Tuesday, September 3, 2013

SYRIA; SHAPING A NEW WORLD ORDER: By Ghassan Kadi 23 Aug 2103

By Ghassan Kadi
23 August 2013

This week Serbia commemorates the 14th anniversary of the NATO bombing of Serbia. During this highly controversial kafuffle, China had to watch its embassy in Belgrade being bombed and had to accept it could do nothing about it apart from condemning it. The incident was reported as a “mistake” and followed by an “apology”.

At the same time Russia was under the hands of a drunken incompetent weak President; Boris Yeltsin, who was in reality a Western puppet. But at that same time in Russia Vladimir Putin was steadfastly walking up the ladder of power in Russia.

In between 1999 and now (ie the time that NATO bombed Serbia) so much has changed. China is much stronger, and so is Russia. The USA is war-weary and technically bankrupt.

But, this is not all.

Russia and China were both “conned” perhaps into believing that the NATO intervention in Libya was meant to be in total accord with the UNSC resolution. Perhaps this is an inaccurate statement, but none-the-less, they did rubber stamp the intervention by not opposing it. As a result the Russians and the Chinese did not only lose commercial vested interests in Libya but they were also sidelined as major powers in world politics.

The Russians and the Chinese operate differently. The Chinese are not colonialists by the traditional terms. Their rise to power in the last couple of decades, and specifically the last decade, is one that is based on their economic prowess. Their military might is something for the world to heed, but they are not using it for the moment to put their name on the map. They know that they don’t need to do this, at least not yet.

Russia on the other hand, and specifically Putin, is Cold War savvy. Vladimir Putin is Russia’s Cold War “love child”. He knows the tricks and the nuances of what a Cold War is and what it takes to be seen globally as a major player.

Vladimir Putin was a witness to the fall of the USSR, the dismantling of the Warsaw Treaty, and the expansion of NATO. More than anyone on earth, he feels how Russia is threatened by NATO including under its wings former allies such as Poland, Hungary and Georgia just to name a few.

Ever since the so-called New World Order (NWO) came into existence after the demise of the USSR, the USA has been drawing its own “Red Lines” that the US administration has considered as issues of “national security”. With the USSR out of the way, they created an enemy that they dubbed as the “Axis of Evil” of which they included at the time North Korea, Iran and Iraq. When the US found itself with enough “justification” to combat that so-called “Axis of Evil” it targeted the softest of targets; Iraq. The rest is history.

Russia’s Putin has been watching all of these developments with a keen eye and a KGB-inherited nose that can smell a rat decades away.

With the so-called “Arab Spring” turning into an Arab nightmare and an American field day, Putin can clearly see, more than most Arabs perhaps, what this is all about.

Syria does have a huge wealth of oil and gas, so now we know. There is little doubt that Russia has a real and solid commercial interest in getting the contracts for exploration and supplies and to be able to rival the out-flux of fossil fuels coming out of the Persian/Arab Gulf. But, what is perhaps more pertinent to Putin, or at least equally, is Russia’s stature in the world as a major power.

Militarily speaking, Putin must feel at least isolated. The BRICS alliance is a very loosely-structured alliance that does not have anything even close to the military commitments of the NATO member nations. In reality therefore, Putin must be in a position in which he sees, clearly, that the nuclear deterrent force of Russia is on its own enough to make a stand militarily. This however does not mean to say that he is prepared to give up the last off-shore military bastions of the former USSR.

Syria happens to be this last bastion in the Middle East and the Mediterranean. This alone should make Syria, in the eyes of Putin, a great asset to keep.

In summary, the way that Putin regards Syria would have to be strategically multi-faceted;
• Russia has huge commercial interests in Syria
• Russia needs a military base in the Mediterranean
• Russia has to re-establish itself as a major power and its only avenue in the Middle East and globally is Syria.

But, if we were to think that the war in Syria is one that is done by proxy between America and Russia we would be totally ignoring the regional issues, balance of power and politics.

With or without Russia or China, the anti-American/Israel alliance which is comprised of Syria, Iran and Hezbollah is not one that can be overlooked in the event of a US/NATO attack on Syria.

All three military forces regard the attack on Syria as a matter of survival. It has to be borne in mind that even though Syria has deployed significant power in fighting off the insurgents in Syria, its missile power remains intact. Considering that Syria sees this war as a war of survival, if the vehemence of the attack against her involves NATO eventually, nothing will stop Syria from using her missile power to hit back where it hurts the most. This will probably include major Israeli, Saudi, Qatari and Turkish targets. In such an event, the missile power of Hezbollah will also be unleashed and they can target with precision any point at least within Israel. If an expanded war includes Iran with its long-range missiles, not to mention the Syrian long-range missiles, even some targets in Europe would become a possibility.

This is America/NATO/Israel’s dilemma. They can make threats but they know that any full-on attack on Syria is not going to be a walk in the park. This is why the only thing they can do is to support the anti-Syrian militants in the hope that the “Regime” would crumble.

The Syrian government did not crumble. The people of Syria are standing behind their President and Army. To them it is a war of existence and, if attrition is on the agenda, they can clearly see that this strategy is backfiring on their enemies.

For the last two years or so, the anti-Syrian alliance has been confounded by the resolve of the Syrian people first and foremost. The calculations of the anti-Syrian coalition have clearly become miscalculations, and they continue to try to find a magical breakthrough that will tip the war inside Syria to their favour. They have failed to do so. They have tried time and time again to intimidate and bribe Russia into submission but they have also failed. What they know for sure is that they will never ever be able to control or curb the regional alliance of Syria, Iran and Hezbollah. This is what they fear the most and this is what they will never ever be able to change to their favour.

Syria, Iran and Hezbollah have their strategic and regional alliances and for good reasons; an alliance they cannot walk away from.

On the Russian side however, the spectre of the NATO bombing of Serbia leaves a very bad taste within Russia. Putin is adamant not to taste this again as a powerless observer.

The question for the regional alliance of Syria, Iran and Hezbollah is one of “to be” or “not to be”.

For Russia it is a question of a tipping point between a reclaiming its statute as major power or being acquiescent to NATO.

In between the two resolves, individually and combined, and in between 1999 and 213, NATO finds itself in yet another New World Order, one that it didn’t orchestrate, one it didn’t create, one in which it cannot call its own shot, and one that it is unable to confront, let alone one that it prepared itself to confront.

Syria is far more than a US/NATO dilemma, it is a gamble-turned into a quagmire, and USA/NATO remain unable to find a face-saving way out.

Will this herald the beginning of a New Word Order? Time will tell.

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