Saturday, April 14, 2018

Another Gas Attack in Syria: Truth or Consequences?

Well, it looks like it may be on. What may be "on" you ask? The ruling elites have been looking for a way to get us directly involved in Syria's civil war for years. President Obama tried several times to push America into a direct intervention with the objective of putting "boots on the ground" repeatedly. Instead, all that he could do was implement a plan which came out of the Pentagon and State Department to support ISIS ...err...I mean the "freedom fighters" in Syria. These same...uh..."freedom fighters" are the same folks we've been fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan for decades now.

Their objective has been to create a reactionary caliphate centered in Syria. These are the fine folks who've been launching terror attacks in not just the Middle East, but Europe and even the US. There are also the ones who love filming and posting beheadings, indiscriminate mass executions, hangings, and crucifixions. They also seem to enjoy selling women and children into sex slavery, gang raping them, and so forth. What a mighty fine good of group allies we have here. These individuals are a part of a larger group, comprising several all Muslim paramilitary groups collectively known as the "Free Syrian Army". To be sure, there is a small element of pro-Western individuals, but they are outnumbered and lack any real influence.

Since Syria has long been a key Russian ally in the region going back to the late 1940's, the US has long been interested in destabilizing Syria, which would affect Russia's influence in the Middle East (especially after Egypt left its orbit). However, that would still leave with one other key regional ally, Iran, and the US has had plans to topple its theocratic government since 1979. It also just so happens that Syria, and especially Iran, controls vast quantities of oil and gas. It also doesn't hurt that Syria has never accept Israel's right to exist, plus Iran has repeated threats to "blow Israel off the map" or "push Israel into the sea".

Iran has also trained, supplied, and underwritten terrorist organizations like the Taliban, ISIS, Hamas, Boko Haram, and Hezbollah. Oh, did I mention that our main oil supplier and military ally in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia, and Iran happen to despise each other? Of course, there's no love lost regarding their opinion of Israel, which is not only a essential regional US and Western ally, but the only democracy in the Middle East who happens to also have a very powerful lobbying effort in Washington.

Yelp, Saudi Arabia and Iran have had a long simmering feud going on for nearly forever over religious differences. In recent years, these differences have become increasingly "hot" and boiled over into a few skirmishes. Given this, and the threat Iran poses to Israel, as well as to the stability of Lebanon and Egypt, it's no wonder that the US has wanted a more directed say in the region, especially after the first Gulf War and our liberation of Exxon and BP...oops, sorry...I mean Kuwait following Saddam Hussein's invasion and occupation of the oil rich country.

So, the British, French, and US naval forces stationed off the Lebanese coast have launched an overnight missile strike to take out a "military chemical" manufacturing facility and other supporting infrastructures. This follows an alleged chemical gas (chlorine) attack on a small community in Syria. However, early evidence showed that the attack, which was supposedly rocket launched, may have been staged. Also, preliminary chemical analysis also shows that the gas residue wasn't of Russian manufacture (Syria buys its chemical components from the Russians). Early evaluation showed that the chemical residue originated in the West...just like in the last two previous gas attacks. Huh.

Yelp, this wasn't the first time this has happened. There were two other occasions, and in each, there was the hue and cry from war hawks in Washington and even the weak-kneed Obama, to invade Syria. However, Russia immediately denied that the Assad government launched any chemical attacks, followed ( as one would expect) by Assad's vehement denial that he authorized any chemical attacks against the Syrian People. Interestingly though, was that in both occasions, "Free Syrian" groups, comprising mostly former/current ISIS fighters, were operating in the immediate vicinity, had withdrawn just prior to the attacks (they had been in a losing fight with government troops).

Nevertheless, the US and allies hit government military installations hard, including airbases. Unfortunately, in our overzealous need to respond, we inadvertently killed Russian military and civilian advisors and destroyed Russian equipment. Later, UN inspectors were able to confirm that, on both occasions, the chemical signature were not of Russian origin. In both incidents, its appeared that the chemical were of a Western manufacture. Now, there has been a third gas attack, and instead of waiting to confirm, the US and its French and British allies struck Syrian targets.

Russian President, Vladimir Putin, has warned the US that any strike may result in serious consequences. Now, what he meant by that is open to interpretation. He could have meant that if any Russian personnel or equipment was destroyed, there would be a direct Russian reprisal. He could have meant a economic response, or perhaps a response with full Russian backing from the Syrian government's military. It is known that Russia support personnel, equipment, and ships were moved, so there may have been some back channel talks ahead of time. However, with the US backing groups to overthrow Russia's key regional ally, and the occasional direct air attacks, it's only a matter of time before Russia is forced to respond in-kind if, for no other reason, than to save face internationally and domestically.

What kind of response could this be? Well, it could be an indirect response such a putting pressure on allies in Europe, like cutting back or off the flow of gas and oil which is critical to certain nations like Germany, France, and the Balkans. This could, in turn, force them to put pressure on the US, UK, and France to knock it off. Obviously, it could try to affect the US in other economic ways such as attacks on our data grid---which could affects data networks everywhere, but especially in Silicon Valley and Wall Street.

The Russians could step up its air defense system using strictly Russian personnel. Thus any attacks by the US or its allies would receive a direct response and any attempts to take out these installations could and would be viewed as a direct attack on Russia. That just has nasty repercussions written all over it. There's even the possibility of Russia flying regular interference to prevent future air attacks over Syria including instructions to engage any non-Syrian aircraft and/or missiles.

Now, I'm not going to get into any discussion about who's military can beat up the other guy's military. Frankly, I don't care, and the reason I don't care is because this is the kind of situation which can easily spiral out of control fast. Any escalation could and would likely end badly for everyone on the planet, not just in America or Russia, or even in Europe or Asia. I don't profess to be an expert, but I've studied history (especially military history) and political science my entire life. My education is in economics, and I've been fortunate enough to received several national awards in economics. I also served in the military in the area of intelligence gathering (albeit just as a peon). But, all the same, I smell a wet rat here folks.

We are backing the "Free Syrian Army", which consists of foreign fighters, almost exclusively Muslim, with a large component made up of active ISIS, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, and Taliban fighters. These are literally the same people we've been and are still fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq. These people are dedicated to establishing an extremist Muslim caliphate in lieu of the current Syrian government. They have left their calling card all over the region in the form of thousands and thousands of graves and destroyed lives.

This war is about denying Russia one of its strategic regional allies. It's about securing another source of oil, but most importantly it's about setting the stage to destabilize and eventually overthrow the Iranian government (of course, access to its vast oil and gas reserves would certainly be a bonus). Iran is also an ally not just of Russia's, but also of China's. This would deny Russia and China of a key ally in the region. Can you see where this is going?
Yes, the Iranians overthrew the Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, whom we installed fair and square after overthrowing their previous government in 1967. They then took over the American Embassy and held US personnel hostage for 444 days. They were released once Ronald Reagan was sworn in as President, perhaps in retaliation of President Carter allowing the Shah to come to America for medical treatment (he had incurable cancer) and for attempting to launch an ill fated rescue operation. However, despite freezing banks accounts and the usually worthless economic sanctions, Iran went "unpunished".

Of course, we can't and must not forget that removing both Syria and Iran would bolster the prestige and influence of Saudi Arabia, who has never been on particularly good terms with Assad, and is mortal enemies with Iranians. Of course, Saudi Arabia was the home country of Osama bin Laden, and his family still remains there; very wealthy and influential. 15 of the 19 9/11 terrorists were from Saudi Arabia (of the remaining four, two of them were from the United Arab Emirates and the third was from Lebanon and the fourth was Egyptian). Many of Al Qaeda's and ISIS's leadership has hailed from Saudi Arabia as well. Just saying.

So, who benefits by replacing the Assad government? Well, Israel first. Syria and Israel has had a pretty contentious relationship Israel's creation in 1948. Syria has been involved in every war against Israel, and for years, operated as a safe haven for terrorist groups such as the PLO and Black September. Israel captured the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 war, which Israel has kept as a buffer. With the Assad government gone, Israel loses an strong enemy and would likely keep the heights.

Second, the US wins. First, it removes a strategic ally from Russia's arsenal. It gains access to Syrian gas and oil reserves, plus it gains territory which borders on Iran. That gives the US a near circular containment of Iran, with direct or indirect control of Iraq and Afghanistan, and a useful ally in Saudi Arabia. It allows to the US and Saudi Arabia to put more pressure on Iran to moderate its support of terrorist groups, including Hamas and Hezbollah.

Of course, the US influence in the region grows tremendously. Now, we can't forget the Oligarchy back home which just loves the perpetual and highly profitable "War on Terror", which keeps our pseudo-wartime economy chugging along and provides an outlet for our "excess" population of high school and college graduates in need of a job (combined with an influx of illegal immigrates, drives down the availability of jobs and wages). Countries like the UK and France also benefit for pretty much the same reasons except they are dealing with more or less "legal" migrates.

Who loses? Well, interestingly enough, Israel does. While it wins on one hand, an extremist Muslim caliphate in the region, especially so close to Israel, would likely result in either a protracted war aimed at bleeding Israel dry and disrupting its economy, or (if Iran is to believed), a short nuclear and/or biological war. Certainly elements of the "Free Syrian" coalition have shown a proficiency and willingness to use biological weapons, at least on unarmed civilians. I can't see Israel ever accepting this. Plus, any attack from the caliphate, would include aggressive support from Iran and its surrogates, Hamas and Hezbollah (I wouldn't be surprised to see Muslim mercenaries from the entire Arab world join in too).

Another loser would be the US for pretty similar reasons. I think the planners of such things believe they could convince the caliphate to "work with them" with the usual economic bribery, and in case that doesn't happen, overthrow them. Personally, I think that would be like chasing cockroaches like we've been doing in Iraq and Afghanistan all these years. I think we would also find ourselves serving as a magnet for every religious fanatic out there, and those choosing not to come to Syria, would get busy in Europe and elsewhere. However, our ruling Oligarchy would still benefit since war is a very profitable business.

Russia, and perhaps China, would naturally lose. Syria has been a strategic ally since around 1948/49. It's also been a important economic partner with Russia, as well as China. Russia would lose military bases as well, and (in the grand scheme of things), there would be a seismic shift in the balance of power in the region, which also just happens to be close to Russian territory. From the Russian perspective, the US and/or its allies, could take over or build bases in Syrian territory which would like Russia having bases in southern Mexico.

Lastly, are the "incidentals" (and I really hate having to use that term). By that I mean the ordinary civilians; people who are just trying to stay the hell out of the way of geopolitics. The lives of these people has been nearly destroyed by years of brutal war. Cities, towns, villages, and entire communities simply eradicated. Hospitals and schools leveled, not to mention the loss of fresh water, food sources, electricity, sanitation, and even basic shelter in many cases. of course, there is always the indiscriminate snipers and unexploded ordinances to consider. It's no place for any living creature, let alone children.

We mustn't forget the Assyrian/Chaldean Christians, who've been in the region since the 1st century, who are now gone; in many cases forever. They have been among the thousands butchered. There's the Yazidis and Kurds who've been forced from their communities and murdered by the thousands. Then there's been hundreds, if not thousands, of young girls, and even boys, who've been sold in to a world of brutal sex slavery. Again, it's the children who pay perhaps the worse price of war. These are who I see as the biggest losers of this or any war; the ones with no vested interest in the war. They don't benefit. They don't profit. They gain nothing but loss, grief, and for many, hatred.

I have no doubt this most recent chemical gas attack was staged like the previous two. We are being lured or maneuvered into a conflict we have no business being in. When you get down to it, this isn't about ideology, religion, or even "humanitarian" reasons. This is about geopolitics. It's about power, influence, money, and ultimately, control. It's about igniting a new cold war, even if it has to get briefly hot. However, that could spark a nuclear powder keg just as easily. The enemy isn't the Syrians or even the Russians. It's the Oligarchs who are behind it all. As long as we remain divided and fighting each other, we are powerless. But if united, we can focus our strength on those seeking to do us so much harm and put a stop to it.

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