Geopolitics of the war against Syria and against the Daesh

by Thierry Meyssan

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The three crises in the Coalition

We are witnessing the third crisis in the camp of the aggressors since the beginning of the war against Syria.

- In June of 2012, at the Geneva Conference 1, which was to mark the return of peace and organize a new division in the Middle East between the United States and Russia, France, which had just elected Francois Hollande, put forth an restrictive interpretation of the final communiqué. Then she organized the revival of the war, with the help of Israel and Turkey and the support of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and CIA Director David Petraeus.

- Clinton and Petraeus having been eliminated by President Obama, Turkey, in the summer of 2013, along with Israel and France, organized the chemical bombing of the Damascus ghoutta in such a way as to attribute it to Syria. But the United States refused to launch a punitive war.

- In January, 2014, the United States, in a secret session of Congress, voted to fund and arm Daesh with the mission to invade the Sunni areas of Iraq and the Kurdish region of Syria to divide these large states. France and Turkey then armed Al-Qaeda (al-Nosra Front) so that it would attack Daesh and compel the United States to return to the original plan of the Coalition. If Al-Qaeda and Daesh reconciled in May following an appeal for calm by Ayman al-Zawahiri, France and Turkey are still not participating in Allied bombing.

In general, the Coalition of Friends of Syria, which, in July 2012, included “a hundred countries and international organizations,” now includes not more than 11. The Coalition against Daesh, for its part, regroups officially “more than 60 states,” but they have so little in common that their list is kept secret.

Distinct interests

In fact, the Coalition is made up of many states that each pursue specific goals and fail to agree on their common goal. One can distinguish within it four forces:

- The United States seeks to control the oil of the region. In 2000, the National Energy Policy Development Group (NEPDG) chaired by Dick Cheney had, through satellite imagery and drilling data, identified global oil reserves and had observed immense reserves of Syrian gas. During the military coup of 2001, Washington decided to successively attack eight countries (Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Lebanon and Syria, Sudan, Somalia and Iran) to seize their natural resources. His staff then adopted a plan to remodel the “Broader Middle East” (which also includes the dismantling of Turkey and Saudi Arabia), while the following year the State Department created its MENA department to organize the “Arab spring.”

- Israel defends its national interests : in the short term, it continues its step by step territorial expansion. Simultaneously and without waiting to control the entire space between the two rivers, the Nile and the Euphrates, it intends to control all economic activity in the area, including of course the oil. For its protection in the age of missiles, it means on the one hand to take control of a security zone on its border (now it has pushed blue helmet peacekeepers from the border of the Golan and replaced them by Al -Qaïda) and on the other hand to neutralize the Egyptian and Syrian armies taking them from behind (deployment of Patriot missiles from NATO in Turkey, creating a Kurdistan in Iraq and South Sudan).

- France and Turkey continue the dream of restoring their empires. France hopes to get a mandate over Syria, or at least a portion of the country. She created the Free Syrian Army and gave it the green, white and black three-star flag of the French mandate. Turkey, for its part, intends to restore the Ottoman Empire. As of September 2012, it appointed a wali to administer this province. Turkish and French projects are compatible because the Ottoman Empire had admitted that some of its provinces be administered with other colonial powers.

- Finally, Saudi Arabia and Qatar know they cannot survive other than by serving the United States and fighting secular regimes, of which the Syrian Arab Republic is now the sole expression in the region.

The evolution of the Coalition

These four forces have not been able to work together except during the first part of the war, from February 2011 to June 2012. It was indeed a fourth generation strategy: some Special Forces Groups organized incidents and ambushes here and there, while Atlanticist and Gulf TV portrayed an Alawite dictatorship repressing democratic revolution. The amounts invested and soldiers deployed did not amount to much and everyone thought they could take advantage once the Syrian Arab Republic was overthrown.

However, in early 2012, the Syrian people began to doubt that President Bashar al-Assad was torturing children and that the Republic would be overthtown in favor of a Lebanese type of confessional system. The seige of the Takfirists of the Islamic Emirate of Baba Amr foreshadowed the defeat of the operation. France then negotiated an end to the crisis and the return of French officers who had been taken prisoner. The United States and Russia negotiated to replace the United Kingdom and France and to share all of the region such as London and Paris had done with the Sykes-Picot agreements of 1916.

Since that time, nothing works in the Coalition. Successive failures show that it cannot win.

In July of 2012 in Paris, France brought together with great fanfare the most important meeting of the Coalition and relaunched the war. The speech by Francois Hollande was written in English, probably by Israelis, and translated into French. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Ambassador Robert S. Ford (trained by John Negroponte) were engaged in the most vast covert war in history. As in the past in Nicaragua, private armies recruited mercenaries and sent them to Syria. Except this time, these mercenaries were managed ideologically to train jihadi hordes. Overseeing operations escaped the Pentagon to befall the State Department and the CIA. The cost of the war was huge, but it was not attributed to the treasuries of the United States, France and Turkey, for it was entirely paid by Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

According to the Atlanticist and Gulf press, a few thousand foreigners came to lend a hand to the “Syrian democratic revolution.” But on the ground the “democratic revolution” was nowhere to be found, only groups of fanatics chanting slogans such as “Peaceful Revolution: Christians to Beirut, Alawites to the grave! ” [1] or ” No to Hezbollah, no to Iran, we want a president who fears God! ” [2]. According to the Syrian Arab Army, these were not a few thousand, but 250,000 foreign jihadists who came to fight, and often die, from July 2012 to July 2014.

But the day after his re-election, Barack Obama forced the CIA director, General David Petraeus to resign, and he got rid of Hillary Clinton during the formation of his new administration. So that at the beginning of 2013, the Coalition was based practically only on France and Turkey, the United States doing as little as possible. This was obviously the time the Syrian Arab Army was waiting for to launch its inexorable reconquest of the territory.

Francois Hollande and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Hillary Clinton and David Petraeus expected to overthrow the secular republic and impose a Sunni regime that would have been placed under the direct rule of Turkey, but including French senior officials. A model inherited from the late nineteenth century, but that held no interest for the United States.

Democrat Barack Obama and his two Secretaries of Defense, Leon Panetta and Chuck Hagel are driven by radically different politics: Panetta is from the Baker-Hamilton Commission and Obama was elected on the program of the Commission. According to them, the United States is not and should not be a colonial power in the Mediterranean sense, that is to say, they should not envisage territorial control by installing settlers. The experience of the Bush administration in Iraq was extremely expensive compared to its return on investment. It should not be reproduced.

After Turkey and France tried to enrol the United States in a vast bombardment of Syria, by staging the chemical crisis of the summer of 2013, the White House and the Pentagon decided to regain control. In January 2014, they convened a secret meeting of Congress and made it pass a secret law approving a plan for dividing Iraq into three and secession of the Kurdish region of Syria. To do this, they decided to fund and arm a jihadist group able to achieve what international law prohibits to the US Army: ethnic cleansing.

Barack Obama and his armies are not envisaging the remodeling the “broader Middle East” as a goal in itself, but only as a means to control natural resources. They use a classic concept of divide and conquer, not to create positions of kings and presidents in new states, but to continue the policy of the United States since Jimmy Carter.

In his speech on the State of the Union on Jan. 23, 1980, President Carter outlined the doctrine that bears his name: the US believes that it owns the hydrocarbons in the Gulf which are vital to its economy. Therefore, any questioning by anyone of this axiom will be considered “prejudicial to the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an attack will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force.” Make no mistake, President Carter was not talking about supplying the US with Gulf oil instead of local oil, but of controling the world oil market using dollars, in the way the United Kingdom assured its 19th century power base by controlling the world coal market. Over time, Washington has developed the instrument of this policy, the CentCom, and extended its reserved zone to the Horn of Africa.

Therefore, the current bombing campaign of the Coalition no longer has any connection with the initial goal of overthrowing the Syrian Arab Republic. It has no connection either with its “war on terrorism”. It is concerned exclusively with defending the economic interests of the United States alone, if necessary by creating new states, but not necessarily.

Currently, the Pentagon is symbolically assisted by a few Saudi and Qatari planes, but by neither France nor Turkey. It admits to having conducted more than 4,000 sorties, but having killed just over 300 fighters of the Islamic Emirate. If we stick to the official line, that is more than 13 sorties and an unknown number of bombs and missiles to kill one jihadist. These would be of the costliest and most inefficient air campaign in history. But if we consider the reasoning that preceded it, the attack by Daesh against Iraq corresponds to a manipulation of oil prices that have been reduced from $115 a barrel to $ 83, a decrease of nearly 25 %. Nouri al-Maliki, the legitimately elected Iraqi Prime Minister, who sold half of his oil to China, was suddenly stigmatized and overthrown. Daesh and the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government themselves have reduced their oil theft and export by approximately 70%. All the oil facilities used by Chinese companies have simply been destroyed. De facto, the Iraqi oil and Syrian oil has escaped the Chinese buyers and been reintegrated into the international market controlled by the United States.

Ultimately, this air campaign is a direct application of the “Carter Doctrine” and a warning to President Xi Jinping who is trying to conclude here and there, bilateral contracts to supply his country with hydrocarbons, bypassing the international market.

Anticipating the Future

From this analysis we can conclude that:

- In the current period, the United States is willing to lead a war only to defend its strategic interests of controlling the international oil market. Therefore, it can go to war against China, but not against Russia.

- France and Turkey will never be able to realize their dreams of recolonisation. France should think about the role that AfriCom has assigned to it on the black continent. She can continue to intervene in all states that are trying to get closer to China (Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Central African Republic) and restore “Western” order, but she will never be able to restore her colonial empire [3]. Turkey should also tone it down. Even if President Erdoğan manages to make an alliance against nature between the Muslim Brotherhood and the Kemalist officers, he will have to abandon his neo-Ottoman ambitions. Above all, he should remember that as a NATO member, his country is more than any other susceptible to be the victim of a pro-US coup, as were before him Greek Georgios Papandreou and Turkish Bülent Ecevit.

- Saudi Arabia and Qatar will never be repaid the billions they invested at a loss to overthrow the Syrian Arab Republic. Worse, it is likely they will have to pay for part of the reconstruction. The Saud family should continue to respond to the economic interests of American officials, but not to pursue major wars and consider that at any time, Washington can choose to partition their private property, Saudi Arabia.

- Israel can hope to continue playing underhand to cause the effective division of Iraq into three in the medium term. It would thus obtain an Iraqi Kurdistan comparable to what South Sudan has already created. It is however unlikely that it can immediately connect it to northern Syria. Similarly, it is unlikely to oust UNIFIL in southern Lebanon and replace it with Al Qaeda as it did with the FNUOD Force at the Syrian border. But in 66 years, Israel has become accustomed to try much and often to get a little more still. It is actually the only winner in this war against Syria and within the Coalition. It has not only weakened its Syrian neighbor for years, but it has managed to force it to abandon its chemical arsenal. In this way, it is the only state in the world to officially have both a sophisticated nuclear arsenal and a chemical and biological arsenal.

- Iraq is de facto divided into three separate states of which one, the Caliphate, will never be recognized by the international community. Initially, we do not see what would prevent the secession of Kurdistan, other than the difficulty of explaining by what enchantment it increased its territory by 40% from its administrative definition, including the oil fields of Kirkuk. The Caliphate should gradually give way to a Sunni state, probably governed by men who have officially “left” Daesh, but in a less cruel manner. These would be a process comparable to that of Libya where veterans of al Qaeda were placed in power without raising the slightest protest.

- Syria will gradually regain peace and focus on its long reconstruction. It will look for this to Chinese companies, but it will keep Beijing away from its hydrocarbons. To rebuild its oil industry and to exploit its gas reserves, it will turn to Russian companies. The issue of pipelines which cross it will depend on its Iranian and Russian supporters.

- Lebanon will continue to live under the threat of Daesh but the organization will never play a role other than that of terrorists. Jihadists are just a way to gel a little more the polical operation of a country sinking into anarchy.

- Finally, Russia and China should urgently intervene against Daesh, in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, not out of compassion for the local people, but because this tool will soon be used against them by the United States. Already, if Daesh is controlled by Saudi Prince Abdul Rahman, who finances, and by the caliph Ibrahim, who heads the operations, its principal officers are Georgians, all members of military intelligence, and sometimes Chinese Turkic speakers. In addition, the Georgian defense minister acknowledged, before changing his mind, his hosting of training camps for jihadists. If Moscow and Beijing hesitate, they will face Daesh in the Caucasus, in the Ferghana Valley, and in Xinjiang.

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