by James Corbett
September 29, 2015
September 29, 2015
A month and a half ago, when the US-Turkey deal for the creation of
Kurdish ISIS-free zones was still the big talking point in the Syrian war, Russia was engaged in a diplomatic effort that flew under the radar. Their plan: to create a “broad coalition” of countries to seriously confront the ISIS threat. The idea, floated by Russian minister Lavrov at the Iran nuclear negotiations in Vienna and other international venues, received little attention and wasn’t taken very seriously by anyone. Spurned by the so-called “Syrian National Council,” rejected by the Saudis, and, inevitably, turned down cold by the White House, it looked like this was destined to be another Russian foreign policy initiative that would whither on the vine.
Oh what a difference a month makes. Far from giving up on the idea, Russia simply decided to proceed with their own “coalition of the willing,” much to the chagrin of the yellow press of the West. Faux outrage over the presence of Russian military advisers and equipment in the country (neither a new nor a surprising development given Russia’s military alliance with Syria) soon gave way to consternation over Russia’s military/intelligence alliance with Iran and Iraq and even the possible extension of that alliance to include Hezbollah and Yemen.
But this week’s bombshell threatens to blow all of that out of the water: the latest (unconfirmed) reports indicate China is getting involved in the fight. According to Al-Masdar Al-‘Arabi, a high-ranking Syrian army official has confirmed to the news site that Chinese involvement in the Syrian conflict is here: “the Chinese will be arriving in the coming weeks.” This follows a week of speculation piqued by the apparent deployment of a Chinese cruiser to the Mediterranean that Russian Senator Igor Morozov has asserted is taking part in Russia’s Syrian operations.
If these reports are true, then there is a significant shift taking place in the Syria narrative, long dominated by the West, the Gulf states, the Israelis, the Turks and their puppet organizations in the country. We are now witnessing the rise of a power bloc that contains the second and third largest militaries on the planet as well as the active cooperation of the governments actually effected by the ISIS invasion. That brings with it a legitimacy that the US and GCC could only wish for in the conflict.
All eyes are now on the UN General Assembly, where it seems Obama and Putin are engaging in a tit-for-tat on the Syrian conflict and the respective parties’ participation in it. It is also evident that the US has lost even more face in the international community as Russia once again steps up to the plate with actual decisive actions that show they mean business.
This turn of events is much closer to what is meant by the mealy-mouthed “blowback” explanation that left war apologists love to use to explain things like the rise of Al Qaeda or the rise of ISIS. According to the proponents of the blowback theory, the current mess in Syria wasn’t a deliberate strategy to foment an Islamic State (as even the former head of the DIA has now publicly accused the White House of doing); no, it’s “blowback” and “unintended consequences” by a “bungling administration” that “can’t do intervention right.”
Well here’s blowback of a much different sort. The US, the Saudis, the Turks, the Israelis, all of these parties have used the conflict as an excuse for showboating, hand-wringing, and advancing their own agendas in the region. And now, as a result, a military coalition that is actually interested in obliterating the ISIS terror boogeyman has arisen.
It remains to be seen whether this is just more 2D chess in support of 3D machinations. Rumors that Putin has been willing to put Assad on the chopping block since the very beginning of the conflict persist, and it will be interesting to see if Russia ultimately puts some sort of Assad “power-sharing” arrangement on the table as a concession to get the ball moving diplomatically in Syria.
But however it plays out from here, there is no happy ending for Obama and his partners in crime. Their carefully constructed terror boogeyman is increasingly looking like its days are numbered.
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