Trying to make sense of the all-out Syria proxy war now directly involving Russia is a headache. Yesterday's enemy can quickly become today's 'frenemy'. Example: what to make of the Saudi and UAE crown princes visiting Putin and the Formula 1 races in Sochi this week, just five weeks after they met at Moscow's MAKS air show? First, we'd like to make a brief point in response to what RogueMoney reader Joyann said. Joyann has concerns that the RM Brain Trust might be getting too caught up in the East vs. West/Eurasian axis battling the Anglo-American Empire dialectic. That is, the same 'Obama bad, Putin good' or 'Putin bad, Obama good' dialectic the 'godfather' of the RM Brain Trust 'W' the Intelligence Insider has warned against. After listening to myself and the Guerrilla's broadcasts over the last two Fridays, she's concerned about portraying the Russians and Iranians as the 'good guys' in Syria where Assad's forces have the assorted alCIAeda and GCC-funded jihadists on the run from a Russian/combined arms offensive.
Beware the Dialectic, But also Recogizing Pure Evil When One Sees It
To this concern, we can only respond by saying: there may not be any 'good guys' in Syria, but compared to the Satanic You Know Who spawned evil that is ISIS or even 'ISIS-lite' al-Nusra aka al-Qaeda, Assad sure seems like a 'good guy'. Even though we have no illusions that his forces firepower has killed thousands of civilians and intero-tortured hundreds of POWs (the jihadists prefer to simply behead or shoot prisoners), Assad is also one of the last secular leaders left in the Middle East who protects Christians, his own Allawites and other minorities. The other secular leader being General turned President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in Egypt, who overthrew the odious and elected Muslim Brotherhood regime of Mursi backed by the Obama White House. Kings Hussein of Jordan and Mohammed VI also protect the Christians in their realms, but those monarchies are firmly in the Empire's grip, to say nothing of the obnoxious trio of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain who barely tolerate even the Christian Filipinos they bring in as near-slave labor. Meanwhile, anti-Christian violence and harassment on the part of Jewish extremists is becoming a growing problem in Israel, with several churches vandalized and one in the Sea of Galilee area recently destroyed -- despite the country touting itself as a haven for Christians.
No one should be exultant that many of God's creatures, including those who have become possessed by the jihadist demons, are about to meet their Maker on Syrian battlefields, after getting blasted or fried by Russian weapons. The Bible tells us that the Almighty takes no pleasure in the deaths of the wicked. What is 'pumping up' some in the alternative media, including it seems the Guerrilla, is that finally, after many months of skirmishes, propaganda war, and rumors of war, the world sees decisive action.
After months of the U.S. pretending to bomb ISIS while giving the group pinpricks (and according to the Iraqi Shi'a, plentiful supply drops) Putin finally put his foot down at the United Nations and said he's had enough of this crap. The panic in the mainstream media and District of Corruption confirms that Russia is putting a hurt on Washington's Empire of Chaos efforts in Syria. The attempts to poo-poo and downgrade the effectiveness of Russian military operations also speaks not only to imperial 'butthurt' but also fear. That fear is based on this thought: My God, if Russia can blow away this many CIA's best armed and trained Arab foreign legionnaires using only a fraction of its combat strength and the weakened Syrian Army, imagine how much more devastating it would have been had it decided to destroy a Washington installed puppet regime next door to Russia in Ukraine! Thank God the Russians did not, and Putin chose the more patient and better path of undermining the Kiev regime without a real invasion, reaffirming the fraternal bonds between Ukrainians and Russians that a minority of Western-puppet Ukro-nationalists hate, but cannot erase due to these ties being forged in blood shed together on the battlefields and intermarriage over centuries.
Orthodox Warriors and Suffering Under Authorities God has Permitted for His Purposes
Whether one chooses to see Divine Providence in this, or in the rise of Vladimir Putin for this present time, is a matter of opinion. The Bible suggests strongly whether a ruler is good or wicked, God raises them up and brings them down for His inscrutable or prophetically pronounced purposes.
Historically the attitude of the Orthodox Church has been to accept the authorities, even tyrannical ones -- depraved sultans or bad Tsars -- as appointed by God. Which does not obviate the choice, indeed the duty of individual Orthodox Christians and nations to resist evil. Thus the Church has both its martyrs who did not resist godless Bolsheviks, and its warrior saints who fought for God, Tsar and Motherland. In addition to princes who fought invaders like Alexandr Nevsky and Dmitry Donskoy, Russian Orthodoxy also names Tsar Nicholas II and Private Yevgeny Rodionov as warrior martyrs. The Greeks have their own martyr-warrior Emperor, Constantine Palailogos, and martyr-warriors of the 19th century wars of liberation from the Ottomans. If the concept of martyr-warrior makes you uncomfortable as an Evangelical or Roman Catholic because it sounds too much like the Muslims labeling their warriors 'martyrs', well what can I say? Christ did not condemn the centurion (a 1st century occupier of his nation), but as many an early 20th century tract pointed out to the soldiers marching off to WWI, commended him as having a faith not seen in Israel.
Analysis versus Fandom -- Thoughts from The Saker's Vineyard
A second point, related to the first, comes from my friend The Saker, a third (or maybe fourth) generation 'White Russian' living in Florida. The Saker writes in "Letter to a Disappointed Reader", with all earnestness:
First, I appreciate your honest critique of my work. God knows I am not perfect in any way and that a good kick in the butt can be helpful to me :-) There are a few things I would like to reply to though.
"the nature of the [Saker blog's] content also underwent an evolution to perhaps, maximize the acceptance of all 'proselytes' "
Think about it – if my intention was to make myself popular, I would jump on every rumor and predict that Russia will single-handedly defeat the entire Empire in less than a year. Except that, in reality, why I did is the UNpopular thing: I sounded an alarm and encouraged caution [about believing reports that Russia was intervening in Syria - JWS]. Do you think that doing so made me more or less “popular”?
Here is your own reply:
"When Russia is about to make a bold move, you often call it unrealistic, and unprobable. When Russia has made the bold move, you call it potentially disastrous or ill-fated."
David, look at where the US got itself with the self-delusion of being almighty! I don’t want Russia to repeat the same mistake. I also know that underestimating the Empire is extremely dangerous. Do you remember that in the 19th century Marx already predicted the fall of the British Empire and look were we are today: it is still here, though it has morphed into a US-Israeli AngloZionist one. People have been predicting the imminent fall of that Empire for, literally, over 100 years, only to find out that it actually did adapt to new circumstances.
The Saker's line about underestimating the Empire and the its minions' blood-thirst for vengeance in Syria, Ukraine or elsewhere is highly relevant to this post. He also speaks with some authority, as a former intelligence analyst for a NATO country (we believe it was France, a country about which he has written frequently) during the Balkan Wars:
Look, in intelligence process goes through what is called the “three As”: acquisition, analysis and acceptance. The first one is “getting the data/info”. The second one means making sense of it and presenting it to your “client” (in this case: all of you). The third one is always overlooked: acceptance by the “client” – i.e., the willingness to hear a negative or disappointing analysis. This is the part which YOU (collective “you”) must do (or refuse to do).
I have been called a Putin fanboy (which is true) and a paid Putin agent (alas, not true). But in reality what I have ALWAYS aimed to do is to present YOU (collective “you”) with my very best analysis. Period. I am not trying to make myself popular, look at all the groups I have offended and pissed off: Nazis, Zionists, Papists, Wahabis, homosexuals, (some) Orthodox Christians (Sergianists, modernists and extremist zealots), laissez-faire capitalists, gun control freaks, Russian “hurray patriots” [eg Russians who wanted Putin to invade Ukraine in massive force and thereby take the U.S./NATO bait - JWS], supporters of the French National Front, feminists, defenders of the “Western civilization”, French “Charlies” [Saker means presumably people who buy into the Charlie Hebdo false flag op - JWS], believers in the official 911 fairytale, racists, Islam haters, Hamas and Fatah supporters, etc. etc. etc.
Do you REALLY believe that I am trying to ingratiate myself to somebody here?!
There is a distinction between being a Putin 'fanboy' (fanboys, as opposed to analysts, generally don't offer critique or recognize areas where a leader as opposed to a hero has fallen short, especially in terms of re-industrializing/de-dollarizing Russia faster) and simply recognizing the reality that a former KGB officer may be the most influential politician of our generation. Certainly the most important leader on the world stage since Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, followed by the 'successors' George H.W. Bush and John Major forced on them, brought about a peaceful conclusion to the first Cold War. That is of course, not an easy pill for many accustomed to decades of occidental triumphalism, much less original Cold Warriors to swallow. And this is before we get into the centuries-old discussion of whether Russia belongs to 'Europe' and thence the West or to Asia and the 'East'.
Eighteenth and 19th century Russians who saw their country as central to the European balance of power together with England, Prussia (Germany), France, and the Hapsburgs (Austro-Hungary) would naturally scoff at being described as Eurasians. And even today, Russians send their kids to boarding schools in Britain not Singapore of Shanghai, acknowledging that they aren't 'eastern' in the sense that China or Vietnam are. Nonetheless, we believe Russia is a Eurasian nation with a unique civilizational mission, to bridge East and West. A resurgence of that awareness, as a contributor to one of my favorite websites Soul of the East points out, need not be chauvinistic or implacably anti-Western.
"Unless ye become as little children, ye shall not enter the Kingdom of God..."
The key factor to success is humility, whether it comes from Orthodox faith (the ideal solution) or at least a secular awareness of historical lessons. Both are things we strive to maintain in our articles, leaning on other individuals with sources like the Guerrilla or Joaquin Flores who have proven track records and especially in Flores case, are willing to describe things as very complex and not subject to 'rah rah' drive-by 'analysis'. For example, when many in the alternative media were hailing the election of Alexis Tsipras last winter Flores was willing to be a 'debbie downer' about Tsipras actual cojones and the likelihood his Syriza party could pull off a Grexit.
'Talk to Me' -- the Fine Russian Recipe of Humility, Renewed Military Strength, and Diplomacy
When we look at Russian diplomacy for example, and its track record over the last two years since the U.S. was backed off an attack on Damascus with a face-saving 'out', we notice a certain forthrightness as being key to the Russians' success. That is not to say that there aren't things the Russians hold back, or even bits of their diplomacy that would be difficult to explain to sizable segments of the Russian public (why for example, are we talking so much to Erdoğan or the Saudis who like to make threats against Russia, whether economic or on the Syrian battlefield)?
But the reasons for Russian success while the U.S. seems to move under Obama from blunder to disaster are not all that hard to discern:
- The Russian Narrative -- that Moscow is promoting a multi-polar world and international law -- is more internally coherent than Washington's claims to uphold international norms while being one of the biggest single violators of the 'rules', which are written for lesser, dispensable nations. The world's last superpower does not need rules, its will in the form of TPP Obama likes to brag, will supposedly define the trade rules of the 21st century.
- The rise of the Internet has made the task of U.S. informational dominance far more difficult than it was during the first Cold War and particularly during the peak of the 'CNN' years of the 1980s and 90s, when Christine Amanpour and Washington could completely dominate the globe's understanding of the Yugoslav conflicts as 'evil Serbs vs. the world'. In particular, without the Internet there would be no alternative media to speak of besides public access channels and 'fringe' magazines (aka in Soviet times samizdat) and no reach for RT/Sputnik International
- The whole world can now see not only the big hypocrisy that Washington has the right to demand regime change if not shifts in borders whenever it likes (Serbia, Libya, Iraq) but also that the 'war on terror' myth is a lie. Russia has exposed the U.S. arming jihadists under the cynical 'moderate' or 'Free Syrian Army (FSA)' labels.[embed]https://twitter.com/GarethPorter/status/653013211218878464[/embed]
- Washington has thrown its weight around for so long in imperious fashion whether it's sanctions, imposition of new 'cultural norms' like feminism or overt homosexuality, or multi-culti and open borders that hundreds of millions long for any countervailing force, even if like Russia it occasionally uses its own military might or makes certain demands from weaker states on its periphery (Moldova, Ukraine). This is the so-called merger of 'left and right extremists' in opposition to Washington labeled 'anti-Americanism' even though its the American government and not necessarily the people that is increasingly scorned or hated around the world. At any rate official U.S. government propaganda and the corporat-ist media all ignore how 'radical' the so-called foreign policy center has become compared to the more cautious Washington approaches of the 'cowboy' Reagan or UN coalition builder, George H.W. Bush.
- After years of 'invade the world, invite the world' politics Americans are burned out on overseas wars, and even another 9/11 scale event might not readily convert them back to the 'bomb em' and let Allah sort em' out' post-9/11 mood. The same apathy that American pop, porn and sports culture does so much to promote in the masses also makes them less enthusiastic warriors, though hipster snark and indifference in the controlled legacy media can still get the Empire some of what it wants out of Americans. Namely, the feedback mechanism of polls showing Americans don't trust Putin, view Russia as an enemy etc while still in the majority refusing to commit troops to Ukraine or Syria -- since Americans now outsource so much else, why not war too?[embed]https://twitter.com/MoonofA/status/653635321188495361[/embed]
- Unlike the Washington-led Empire, where idiot politicians like Carly Fiorina try to equate 'toughness' with a refusal to negotiate with Putin, Moscow doesn't see talking to its enemies in Kiev, Riyadh, or Ankara as a sign of weakness (this point has been reiterated many times by The Saker). Such willingness to look even an enemy in the eye has bound to have influenced 'frenemies' like Benjamin Netanyahu, who knows he can at least trust Putin to do what the Kremlin thinks is in the Russian national interest, whereas Obama cannot be trusted to uphold American interests, even long standing ones like 'containment' of Iran
- Washington of late has proven to be expert at throwing its allies under the bus, whether it's the Saudis who spent billions trying to overthrow Assad at America's urging only to get slapped in the face with the Iran nuclear deal, or the Ukrainians not getting the massive amount of money and weaponry they felt America owed them for 'fighting Russia'. As much as the Russia Analyst loathes neocon and dumbed down cable news shows for the sheeple rhetoric, this point about the Obama Administration is not undeserved. Obama DOES look weak and petulant in comparison to Putin, who feels no need to verbally insult his 'partner' in the White House when he can simply humiliate Barry through actions instead.
- Standing behind Russian diplomacy and providing 'hidden' cover for Moscow's successes in preserving Assad and freezing the Ukraine war on its terms has been America's major creditor, the People's Republic of China.
Points 5-8 are major reasons why we keep seeing the Saudis and United Arab Emirat-is talking to Putin. Point no. 9 which did not make this list for brevity's sake, the ongoing Saudi/Qatari/UAE quagmire in Yemen, is another key reason. This is what retired Indian diplomat M.K. Bhadrakumar notes in the ever-intelligent pages of the Asia Times (home of Pepe 'Empire of Chaos' Escobar).
Bhadrakumar believes the Gulf Arab states are barking loudly to sound tough for their American master while heeling behind the scenes for the Kremlin, especially with Russia and Iran holding the Houthi/Yemen swords over their heads. Still others like the German blogger who runs Moon of Alabama aren't convinced Obama or more accurately the Deep State behind him is ready to concede anything in Syria, as opposed to doubling down on jihadi proxy war. Similarly, Daniel McAdams of the Ron Paul Institute sees the much advertised 50-ton ammo drop on an unnamed collection of Syrian 'rebels' north of the SAA's advance as D.C. and the Pentagon doubling down on proxy war with Russia.
The Russians Keep Talking to Enemies and 'Frenemies' -- While Still Cultivating a Reputation as a More Truthful and Reliable Ally than Uncle Sam
One thing is for certain: even before the Russian air force directly intervened to put the Saudis' al-Nusra front (aka Al-Qaeda) jihadis on the run, the Kingdom's young envoy Mohammed bin Salman al Saud has been talking to Putin, most prominently at the MAKS Air Show in late August. At that time, so were the UAE sheikhs. So was the Empire's favorite Arab leader, King Abdullah of Jordan.
As for the failing neo-Ottoman sultan himself, Erdoğan, caught between Kurdish northern Iraq and a hard Syrian place, Putin hosted him for the opening of the largest mosque in Europe this September. The Russians have proven to be very patient with the Turks and their two-faced shenanigans and attempts to sabotage Turkstream for the Empire.
If Reccep Tayyep blows it all and ends up making enemies out of everyone and getting overthrown or voted out, he has no one to blame but himself for trying to outsmart and play everyone off against each other. Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi (reneging on a Russian arms deal after using them for leverage with the French -- according to blogger SovietBearRus), Viktor Yanukovych and perhaps Belarussian President Alexander Lukashenko have all played the same stupid games with the great powers and paid for it. Two of these men paid for pissing off the Empire with their lives. As Russian nationalist blogger Stanislav Mishin says, "the Americans have a saying -- s--t or get off the pot." These guys all have tried or are trying like Erdoğan to sell their toilet seat to multiple parties and one of them (Agent W's friend of old friends Gaddafi) ended up getting raped/garroted in a culvert for it.
By any measure, Putin and Lavrov have been more active and more creative in their diplomatic efforts than the lazy, Pentagon or State Dept. incompetent dependent Obama and Kerry have been in theirs.
Are we privy to what's being discussed behind closed doors between Mohammed bin Salman al Saud and Putin? Nope. All we can do is read statements emerging from these meetings, followed by analysis and actions which speak much louder than words. The Saudis made a lot of threats this past week in response to Russia bombing their longtime proxies in Syria. Riyadh threatened Moscow with more TOW missiles being shipped to the jihadis fighting the Syrian Arab Army, while permitting its clerics to call for a general Sunni jihad against Russia itself.
All of these threats -- as well as others from non-Saudi but Saudi proxy sources like The Daily (mark of the) Beast's would be anti-Russian suicide bombers -- were issued shortly before their Foreign Minister conceded that Assad could leave power in a managed transition rather than as a precondition for any peace deal.
Watch out Russians -- the suicide bomber trying to kill you may be endorsed by the insane neocon hipsters at The Daily Beast...the Russia Analyst can just picture baby faced Trotskyite Michael D. Weiss strapping on a suicide vest and going out screaming "snarky snackbaaaaaaarrrrr!"
In other words, both Secretary of State Kerry and the Saudis followed the French and Germans in bending more to the Russian Mideast position: that Assad cannot and must not go yet, while saving face and allowing for it in the future. The same thing by the way is happening in Ukraine, with Western media spinning as victories for Washington and Kiev what are actually Ukrainian concessions to the Minsk process under heavy EU pressure.
Most of All You've Got to Hide it from the Neocon Kids and Here's to You, Mr. Netanyahu, Jesus Loves You More than You Will Know...
Pro-NATO news sources, which is pretty much most of the Anglo-American press, downplay or ignore Russia's diplomacy with Israel, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and above all, Israel. Putin's business-like relationship with Netanyahu must not be mentioned on Fox News or in the pages of The Weekly Standard and National Review lest neocons who view Vladimir Vladimirovich as pure evil and Israel as pure good have a cognitive dissonance attack. Thus when these meetings are mentioned at all it's usually by the Russian press once more gleefully bursting Washington's bubble about 'Russian isolation over the Kremlin's aggression in Ukraine'.
When the UK Telegraph or Jerusalem Post mention the big wigs meeting Putin, it's almost always in the context of the Syria conflict or threats by these nations to cause Russia some sort of trouble lately. Russian-Saudi investment deals or rumors about welding the petroyuan with Russia and OPEC are safely shunted into the alternative media 'Internet ghetto-es' as Matt Drudge recently called them, with Zerohedge, the Asia Times or GlobalResearch having to take up the slack. As are thus far rumors of Saudi royal infighting, despite a tantalizing anonymous letter published in the Guardian calling for the geriatric if not comatose elderly King Salman to step down with the regents who rule in his name.
Fear of losing the huge sums of money the Qataris and Saudis spend on public relations, likely into the hundreds of millions each year for 'PR', is part of this (Brookings Doha center and Al-Jazeera America anyone?). As is fear of offending the senior editors and mandarins in the press who in turn, answer to various career State Dept. and DoD bureaucrats at the Victoria Nuland or Richard Armitage level -- the 4th branch of government that views presidents coming and going as 'the Christmas help'. Some of these 'perfumed princes' like retired Gen. John Allen have been fingered as culprits by Webster Griffin Tarpley and his allied LaRouche media responsible for undermining Obama's efforts to come to face saving 'deals' with Putin. Nuland in particular has publically contradicted her boss Kerry at times, usually a no-no if not a firing offense. Yet her patrons behind the scenes keep the State Department and White House's interventionist witches (Nuland, UN Ambassador Samantha Power and National Security Adviser Susan Rice) large and in charge irrespective of loudmouths that would've gotten lesser mortals without some NWO 'roof' fired long ago.
Putin: The Offer Still Stands, Let's Fight ISIS Together Barry and NATO
Here in a video clip dubbed from Russian TV is Putin being typical Putin: prodding the U.S. about the widely acknowledged in Washington failure of its anti-ISIS campaign, which flushed far more than $500 million down the drain. Putin says Russia could've put that much money to better use fighting terror itself in partnership with the West. This is the Putin who 'trolls' the West, who turns Washington's neocons and neoliberals red with rage as he gently laughs at their failures. At the same time, Putin also reiterates the call his Defense Ministry spokesman and foreign minister have made for the U.S./NATO to share intelligence and resources with the Russians. Bad cop/good cop, all done in sequence along with intermediaries like the Germans or French to keep the Washington foreign policy niks off balance. Judoka, grab the lunging opponent and toss him over your shoulder to the ground, then drop the People's Elbow like The Rock. After all, as Michael Corleone said in The Godfather, it's not personal, it's business.
In other words, Langley spooks and Washington camp followers say that dastardly Putin foiled their wonderful plans again!
What is the 'Free Syrian Army'? Does it actually exist on the battlefield or is it simply a catch-all label for jihadists armed by the U.S. and allies? Plus here's a trailer from Vice News, which is increasingly turning into a CIA propaganda outlet for hipsters, on life in Syria under Jabhat Al-Nusra. These are the 'moderate rebels fighting Assad' that Russia is bombing and helping the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) to fight:
VICE News filmmaker Medyan Dairieh gains exclusive access to the Syrian branch of al Qaeda, al Nusra, a jihadist group fighting against President Bashar al-Assad's forces and the Islamic State (IS).
Spending more than a month with al Nusra and exploring their expanding territory, Dairieh meets the highest-ranking members of the organization, who reveal their identity on screen for the first time and discuss their military doctrine.
Al Nusra, which swore allegiance to al Qaeda two years ago and is now emerging as a powerful force to rival IS in Syria, has seized several strategic towns in the northwestern province of Idlib. While it supplies water, electricity, and food to the local population, a school run by al Nusra is also grooming young boys to become the next generation of al Qaeda and preparing them for jihad.