Sunday, September 14, 2014


Ghassan Kadi.
13 September 2014

I read Obama’s speech fairly differently from some. I see some great deal of potential good in it.
For starters,... his language, and body language in specific, fall in what is colloquially referred to as a “try hard” attempt to look tough. Moreover, his extended ending and the pep-talk to Americans can only be seen, if we were to read in between the lines, to indicate just the contrary. What he is really saying to Americans is that America is no longer the great nation and superpower it used to be. The fact that he sees that Americans need convincing that nothing has changed, and reminding of the superpower status of America are stark indications of the contrary.
Even his gift of speech has weakened and almost disappeared totally. Words used to flow out of his mouth like a torrent, like the words of great orators, and now, he sounds at best like a Don Quixote, a clown. Add to this the signs of ageing, and Obama looks like a tired old man, so much different from the one campaigning for his first term, a man at the end of his tether.

That aside, apart from the negative things he said about the Syrian President, he did not talk about “regime change”; neither directly nor indirectly. And if the USA is going to try not to allow the Syrian government to control Eastern Syria, it would perhaps be because it wishes to keep Western Syria in the hands of the Syrian government. In other words, America could be angling for the partition of Syria into a state bound by the latitude of say Palmyra, leaving the Western coastal region in the hands of the Syrian government, and inserting an extended Kurdish state in between Syria and Iraq. Such a scheme is more “logical” now given the outcome of over three years of war, and evil as it is, is a far lesser ambition than the previous plan of toppling the Syrian government and handing over the full control of the whole of Syria to the fighters.

When Obama talks about supporting the “moderate rebels”, we well know that if he means the FSA, they are virtually exterminated or just on the verge. They can try to rebirth it, but it remains highly unlikely that their efforts will be effective. The genie is out and Obama cannot any longer supply and support Islamists, and he will likely be putting pressure on Turkey soon in this regard.
The elusive “moderates” can only be the Kurds; including Syrian Kurds, most of whom are on the Syrian government’s side. It is highly likely that Obama will try to lure them with the promise of a bigger Kurdish state.

The talk of “regime change” cannot be any longer advantageous to any of the enemies of Syria and the Saudis have much bigger concerns of their own. The Saudis clearly see that their own necks are now on the chopping board, and there are many reports of growing support for ISIS within Saudi Arabia. The Saudis are in survival mode; full stop.

Furthermore, America is in the habit of demonizing its next victim to order to create media frenzy and hysteria to ramp up support for attacking him. I do not see any current demonizing of President Assad. All of the propaganda is targeted at ISIS. Why would America suddenly change its tactics? Bullies have their comfort zones and normally do not make any changes to their modus operandi. In being currently engaged in demonizing President Putin, the Americans are clearly sticking to their old tactics.

This is not to forget that for the first time in more than three years, Obama is talking about taking steps towards stopping further influx of fighters and arms into Syria. He is inadvertently admitting, for the first time, that he was previously aiding their influx, and indirectly confessing that it was a mistake. If this is not a positive development, what is?

America is in deep trouble and it is very obvious. It seems in utter confusion about what to do in the Levant, and in its arrogance, it cannot turn around and suddenly start working with the Syrian government. Some sources however reveal that there has already been American/Syrian communications. Obama is desperately looking for a way out of the mess that American policies have created in the Levant, and he is hoping to find a face saver. This is how I read his speech, and to say that Russia is over-occupied with Ukraine cannot be accurate. Russia is a superpower, and even though the Ukraine issue is a huge one, but superpowers know well how to juggle many issues all at once.

This is how I read Obama’s speech and the current developments; I am not going to apologize for being an optimist.

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