by Pepe Escobar : posted with permission and crossposted with Consortium News
What is happening in Syria, following yet another Russia-brokered deal, is a massive geopolitical game-changer. I’ve tried to summarize it in a single paragraph this way:
“It’s a quadruple win. The U.S. performs a face saving withdrawal, which Trump can sell as avoiding a conflict with NATO ally Turkey. Turkey has the guarantee – by the Russians – that the Syrian Army will be in control of the Turkish-Syrian border. Russia prevents a war escalation and keeps the Russia-Iran-Turkey peace process alive. And Syria will eventually regain control of the entire northeast.”
Syria may be the biggest defeat for the CIA since Vietnam.
Yet that hardly begins to tell the whole story.
Allow me to briefly sketch in broad historical strokes how we got here.
It began with an intuition I felt last month at the tri-border point of Lebanon, Syria and Occupied Palestine; followed by a subsequent series of conversations in Beirut with first-class Lebanese, Syrian, Iranian, Russian, French and Italian analysts; all resting on my travels in Syria since the 1990s; with a mix of selected bibliography in French available at Antoine’s in Beirut thrown in.
Let’s start in the 19thcentury when Syria consisted of six vilayets — Ottoman provinces — without counting Mount Lebanon, which had a special status since 1861 to the benefit of Maronite Christians and Jerusalem, which was a sanjak (administrative division) of Istanbul.
The vilayets did not define the extremely complex Syrian identity: for instance, Armenians were the majority in the vilayet of Maras, Kurds in Diyarbakir – both now part of Turkey in southern Anatolia – and the vilayets of Aleppo and Damascus were both Sunni Arab.
Nineteenth century Ottoman Syria was the epitome of cosmopolitanism. There were no interior borders or walls. Everything was inter-dependent.
Then the Europeans, profiting from World War I, intervened. France got the Syrian-Lebanese littoral, and later the vilayets of Maras and Mosul (today in Iraq). Palestine was separated from Cham (the “Levant”), to be internationalized. The vilayet of Damascus was cut in half: France got the north, the Brits got the south. Separation between Syria and the mostly Christian Lebanese lands came later.
There was always the complex question of the Syria-Iraq border. Since antiquity, the Euphrates acted as a barrier, for instance between the Cham of the Umayyads and their fierce competitors on the other side of the river, the Mesopotamian Abbasids.
James Barr, in his splendid “A Line in the Sand,” notes, correctly, that the Sykes-Picot agreement imposed on the Middle East the European conception of territory: their “line in the sand” codified a delimited separation between nation-states. The problem is, there were no nation-states in region in the early 20thcentury.
The birth of Syria as we know it was a work in progress, involving the Europeans, the Hashemite dynasty, nationalist Syrians invested in building a Greater Syria including Lebanon, and the Maronites of Mount Lebanon. An important factor is that few in the region lamented losing dependence on Hashemite Medina, and except the Turks, the loss of the vilayet of Mosul in what became Iraq after World War I.
In 1925, Sunnis became the de facto prominent power in Syria, as the French unified Aleppo and Damascus. During the 1920s France also established the borders of eastern Syria. And the Treaty of Lausanne, in 1923, forced the Turks to give up all Ottoman holdings but didn’t keep them out of the game.
The Turks soon started to encroach on the French mandate, and began blocking the dream of Kurdish autonomy. France in the end gave in: the Turkish-Syrian border would parallel the route of the fabled Bagdadbahn — the Berlin-Baghdad railway.
In the 1930s France gave in even more: the sanjak of Alexandretta (today’s Iskenderun, in Hatay province, Turkey), was finally annexed by Turkey in 1939 when only 40 percent of the population was Turkish.
The annexation led to the exile of tens of thousands of Armenians. It was a tremendous blow for Syrian nationalists. And it was a disaster for Aleppo, which lost its corridor to the Eastern Mediterranean.
To the eastern steppes, Syria was all about Bedouin tribes. To the north, it was all about the Turkish-Kurdish clash. And to the south, the border was a mirage in the desert, only drawn with the advent of Transjordan. Only the western front, with Lebanon, was established, and consolidated after WWII.
This emergent Syria — out of conflicting Turkish, French, British and myriad local interests —obviously could not, and did not, please any community. Still, the heart of the nation configured what was described as “useful Syria.” No less than 60 percent of the nation was — and remains — practically void. Yet, geopolitically, that translates into “strategic depth” — the heart of the matter in the current war.
From Hafez to Bashar
Starting in 1963, the Baath party, secular and nationalist, took over Syria, finally consolidating its power in 1970 with Hafez al-Assad, who instead of just relying on his Alawite minority, built a humongous, hyper-centralized state machinery mixed with a police state. The key actors who refused to play the game were the Muslim Brotherhood, all the way to being massacred during the hardcore 1982 Hama repression.
Secularism and a police state: that’s how the fragile Syrian mosaic was preserved. But already in the 1970s major fractures were emerging: between major cities and a very poor periphery; between the “useful” west and the Bedouin east; between Arabs and Kurds. But the urban elites never repudiated the iron will of Damascus: cronyism, after all, was quite profitable.
Damascus interfered heavily with the Lebanese civil war since 1976 at the invitation of the Arab League as a “peacekeeping force.” In Hafez al-Assad’s logic, stressing the Arab identity of Lebanon was essential to recover Greater Syria. But Syrian control over Lebanon started to unravel in 2005, after the murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, very close to Saudi Arabia, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) eventually left.
Bashar al-Assad had taken power in 2000. Unlike his father, he bet on the Alawites to run the state machinery, preventing the possibility of a coup but completely alienating himself from the poor, Syrian on the street.
What the West defined as the Arab Spring, began in Syria in March 2011; it was a revolt against the Alawites as much as a revolt against Damascus. Totally instrumentalized by the foreign interests, the revolt sprang up in extremely poor, dejected Sunni peripheries: Deraa in the south, the deserted east, and the suburbs of Damascus and Aleppo.
What was not understood in the West is that this “beggars banquet” was not against the Syrian nation, but against a “regime.” Jabhat al-Nusra, in a P.R. exercise, even broke its official link with al-Qaeda and changed its denomination to Fatah al-Cham and then Hayat Tahrir al-Cham (“Organization for the Liberation of the Levant”). Only ISIS/Daesh said they were fighting for the end of Sykes-Picot.
By 2014, the perpetually moving battlefield was more or less established: Damascus against both Jabhat al-Nusra and ISIS/Daesh, with a wobbly role for the Kurds in the northeast, obsessed in preserving the cantons of Afrin, Kobane and Qamichli.
But the key point is that each katiba (“combat group”), each neighborhood, each village, and in fact each combatant was in-and-out of allegiances non-stop. That yielded a dizzying nebulae of jihadis, criminals, mercenaries, some linked to al-Qaeda, some to Daesh, some trained by the Americans, some just making a quick buck.
For instance Salafis — lavishly financed by Saudi Arabia and Kuwait — especially Jaish al-Islam, even struck alliances with the PYD Kurds in Syria and the jihadis of Hayat Tahrir al-Cham (the remixed, 30,000-strong al-Qaeda in Syria). Meanwhile, the PYD Kurds (an emanation of the Turkish Kurds’ PKK, which Ankara consider “terrorists”) profited from this unholy mess — plus a deliberate ambiguity by Damascus – to try to create their autonomous Rojava.
That Turkish Strategic Depth
Turkey was all in. Turbo-charged by the neo-Ottoman politics of former Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, the logic was to reconquer parts of the Ottoman empire, and get rid of Assad because he had helped PKK Kurdish rebels in Turkey.
Davutoglu’s Strategik Derinlik (“Strategic Depth’), published in 2001, had been a smash hit in Turkey, reclaiming the glory of eight centuries of an sprawling empire, compared to puny 911 kilometers of borders fixed by the French and the Kemalists. Bilad al Cham, the Ottoman province congregating Lebanon, historical Palestine, Jordan and Syria, remained a powerful magnet in both the Syrian and Turkish unconscious.
No wonder Turkey’s Recep Erdogan was fired up: in 2012 he even boasted he was getting ready to pray in the Umayyad mosque in Damascus, post-regime change, of course. He has been gunning for a safe zone inside the Syrian border — actually a Turkish enclave — since 2014. To get it, he has used a whole bag of nasty players — from militias close to the Muslim Brotherhood to hardcore Turkmen gangs.
With the establishment of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), for the first time Turkey allowed foreign weaponized groups to operate on its own territory. A training camp was set up in 2011 in the sanjakof Alexandretta. The Syrian National Council was also created in Istanbul – a bunch of non-entities from the diaspora who had not been in Syria for decades.
Ankara enabled a de facto Jihad Highway — with people from Central Asia, Caucasus, Maghreb, Pakistan, Xinjiang, all points north in Europe being smuggled back and forth at will. In 2015, Ankara, Riyadh and Doha set up the dreaded Jaish al-Fath (“Army of Conquest”), which included Jabhat al-Nusra (al-Qaeda).
At the same time, Ankara maintained an extremely ambiguous relationship with ISIS/Daesh, buying its smuggled oil, treating jihadis in Turkish hospitals, and paying zero attention to jihad intel collected and developed on Turkish territory. For at least five years, the MIT — Turkish intelligence – provided political and logistic background to the Syrian opposition while weaponizing a galaxy of Salafis. After all, Ankara believed that ISIS/Daesh only existed because of the “evil” deployed by the Assad regime.
The Russian Factor
The first major game-changer was the spectacular Russian entrance in the summer of 2015. Vladimir Putin had asked the U.S. to join in the fight against the Islamic State as the Soviet Union allied against Hitler, negating the American idea that this was Russia’s bid to restore its imperial glory. But the American plan instead, under Barack Obama, was single-minded: betting on a rag-tag Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a mix of Kurds and Sunni Arabs, supported by air power and U.S. Special Forces, north of the Euphrates, to smash ISIS/Daesh all the way to Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor.
Raqqa, bombed to rubble by the Pentagon, may have been taken by the SDF, but Deir ez-Zor was taken by Damascus’s Syrian Arab Army. The ultimate American aim was to consistently keep the north of the Euphrates under U.S. power, via their proxies, the SDF and the Kurdish PYD/YPG. That American dream is now over, lamented by imperial Democrats and Republicans alike.
The CIA will be after Trump’s scalp till Kingdom Come.
Kurdish Dream Over
Talk about a cultural misunderstanding. As much as the Syrian Kurds believed U.S. protection amounted to an endorsement of their independence dreams, Americans never seemed to understand that throughout the “Greater Middle East” you cannot buy a tribe. At best, you can rent them. And they use you according to their interests. I’ve seen it from Afghanistan to Iraq’s Anbar province.
The Kurdish dream of a contiguous, autonomous territory from Qamichli to Manbij is over. Sunni Arabs living in this perimeter will resist any Kurdish attempt at dominance.
The Syrian PYD was founded in 2005 by PKK militants. In 2011, Syrians from the PKK came from Qandil – the PKK base in northern Iraq – to build the YPG militia for the PYD. In predominantly Arab zones, Syrian Kurds are in charge of governing because for them Arabs are seen as a bunch of barbarians, incapable of building their “democratic, socialist, ecological and multi-communitarian” society.
One can imagine how conservative Sunni Arab tribal leaders hate their guts. There’s no way these tribal leaders will ever support the Kurds against the SAA or the Turkish army; after all these Arab tribal leaders spent a lot of time in Damascus seeking support from Bashar al-Assad. And now the Kurds themselves have accepted that support in the face of the Trukish incursion, greenlighted by Trump.
East of Deir ez-Zor, the PYD/YPG already had to say goodbye to the region that is responsible for 50 percent of Syria’s oil production. Damascus and the SAA now have the upper hand. What’s left for the PYD/YPG is to resign themselves to Damascus’s and Russian protection against Turkey, and the chance of exercising sovereignty in exclusively Kurdish territories.
Ignorance of the West
The West, with typical Orientalist haughtiness, never understood that Alawites, Christians, Ismailis and Druze in Syria would always privilege Damascus for protection compared to an “opposition” monopolized by hardcore Islamists, if not jihadis. The West also did not understand that the government in Damascus, for survival, could always count on formidable Baath party networks plus the dreaded mukhabarat — the intel services.
The reconstruction of Syria may cost as much as $200 billion. Damascus has already made it very clear that the U.S. and the EU are not welcome. China will be in the forefront, along with Russia and Iran; this will be a project strictly following the Eurasia integration playbook — with the Chinese aiming to revive Syria’s strategic positioning in the Ancient Silk Road.
As for Erdogan, distrusted by virtually everyone, and a tad less neo-Ottoman than in the recent past, he now seems to have finally understood that Bashar al-Assad “won’t go,” and he must live with it. Ankara is bound to remain imvolved with Tehran and Moscow, in finding a comprehensive, constitutional solution for the Syrian tragedy through the former “Astana process”, later developed in Ankara.
The war may not have been totally won, of course. But against all odds, it’s clear a unified, sovereign Syrian nation is bound to prevail over every perverted strand of geopolitical molotov cocktails concocted in sinister NATO/GCC labs. History will eventually tell us that, as an example to the whole Global South, this will remain the ultimate game-changer.
At a spring meeting of the leaders of Venezuela and Syria, it became clear that the war in Syria was a template for the upcoming battle over Venezuela:
At the very least, it appears that the current civil unrest in Venezuela is following the pattern set by Syria back in 2011 and that it is part of America’s new template for starting a regional war which will allow it to meet its global hegemonic agenda.
I’m not so sure the US or anybody besides radical groups (I get it, there are some psychopaths, psychopathic groups within the US who at least wouldn’t object) want to see a regional war anywhere on the planet. They wouldn’t be able to control it.
Chaos is King, Burt. These ARE psychopaths, the rulers in the USA and Israel, and much of the West, and they are nihilists, among many other odious pathological manifestations.
Can’t you see the ‘elephant in the room’ who drives the ‘elephants’ of the GOP by the trunk? And the democratic ‘donkeys’ with the whip?
And the mass of ‘Christian’ – Zionists by the ‘Rapture’.
Which planet are you talking about?
For crying out loud the US “wants to see war” on numerous fronts. In fact, an overwhelming portion of its economy flat out depends on bloodshed and mayhem for its very survival.
Col, you are correct. While many people keep saying: “US lost all the wars”, the answer is: “wars are money”. For example, I remember reading shortly after the second desert storm, that some groups will skim $1 from each barrel of oil produced in Iraq, which translated to a lot of cash at the end of the day. Remember, while human costs are high: “who give a hoot about the lowlifes in service as long as some pockets get filled with money”.
Similar story goes for Afghanistan, which has supposedly $10T in resources waiting to be grabbed.
When we talk about human costs, I’d like to remind everyone that each person wounded, invalid and/or with PTSD costs the taxpayer dearly, not to mention pain and suffering of these people and their families.
Just think about close to 70 percent of the budget now goes to the dod and it’s satellites. It should be clear to the people in this country that they are being robbed to keep the war profiteers filthy rich. They are so addicted to this money that it is hard to imagine anyone who could stop it without being killed. The FBI is not used to find criminals anymore it is used to keep corporations running for the empire. The CIA is used to set up wars and color revolutions, bombings, and ridding America of whistle blowers who tell us how corrupt the government is.The cia who now has agents inside of most media in America and the UK.
My point is they require managed or controlled chaos, not outright absolute chaos. If the entire ME were to erupt in war or otherwise, Israel would be in peril or at least lose any initiative they once enjoyed. Obviously the PTB specialize in chaos. To a degree, however. Russia and China, Iran are offering up an antidote to Western PTB chaos MO. That brings me peace.
Pepe doesn’t mention the Treaty of Sevres after which Ataturk changed reality on the ground that led to the Treaty of Lausanne.
After WW1 the French occupied Adana where many Armenians were signed up as French policemen. One was a close friend of my father that told me he guarded the wagon train of gold that the Turks paid the French to vacate the region. Thereafter Armenians had to flee to Lebanon and Syria.
Well, I miss also mentioning Israel.
The Zionazis have their sticky fingers of blood-covered hands also in Syrian problems, for a long time already.
And somehow it is not enough stressed what a crucial role Kurds played in the (Turkish) genocide of Armenians.
It is true the Turks used the Kurd’s and also the Circassians in the genocide. After WW1 Turkey resettled Kurd’s in the homes of Armenians. The home of one branch of my family has Kurd’s living in it today.
Sometime in the 60’s I remember hearing about a big meeting in Santa Barbara of major Armenian and Kurdish groups where the Kurd’s acknowledged their role in the genocide which put to rest enmity to each other.
”The West also did not understand that the government in Damascus, for survival, could always count on formidable Baath party networks plus the dreaded mukhabarat — the intel services.”
Even less that rotten Assad’s equally rotten allies /sarc off/ Putin and Rouhani were very ready to furnish crucial assistance. Maybe even less did the West understand that NATO member Turkey and its strongman Erdogan would outsmart them.
Amusingly, Trump’s ”betrayal” of the Kurds will give the Democrats a handsome ”Dolchstoß myth” driving home the message that Trump is working for Russia/Moscow/The Kremlin/Putin. In reality, it was Erdogan who committed ”High Treason” but Erdogan is the president of a proud NATO country, so that can’t be. Be that as it may. I mean, apart from exceptional and indispensable Pindo crackpots, who gives a damn?
“The reconstruction of Syria may cost as much as $200 billion. Damascus has already made it very clear that the U.S. and the EU are not welcome.”
But Germany and ‘Greater Europe’ want to repatriate as many ‘Greater Middle East’ refugees asap.
According to my extremely detailed and precise calculations, each refugee that returns will cost Syria about $985,292.27, more or less.
Europe may pay in advance, preferably in gold.
How does Pepe describe the chaos inflicted on Syria without mention of Israel, or Eretz Yisrael, which, we are assured by some Zionazis includes Damascus, which ‘…belongs to the Jews’, let alone the south of Lebanon up to the Litani,’ …the patrimony of the tribes of Asher and Napthali’, or of the Oded Yinon Plan which ordained splitting Syria into powerless statelets along sectarian and ethnic lines, or Israel’s active assistance to al-Qaeda groups, including R & R in the Golan and hospitalisation inside Israel itself, plus, of course, the Zionazi’ control of US policy?
“How does Pepe describe the chaos inflicted on Syria without mention of Israel, or Eretz Yisrael,”
I noticed that also, among other things that made the article hit and miss as far as accuracy goes. Pepe usually avoids mentioning the role of the powder blue and white elephant in the room, so that is expected. He also has a habit of accepting and using some zionazi-gay propaganda. An example:
“But the American plan instead, under Barack Obama, was single-minded: betting on a rag-tag Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a mix of Kurds and Sunni Arabs, supported by air power and U.S. Special Forces, north of the Euphrates, to smash ISIS/Daesh all the way to Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor.”
The zpc/nwo (or zionazi-gay) plan was to destroy Syrian sovereignty, full stop. The various terrorist outfits were/are their proxies. Crushing their own terrorists was not the goal, and the very slow progress the pindos and their various proxies made against these terrorists occupying Raqqa was eell noted at the time, even official by the Russian FM. It was clear the u.s. were pursuing the goal of destroying as much of Syria as they could while pretending they were seriously fighting the terrorists, that everyone knows now, and most realised then, were their own creation and tools.
Pepe’s portrayal of the kurds using the americans, and not the other way around is another acceptance of zionazi-gay propaganda.
Creation of Kurdistan was an essential objective of the Oded Yinon plan for Greater Israel. It is not a figure of speech that Turks refer to it as ‘the second Israel’.
It might not be figure of speech that it is the region of the legendary ‘towers of Satan’, from where magic beams to influence world events are emitted by the rituals of initiates of Satan.
The Genealogy Of The Kurdish Question
by Thierry MEYSSAN on 10/19/2019
To understand what is happening, it is not enough to know that everyone is lying. We must also discover what everyone is hiding and accept it, even when we see that those we admired until then are really despicable.
Genealogy of the Problem
If we believe European communications, we might think that the evil Turks will exterminate the kind Kurds that the wise Europeans are trying to save despite the cowardly United States. However, none of these four powers plays the role assigned to it.
First, the current event must be seen in the context of the “War against Syria”, of which it is only a battle, and in the context of the “Remodelling of the Broader Middle East”, of which the Syrian conflict is only one stage. On the occasion of the attacks of 11 September 2001, US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and his new Director of “Force Transformation”, Admiral Arthur Cebrowski, adapted the Pentagon’s strategy to financial capitalism. They decided to divide the world into two zones: one that would be the one of economic globalization and the other that would be seen as a simple reserve of raw materials. The US armies would be responsible for removing state structures in this second region of the world so that no one could resist this new division of labour . They began with the “Broader Middle East”.
The Syrian Conflict and Israel’s Hidden Motives
October 18, 2019 Stalker Zone
For Russia, in the process of unraveling the Syrian tangle of contradictions, it was some unpleasant surprise that the Syrian crisis and ISIS were caused not only by the interests of the United States and Turkey (as it seemed at the beginning), but also by Israel’s hidden attempt to eliminate the Arab-Persian threat by “counter-arson.”
As soon as ISIS started to suffer defeat, so, to the surprise of many, it became obvious that Israel and its politicians were behaving like an emphasised injured party that was trying to charge Russia with the bill and carry out plans for retaliation. Further, retaliation plans started to be implemented in part in the form of a setup with an Il-20 aircraft, attacks on Syria’s air defence systems, and even direct strikes on Syrian airfields where Russian military personnel were based next to IRGC troops.
At present – especially after the American retreat and significant shifts in solving the Kurdish problem – Israel will remain the only force in Syria capable of (and passionately willing to) inflict damage on Russia.
At the same time, Israel is not our enemy purely politically. Its own propensity for weaving international intrigues, acting under a false flag and hiding its real interests in the region, made it so. I.e., in simple language, Israel showed itself as a neutral side that does not need anything, but in fact had a very great interest in the conflict and most of all wanted a fight (and, as a result, was offended more than anyone else).
In general, here it is – one of the most difficult moderation problems that Russia will have to solve if it is to consolidate its influence in the Middle East. Without solving this, a “fire” will be constantly maintained in the region, and strange anonymous terrorist attacks and sharp inexplicable violent attacks with victims will be carried out.
One of the most difficult things here is to force Israel to confess its real interests out loud and in direct text, because instead of answering this question, this country traditionally becomes evasive (“We don’t need anything”, “we won’t cede anything to anyone”, “we’ll cope ourselves”), because of the small number of its own forces it has gotten used to relying on intrigues, conspiracies, special operations, Mossad, Nativ, and targeted missile attacks, instead of expressing its position directly.
Without success in reconciling Israel with its internal passions, there will be no peace in the Middle East…
Pepe writes for the Asia Times where he appears with a Jewish human being, David P. Goldman, who goes by the pseudonym, Spengler. A brief perusal of Goldman’s ‘product’ is eye-opening. Suspicion by association, I know, but neglecting to mention Israel is bizarre, in this context. Perhaps Pepe just prefers a quiet life, free of abuse as an ‘antisemite’.
How does the CIA get involved in foriegn affairs? They are a prosecutorial institution, they take evidence gathered and prosecute from the evidence. They really ought not even have jurisdiction outside of U.S. borders, that would require investigations in different country’s that should require the approval of that country’s legal system. All I see is conflicts of interests when the CIA gets involved in foriegn affairs.
Ummm. You have that confused with the myth of the FBI. The CIA is an foreign intelligence agency. They are actually only supposed to work overseas. They control the media in the US and help run drugs so they don’t really follow the rules. LOL.
Come on guys; both the FBI and the CIA are American capitalism’s political police (combining together to impose the vital democracy killing fascist function of capitalism) who only pretend to have an adversarial and competitive relationship. Just like big daddy – the British MI6 taught them from the beginning. thank you so much Winston.
Capitalism presumes a free market and freedom to invest in potentially profitable business. The scum who call themselves government preclude anything but a facade called “capitalism” to exist. Rather than any profit potential motivating investment, security from government seizure, confiscation under color or law, or anticipation of what government will do next to rob all of the fruits of their labors, is the main consideration.
I maintain that neither capitalism or a free market have existed since the Middle Ages, before collections of riffraff could form armies strong enough to force their will on productive people.
Alabama, your stunning remarks verify what most readers assumed.
You don’t have much knowledge about the topics, organizations, events and results which are the substance of most articles on the Vineyard.
Read the CIA’s formation. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Intelligence_Agency
It has Purpose, Structure and Historical Functions.
It will answer you question.
They seem to wear quite a few hats, most of them w/a spy logo attached and doing the same things our gvt abhors different gvts from doing today, all in the name of national security.
But they could easily find themselves on trial for being overly selective in principle and on the wrong side of nature. I know they prosecute information the FBI gathers domestically and appear to have grown into a rather large spy network whos activities are accountable to no one except themselves. Could they be the ones starting all the wars and aggressions overseas.
Pepe has done his historical home work….The history of the so called “Middle-East” (Western term by the way) is reasonably complicated that even as an avid historian or someone generally fascinated with history, requires several re-readings to memorize and truly comprehend how we got to where we are now.
The break up of the Ottoman Empire by the West with the nationalistic Turks and the creation of the nation states within the Middle-East basically uprooted centuries worth of history and populations. It had catastrophic implications on the entire region. This was followed by the creation of the Zionist State, the secular dictatorial regimes, Arab corrupt monarchs and the Salafi-Wahabi movements. It basically has been a mix of historical roller coaster rides for the Arabs ever since they lost their last major Abbasid Empire to the Mongols and the Ottoman Turks.
Everything that occurs now is fluid and is related to something in the past. History and nations can be very complex and multi-faceted problems.
In Iraq, the Anglo-Zionists required two wars, 13 years of sanctions and then a complete occupation of the country to bring it down. In Syria, they literally couldn’t go all in anymore, but still attempted to use every proxy available. However, they failed due to Russians entering the game….So as Pepe mentions, Syria is definitely a game changer in this very fluid and tiny piece of history we are living in.
Syria is the perfect place for Russian leverage. It’s Sunnis have great respect for RF Chechen military, particularly as Putin uses them for MP duty to be the police for the towns and sections of cities that have been won back from the rebels and terrorists. Syria has a cultural history of relating to all world religions, so Russian Orthodox is welcomed. And Syria is strategically located on the Mediterranean, has a long history with the USSR, allowed naval basing at Tartus and then added the Latakia AFB as the location for Russian Aerospace to base and operate.
Syrian borders touch all the players in the region, or are a stone’s throw from the rest of the players.
Russian Intel had data in depth for years ahead of the military arriving to save Assad’s military. When Putin decided, the MOD and FM and Intel services had prepared for the intervention for years.
Russia has also masterminded the Astana process for rebuilding the government. It has joined a triad together of Iran, Turkey and Russia to guarantee de-escalation zones on the ground and intensive talks and work toward a new constitution and elections.Gradually it has gained control of the borders in the southwest, and now some big sections of the north and northeast.
Along the way, Assad has grown more flexible and trusting of Putin’s judgment and tactics, just as the masses of Syrian have grown deeply appreciative of the sacrifices and successes of the Russian military. There is a Syria today only because Putin decided to enter the war in Sept. 2015.
The corollary is Russia is a Superpower again only because it entered the war and helped win it.
This week Putin was in Saudi Arabia and UAE making deals to benefit his economy and to tie both Arab nations to his agenda in the ME. They understand Russia has won the power and respect to be regional mediator, to guide away from war toward resolutions that focus on economic development and Eurasian Integration. He add these two Arab nations to Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Turkey and Iran, all of whom follow, support or are a part of Putin’s plans and actions.
There is more war to fight. There are more tens of hundreds of miles of border to secure. Many months more of negotiations with those who have left the battlefield and entered the political process.
The biggest problem, despite the issues settled by winning the war, is getting the US out of the country.
It won’t happen because Trump wants it and orders it. The CIA and Pentagon refuse to obey the orders. Time and again they have frustrated him.
It may take for Trump to be re-elected that he finally gains enough power to get his ordered withdrawal obeyed.
There is no sure prediction that it will occur. The military has refused to leave Iraq and it has refused to leave Afghanistan. I see the same future for its stay in Syria. Only a devastating event that costs scores of American lives may be the stimulus that cannot be resisted by the war hawks. A massive humiliation and loss of life may be necessary. That has been the lesson of Vietnam, Black Hawk Down,Somalia, Marine Barracks, Lebanon and Khobar Towers, Saudi Arabia.
“It won’t happen because Trump wants it and orders it. The CIA and Pentagon refuse to obey the orders. Time and again they have frustrated him.
It may take for Trump to be re-elected that he finally gains enough power to get his ordered withdrawal obeyed.”
Fairly good run down of the state of affairs, but that section is a major fail. Trump does not want out of Syria, or the Mideast, his posturing is psywar. He’s playing “good cop”, just like he did to clinton’s “bad cop” regarding foreign wars during the 2016 [s]election fraud. The israeli trump quisling regime has increased pindo troop numbers in the Mideast and near region. The guy is a total psywar tool. Everything he publicly says is gamed psywar.
The zionazi-gay psywar machine is busy trying to credit trump for getting Turkey to invade Syria, saying it’s a clever plan by trump to out fox “the deep state” so he could get american troops home. Total govno.
Giving this likud asset another 4 years will aide in solidifying this regime, make them more effective, give them time to organise. Better to boot the quisling sods, force them to reorganize, interrupt their planning. It takes awhile for these new regimes to get up and running efficiently.
The timing of this recent Turk incursion into Syria with the current israeli governmental indecision was probably no accident. ;-D
Such governmental indecision needs to happen in the zionazi pindo colony. Continuously now. Better to keep the masters of chaos in a state of reorganization as long as possible. Mir doesn’t need an efficient american colony right now, it needs one as most ineffective and scattered as possible.
I might agree with you Vot Tak, but in this very narrow case,Trump wants to pull troops out of the easiest place for him to do it, to fulfill his campaign promise. It’s clear he is heading for a rationalization, pulling a few troops, keeping the rest to “secure oil from Iran” which also fulfills another statement he made during the 2016 campaign: “Keep the Oil!”
I have said for nearly two years that the US isn’t leaving. They will have to be blasted out of Syria.
So, it is an academic exercise to evaluate Trump’s policy, tweets and remarks. He has no power to alter the neocon, protect Israel manic policy.
He has come to face a rationalization that ending wars is like a going out of business sale. And the economy of the US must have wars.
Syria 2.0 is underway. Has been for one year. Will be for at least two more years.
I always read your and Vot Tak’s comments.Just about always brilliant insights from the both of you.
Cheers and thanks.
Apologies for the major fail remark. It was uncalled for. Still disagree about trump’s personal motives, though. I don’t think the coming [s]election plays a deciding factor in trump’s lying about getting out of Syria. It’s psywar drama for the home audience. He, nor his zionazi-gay owners, have any intention of voluntarily leaving any place they currently occupy. The trump regime is tasked to keep hold of all territory the zionazi-gays have captured, while israel can build up the war machines of their colonials in preparation for more hard core warring to come.
Add the Divine Intervention of the volcanic eruption in the Philippines which meant the US evacuation of their base was a fait accompli…
I do not understand this negative view of Assad. After all, it is the Syrian people, the Arab Syrian army, and the Syrian government who have won this war. Who have paid a very high prize.
Since some years, I follow very intensively the situation in Syria and I got the impression that Assad is popular. In the interviews, he is convincing. Of course, Syria had very important allies, first Hezbollah and Iran and later Russia. But they remain allies, not the leaders.
I do not understand neither the idea that the actual changes in Syria are described as a chess game, mastered by Russia. As far as I know, life is not a chess game. Chess is ridiculously simple compared with life. I doubt very much that the hostilities between Turkey and Syria can be overcome so easily. After all, it is the Turkish army and their mercenaries who are killing and destroying in Syria. Why should the Syrians overlook this?
Apparently, Russia had proposed – already some years ago – that Assad gives the Kurds autonomy. Assad has always objected this proposal and he has good arguments, in my eyes. Should he just follow Russia?
It is true that I am not a journalist and that I was never in Syria, nor in Lebanon. Nevertheless, I have my own ideas and in the mentioned points, I cannot follow Pepe Escobar.
”I do not understand this negative view of Assad. After all, it is the Syrian people, the Arab Syrian army, and the Syrian government who have won this war. Who have paid a very high prize.”
Precisely. Bashar al-Assad rose to the occasion and turned out to be a real Head of State as his country was being targeted by the Anglo-Zionazis for destruction. His popularity at home and abroad is no accident. I have marveled quite a few times at Bashar al-Assad’s calmness and sound judgment in the face of these monsters; most notably Israel and Saudi Arabia with the former one right there at Syria’s borders and the latter a mere stone’s throw away.
Verdict: Excellent resolve! Syria was blessed with the right leadership. The absence of it was the great tragedy of the Spanish Republic in the 1930s.
Indeed if you have not lived or experienced Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, etc. in the 70s, 80s, 90s, prior to all these regime change wars, you cannot easily comprehend how we got to this point. And as you have mentioned “Chess is ridiculously simple compared with life”….this is indeed the case.
It is not as simple as the Anglo-Zionist alliance just rolled into the Middle-East :-).
This is a naive approach which many often have, especially people living in the West that have been following developments and searching for the truth since 9-11, followed by the wars on Iraq and Afghanistan.
This is where people’s years of life experiences and travels comes in, like that of Pepe.
Harry_Red, it would be more interesting to accept that different political positions exist and to explain by political arguments why you find the position of Pepe Escobar better than mine. Calling somebody naïf and judging one’s political position by his or her “life experience” and the number of travels he or she has made, is too simple (to put it mildly). By the way, I am older than Pepe Escobar. Do I have more life experience? How would you measure this?
I very much respect Pepe Escobar, but, as I wrote, I do not like some of his positions in his article. And I think that a serious discussion of these points would be interesting. Is Assad a good president or not? Do the actual events in Syria follow a precise plan and – if yes – who has elaborated this plan?
Paul, I was not referring to your comment as naive at all. I mentioned the word naive more as a general statement. Also I was trying to confirm the importance of your last sentence. Sorry if I did not make myself clear on that point.
To clear Pepe Escobar’s points to the general readers of the Saker blog would require me to write an entire article or articles on the social, political, religious and economic development of the Arab world/countries in the past few decades and how this development effected the daily life of people in the Arab world (as a region). How internal developments set the ground for external influences and vice-versa.
It seems that everybody and their dog promises the Kurds their own Kurdistan if only the Kurds were to help them out.
“Gottfried Johannes Muller along with Ramzi Fatih, a Kurdish citizen, designed the Kurdish flag in the early 1940s. … In 1943 he, as a German Major and Ramzi Nafie Agha carried out a mission to start an Kurdish uprising and to gain control of the oil fields for the Germans. In return, the Kurds would be assisted in creating an independent Kurdistan. But the operation failed and he was betrayed.”
And every time, the Kurds lose out.
“East of Deir ez-Zor, the PYD/YPG already had to say goodbye to the region that is responsible for 50 percent of Syria’s oil production.
Trump is saying the “US has secured the oil fields” and I know Lindsey Graham was pushing for this. Controlling oil & money flow is very much Trump policy, everywhere.
Is there any confirmation that the SAA now have control of any oil fields East of Deir ez Zor?
Years ago on CNN, General Wesley Clark said the following:
“ISIS got started through funding from our friends and allies. Because, as people will tell you in the region, if you want somebody who will fight to the death against Hezbollah, you don’t put out a recruiting poster and say sign up for us we’re going to make a better world, you go after zealots and you go after these religious fundamentalists, that’s who fights Hezbollah.”
The US objective in Syria was not defeating ISIS, it was to remove Assad.
I think it’s too early to declare victory. Trump just tweeted: “The U.S. has secured the Oil, & the ISIS Fighters are double secured by Kurds & Turkey.”
Secured from Russian, Syrian and Iranian bombs, missiles and bullets.
It must be remembered that the internationalization of Jerusalem and the Palestine region (smaller than the later Mandatory Palestine) was a Russian proposal in the agreements for the reorganization of the region after the defeat of the Ottoman Empire (the so-called Sykes-Picot agreements included the previous Sazonov-Paleologue agreement). The Bolshevik coup-d’etat withdrew Russia from the agreements and from any role in the ME, only France and Britain remaining on the ground.
I must say that I appreciate the perspective that is provided here. The historical context, and its relation, to the specific populations involved in the situation is enlightening. Thank You.
Leaving out Israel? Well, fair enough. And yet the important events of the last weeks appear to me to have happened precisely because for once in a blue moon, Israel has been left out of the equation. Has anyone mentioned this? My guess is that Trump took advantage of Netanyahu’s lame duck predicament and moved fast to unload the Kurds, who basically stood in the way of his political need to come up with an electoral win with his political base. His problem all along has been the sharply self contradictory nature of his presidency. On the one hand he galvanised a political base with themes that have not been heard of since the Isolationists who elected Roosevelt in 1940. But his only financial backers were the radial right Zionists. Pompeo and Bolton were Sheldon Anderson initiatives. Trump tried to please his Zionist backers by giving Israel things that cost nothing, Syria’s territory and the embassy move to Jerusalem. But he was basically pledged to his electorate to shove a knife in the back of his big contributors. Kinda hard to do, unless you’re devoid of scruples. But that’s our Donald! Anyway, no more than a moment after Netanyahu is hamstrung with domestic obstacles than Trump decided the time is right to cut the Kurds loose. Of course the neocons and Israelis aren’t going to like that. There goes the big deal Yinon plan. It all hinged on Rojava.
The events now unfolding evidently were orchestrated by the Russians somehow with Trump being fully on board. The neocons can scream bloody murder but what matters is the upcoming election. The Russians deserve great credit for their patient and persistent efforts towards a clearly conceived strategic goal, and this at a time when the Americans and their allies have demonstrated an increasing incapacity for this sort of thing. But still, I’m kind of impressed with Trump’s ruthlessness. I’d like to see more of this. But I fear that what we’ll actually see is a beefing up of the ‘Indo-Pacific’ agenda. Still, this is a defeat for the Israeli’s and their neocon allies. I’m of the mind that we are witnessing a memorable event.
In the comments to this article on Consortium News, a most insightful person identifying as Ray McGovern wrote the followint words which I am pasting here:
The words are not mine, they are those of the commenter on Consortium News.
Thank you, Ray.
How times have changed ;-) ……. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vs448eq1k9M
Since history is on the menu, why not consider the past few days, and not just Syria, but the US too? As it is, the Turks announced, long in advance of this offense; and far away in California, the global Rothschild bankers likewise gave fair warning, electrical blackouts for the slim Republican-voting minority of the rural foothills (1-2 million people). By the strangest coincidences, a waxing moon, an auspicious wind, a high holy day (Yom kipur), the stars aligned for Turkey to strike out on her crusade, just as the bankers axed the rural CA electric grid, to the selfsame hour. The world news couldn’t decide whether to even print the Syria story, as it was so humdrum in comparison. Just imagine, a million plus, non-gang member, gun owners, losing by secret vote their constitutional rights, whilst without electricity, and half the major cell carriers likewise crashed, leaving all those poor Westerners in a very real darkness. No cell, no internet, no lights, no rights—but only three days— Syria, perhaps, is looking up in comparison, at least they have less to lose, compared to those who have it all.
Southfront, has reported the resurgence of Saudi-coalition attacks and aerial bombings of the Houthi Yemenites; the new Saud campaign, in violation of a ceasefire, kicked-off simultaneous to the Turk crusade; another news story lost beneath the California news black-out.
“Syria may be the biggest defeat for the CIA since Vietnam.”
… actually the biggest defeat for the Jewish Mafia since WW2.
“History will eventually tell us that, as an example to the whole Global South, this will remain the ultimate game-changer.”
No need to wait for history. The process has already started …
The camel that broke the straw man’s back.
”Syria may be the biggest defeat for the CIA since Vietnam.”
Right — and the biggest victory ever for Russia since Stalingrad with Russia’s prestige soaring in the eyes of the Muslim world.
What a fabulous moment of history this is!
A very clear picture thank you that should be in every future text book for earnest study. Particularly Turkeys not blameless role.
I know Saker and many others think the idea of Trump playing “3D or 4D chess” is ludicrous. It often looks like he is just a narcissistic buffon. But he has had more than the average US presidential closeness with US military top brass in his cabinet etc. and advisor like Lt.Gen. Michael Flynn.
So perhaps he is a puppet of guys who are far smarter – and want to start bringing the legions home, before the Imperial homeland collapses. The trade wars are a sign of not being globalist but being nationalist.
Anyway this article of Pepe’s, and MoonofAlabama’s “win-win-win-win” article, and Vanessa Beeley’s tweet that it was all planned ahead of time and then some public brawling as a smokescreen – suggests we have just witnessed some “3d/4d chess”.
As the CIA are servants of the globalist elites, the key phrase in Pepe’s article is: “The CIA will be after Trump’s scalp till Kingdom Come.”
So just like JFK trying to end the Vietnam War and seeking detente with Kruschev. Trump better have loyal bodyguards. Any truth to the rumours he has military special forces rather than the Secret Service?
”It often looks like he /Trump/ is just a narcissistic buffoon. But he has had more than the average US presidential closeness with US military top brass in his cabinet etc.”
I guess you could say that, yes, El Trumpo is indeed a narcissistic buffoon. What’s significant is the accelerating demise of the US Empire, which cannot be addressed unless the military top brass — unlike most of the gung-ho, moronic US population — informs the Pindo regime about the prospects for continued imperialist violence, lawlessness, and oppression globally. Under the circumstances of a by-gone era, El Trumpo would have come across as the reincarnation of another reactionary Republican clown and buffoon: Ronald Reagan.
Ronald Reagan did along with Gorbachev end the first Cold War. GHWB’s friend’s son tried to assassinate Reagan.
No, but it looks like I might start targeting the CIA.
Trump has only Secret Service protection. They even drove off Trump’s personal body guard Keith Schiller, who worked as his closest security man for nearly 20 years. Less than 9 months into the first year, he was out of the Oval Office. Trump is at the mercy of the Deep State.
They keep him alive because the end game will be the utter destruction of his Trump Organization, family wealth, and reputation, done as an object lesson to any billionaire who thinks they can do what Trump did.
A perfect ending will be his resignation and/or his prosecution for some high crime. Either is highly probable as the winds blow in DC. He may have a sizable voter approval, but he has no protection from his enemies.
. As always, an illuminating and to-the-point Exkurs lead by Pepe Escobar.
I must, however, ask to take the opportunity to differ from one sentence, to wit:
“He has been gunning for a safe zone inside the Syrian border — actually a Turkish enclave — since 2014”
. Having worked and travelled in four states surrounding Syria, I gathered the impression that very few of the Turkic-speaking population on both sides alone the border are Turkish, but rather Turkmen speakers and a smaller smattering of Uyghur refujees from the early 1960s.
. If on the other hand his meaning is to bee understood as referring to the areas subject to Turkish State actions — since 2014 — he is in his right — as always.
I am — and we should all be — mighty tired of the Syrian State Leadership being referrer to as “The Assad Regime”. To wit, this is a regime that has carried thru popular elections of parliament and also president. Why not always refer to the US of North America as “the Trump regime”. Or to Turkey and Palestinian leadership in Al-Quds and Ankara as “the Erdoǧan regime” and “the Nathan-yahoo regime”? Pure forgetfulness or what?
The ”regime” qualifier and its obvious corollary ”Dictator Assad” mean that Assad and the Syrian government have a resounding mass base of utter deplorables who shouldn’t really have been given the franchise. The Crimeans are another case in point. Syria is a People’s dictatorship which the Zionazis tried to break and failed. The worse for them.
Thank you for your inquiry. A brief explanation:
Any government that opposes the American Empire=regime
Any government that whores for the American Empire=government
The government of the American Empire=democracy
Brought to you by the US Department of Politically Correct NewSpeak.
‘Palestine was separated from Cham (the “Levant”), to be internationalized.’
Escobar does not want to be refuseda visa at the borders of the stolen Zio-state.
An excellent analysis and history of Bilad Al Sham from you Pepe , you are my hero, and I hope that Syria will continue progression of getting the land and the resources back from the AngloZionist who think along with stupid MSM and every one in the USA that they have the right to go in some body else land , grab their oil , destroy their infrastructure , kill its people and try to creat a partition .
They will pay a heavy price in the future and the history will not treat them well.
Thanks again .
US Never Promised to Stay in Syria for ‘400 Years’ to Protect Kurds, Trump Says
“President Donald Trump has once again defended his decision to withdraw around 1,000 American soldiers from northern Syria, saying that the US never promised Kurdish forces that they would stay in the country for “400 years” to protect them. He added that he doesn’t want American forces to stay in Syria and therefore they are leaving the country “nicely”.
The president added that at first US troops previously stationed in the northern part of the Arab Republic would be redeployed to “different areas”, but would eventually return home. He clarified that a “small” number of American troops will remain in Syria, with one group staying behind in order to “secure the oil”, while the others will be stationed near the borders with Jordan and Israel.
POTUS indicated that these troops will remain in the Arab Republic due to requests from the governments of Jordan and Israel.”
Request from israel? LOL, it was an order.
It’s Always About Oil, Huh? Trump Mulls ‘Keeping’ Syrian Crude With US Company’s Help
“I always said if you’re going in, keep the oil […] maybe get one of our big oil companies in to do it properly”, POTUS said.
“President Trump is thinking outside the box. I was so impressed with his thinking about the oil. Not only are we going to deny the oil fields falling into Iranian hands, I believe we’re on the verge of a joint venture between us and the Syrian Democratic Forces […]to modernize the oil fields and make sure they get the revenue, not the Iranians, not Assad”, Graham said on 21 October.”
IE: israel’s cowardly quislings are not leaving, they are making a “strategic withdrawal” to reorganize. The zionazi-gays fully intend to continue their war against Syria by any means they can.
Trump ‘Fully Prepared’ For Military Action Against Turkey If Needed – Pompeo
“We prefer peace to war,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told CNBC Monday. “But in the event that kinetic action or military action is needed, you should know that President Trump is fully prepared to undertake that action.”
That threat is from israel, via their loyal pompom quisling. The zionazi-gays are plainly worried Turkey may be further utilised to remive their proxies not just fron the Turk-Syrian border region, but from northern Syria altogether.
Macron, the antichrist, is up to no good in Syria