US, Rus­sia on the verge of war?

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPEAK UP -

O Kyou Rus­sians! No more gen­tle Amer­i­can diplo­macy! No more Mr Nice Guy! So thun­dered US Sec­re­tary of State John Kerry last week. Right on cue, the usu­ally over­wrought US am­bas­sador to the UN, Samantha Power, blasted the Rus­sians as “bar­baric” for their bomb­ing cam­paign in Syria. She made no men­tion of the US us­ing B-52 and B-1 heavy bombers as well as killer drones in Afghanistan. The lap­dog US and Bri­tish me­dia were quick to run an­guished pic­tures of Syr­ian ba­bies but we saw narry a pic­ture of an in­jured Afghan child.

Noble Peace Prize win­ner Barack Obama, ducked and left Wash­ing­ton’s grow­ing anti-Rus­sian ji­had to his aides while he flew off to Is­rael for the state fu­neral of Shimon Peres, by now sainted by me­dia as Is­rael’s “man of peace”. In fact, Peres was the fa­ther of Is­rael’s nu­clear weapons pro­grammes.

Un­der Peres’ aus­pices, Is­rael se­cretly of­fered nu­clear war­heads and then Jeri­cho mis­siles to the em­bat­tled South African apartheid govern­ment. This was ironic be­cause Is­rael has been in­sist­ing that Iran – which does not have nu­clear weapons – will pro­lif­er­ate them around the globe.

Back in Wash­ing­ton, just about ev­ery­one is now ig­nor­ing lame duck Obama and do­ing their own thing. Re­cently, the Pen­tagon, which has no use for Obama, likely sab­o­taged joint US-Rus­sians plan to end the bloody Syr­ian civil war by bomb­ing a Syr­ian Army camp and killing close to 100 Syr­ian troops. “Ooops, sorry, a mis­take” ex­plained the Pen­tagon.

More Rus­sian war­planes are on the way to Syria. Omi­nously, Mos­cow just warned the US not to at­tack Rus­sian mil­i­tary forces. Hil­lary Clin­ton’s sup­port­ers keep urg­ing a so­called US-im­posed “no fly zone” in Syria, which is code for the US Air Force blow­ing Syria’s and Rus­sia’s war­planes out of the skies and go­ing af­ter com­mand con­trol of Syria’s an­ti­air­craft sys­tems. That could be code for World War III.

Part of the rea­son for this in­ten­si­fied bel­li­cos­ity is that Syr­ian govern­ment forces, backed by Rus­sian air power, are mak­ing im­por­tant if bloody progress in their siege of rebel-held sec­tions of Aleppo.

At the same time, Turkey is de­creas­ing its five-year-old sup­port for Syria’s rebels, in­clud­ing the alQaida al­lied Nusra Front (new re­lablled Jab­hat Fateh al-Sham). The Saudis and Gulf emi­rates, who are fi­nanc­ing much of the civil war, are hard up for cash. All sides in this bit­ter five-year-old con­flict are ex­hausted and war-weary. Once lovely Syria lies in ru­ins. For the ex­treme Sunni in­sur­gents their best hope is di­rect US mil­i­tary in­ter­ven­tion. They are wait­ing for the hawk­ish Hil­lary Clin­ton.

Rus­sia’s for­eign min­is­ter, Sergei Lavrov, claimed this week that Wash­ing­ton is pro­tect­ing the Nusra Front as its “Plan B” for Syria. He also as­serted that the US will in­stall Nusra in Da­m­as­cus in the event that Pres­i­dent As­sad’s govern­ment falls. But the ma­jor­ity of Syr­i­ans and all its mi­nori­ties would be bit­terly op­posed to be­ing ruled by fa­nat­i­cal Wa­habi Is­lamists.

This writer be­lieves the US has long aided IS and still sees it as a po­tent weapon against the As­sad govern­ment. Why else would it take the US and its Arab and Kur­dish foot soldiers so long to move against IS strongholds at Raqqa and Mo­sul – which are, as this writer knows, only a taxi-ride away? IS is a rag-tag bunch of 20-some­thing ama­teur Ram­bos, not the Wehrma­cht.

One likely an­swer is that im­pe­rial Wash­ing­ton is to­tally con­fused over who to sup­port and how to do it. The be­wil­der­ing fra­cas be­tween Sun­nis, Shia, Kurds, Arabs, Yazidis, as­sorted Chris­tians, IS wild­men, egged on the US, Is­rael, Turkey, Rus­sia, France, Bri­tain, Le­banon, Jor­dan and the oil Arabs is just too much for Wash­ing­ton’s ill-ed­u­cated, or of­ten down­right dim pol­icy mak­ers.

This writer has long be­lieved that cer­tain el­e­ments in Wash­ing­ton helped cre­ate IS as a po­ten­tially use­ful tool against non-obe­di­ent Mideast regimes, no­tably Syria and Libya. Is­rael, which whis­pers a lot into Wash­ing­ton’s ears, did the same thing by en­cour­ag­ing the growth of Hezbol­lah and Ha­mas as en­e­mies of the Pales­tine Lib­er­a­tion Or­gan­i­sa­tion. To­day, they are Is­rael’s tough­est en­e­mies, not the ut­terly cor­rupt regimes that run the Arab world.

The bright idea to over­throw Syria’s recog­nised govern­ment goes back to the Fa­ther of Dis­as­ters, Ge­orge W. Bush. He planned to at­tack Syria with Is­rael. Bush was re­strained when no suit­able Syr­ian op­po­si­tion group could be found to in­stall in power. The Sunni op­po­si­tion was mainly Mus­lim Broth­er­hood, a name that spooked Wash­ing­ton. So Wash­ing­ton waited un­til 2011 to “regime change” dis­obe­di­ent Syria.

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