By Ghassan Kadi for the Saker Blog
In the past few weeks much has happened in the area of diplomacy on the part of Russia. Russia is forging ahead after stepping up its presence in the Middle East in the past decade, taking a strong pro-active political role. Moscow during this period has been intent on consolidating its efforts in re-establishing itself as the key player in any political settlements in the Middle East. Ever since Kissinger in the late 1970’s pulled the rug out from underneath the feet of the USSR, striking a deal between Israel and Egypt, excluding the USSR and the rest of the Arab World, the political influence of Russia in the Middle East significantly waned until it came back with deciding force when Russia responded to the Syrian Government’s request for help in September 2015.
Lately, the economic crisis has deepened in Syria following the drastic Western sanctions. And specifically after the implementation of the Caesar’s Act, the Syrian currency took a huge tumble and the cost of living has soared to unprecedented levels. This left many cynics wondering and pondering what was Russia going to do in the face of the collapsed Syrian economy after having achieved an impressive military victory, taking its troops outside its former USSR borders for the first time and heralding the end of the single super power status of the USA.
To this effect, and on the diplomatic side, Russian FM Lavrov has recently visited Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE for talks pertaining to an array of issues. The agenda issues that transpired to the media include trade, the Russian Sputnik V vaccine, as well as issues of global and regional security, albeit vague in details as what ‘security issues’ mean.
It appears that in these meetings, discussions included the return of Syria to the Arab League and the cost of reconstruction of Syria after ten years of war, a bill touted to exceed $Bn200. Expectations have existed for some time that the Arab Gulf states will fork out a huge chunk of this cost. As mentioned above, the bottom line here is that Russia’s military success in its operation in Syria needs to be followed by political success. Partly, this is achieved within the Astana talks which include Turkey and Iran. However, the very same Arab States instrumental in the ‘War on Syria’ are also instrumental in facilitating the return of Syria to the Arab League, the reconstruction efforts in Syria and the easing of sanctions. The Gulf states have always reiterated that there will no return of Syria to the Arab League for as long as Iranian forces remain on the ground. The UAE seemed more open than Saudi Arabia to the prospects of Syria’s return to the Arab League and financing the reconstruction process.
But why would the Gulf States, the same states that spent tens of billions of dollars in order to destroy Syria, be suddenly now interested in the reversal of the process? This is a fair question to ask.
Quite unexpectantly, and almost immediately after the return of Lavrov to Moscow, a top delegation of Hezbollah, headed by Mohamad Raad, was invited to Moscow for talks. Apparently, the visit was cloaked in a veil of secrecy in Russia and was not at all covered in Western media, even though it made news in Arabic mainstream media. It would be politically naïve to imagine that Lavrov’s visit to the Gulf has no relation to this. All issues in the Middle East are related to each other, including the war in Yemen.
To put it succinctly, the UAE had already stepped away from the Yemen war. However, Saudi Arabia remains bogged down in this travesty and seven years on, must have come to the humiliating and painful realization that it is a war it cannot win. This is where Iran and Hezbollah can have leverage in any direct or indirect negotiations with the Saudis, and Russia is the only arbitrator who is able to communicate with all parties involved.
All parties in the Middle East are looking for face-saving tradeoffs; at least partial and interim ones. The Saudis in particular are tired and exhausted,
In an interview given to Sputnik Arabic, one not widely reported in other media, not even Sputnik English, Raad praised the cooperation between Hezbollah and Russia, stating that ‘the invitation we received aims to reopen the dialogue about the next phase after having reached the achievements that serve the interests of the people of the region in the recent past’ .
This is Raad’s first visit to Moscow since 2011. Of that visit, I am not trying to speculate in hindsight of the purpose of it and the achievements of it. Furthermore, Hezbollah has not ever been party to any international dis-engagement or peace negotiations in the past, except for ones relating to exchange of prisoners. The economic demise of Syria and Lebanon, as well as the Saudi-Yemeni impasse, may well have placed Hezbollah in a position of participating in peace-deals negotiations this time.
I am neither referring to peace deals with Israel here, nor any deal involving disarmament. Hezbollah will not be prepared to negotiate disarming itself under any political settlement either today or in the foreseeable future, and Moscow is totally aware of this.
According to my analysis, the deal that Moscow is most likely to suggest is a mutual withdrawal of Iran and Hezbollah from Syria on one hand, and an end of the Saudi war on Yemen. It is simple, Saudi Arabia to leave Yemen and Iran/Hezbollah to leave Syria. I believe that Lavrov has already secured the Saudi acceptance of those terms, terms that will not only end the war in Yemen, but also the return of Syria to the Arab League and a possible easing of the Western economic sanctions on Syria. Had Lavrov not secured the Saudi assurance, he would not have invited Hezbollah for talks.
A deal of this nature can potentially end the criminal human tragedy in Yemen in a manner that will portray the Saudis as the real losers in the war, and this is where they need a face-saving trade-off in Syria. In Syria, they will be perceived as winners by securing an Iranian/Hezbollah exit. But most importantly perhaps for the Saudis, this will put an end to a very costly and humiliating war in Yemen, one which is beginning to draw criticism from some quarters of the international community, including alleged talk of America considering placing arms deal embargos on Saudi Arabia.
On the other hand, if Iran and Hezbollah end their presence in Syria, many sanctions are likely to be lifted and the severe economic pressure in Syria will be eased. Such a deal will be a humanitarian win for Syria and Yemen, a strategic win for Saudi Arabia and Iran, and a diplomatic win for Russia.
What will be in it for Hezbollah will largely depend on what Lavrov has put on the table, and it seems obvious that it is Hezbollah that will need more convincing than Iran, and this is why the talks are now with Hezbollah; not with Iranian officials. Perhaps the deal already has the tacit approval of Iranian officials.
It goes without saying; Israel will be watching these developments with keen interest. Israel wants Iran and Hezbollah out of Syria. But the trade-off deal I am talking about is not one in which Israel is a direct party.
What is known at this stage is that a meeting has already taken place between the Hezbollah delegation and Russian officials. As I write this, I am not aware if other meetings are to follow and or whether or not the Hezbollah delegation is back in Lebanon.
Was the 2011 Moscow visit of Raad a prelude for Hezbollah to enter Syria? Will the 2021 visit be prelude for Hezbollah to leave Syria? We don’t know. We may never find out the actual detailed outcome of the mysterious-but-not-so-mysterious current Hezbollah visit. It may not even end up with a press release, but in the next coming days, we will find out if a Syria-Yemen trade-off is indeed looming.
I am almost crying of joy when seeing for the first time in many years a window of opportunity into peace.
When Gassan writes “Such a deal will be a humanitarian win for Syria and Yemen, a strategic win for Saudi Arabia and Iran, and a diplomatic win for Russia”, one could add it would also be a strategic win for Israel.
While I think details can be worked out among the concerned parties, the US and its European poodles are nowhere to be seen. So one may expect them to mess up things mightily. If there is no war, how can they hope to sell bombs and other child-killing gear ?
So thank you for this light.
There is a lot of wishful thinking and assumptions in this article. There isn’t simply Iran/Hezbollah/Syria and Yemen in this mix. He didn’t mention the Turks, Kurds, ISIS, Yezidis and Americans. You think these groups are just going to lay down their arms and their grievances solved overnight as soon as other parties leave?
Problem here, as usual, is Israel. Everything stems from this tiny problem child. What is Russia going to do about them? What kind of guarantees they are going to get from them that would last beyond the paper its written on?
And you think Iran and Hezbollah are going to retreat one inch, now that they are in the position of advantage vs. Israel. Hardly. Same goes for Yemen. Yemenis are paying a terrible toll but they are slowly coming out victorious. Why should any of these groups do anything to save the face of the losers.
Apart from all the military strategic positioning, Iran is looking into its long held plans to finally complete its pipeline through Syria to the Med. That would surely bring Billions to Syria without having to join the Arab league and become a slave to their filthy money.
Sorry, but this is a bit too over optimistic and oversimplified.
My thoughts exactly. The US/NATO won’t vacate Syria and unless Russia can guarantee Syrian security and sovereignty there won’t be any withdrawals from Iran, Hezbollah and their allies. Russia will have to be prepared to confront israel, shoot down their planes and missiles which Russia hasn’t done yet nor do they intend to do so and to confront the US and get them to leave; doubt that Russia is willing or up to the task. Nice dream though to see the conflict end for Syria and Yemen and everybody lives happily ever after.
By the way, forgot to mention the Chinese who would gladly rebuild Syria and connect it to their Belt and Road network without asking a cent from the Arab league. They have already stated as such.
Syria doesn’t need the Arab League who is a corrupt body in the pockets of Israel and US. Beyond a non-aggression pact, there is no need to join this mafia. They were betrayed once and will be betrayed again, pushed hard by US/Israel.
So in the end the US and Israel get what they want. Iran and Hezbollah out of Syria. Then what a demand that Russia leave? The US will never remove sanctions. The goal was to demolish and destroy the Syrian state. Now they will remove sanctions and let it revive. Never. Surely Russia can not be believing that sanctions will ease or be removed from Syria. Believe this as sanctions are illegally piled on their own country?
The return of Syria to the Arab League and reconstruction money from the Gulf States for Syria. Without these two items, nothing is gained.
I’m sure that once Iran and Hizbollah leave, there wouldn’t be a legitimate reason for Israel to carry out air raids and the US to stay in Syria. Even now they don’t have but at least they can carry on their propaganda campaigns. Russia will definitely stay in order to make sure that all parties comply with the agreements.
Do you think those criminals care?
The US doesn’t have an economy. Its currency is inflating away vs bitcoin. It won’t be able to keep paying for wars with itchy & scratchy money forever.
I don’t understand why Russia would ask Iran and Hezbollah to leave Syria in exchange for a Saudi withdrawal from the war in Yemen, which Saudi Arabia is losing.
Moreover, Russia is not the boss of Iran and Hezbollah. It can’t order them to do this or not do that.
Lastly and most obviously, why would Russia seek to remove from Syria precisely those elements that have been instrumental in defending the country against the terrorists? Russia has certainly made a huge contribution, but it is axiomatic that territory cannot be gained or held without boots on the ground – which Russia cannot provide in Syria.
Perhaps you’re looking at it the wrong way this war will not be ended using the military but only by diplomacy, now by getting the Saudi’s out of the mix in both Syria and Yemen with their backing of ISIS $ then perhaps it will settle down, Israel stands to gain nothing in fact it’s a loser for it will have no excuse to send missiles into Syria Russia never DEMANDS, but use’s talks in the face of force to solve the problems, more over people always jump to conclusions oh, but Russia’s wrong or Putin’s wrong but so far that’s been on no occasions that I have seen, Perhaps it would be better to wait and see just what has been concluded rather than jumping at conclusions,!!
There already are reports of Iranian proxies withdrawing from Syrian oil fields. I hope that Hezbollah will retreat soon. It is not their fight anymore and Iran must deal with Israel on it’s own. Just leave it up to the Syrian government and Russia to clean up the remaining terrorists.
Bring the Turks to the table, make them retreat. Then Yankies will leave or remain to die in many “accidents” on the road. Do that and you have won the war.
“Then Yankies will leave or remain to die in many “accidents” on the road. ” – about as quickly as they left Afghanistan.
Afghanistan is a different beast. US runs a very profitable and established business there. No such business in Syria, the oil is simply not worth the cost of staying there for long.
Yankies were dragged into Syria by Israel to counter Iran. If there is no Iran in Syria, US is wasting time and lives there for no gain.
As shown in this article, a late 2020 interview with the U.S. Special Representative for Syria, James Jeffrey, clearly outlines Washington’s agenda in Syria:
Apparently, in James Jeffrey’s world, it’s okay to punish a nation and its beleaguered civilian population for the better part of a decade and hide information from the Commander-in-Chief and the American public just because Washington wanted to see an end to Bashar al-Assad who is still the democratically elected President of Syria.
Well said Sally and history gives us a reminder of this ‘punish’ a nation.
Could there be a greater difference in diplomatic skills and policies than that of Peter Paul Rubens and with the current crop of US state department diplomats.
Rubens led embassies for Isabel Clara Eugenia and Philip IV due to his fame and linguistic prowess with his perfect command of Spanish, French, Italian, Dutch and Latin. He could also paint.
In such times starving common folk to engineer regime change was not considered moral or Christian. Rubens was knighted by both kings, the English and the Spanish.
To the Russian’s credit, all of their foreign policy and military initiatives seem predicated on achieving clearly defined goals that benefit the overall national interest. This has been most clearly demonstrated in Crimea, Syria and Belarus. Conversely Russian interventions outside what they consider to be their national interest is more muted.
With this in mind, I find it hard to believe that the Russian’s would trade a strategic advantage within a conflict they’ve deemed to be in their national interest and have thus paid for in blood and treasure, for a symbolic victory in a conflict they are not participants to in which their adversaries are already losing.
We can all agree that the war in Yemen is a crime, and we should all hope for an end to that war and justice for its victims. Despite this, why would the Russians solve the problems of their antagonists in Yemen and Syria, and leave their allies in the breeze. In QE infinite 2021, the Russians have to be aware of the Trojan horse foreign investment by the Saudis and other Gulf monarchies would entail. You defend Syria from hooded Tafriki barbarians with American weapons only to surrender it to to suit wearing Tafriki barbarians armed with US dollars.
I don’t see why the rest of the Axis of Resistance would agree to this. And truly, let’s hope the Russians aren’t mad.
This is an interesting theory; thank you for the article. My feeling about the situation is a bit different. I think that currently, the most urgent subject in the region is Yemen and the battle around Marib. I also think that Hezbollah is much more involved in the war in Yemen than it is assumed. So, it would be more logical if the reason for Hezbollah’s invitation to Moscow is centered around Yemen (and the situation in Lebanon).
In Yemen, the situation changes rather strongly while in Syria, the situation is rather blocked. Reports and rumors about the start of an offensive of the Syrian army in the north are not convincing for me. I think that the situation in Syria is not ready for a big step forward. So, a direct link between Syria and Yemen looks not probable for me. Moreover, I cannot see that Iran and Hezbollah would make such a big concession towards Israel, with Israel continuing to bomb Syria.
i have made a rather savage video on the consequences of US Sanctions particularly in relation to Syria. For those who imagine sanctons are a less humane method of ‘regime change’ I would hope you may reconsider. I use images of Rubens with some updates to make the analogies.
Could there be no more a difference in diplomatic skills and policies than that of Peter Paul Rubens and with the current crop of US state department diplomats. Rubens led embassies for Isabel Clara Eugenia and Philip IV due to his fame and linguistic prowess with his perfect command of Spanish, French, Italian, Dutch and Latin. He could also paint. In such times starving common folk to engineer regime change was not considered moral or Christian. Rubens was knighted by both kings, the English and the Spanish.
For those interested a previous video I made reacting to some banned images has been allowed with the same images as I made the point that naked satirical images were not as severe as starving children or the consequences of US sanctions. This is based on Goya paintings.
John – I wish you would stop spamming this site with your videos.
Links are links and there is no complusion to follow them yet very many do. Being the first to call them ‘spam’ makes you somewhat unique yet due to the moderator’s realistic policy of no personal comments I will desist from seeking to understand exactly the reason. Have a nice day!
The reason your posts are spam is simple. Each of your posts follows the same pattern as the hundreds of spam emails that are posted all over the Internet. They consist of a brief textual, off-topic, introduction followed by the “spam” delivery itself – a self-promoting website link. Your posts are a bit more sophisticated but are (in my view) spam nonetheless.
By way of specific example, your current, off-topic post, self-promoting post violates moderation Rule #8:
8) “Off-topic comments are banned and should be redirected to the Movable Feast Café“
Your post also violates moderation rule #10:
10) “Once every now and again putting a link which is credible and adds to the discussion is permissible, but not a pattern of this type of self promotion behavior”
I respectfully request that you go elsewhere to promote your videos. Thank-you.
Interest take. With the continued presence of Turkish & US forces in Syria, doesn’t make sense for Syria’s allies to leave.
This all makes sense but why would the US remove sanctions under any circumstances? What is the linkage between this deal and sanctions, unless Israel would tell the US to drop sanctions?
face saving? no its not. it’s more of “neck saving”. yes, literally. the saudi royals must have realized by now that very soon, the yemenis will be marching on their sandals inside saudi arabia and this must be very terrifying to them. its the saudis initiative i believe to get the russians sort things out before the yemenis make the headway.
This is not a proposal but a trap. What happened to the proposal that stated NATO wouldn’t move eastward after the fall of the Soviet Union? How many times has Russia, Iran and other nations been betrayed by the Financial Empire? What about JCPOA betrayal?
Syria has a great opportunity to build a revolutionary financial system that will bring it success and admiration from the world. It needs to do a deal with China for its infrastructure development, 5G communication network and consumer products. It can finance this development through CURRENCY SWAPS with China, Iran, Russia, Turkey and other nations. No need to go into debt. Syria needs to issue its currency as an asset and interest free to its people. In the next five years it will be a shining state in the Middle East.
China, Russia and Iran need to work with Syria on its development to show they can make a nation. Also, since China is already investing in Iran $400 billion, additional $100+ billion in Syria will make its presence in the Middle East strong. Let’s see which nations show imagination and creativity!
It predicts that the Iranian military will be out, not that Iran has no opportunity for investments and other types of collaboration. Once Iran and Hezbollah leave, the US or Israel would have no legitimate reason to meddle in Syria. But surely, Russia will make sure that the US and Israel will comply with the agreements. Otherwise, there’s always a possibility of bringing back Iranian troops.
Also, the article doesn’t mention that the Arab League is the sole contributor to the rebuilding efforts. It’s up to the Syrian govt. to make deals with Russia, China, and Iran
Please name a nation that the Financial Empire has withdrawn its forces from after occupying it after WWII, other than Vietnam.
What is the logic behind thinking that it will withdraw from Syria, after being illegally in Syria? Has Russia ensured Turkey’s compliance with past commitments? The Empire’s plan calls for capturing and controlling global natural & energy resources. Is one saying that it is abandoning this objective?
Iran can withdraw from Syria if the US and NATO withdraws from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and commit to no regime change in the Middle East, under the UN declaration. Also, the UN peacekeepers can move in to maintain peace before the withdrawal, which can include China & Russia too. Also, Iran can demand all sanctions on it be removed and JCPOA reinstated before withdrawal. Let there be peace in the Middle East.
The crux of the earlier comment was that Syria doesn’t need to go into debt but do currency swaps to attract developmental partners. It needs know-how to build infrastructure and its economy.
You really are naive,since when have Israel and the US needed a legitimate reason to attack a Country,they don’t care about the law,the Americans have been breaking treaties since they sat down with Sitting Bull,before they murdered him,Iran and Hezbollah must stay otherwise they will be fighting the same terrorists in their own Countries.
One can see the TRAP in this proposal. Get Iran and Hezbollah out from Syria and then Iran has lost its leverage. It will be limited to its boundaries and easily attacked. This ploy is clearly visible.
@Swordfish: “Once Iran and Hezbollah leave, the US or Israel would have no legitimate reason to meddle in Syria.”
Not having a legitimate reason never stopped Uncle $cam and his favourite nephew Little Izzie from invading weaker countries — especially countries with resources not yet owned by Anglo Zionazi Capitalism, or countries with a different ideology from Anglo Zionazi Capitalism.
The path to Syrian recovery requires an end to Israeli missile and bomb attacks which hit Syrian infrastructure and endangers cities. They ain’t bombing out in the desert.
So, Iran’s assets in Syria, if removed, end the excuse for Israeli’s illegal savagery.
Once, a peace falls on Syrian secured regions, China and UAE and Saudi money can flow into the reconstruction projects Russia and China will control. This is imperative for Syrian stability and Assad’s continued governance.
Russia is conducting diplomacy, with their goals and interests coordinated with Syrian needs. Russia is permanently “in Syria”. They are not going anywhere. Not just stakeholders, but the major player with whom all others must deal.
Winning the war means the winner has to produce the peace that follows. Russia is working on that as they continue to destroy ISIS, al Nusra and eventually, will push the Turks back across the border when they play the Kurds’ card.
The US will continue to create chaos and pain for Syria and Assad’s government. They won’t abandon that track. However, they have no real force protection in their bases. Missiles will decimate any of their bases in Syria. Thus, one bad night changes their strategic presence. Time will come when the US catches hell if it lingers in Syria past the safe date.
Iranian, Russian and Houthi missiles have altered the entire region’s strategic balance.
Extracting Iranian and Hezbollah forces from Syria can be considered temporary. It is a tactical move, easily reversed if necessary.
thanks Larchmonter – yes that seems very logical and sound analysis – especially the last paragraph.
Sounds fine except for this statement: “On the other hand, if Iran and Hezbollah end their presence in Syria, many sanctions are likely to be lifted and the severe economic pressure in Syria will be eased.”
Not likely that sanctions will be lifted as along as Assad is in power with Russian support.
Sadly, this is true. From the very beginning, the goal was to remove Assad from power and establish oil and gas pipelines through Syrian territory to bypass the Russians.
Ones China, Russia and other nations get involved in the reconstruction of Syria, it will become imperative for Iran, Israel & the US not to mess around, as they will harm others too. These Syrian partners can structure the financial system in a way that the Syrian currency is anchored to their currencies and not the US dollar. This way they have minimized currency risks. All the payments can go over their respective payment networks not through SWIFT. Sanctions will become meaningless.
China and Russia can make the best of the Syrian tourist industry for their people. Their tourists will be able to seamlessly use their products and services. It will be like Americans traveling to Florida in the US. Also, if the Empire creates chaos, then China needs to also establish a military base. This way the Empire will know that its cost will go up as it creates chaos.
Syria can create money like every nation and do currency swaps to build its infrastructure and create employment. It needs to innovate and invest in people, peace and prosperity!
If Ghassan Kadi is correct in his analysis, Russia with Russian diplomacy is preparing for no less than the end of useless wars in the Middle-East. Let’s hope that he is correct.
No, Swordfish not that bad.
It would be enough that both Iran and Hesbollas clearly put a condition: that they will come back unless Syria is left in peace for reconstruction.
Very interesting article.
I don’t necessarily agree however it is an absolutely fascinating potential take on what is transpiring.
If Putin/Lavrov could pull off a deal like this it would be a monumental political coup for Russia.
Withdrawal of Hezbollah and Iran would be the beginning of the end of Syria and a green light for Turkey and western powers to step up dismantle of Syria as a state.
Exactly. You have hit the nail on the head. This so-called “trade-off” would lead to the fall of the Syrian state and the dismantling of Syria by the U.S., Israel, Turkey and the Sunni Arab states. It’s absolutely preposterous.
Kadi is not telling us what has been agreed. Indeed, he says the participants have been very reticent.
Kadi is telling who must be stroked, and what are likely the most pleasing strokes.
Remember, Soleimani was murdered by cowards’ missiles on his way to a mediated meeting. Surely, he would not have moved in nearly open public view, unless he had good reason to believe a significant paymaster of his enemies sincerely sought peace.
Also, his enemies, those in the Arabian peninsula, have realized that the lucrative oil-market has been weaponised, and they must invest in other sources of income.
So Iran and Hezbollah pull out. Since when has Israel and the US ever spoke the truth? They would say,they didn’t pull out. They would say they are still there. They would continue to bomb and strike Syria pushing the lies that Iran and Hezbollah never pulled out. Both were invited, both should stay. The focus should be on getting the occupiers out, the agressors stopped. Getting the real help to Syria out, is placating the vicious attackers. And by the way, all those that have attacked Syria,why are we not speaking of them paying a price? Do they murderer hundreds of thousands, destroyed an entire nation, and what price are the paying. Nothing. All the talk is getting Iran and Hezbollah out. Bull. Get the evils doers out.
The Saudis won’t last much longer in Yemen anyway,if Hezbollah and Iran pull back from Syria it won’t end sanctions the Reich will double down,they will see it as weakness.and it won’t stop those Israeli criminals bombing Syria.
There will not be any peace.
Trained eyes will all see that a very big war is coming, and if temporary agreements and accommodations are being made, they are to allow for a greater strategy to be pursued by the bigger players (Israel making friends with previous enemies and Turkey fielding a massive army of Foreign Mercenaries are the most obvious).
The major players in this – who should not need to be listed – are all steadily moving their pieces into play.
As global economies begin to collapse and the petro-dollar is no more, the rich west are going after real resources around the planet.
Real resources have never been more important to secure if currently powerful nations are to remain so after “The Great Reset” – and if hyperinflating currencies such as the US can pay for a war machine to secure vast lands from Venezuela to Iraq, then you can be assured they will print whatever they can in worthless paper to secure real wealth and resources before the coming economic collapse and “Great Reset” (see the World Economic Forum for details of this).
Energy (Oil, Gas, Coal, Uranium), Commodities (especially rare minerals and metals, plus timber), Fresh Water, and Food – especially fertile lands (such as those in Ukraine), and fertile fishing waters (such as those around the Pacific and the North Atlantic), are what is important now.
It is a mad rush to grab (or “secure” in American and English newspeak) what can be taken whilst the great machines and engines of war can still be paid for in fiat-currency.
Rich and powerful resource rich nations such as North America and Russia will, and are, having their claims, ownership, rights, and even sovereignty contested as the globe is sliced up into so called “spheres of influence” and more powerful nations prey upon the weak (such as Turkey in Syria, the US in Iraq, and the EU in eastern Europe, especially in bread basket Ukraine).
Once the Petro-Dollar fails completely and the US Dollar looses its value (along with all those currencies pegged to it or exchange rate referenced to it), it will be “boots on the ground” that “secure” the resources.
Another “urgency” is that regional rivalries will need to be settled one way or the other, and with such bad blood between the EU and Russia, between Israel and Iran, and between China and the US (even ignoring India and Pakistan, North and South Korea, and other ‘cold’ conflicts) it is unlikely that the settlements will be entirely peaceful.
As the US collapses internally, economically, and militarily, It is very unlikely that Israel will except Iran as a peer in military terms (which would prevent the Greater Israel dream), so they are likely to provoke some form of conflict whilst they no the US has their back should they miscalculate and end up looking at defeat.
Same with the EU. It is unlikely that the EU (and especially the rabid UK) will allow Russia to expand influence into Western Europe, but without the US might they could not prevent it. They are also likely to provoke something with Russia prior to the collapse of the US – most likely an incident involving Kaliningrad as opposed to Ukraine (although the British have fought over Crimea before and have shown a recent interest in that area).
China have made no secret that have designs upon North America, and have great influence in Canada, and if certain theories are to be believed they now have the current US President in their pocket (the Hunter Biden laptop videos and photographs even without the documents are very incriminating in this regard).
So, to cut a long story short, no, there will not be a lasting peace – we are in the prelude to a new great war, the outcome of which will change the political and economic outlook of peoples everywhere for generations – and that is assuming it does not go nuclear, in which case all bets are off and the US CIA linked 2025 Deagel projection looks highly likely (spoiler – 90% of the US population dead, 90% of the British population dead, and millions of Chinese, Russians, Iranians, Europeans, dead by 2025).
Thanks for a lot of otherwise hidden information. What I don’t understand is why Iran is in Syria in the first place. I thought it was to support Assad. If so then why would Syria (ASSAD) be happy to see them go? it always seemed to me that if Syria succumbed to the mercenaries Hezbollah couldn’t stand and then Iran was next. This article makes it sound as if Iran were attacking Syria. If so, why?
Very encouraging to hear that such efforts are in the works. The Russian leadership has consistently maintained all along that there is no military resolution to the war. Whether or not one believes this it indicates an ambitious diplomatic program to rearrange the numerous pieces on the extended Asian chessboard to suit SCO interests. The efforts that concern Syria are also underway as regards Afghanistan. I do not take too seriously the bare bones details regards the exiting of Hezbollah or Iran in exchange for this and that. I’d expect that what we are being told is a small fraction of what we are unlikely to hear about. But the fact that such large issues are being mooted is encouraging. What I would expect from Lavrov and Co. is a long term settlement that all participants will be able to live with, not excluding Turkey, Israel, and the Saudis.
To my thinking the most important matter is to neutralise the takfiris. This is probably doable since the ideological hostility towards godless communism is no longer an issue. Now it’s just the shady machinations of Nato powers using the warriors of Islam as mercs. Key to the whole thing would be to provide for the security of the Gulf monarchies vis a vis Iran primarily. This is possible. America is fading from the region and GB is increasingly a joke. The matter is complicated by Syria, Turkey, Yemen, and not least Israel. But I get the impression, from evidence such as is presently offered by Ghassan, Russia is actively taking the diplomatic initiative. It suggests that they have long term macro plans or visions of how peaceful and hopefully prosperous conditions could be restored – minus Nato, of course.
It’s a bit of a mountain to climb. The Western ‘security’ program is divide and rule. What this amounts to is a kind of civil war within Islam, neocon policy in a nutshell. Russia’s diplomatic task is to restore a reasonable working relation between Gulf Sunni’s and Iranian and allied Shiites. If that agenda could be moved forwards that would make a lot of difference. Already the spook backed Fetullah has been neutralised in Central Asia. If the financial spigots from the Gulf monarchies could be dialed down that would be two giant steps in the right direction. Then that would leave the colour revolutionary civil society operatives. The evidence from Belorussia and Myanmar suggests that the security state is prepared to keep the streets even if they have to use muscle to maintain governmental authority. I gather they are prepared to call the Western bluff – and the propagandistic press be dammed. Let the Harpies shriek. They do anyway. It won’t make any significant difference. Diplomacy is slow going. It’s hard to say what’s really going on. But the general drift of things is clear: America out, Russia in, and Islamic Asia restored to it’s natural geo-economic and general Asian context. Smooth sailing is not to be expected. But strategic thinking is not about war. It’s about the peace one is prepared to work and maybe fight for.
If Iran and Hezbollah leave Syria, what about the Americans and its allies like Turkey or those precious Pro-Democracy Head-Choppers, which the American Axis has been arming and bankrolling? Will the latter also be compelled to leave?
If not, that is a HUGE mistake, as the Americans and its terrorist partners will increase their war on Syria.
It seems that Russia is actually (tacitly) allying with Israel to force an Iranian and Hezbollah withdrawal from Syria.
Biden’s Latest Strike on Syria. The S-300 No-Show. The Russia-Israel De Facto Alliance?
Tend to agree with you. From Lavrov agreeing with Kerry that the terrorists are ‘moderate’ to setting up districts to harbour and house the so called ‘moderates’ one has to seriously reconsider Russia’s role. By all appearances Syria has been divided up already; Turkey has the northern district, US has everything East of the Euphrates while Syria retains the destructed Western half. Iran has recently relocated from an occupied Syrian district and Russia has taken possession; could be a coincidence (about leaving) or a strategic move by Iran. That link you supplied is pretty much spot on and unfortunately you can expect Russian ‘compatriots’ here to get their noses out of joint but facts speak for themselves. Russia could have finished off the war in late 2016 early 2017 when they had the terrorists on the run and before Turkey/US set up their bases.
The prospect of peace breaking out fills me with much joy.
The reality is that Iran and Syria alone would have been insufficient to prevent the West from overthrowing Assad and dismembering Syria. Had the combined forces of the SAA and the IRGC been sufficient, then neither Assad nor General Soleimani, much less Hezbollah, would have been repeatedly seeking Putin’s commitment to intervene on the side of the Syrian Arab Republic. Even Hassan Nasrallah has admitted that the “Resistance” was imploring Putin to intervene, and that Putin was reluctant in the utmost until the last second. The point is that the “Resistance” likes to pretend that it is stronger than it actually is. Yet had the “Resistance” truly been as strong as it averred, it would have not been begging Russia to get involved in Syria in 2014–15. The harsh truth is that the “Resistance” needs a big patron such as Russia and/or China to succeed, yet Russia and China are too cautious and tied to the Western-Zionist Matrix, even to their own detriment.
“The Resistance” is not Syria alone. The Resistance is not Syria and Iran alone. The Resistance is not Syria, Iran and Lebanon alone. The Resistance is Syria, Iran, Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Afghanistan, Cuba, Venezuela, China, Russia and its Ukraina. “The Western-Zionist Matrix” is dissolving into chaos while the Axis of Resistance is firming into solidarity.
Even if the world continues to sink into ever greater doom and gloom, it appears that Lavrov visited Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE for diplomatic engagements, and was followed by a deputation of Hezbollah with Mohamad Raad travelling to Moscow for talks, all of which went under the MSM radar, but which were analysed and reported here as a potential break through in positive outcomes, with uplifting prospect’s that gladden the heart. News as a ray of sunlight…
The trade off being speculated would be snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
I doubt there will be any such thing as Hezbollah leaving Syria. What Hezbollah has gained in strategic depth in Syria is far to valuable to give up.
Why would Hezbollah return to being boxed into a tiny area making them as vulnerable as Israel? Right now, Hezbollah has turned into Israel’s worst nightmare and I would think they would plan to remain as such.
Yemen, I see more emotionally. If I had been getting beat up for years by the big bully and put so much of myself into weathering that beating then landed a few good punches that bloodied the bully’s nose, I wouldn’t stop because the bully all of a sudden decided they wanted to make peace.
No, if I was Yemen I would want to cause way more pain on SA before calling an end to it. I would want to inflict damage at their heart and make the world see them as the filthy coward scum they are.
you greatly over estimate israels actual military power. apart from its air force which is quite good for its size the idf is an empty suit.
the changing military and technological realities on the ground (none of which favor israel) in the middle east have required israel to reach out for acceptance of its legitimacy to other gulf state nations in order to ensure israels long term survival.
Hi Ghassan – great wonderful sensible hopeful article.
If Iran and Hezbollah leave Syria – what are they exactly doing there anyway ? Is there business there ? Will it mean Syria is now open to attack by Israel even more ?
If Israel would stop dropping bombs on Syria that would be great.
“If Iran and Hezbollah leave Syria – what are they exactly doing there anyway ?”
Iran and Hezbollah are in Syria (as is Russia) at the request by the legitimate government of Syria with the main aim to fight the terrorist groups like Nusra front, al Qaida and all the countless terror groups that have been rebranded a thousand times. Syria is the cornerstone and its importance for the survival of a strong opposition against apartheid Israel and support for the Palestinian cause can not be underestimated
“Will the 2021 visit be prelude for Hezbollah to leave Syria? We don’t know.” Ghassan wrote
No, Ghassan, having read some of your articles on Hezbollah, I would say that you don’t know them,
I am not surprised to see you among those Lebanese calling for for Hezbollah withdrawal from Syria, and among those blaming Hezbollah for corruption In Lebanon.
I am not surprised to see you ignoring that Hezbollah/Iran intervened 3 years before the Russian intervention in 2015,
But , I surprised that you ignored or did not know that Putin was reluctant because Syria could be another trap (after Afghani trap) and may become a Russian Vietnam,
In case you don’t know, Putin decided to fight terrorism in Syria and not in Moscow after his meeting with Qassem Soleimani, who assured him that Iran Hezbollah and SAA are there on the ground and in need for Russia’s air force.
Thanks Ghassan for your insight. It goes a long way in clarifying the looming prospects of a settlement in the middle east, however. My thoughts are concentrated on the Syrian Golan Heights and the potential settlement of the Syrian-Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
With that in mind, I am of the opinion that the tradeoffs would be to stop Saudi war on Yemen in exchange of withdrawal of Hezbollah troops form Syria. As for the Iranian Hashd troops withdrawal from Iraq and Syria, I predict that such would be contingent on agreeing a just and comprehensive agreement with Israel brokered by Russia, the US, the Arab League and the UN.
This is why Syria considers the presence of the Iranian troops indispensable for a lasting peace in the middle east, with Russia and Iran being fully aware and appreciative of the Syrian position.
The problem here is it’s much wild speculation and therefore we have to wait and see. But it’s certainly a very interesting piece by someone who follows events closely. I’ll keep your posting in mind to see what’s happening. Things like this re always a trade-of. You give something and we give something depending on the present position of the belligerent parties. Lavrov could do this, Pompeo and Blinken could not. You got trouble makers and trouble shooters.