by Ghassan Kadi
The recent speech of President Putin at the UNGA has shown the rest of the world the extent of Western lies and inefficiency. Moreover, the Russian military initiative in Syria that almost immediately followed the speech has left all enemies of Syria in a bind, confused, and not knowing what to do.
In one moment, Foreign Secretary Kerry says that he wants to cooperate with Russia all the while other US officials express concern about Russia’s role and demand the military action to stop. Israel is very concerned about the Russian-imposed curfew imposed on its air-force in Syrian skies. To add to Israel’s woes, some leaked news indicate that Hezbollah has received from Iran the highly advanced SA-22 ground-to-air anti-aircraft missiles (1). Turkey is up in arms because Russia is allegedly attacking the FSA. The Saudis are demanding that Russia stops its “assault”, and all the covert would-be Islamists are wishing that Russians would be taken back to Russia in body bags in repeat to what happened in Afghanistan.
Russia is clearly showing that there is no distinction at all between any of the illegitimate armed forces operating in Syria and that Russia is there to support the Syrian Army and the legitimate government, irrespective of the West and its supporters say, want or think.
Lavrov could not put it more bluntly when he said that “if it looks like a terrorist, walks like a terrorist, if it fights like a terrorist, it’s a terrorist, right?” (2)
In fact, one can almost be certain that the first Russian strikes have deliberately hit as many different groups as possible in order for Russia to send a clear message that it does not see any distinction between the different terrorist groups and that it is intent to destroy them all.
President Putin also made a very subtle remark when he said that the foreign fighters in Syria should not be allowed to return home. Logic implies that he meant that they should all be killed or captured.
The Russian military intervention is undoubtedly an unprecedented move that heralds the actual beginning of a new geopolitical era. This is a much further step from the previous milestones that signaled the end of the NWO era.
The end of the NWO hegemony has been made clear earlier in Ukraine and in the East Mediterranean in September 2013, and which meant that America is no longer the unrivaled world leader.
The ancient nation of Syria was destined to be the place where this historic new phase in geopolitics has emerged and where the basic change has been enforced.
When we use the term “enforced”, we need to qualify the nature of the enforcement because Presidents Putin and Assad are “enforcing” international law and bilateral treaties; unlike the multitude of US-led coalitions which invaded countries to topple their legitimate governments and to pillage their infrastructures and resources and destroy their economies.
So the USA is now stuck between a rock and a hard place. For the first time in a very long time, it is coerced to accept that it is no longer the sole world super power. Furthermore, it finds itself having to accept that a major international development has eventuated in Syria against its will and that it is incapable of stopping it.
But America’s acceptance of the new status quo and the abolishment of the post-USSR NWO is not the main dilemma that America is facing now. In the eyes of hawkish American politicians, the main issue would be in dealing with its aftermath. If America were to sit back and watch Russia implement its own resolutions in Syria, then such an American position would be tantamount to conceding defeat.
Conceding defeat is something huge that America is not used to do. For America to concede defeat is a serious matter that may, just may drive hawkish politicians to make big gambles and dangerous maneuvers.
Not very long ago, I wondered what would a desperate America do, and I wrote an article titled “How Far Will A Desperate America Go?” (3). Some potential scenarios were hypothetically examined and reactions considered, but the Russian initiative in Syria has shuffled all cards in such a manner that have now put America in a situation in which it may find itself needing to fight not only for survival, not only for stature but to also fight for its impunity and its ability of independent decision-making.
As a matter of fact, many observers consider that America’s actions in Ukraine were intended to punish Russia for the role it played in Syria up till 2013. We have to keep in mind that if this is true, it would have been in retaliation to the Russian downing of two Syria-bound American missiles over the East Mediterranean. In comparison to what Russia is doing now, the downing of the two missiles becomes child’s play, dwarfed and insignificant.
So here’s the question, if America indeed stirred up the whole Ukraine issue in order to punish Russia for merely downing two American missiles that were intended to hit Syria, then to what extent will America be prepared to go in order to “punish” Russia for bombing the terrorist cells in Syria and for making America look totally powerless?
Such a scenario is frightening to say the least and this is perhaps the only concern as to how the Russian intervention in Syria can go pear-shaped.
Short of an open confrontation with Russia in Syria, America realistically cannot do much in way of curtailing Russia. America’s Middle Eastern regional cronies, including Israel, are not in a position to stand up against Russia. Erdogan has been rendered totally powerless and the Saudis are deep in mud. Furthermore, even before the Russian onslaught began, the “Anti-Syrian Cocktail” had already broken up and each of its fragments went on solo picking up its own pieces in the pursuit of its own interests and survival.
Washington must be abuzz with turmoil and confusion. Policy makers, military and political advisors, strategists and pundits would be looking at all alternatives, but they must be finding it very hard to choose what to do because they do not have too many options. If America opts to leave Russia do its bit in Syria, it may do this with the knowledge and intention that it can still easily stir up another potential hot spot and/or rekindle the Ukraine fire and cause trouble for Russia. But this only solves half the problem because unless America manages to stop the Russian initiative in Syria, it will be seen as a party who accepted defeat.
Russia is trying to restore the globally-accepted UN-based world order, but America still has the power to create a whole new world disorder. Whether American policy makers are foolhardy enough to go into this direction, will be decided by many factors; including who will be sitting at the helm in Washington after Obama. We can well criticize Obama and we do and should, but it is very possible that the new American President to be will make George W. Bush look like Mother Teresa. This is perhaps a good reason as to why Russia needs to act swiftly in Syria and before some conservative nut-case wins the next US presidential elections.
Russia is now calling the shots. The American-led conspiracy in Ukraine has already backfired in Crimea with more Russian gains down the pipeline.
President Putin understands well the American mentality. He knows that the Americans are bullies and he knows how to deal with bullies.
Bullies do not accept to be seen defeated. Americans may therefore have to accept their pride to be broken, with minimal damage, if Russian diplomacy can find them a face-saving sweetener.
After all, the Syrian surrender of chemical weapons back in 2013 was a Russian-brokered sweetener that America lapped up without hesitation. The difference between the 2013 events and those of today, is that the downing of the two American missiles by Russia in 2013 was kept behind the scenes and only known to a select few. America did not seem embarrassed to be seen backing down because in the eyes of the world, it didn’t. Currently however, it is all in the open and any magic panacea that is going to give the United States any face-saving will clearly look to the rest of the world that it is written in Cyrillic.