One of my relatives, who takes keen interest in the developments in Syria, recently tagged me on Facebook to a link from a UK-based newspaper claiming Turkey has shot down a Russian jet. He often sends me links to news reports and asks my opinion on the future of the world. I told him that I cannot confirm this news because I do not possess any means to do that. But he was eager to know if I think NATO would respond militarily if Russians send a payback to Turkey. I told him that it may not come to this so that he can relax as I understand his intimate emotional connection with Turks.
But, the truth is I am not entirely sure.
Analysts like Dr. Paul Craig Roberts have hinted on multiple occasions that the delicate balance of power between the United States, its European empire and their Russian boogeyman have drastically changed since Ukraine. Syria just adds to the equilibrium in favour of the Russians. On paper, the Russian military capability may not equate that of the United States along with it’s NATO allies. However, are the military numbers the only significant measurement of real power?
I do not think so at all.
The Russians have territorial proximity. They are in Syria as per the rules of International Law. They are supported by Bashar al Assad’s regime, the Lebanese Hezbollah, and by their most important Middle Eastern ally – the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Russian action in Syria also tells us how much importance the Kremlin places on their only Mediterranean naval base in Tartus, Syria. And they are killing every enemy of Assad without discrimination including the so-called ‘moderate’ Syrian rebels. I still wonder after all these years since 9/11 that how does Washington classifies people as moderates and extremists? What kind of measurement tool they possess to gauge people’s intentions and mindsets?
I have absolutely no idea, do you?
I think what they do in Langley, Virginia, is just pick up a piece of map and paint areas with red, orange and green for extremists, moderates and liberals respectively. Or – they just create, train and fund them as per need to use them with their time-tested formula of coloured revolutions. However, for the Syrian government and their Russian comrades a rebel is a ‘terrorist’ no matter moderate (read: openly CIA funded) or extremist (read: secretly CIA funded).
But, do not take me wrong. I am neither in favour of the Russians nor any sort of military adventure by a foreign power in any country. I do sincerely believe that this Russian action has all the potential to go wayward and turn unexpected as with all things Middle Eastern. One thing is certain that Putin does not make the global warmongers in Washington happy at all. There is a lot that both US and Russia can do to undermine each other in Syria in particular and in Middle East at large.
The Russian primacy in the ‘game’ lies in their ability to execute a shock-and-awe campaign (ironically, a term coined by the global warmongers in Washington) that is to say they will be aiming at a swift operation limited to providing air cover to ground operations by Syrian security forces and Hezbollah. The Russian supply line is over-stretched and difficult to maintain, the winter is coming, and a neighbouring NATO country are key factors which will have Russian strategists wanting this campaign to end sooner rather than later.
A possible “worst case” scenario for both Washington and Kremlin is a handshake between all “moderate” and “extremist” groups in face of indiscriminate onslaught by the Russian action. Another possible worst case scenario for Kremlin is that these militant groups decide to payback the Russians on their own ground (as Russia is facing active insurgencies within their homeland). Another worst case scenario is far-fetched, however not impossible, is collaboration between the new regime in Ukraine and the Syrian groups (as a Ukrainian official was recently convicted by Russians for calling his followers to help ISIS kill Russian pilots).
The Russian action in Syria does not mean that the end of the conflict is near. It does tell us that the Middle East is just getting messier and uglier and if the world does not come along to genuinely solve the crisis, it will keep getting bigger and gradually devour the rest of the world.
This war was started by a concerted American strategy of regime change in the region at large. It was allowed to grow nastier to systematically destroy the existing nation-states in the flames of a bloodthirsty violence raged by mindless ethnic and sectarian animosity. The flames of this war are now knocking at the gates of Turkey as Kurds are now increasingly militant at the behest and support of the CIA. We now clearly know why Bush and Blair lied to invade and occupy Iraq.
As Russian jets continue to fly over Syria, and the “Muslim Ummah” slumbers in its impotent servitude to its Imperial master, the future of the world hangs in the balance.