by Tony Cartalucci
- Muslim Brotherhood is funded by & serves as the primary instrument of US, Israel, & Saudi Arabia.
- Lebanon was designated as staging ground to destabilize Syria with sectarian extremists.
- Saudi and Muslim Brotherhood anti-Israeli and American sentiments are feigned.
- US intelligence knew in advance unleashing sectarian extremists would result in genocide.
- Saudis & Americans admit sectarian extremists - the foundation of Al Qaeda - are under their control.
May 10, 2012 - As previously stated, the Muslim Brotherhood and various "hardline" sectarian political factions sweeping into power in the wake of the US-engineered "Arab Spring," have been feigning anti-Israeli and anti-Western sentiments in an attempt to swell their ranks with followers before ultimately forming a united sectarian-front against Iran.
The creation of a united sectarian-front was noted by geopolitical analyst Dr. Webster Tarpley who has from the beginning stated that the various possible governments resulting from these engineered revolutions "could then be used to support the fundamental US-UK strategy for the Middle East, which is to assemble a block of Arab and aligned sectarian countries (notably Egypt, Saudis, Gulf states, and Jordan) which, formed into a front with the participation of Israel, would collide with the Iranian Shiite front, including Syria, Hezbollah, Hamas, and various radical forces."
Image: Red = US-backed destabilization, Blue = US occupying/stationed. Iran and Syria are completely surrounded by either client states or nations occupied by US forces. And while the complexity of West's reordering of the Arab World is staggering, it is but a part of a grander strategy to eliminate the nation-state and establish global hegemony.
Confirming this is a 2007 New Yorker article recently pointed out by a reader titled, "The Redirection: Is the Administration's new policy benefiting our enemies in the war on terrorism?" Written by renowned journalist Seymour Hersh, it covers everything from admissions that the US, Saudis, and Israelis are working together, despite the Saudis and their sectarian proxies' attempts to portray themselves as "anti-Israeli," to admissions that the US is funding a region-wide network of militants and terrorists, many of whom have literally trained at Al Qaeda camps. The article also describes in great detail the role of the Hariri faction in Lebanon, working closely with the Saudis and Americans, and their role in creating a safe haven for terrorist organizations on Lebanese soil, now involved fully in destabilizing neighboring Syria.
Clearly, what has been recently portrayed by the West as mere "claims" by the Syrian government that the Saudis, Lebanese, and NATO were conspiring against them, is simply the fruition of the US policy exposed fully in the New Yorker in 2007. While many analysts have treated the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and their involvement in Syria's uprising as a somewhat nebulous phenomenon, the New Yorker's 2007 makes it clear that the Brotherhood is one of the primary instruments used by the Saudis as part of a US-Israeli-Saudi effort to eliminate Syria and Iran. Not only that, but the report indicates that the US itself has been funding and using the Muslim Brotherhood as well.
Just as the US State Department feigned shock and confusion at the "Arab Spring" it had been preparing for the last 3 years, it is likewise reacting with feigned confusion and dismay over the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in the "Arab Spring's" wake. In reality it is a premeditated consequence of US foreign policy spanning both the Bush and now the Obama administrations.
Photo: The "Free Syrian Army," whose composition consists of not only Syrian sectarian extremists, but Libyan terrorists from the US State Department listed "Libyan Islamic Fighting Group" led by Abdul Hakim Belhaj, is the manifestation of years of US, Saudi, and Israeli aid since at least 2007.
While in 2007, all of this was, "soon to be," in retrospect we see just how devastatingly accurate Hersh's reporting was. It is clear now, with the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood and the sectarian-extremist dominated, foreign-funded destabilization ravaging Syria, that this policy created during the Bush administration, has transcended presidencies and is being brought to its premeditated conclusion under Obama - yet another example of "continuity of agenda."
Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the United States Are Behind Syria's Violence.
The evidence trickling out of the corporate-media regarding who the armed Syrian opposition is, reveals that it is predominately an extremist sectarian-movement, not only including Syrian extremists, but militants crossing the border from Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and even from as far as Libya. An alliance of Gulf States led by Saudi Arabia have pledged funds for Syria's militants and has repeatedly called for openly arming them. The US is likewise openly equipping Syrian militants.
This reality is not merely a spontaneous reaction by the "international community," but verbatim what was planned in detail amongst the US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia years in advance to topple the Syrian government before moving on to Iran, according to Hersh's 2007 report:
"To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has coöperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda." -The Redirection, Seymour Hersh Hersh's report would also include:
"the Saudi government, with Washington’s approval, would provide funds and logistical aid to weaken the government of President Bashir Assad, of Syria. The Israelis believe that putting such pressure on the Assad government will make it more conciliatory and open to negotiations." -The Redirection, Seymour Hersh This mirrors sentiments included in the Brookings Institution's 2009 report, "Which Path to Persia?" where it was stated that reaching some sort of conclusion with Syria first was a prerequisite before attacking Iran:
"...the Israelis may want to hold off until they have a peace deal with Syria in hand (assuming that Jerusalem believes that one is within reach), which would help them mitigate blowback from Hizballah and potentially Hamas. Consequently, they might want Washington to push hard in mediating between Jerusalem and Damascus." -Which Path to Persia? page 109 (.pdf)
Which Path to Persia? .pdf
Clearly, what we are seeing today in Syria is the full manifestation of this premeditated conspiracy against the government and people of Syria, and in turn, against the Iranians. It should be noted that a US intelligence professional interviewed by Hersh for his story, predicted that the sectarian extremists being prepared in 2007 for today's violence, would most likely go on a genocidal killing spree, as seen in Libya, and now being quietly reported by the Western press in Syria as well:
"Robert Baer, a former longtime C.I.A. agent in Lebanon, has been a severe critic of Hezbollah and has warned of its links to Iranian-sponsored terrorism. But now, he told me, “we’ve got Sunni Arabs preparing for cataclysmic conflict, and we will need somebody to protect the Christians in Lebanon. It used to be the French and the United States who would do it, and now it’s going to be Nasrallah and the Shiites" -The Redirection, Seymour Hersh
That the United States, Israel, and Saudi Arabia premeditated a regional conflict utilizing militant-extremists with full knowledge they would commit wide ranging, genocidal atrocities, is clearly as much in reality a war crime as the US State Department and US representative to the UN Susan Rice have claimed the Syrian government has committed as it desperately attempts to restore order in the face of an admitted act of foreign aggression.
The Muslim Brotherhood is a Tool of US-Israeli-Saudi Machinations.
The Muslim Brotherhood is often portrayed as being anti-Israeli, anti-US, and anti-West in general. In reality they are a creation of and have been ever since servants of expanding Wall Street and London's corporate-financier hegemony across the Islamic World. In Hersh's 2007 report, it is made clear that the Brotherhood was the tool of choice of the US, Israeli, and Saudi elite - with the US and Saudis reported as even then directly funding and backing them - backing that continues to this day, not only in Syria, but in Egypt as well.
The Muslim Brotherhood's rank and file surely believe in what they are being told by their leaders, but their leaders are professional demagogues peddling anti-Israeli and anti-American rhetoric solely for public consumption while being fully complicit in the West's designs against the Arab World.
Hersh reports that a supporter of the Lebanese Hariri faction had met Dick Cheney in Washington and relayed personally the importance of using the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria in any move against the ruling government:
"[Walid] Jumblatt then told me that he had met with Vice-President Cheney in Washington last fall to discuss, among other issues, the possibility of undermining Assad. He and his colleagues advised Cheney that, if the United States does try to move against Syria, members of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood would be “the ones to talk to,” Jumblatt said." -The Redirection, Seymour HershThe article would continue by explaining how already in 2007 US and Saudi backing had begun benefiting the Brotherhood:
"There is evidence that the Administration’s redirection strategy has already benefitted the Brotherhood. The Syrian National Salvation Front is a coalition of opposition groups whose principal members are a faction led by Abdul Halim Khaddam, a former Syrian Vice-President who defected in 2005, and the Brotherhood. A former high-ranking C.I.A. officer told me, “The Americans have provided both political and financial support. The Saudis are taking the lead with financial support, but there is American involvement.” He said that Khaddam, who now lives in Paris, was getting money from Saudi Arabia, with the knowledge of the White House. (In 2005, a delegation of the Front’s members met with officials from the National Security Council, according to press reports.) A former White House official told me that the Saudis had provided members of the Front with travel documents." -The Redirection, Seymour Hersh
It was warned that such backing would benefit the Brotherhood as a whole, not just in Syria, and could effect public opinion even as far as in Egypt where a long battle against the hardliners was fought in order to keep Egyptian governance secular.
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, also interviewed by Hersh for his 2007 article, perhaps described best the geopolitical gambit the US, Saudi Arabia, and Israel were and are currently attempting to unfold:
"Nasrallah accused the Bush Administration of working with Israel to deliberately instigate fitna, an Arabic word that is used to mean “insurrection and fragmentation within Islam.” “In my opinion, there is a huge campaign through the media throughout the world to put each side up against the other,” he said. “I believe that all this is being run by American and Israeli intelligence.” (He did not provide any specific evidence for this.) He said that the U.S. war in Iraq had increased sectarian tensions, but argued that Hezbollah had tried to prevent them from spreading into Lebanon. (Sunni-Shiite confrontations increased, along with violence, in the weeks after we talked.)" -The Redirection, Seymour HershIndeed, divide and conquer has been used by empires since the beginning of time, and it appears that the very radical extremists the West has featured as civilization's greatest enemy in their fraudulent "War on Terror" is a creation and perpetuation of their own design. The role of Saudi Arabia and the Muslim Brotherhood, betraying millions of Sunni Muslims by exploiting their justified outrage of US-British and Israeli foreign policy, has resulted in terrorism and violence, both spontaneous and engineered, that has destroyed millions of lives. The very "War on Terror" is the "management" of these exploited and cultivated extremists:
"...[Saudi Arabia's] Bandar and other Saudis have assured the White House that “they will keep a very close eye on the religious fundamentalists. Their message to us was ‘We’ve created this movement, and we can control it.’ It’s not that we don’t want the Salafis to throw bombs; it’s who they throw them at—Hezbollah, Moqtada al-Sadr, Iran, and at the Syrians, if they continue to work with Hezbollah and Iran.” -The Redirection, Seymour Hersh
For Empire, not National Security.
The only fault that can be found in Hersh's tremendous journalistic accomplishment is perhaps the pandering to the notion that all of this demonstrative deceit and indeed, criminality, may be being done in the interest of protecting Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the United States. In reality, even the Brookings Institution, which was also included in Hersh's report, admits that containing Iran is not a matter of national security for either the US or Israel (let alone Saudi Arabia), but a matter of maintaining the status quo, namely Western hegemony across the Middle East, with Saudi Arabia and Israel the principle dual benefactors.
While behind closed doors US policy makers admit Iran, even if it were to obtain nuclear weapons, is driven by self-preservation and protecting the influence it is steadily gaining throughout the Middle Eastern region it borders, the message they desperately seek to relate to the public is one of an irrational apocalyptic theocracy eager to usher in Armageddon.
However, reports out of the RAND corporation note that Iran has had chemical weapons in its inventory for decades, and other reports from RAND describe the strict control elite military units exercise over these weapons, making it unlikely they would end up in the hands of "terrorists." The fact that Iran's extensive chemical weapon stockpile has yet to be disseminated into the hands of non-state actors, along with the fact that these same elite units would in turn handle any Iranian nuclear weapons, lends further evidence to the conclusion that Iran is indeed driven by self-preservation and self-defense.
Brookings notes on pages 24 and 25 of their "Which Path to Persia?" report, that the real threat is not the deployment of these weapons, but rather the deterrence they present, allowing Iran to counter US influence in the region without the fear of an American invasion. The US and the West in general, have viewed the Middle East as nothing more than a divided, broken Ottoman Empire to be used and exploited, and when nationalism or resistance emerges, to be pitted against itself in destructive conflicts.
The fear of a powerful Iran overturning the status quo of Anglo-American hegemony expressed through proxies and multiple strategies of tension, Israel itself being one of them, would open the door for other nations to climb out from beneath the modern heirs of the British and French Empires and begin down the path of true self-determination. That includes freeing the people of Israel laboring under a hijacked government misleading them into a pointless and perpetual conflict with not only the Palestinians, but with the Islamic World itself.
Indeed, the ploy described in incredible detail by Seymour Hersh in 2007, and demonstratively playing out before our eyes today, is not to protect against existential threats to the people of Saudi Arabia, Israel, or the United States, but against existential threats to their leadership's self-serving hegemonic ambitions. It is being peddled by a coalition of Saudis, Americans, and Israelis lying not only to the world, their allies, and their enemies, but to their own people about the nature of the conflict they demand troops and taxpayers to facilitate.
Image: Terrorist bombings have recently ripped through Damascus, Syria, bearing all the hallmarks of sectarian extremists, funded and directed by the US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia since at least 2007, according to Seymour Hersh's article, "The Redirection." With the back-story now fully established, and the violence in Syria exposed as not only premeditated, but the devastating consequences of unleashing sectarian extremists being well known ahead of time, those insisting on backing this horrendous crime do so amidst a public increasingly aware of their transgressions against humanity.
Balking these murderous machinations is accomplished by Sunnis and Shi'ia not falling into the traps laid out by the US, Israel, and Saudi Arabia in the form of the Muslim Brotherhood, and terror groups and "civil society" NGO's alike, cultivated by these admitted international manipulators. Christians and Jews must likewise avoid the contrived "clash of civilizations" between themselves and hordes of terrorists created and cultivated by their own demagogic leaders.
Finally, it is essential that people around the world recognize that the corporations and institutions they patronize on a daily basis with their time, money, energy, and attention are the ones ultimately devising and driving not only these plots, but the disingenuous politicians and media personalities we've mistakenly placed our trust in. We must begin to boycott and replace these corporations and institutions with genuine local alternatives or suffer the tragic conclusion of allowing such deceitful megalomaniacs construct an inescapable world order they shall presume absolute dominion over.
In 2006 the U.S. was at war in Iraq. Some of the enemy forces it very much struggled to fight against were coming in through Syria. The same year Israel lost a war against Hizbullah. Its armored forces were ambushed whenever they tried to push deeper into Lebanon while Hizbullah managed to continuously fire rockets against Israeli army position and cities. Hizbullah receives supply for its missile force from Syria and from Iran through Syria. Its long-term plans to attack Iran and to thereby keep supremacy in the Middle East depend on severing Hizbullah's supply routes. The sectarian Sunni Gulf countries, mainly Saudi Arabia, saw their Sunni brethren defeat in Iraq and a Shia government, supported by Iran, taking over the country. All these countries had reason to fight Syria. There were also economic reasons to subvert an independent Syria. A gas pipeline from Qatar to Turkey was competing with one from Iran to Syria. Large finds of natural gas in the coastal waters of Israel and Lebanon make such finds in Syrian waters quite plausible.
In late 2006 the United States started to finance an external opposition to Syria's ruling Baath party. Those exiles were largely members of the Muslim Brotherhood which had been evicted from Syria after their bloody uprising against the Syrian state between 1976 and 1982 had failed. In 2007 a plan for regime change in Syria was agreed upon between the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia. The aim was to destroy the "resistance" alliance of Hizbullah, Syria and Iran:
To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has cooperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.
By 2011 three years of drought, caused by global warming and Turkey's upstream dams and irrigation projects, had weakened the Syrian economy. Large parts of the poor rural population lost their means of living and moved into the cities. They provided the fertile ground needed to launch an uprising against the Syrian state.
The U.S. part in the plan was to provide the media and "global opinion" cover for the insurgency. To that purpose it used the tool from its "color revolution" tool box. "Citizen journalists" were recruited, trained and provided with the video and communication equipment needed for media propagandizing. Others were trained in organizing "peaceful civil demonstrations". The Saudis took care of the darker part of the plan. They financed and armed rebel groups, often related to the exiled Muslim Brotherhood, which had the task to instigate a wider insurgency by taking on government forces as well as the peaceful demonstrators.A main part of the scheme was the introduction of a sectarian view that would split the largely secular Syria into several constituencies.
A local disturbance in Deraa near the Jordanian border was used to launch the uprising. Peaceful demonstration were held but soon shots were fired towards the police as well as towards the demonstrators. Inevitably both sides escalated. Groups armed by the Saudis target the government forces. Having colleagues killed and wounded the government forces retaliated against the demonstrators. Some of those took up arms themselves and fought the government. "Citizen journalist" propagandized the victims on the "peaceful demonstrators" side but never mentioned those on the government side. "Western" media agencies followed that scheme. Cells in other Syrian cities were activated. Again "peaceful demonstrations" were cover for "a third force", as the Arab League investigation commission named it, which fought against government forces and also instigated the demonstrators to take up arms. The U.S. government helped by issuing its own propaganda for example by lying about Syrian artillery deployment against demonstrators when, at that point, none had yet happened. U.S. para-government organizations, Avaaz, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, joined the campaign against the Syrian government. Cyber attacks against the Syrian government news agency helped to suppress the other side of the story. Up to today the website of the official Syrian Arab News Agency, sana.sy, is purged from Google search results.
It was soon visible that the planned for "color revolution" strategy did not work. The Syrian state was more resilient than had been perceived. The Syrian president Bashar al-Assad was more beloved and respected than the insurgency instigators ever expected. He also fulfilled many of the demands the serious protesters had. The constitution was rewritten, new parties were allowed, elections held and the most abusive security forces came under stricter control. The big cities, even though predominantly Sunni, did not support or join the increasing violent and sectarian fighters. Defections from the Syrian army and from political cadres were few and unimportant. For some time the Syrian economy held up quite well. The general population as well as the government rejected the scheme of a sectarian divide.
The enemies of Syria had to increase their commitment. Saudi Arabia and Qatar used all their capabilities to recruit foreign Jihadis willing to fight in Syria. The CIA, using Saudi money, brought in weapons and thousands of tons of ammunition from all over the world. Insurgency groups were provided with training and battlefield intelligence. A group of exiles was build up as external future government.
The Syrian government had to retreat to conserve its forces. Major parts of rural Syria were taken over by the insurgency. The population there fled over the boarders or into the cities. Where the insurgency foraged into parts of cities it was difficult to dislodge without creating immense damage to the infrastructure and buildings. But the Syrian government learned its lessons. With the help of its friends from Iran and Hizbullah its army units were retrained to fight against insurgency forces. Paramilitary units of locals were build up to take over those parts the army had cleaned of insurgents. Russia kept the supplies coming.
On the side of the insurgent instigators some things started to go wrong. The Jihadis Saudi Arabia provided were good fighters but ideologues that did not fit into the Syrian social context. They started to clash with the population as well as with local fighters. Just today a large fight is taking place in north-east Syria between Jihadi groups and local bandits. Arguments with al-Qaeda inspired forces over weapon supplies from Libya killed the U.S. ambassador in Benghazi. Despite being revamped at least three times the planned for government in exile group proved ineffective due to bickering and infighting between its sponsors. The "peaceful protesters" media campaign broke down as more and more stories and pictures from the massacres committed by the insurgency came to light. The population in those countries that supported the insurgency turned against any involvement in the conflict.
When it became likely that the insurgency might not be able to overcome the Syrian army U.S. president Obama introduced his "red line" over chemical weapon use. This was an invitation to the insurgency side to introduce chemical weapons to the battlefield, to then blame the Syrian government and to thereby create a U.S. intervention on their side. They tried to do so for a few times but Obama was then not yet willing to commit outright force. To prevent the upcoming Jihadis from taking over Syria should the Assad government fall, the U.S. planed to have U.S. trained "moderate" fighters take the lead in the fight especially in the capital Damascus.
In mid August 2013 a group of 300 CIA trained fighters entered Syria from Jordan. A second group followed soon after. (The Obama administration is now trying to change that date.) Their task was to go to Damascus and to take the fight to the Syrian government itself. They were obliterated on their way to Damascus' suburbs. Without U.S.air support, like it provided in Libya, further use of U.S. trained forces would have been useless. The "red-line" plan was activated. On August 21 some chemical stuff was released in some Damascus suburbs. Immediately an immense number of videos showing rows of alleged dead were uploaded to Youtube. But those videos did not show the right symptoms for a Sarin attack nor did they show the medical attention one would expect in the hours immediately following a real chemical weapon attack. It was clearly a false flag incident. But Obama tried to convince the world that the Syrian government had indeed used chemical weapons and released some flimsy claims of evidence but no evidence at all. He called on allies to join him for a military intervention.
The British parliament voted down a request from its government to join the war. The British population, like in the U.S., had no stomach for another lengthy war. Obama was in a catch 22 situation. He could go to war without asking Congress and would then face a possible impeachment from a very hostile House, or he could ask Congress for a vote for war. He soon climbed down from his "I'll wage this war" position and decided to go to Congress. The U.S. population was widely against another Middle East war as was the U.S. military. Pressured by their constituents and in view of unconvincing claims of evidence about the "massacre" Congress denied Obama its vote for war. In this Congress even defied AIPAC and the Israel lobby lost its first fight in over 22 years.
Obama has an urgent domestic agenda to implement. There is Obama-care, the budget and an upcoming fight over on the debt ceiling. Having lost in Congress Obama could not, solely on his assumed presidential powers, go to war. He would have risked an immediate impeachment process and a lame duck status for the rest of his presidency. What was he to do?
There the white Russian knight, Vladimir Putin, rode to Obama's rescue.
Putin offered a deal: Syria would agree to give up its unconventional weapons and the U.S. would agree for the Syrian government and president Assad to stay in power. The idea goes back to August 2012 when former Sen. Richard Lugar had proposed such a deal in Moscow.
Syria's chemical weapon are pretty useless on the tactical battlefield. But their potential use against Israeli population centers had proven to be a quite useful strategic deterrence. But now those weapons had become a liability. Instead of preventing an external war owning them was now threatening to invite one. At the same time Hizbullah's conventional missile force had already proven to be a good deterrent without the problems unconventional weapons carry with them. Syria can give away its current strategic deterrence and trust its allies in Iran and Russia to provide an equally effective replacement.
Obama took the rescue line Putin threw to him. He knew that openly entering the Syrian war against a well prepared opponent and its allies would mean a long and uncertain war. He was in a lose-lose situation but could now come out of it and look like a winner. He rescues Israel from the threat of a gas attack and cashes in on a win from his peace-prized hobby horse - WMD-disarmament.
Today the foreign ministers of the Russian Federation and the United States agreed on a Framework for Elimination of Syrian Chemical Weapons. It will require, if possible, the elimination of all of Syria's chemical weapons by mid 2014. The agreement does not say anything about the future of the Assad government. But Russia will have made sure that guarantees were given and received. Syria would not give up these weapons without such a deal. Russia as well as Syria know that Obama must keep face and they will not talk about the silent backroom deal that was made earlier today in Geneva. They behave like Nikita Khrushchev who kept silent over his agreement with Kennedy about the removal of U.S. nuclear missiles from Turkey after the Cuba missile crisis. Besides those guarantees any fulfillment of the disarmament, which may take a bit longer than today agreed upon, depends on the survival of the Syrian government. Taking down Assad is for now out of question.
Obama will now, slowly, reduce support for the Syrian insurgency. He will press Israel, Saudi Arabia and Turkey to do likewise. As faster Syria agrees and moves to eliminate its chemical weapons as faster will Obama retreat from the war. U.S. media will soon turn to the budget fight and the NSA spying affair as the major news themes and the U.S. public will forget about Syria.
The Syrian opposition does not like the deal and does not want it to succeed. The Syrian Military Council will do its best to derail it. But it will soon be out of political support and out of money. Meanwhile the local SMC forces are fighting al-Qaeda aligned groups. It could well be that some of the local Syrian insurgency groups will soon join government forces in attacking the Jihadis. General Selim Idris may find some low level bureaucratic job in Dubai or Qatar.
The Saudi king hates al-Qaeda ideologues just as much as he hates the Muslim Brotherhood and the Sasanids. He will agree to stop the war and will crack down on its financiers. Prince Bandar, who's responsibility was the recruiting the insurgent fighters, has (again) screwed up his job by not keeping them under control. He may be sent back into the desert. The Gulf states will (have to) follow the Saudi example.
In Israel Netanyahoo knows that he lost this fight. AIPAC's defeat in Congress tells him that. While this round against the resistance was indecisive, a lot of Syria has been destroyed and its strategic arms have for now been dismantled. Netanyahoo will agree to the U.S. plan of winding down the war but will demand some undeserved "compensation". He always does and Obama always gives to him.
The Turkish premier Erdogan will try to continue to support the insurgency in Syria. He is the only statesman who does so for ideological reasons. A true believer. But he also has lots of problems with his other neighbors and the external credit driven Turkish economy is on the verge of falling into a deep hole. Some hints from Russia and Iran that this winter might bring some technical difficulties with Turkey's gas supplies may be enough to make him finally throw in the towel. There are also some people within his own party, especially the Anatolian businessmen, who no longer agree with his rule. They may use his political weakness to bring some one else to the fore.
Out of support and out of any chance to ever win the fight the Syrian part of the insurgency will likely stop fighting and try to come to some clemency agreement with the government. The foreign al-Qaeda parts will continue the fight. But they have little ideological base in the Syrian population and have no chance against a full fledged mechanized army. There will be a clamp down against their financial backers. For some time their terrorism will continue though. The U.S. may soon help Syria with intelligence or drones to fight them down.
Russia is the clear strategic winner of the war on Syria. It is back as a power in the Middle East and has laid the base to stay there for quite some time. It has won major points in the global public opinion. Gazprom will be happy to help Syria with exploring and retrieving its coastal gas reserves. That will pay for Syria's reconstruction and rearmament. Gazprom may also buy gas from the Iran-Syria pipeline, sell it to Europe and strengthen its monopoly there.
Iran has reinforced its strategic role and is now well positioned for negotiations of a deal with the United States that could end the 30 years of hot and cold hostilities. It has spent quite a bit on Syria and will spend more to help rebuilding it but the strategic result, a win for the "axis of resistance", is well worth that price.
Syria and Syrians have won the war and lost a lot. It will take years to reintegrate the refugees, to rebuild and to let the wounds and deep rifts heal. Syria has also regained its independence. In 2014 Bashar al-Assad will likely be reelected as president of the Syrian Arab Republic and Syria's history will remember him as a gracious ruler and as a hero.
The people of the United States have, for the first time in decades, stopped a war that their president wanted to pursue. That is a huge victory and a precedence. They should remember it well when the next manufactured war on this or that small country comes up. They have the power to stop it.
Posted by b on September 14, 2013
The Full transcript of the BBC Radio Interview with Robert Ford, UK Ambassador to Syria, 2003-2006. Interviewed on 'PM' on 21 Dec 2016.
Presenter [P]: "Peter Ford was the UK's Ambassador to Syria from 2003-2006. Peter Ford, do you think it's time for a re-think?"
Ford [F]: "Absolutely. It's way overdue. We have clung for too long to the illusion that the so-called 'moderate opposition' would overcome Assad. Surely now, with the Government's recovery of Aleppo, the veils should fall from our eyes and we should look reality in the face: Assad is not going to be removed by force of arms or at the negotiating table. What Britain should do now is three things: we should stop supporting a failed and divided opposition; we should start to try to help the people of Syria by lifting sanctions; and we should be working with the Russians on an overdue political settlement."
P: "But the political settlement as we know for many leaders in the Western World does not include Assad in its calculations. Boris Johnson for example, the Foreign Secretary, in September of this year saying he [my note, meaning Assad] "can have no part in the future government of Syria because as long as Assad is in power in Damascus, there will be no Syria to govern". Downing Street [my note, the home of the UK's Prime Minister] saying just earlier this month "the barbaric cruelty shown by the Syrian regime forces shows that President Bashar Assad (sic) has no place in the country's future"
F: "Yes, but this is absurd. It's quite absurd. Assad is in control of over 80% now of the populated area of Syria. There is no reason why, in the months to come, he and his forces will not take the remaining 10, 15 and eventually 20%. He will then be in total control of the country. Of course there will be remaining groups who are not happy, after which, in the whole of recorded history has there ever been a protracted civil conflict like this that left everybody happy under one ruler? There is no Syrian Mandela. There is no leader. Could we even put a name to one opposition leader who would step into Assad's shoes? It's absurd. It's grotesque. It shows that Boris Johnson and Teresa May have lost grip on reality. Now Donald Trump is coming in and if he carries out what he said he'll carry out he will normalise relations with Russia, he will prioritise the fight against ISIS in Syria, and he will stop working for the overthrow of Assad. When are we going to smell the coffee?"
P: "Well, you have said you are deeply concerned by Britain's continued support for so-called moderate armed opposition and indeed there have been complaints, there have been allegations of abuse on that side of the War as well. Nevertheless, if you leave aside President Assad and let him continue through the future diplomacy concerning Syria, wouldn't that be condoning him and all he's done up until now? Chemical weapons, for example, against his own people?"
F: "Look, tonight there is a Christmas Tree in the centre of Aleppo and celebrating people. I think if Assad were removed, and the opposition were in power, you would not be seeing a Christmas Tree in Aleppo. The demonisation of the regime has been taken to ridiculous lengths. Even the end of this crisis with the green buses; there were no green buses in Gaza, there were no green buses when NATO was bombing Yugoslavia to smithereens. This Aleppo campaign has been handled in its final stages with relative humanity. We've seen not what some allege to be a meltdown of humanity but a meltdown of sanity. Where are, where's any evidence of the alleged atrocities, of the Guernica, of the massacres, the genocide, the holocaust?"
P: "Well, I think you'll find many people will disagree with that as they have seen people fleeing Eastern Aleppo; the allegations that people have been attacked, prevented from leaving the city. You know there will be these allegations and they will be investigated. In the meantime there's criticism of both sides, yes indeed, but you are violently disagreeing with an awful lot of senior figures in governments across the World who say - and I just conclude on this - that there is no place for President Assad in the future of Syria. Just again, complete your thought and we will conclude the interview in just a few seconds."
F: "Well, this flies in the face of reality. Who are they going to put in Assad's place? To try to continue to overthrow the regime in Syria, as we've overthrown regimes elsewhere - in Iraq, and Libya - leads only to more suffering on the part of the ordinary people."
P: "Peter Ford, UK Ambassador to Syria in the 2000s, thank you very much indeed."
SOURCE | http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-38398845