How key factions in the US Establishment, including now the State Department are gearing up to escalate the Syrian conflict, pushing for direct bombings of Damascus and regime change as always, in a preview of how the Clinton administration will act.
June 16, 2016
[NOTE: All bold italic assertions need to be updated with links.]
On February 25, 2016, soon after the ceasefire announcement I wrote about the coming Western Disinformation Campaign Regarding the [Syrian] Ceasefire Being Broken.
The key point I made is that because the so-called moderate opposition will not separate out from Al-Nusra, the USG and media, instead of blaming the opposition, will blame Syria and Russia for continuing their attacks on Al-Nusra areas as they are legally entitled to as per the ceasefire agreement. In particular I wrote What Happened Next
An unexpected thing happened. Russia instead of pressing their momentum, actually gave time for the ceasefire to work. Putin announced a drawdown of the military and there were intense efforts to make the ceasefire work and talks started.
These talks were repeatedly derailed by the Opposition which included extreme Jihadi factions indistinguishable in idealogy from Al-Nusra but protected by the US Government and allies (which vetoed resolutions to put them on the terrorism list along with Al-Nusra.)
Meanwhile Al-Nusra beefed up its forces with help from Turkey, with various Jihadi groups allied to Al-Nusra joining them in attacks on Government held parts of Aleppo and other towns and cities. The US State Department continued to say that they were “working” to convince the groups to separate but it was “complicated”.
It became apparent that the USG and its allies had no indication to really press the opposition for a ceasefire and were using the time to strengthen forces.
Over the last two weeks, faced with Al-Nusra gains in Aleppo, Russia started to escalate its Airstrikes along with the Syrian Government to regain the initiative.
Over the past few days Kerry talked of “US patience thinning” (even as Lavrov kept indicating what was wearing thin was Russia’s patience in waiting for USG to help separate the opposition from Al-Nusra.)
And then hours ago came the news that 50+ plus US Diplomats sent a note to Obama urging military strikes on Assad.
This is an astonishing move by diplomats and show how warmongering the State Department has become:
1. They are urging a military solution and thus are admitting their own failure as diplomats.
2. Strikes on Assad would violate International Law yet again (after Iraq, Libya, Yemen and on and on), Laws that Diplomats should be very cognizant of.
3. The escalation of the conflict would have unpredictable consequences.
This is ultimately not about Syria. This is about Russia and the determination of many factions in the United States establishment including media like the New York Times to re-establish “US leadership” – ie “US diktats” – over the region and to show Russia that the unipolar world with USG at its helm is alive and kicking.
This is happening against three key events:
1. Upcoming EU meetings where discussion of extending EU sanctions are going to take place, an event I have already said in January is virtually sure to happen (thanks to USG pressure on a reluctant EU). A manufactured conflict in Syria is as likely a trigger for extending sanctions as I pointed out then.
2. The upcoming NATO meeting where more militaristic policies against Russia will be revealed. Escalation in Syria will only helps NATO’s cause (much like gun deaths in US only help the NRA).
3. The US Presidential elections which pits Clinton – a corrupt, establishment warmonger who seeks to expand US involvement everywhere – versus Trump – a nativist, bigoted, nationalist who questions why the US needs to police the world.
Clinton of course supports a more aggressive policy in Syria and an escalation will help her platform.
Meanwhile in Russia
Putin is increasingly torn between two factions: one that favors accepting that Russia is too weak economically to challenge the West and quietly and meekly accept its fate to be another Western dominated nation, and nationalists who warn that Russia needs to draw a line somewhere and push back hard.
That line in the sand could be Syria. A USG attack on Damascus would be a direct challenge to Russia’s goal of preserving the state institutions.
Russia’s choice could be to
(a) Let it happen which will expose it’s claim to any power as toothless;
(b) Put pressure on Assad to step down which will not only expose Russia as caving in to pressure but put in jeopardy the millions of Syrians who do support the Assad Government.
(c) Directly or indirectly support Syria’s air defenses to shoot down any planes / missiles.
Option (c) of course can be the spark that can take the whole conflict to another level of chaos.
Various factions in the US establishment have decided that now is the time to escalate the pressure against Russia by proxy. This thinking gives a preview of how the neo-con backed Clinton administration – which is virtually sure to be elected barring some sort of disqualification – will act.
And most of the Western media will fall lock step into this warmongering policy as they did for Iraq and Libya.
And so it goes.