that the Hegemony has failed to overthrow the Syrian government and that the Syrians have won the war? The official US position on this has flip-flopped a number of times, but I would argue that the “no” camp is much stronger than the “yes” camp. The current US posture in Syria strongly suggests that the USA is not quite ready yet to “declare victory and leave”.
  3. Have the Skripal and Douma false flag chemical (pseudo-) attacks been sufficient to re-subordinate the post-Brexit EU to the Anglosphere and have the AngloZionists been successful in forging a united front for a “Crusade against Russia”? The majority of EU governments have been willing to endorse any nonsense or violation of international law under the pretext of “solidarity”, but there are still quite a few cracks in this apparent unity.

At this moment the situation is extremely fluid and there are too many potential variables which can determine the next developments in order to make a prediction better than a wild guess. The only thing which is certain that this confrontation between the AngloZionist Hegemony and Russia is far from over, both in Syria and elsewhere (the Ukraine).

Fundamentally, our entire planet has to make a choice between two mutually exclusive world orders.

AngloZionist Hegemony Multipolar world
Civilizational model Single “western” Diverse
Economic model Capitalism Diverse
Political model Plutocracy Diverse
International Relations Regulated by the Hegemon Regulated by International Law
National sovereignty Fictional Real
Social and Cultural model Postmodernist secularism Traditional and local

Right now the “collective West” is engaged in a truly titanic effort to preserve the Hegemony, but the writing is very much on the wall, hence the kind of silly histrionics we now see from the likes of Trump, May and Macron. In this context, the war in Syria is primarily a war over the right of the USA to do whatever the hell it wants irrespective of international law, facts, logic or even common sense. Nikki Haley’s message to the world has been beautifully simple, consistent and blunt: “we are the Hegemon, we are above everything and everybody, above you and above any of your laws or principles. We are even above facts or logic. Bow down and worship us or else!“.

The problem for the AngloZionists is that while most western leaders have agreed to these terms (this is what “solidarity” means nowadays), the rest of the planet is quietly but actively seeking ways to explore other options and even some relatively weak and/or small countries (Bolivia for example) are still willing to openly reject this AngloZionist diktat. As for Russia and China, they are already de-facto creating a new, alternative, multi-polar world order where the Anglosphere will be limited to be only “one amongst many” and not the kind of planetary master-race its leaders fancy themselves to be.

It is interesting that the main tactic chosen by the “collective West” to respond to these challenges has been to basically go into deep denial and worry about perceptions much more than about facts on the ground. Hence the “perfect strike”. Carl Rove put it best when he saidWe’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do”.

In the 1990s there used to be a popular, but unattributed, quote which said “you have not won until CNN says that you won”. Today, we are witnessing something similar, just reversed: you have not lost until CNN says that you lost. I felt an eerie sense of déjà vu when Trump tweeted “mission accomplished” repeating the exact same words Dubya spoke on his aircraft carrier just before all hell truly broke loose in Iraq (I can imagine how the folks at CENTCOM, who are reportedly really upset, must have cringed when they heard this!). I hope that Marx was right when he said that “History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce”. The long-suffering Middle-East has surely gone through enough tragedies, but I am afraid that what we have just witnessed with the latest US strike in Syria was the farce, and that a very real tragedy still might be in the making.

The Neocons can roughly be separated into two types: first, those stupid enough to believe that the latest strikes were, indeed, a magnificent success, and those who are just smart enough to realize that it was a pathetic flop. The first type will be emboldened by the sense of total impunity (and the US did, in fact, get away with this grievous violation of all the norms of civilized behavior and international law) while the second type will continue to demand a much stronger attack. Combine the two and you have a perfect recipe for a very dangerous situation.

And now here is the really bad news: the US ground forces (Army) are pretty much useless, while the US Navy and Air Force are in big, big trouble: the USN surface fleet is now quasi obsolete due to the Russian Kinzhal missile, while the USAF doesn’t seem to be able to operate in an environment with modern Russian surface to air missiles. None of them appear to be able to get anything done other than wasting an immense amount of money and killing a lot of people, mostly civilians. Just like their Israeli and Saudi allies, the US armed forces are just not capable of taking on any meaningful enemy capable of defending itself. There is only one segment of the US armed forces which is still fully capable of accomplishing its mission: the US nuclear triad. Hence all the attempts by US force planners and strategists to find a doctrine not only for the use of nuclear forces as a deterrent, but to re-conceptualize them as a war-fighting capability (missile defense, micro-nukes, etc.). Think of it this way: the only credible (real world) means of aggression left to the Empire are nuclear weapons. Many (most?) people don’t realize that (yet), but with each failed conventional attack this reality will become harder and harder to hide.

Will the people who this time around succeeded in foiling the Neocon plans for a real, hard, strike on Syria, and possibly even on the Russian task force in Syria, succeed the next time? I don’t know. But I can’t ignore the fact that each “click” brings us one step closer to the “bang”. And that suggests to me that the only real solution to this extremely dangerous situation is to find a way to remove the finger pressing on the trigger or, better, take away the gun from the nutcase threatening us all with it.

The Saker

The Essential Saker II: Civilizational Choices and Geopolitics / The Russian challenge to the hegemony of the AngloZionist Empire
The Essential Saker: from the trenches of the emerging multipolar world