Thursday, October 30, 2014

THE WINNERS AND THE LOSERS by Ghassan Kadi

THE WINNERS AND THE LOSERS:
Ghassan Kadi
30 October 2014
As the “War On Syria” unfolds and new chapters emerge, new scenarios of winners and losers appear on the horizon. And as the danger on Syria has not yet subsided, despite the many victories of the Syrian Army and its supporters, an optimistic analysis that is based on a Syrian victory leaves many questions unanswered as who will be the other likely winners and who will be the losers.

Without a shadow of doubt, a Syrian victory will mean a victory for Syria, its government and its people. But regionally, it will also mean a victory for Hezbollah and Iran, and globally, it will mean a victory for the “new” new world order, and specifically for Russia and its new stake in the globe.

In retrospect, all of the enemies of Syria will end up as losers, and the struggle between them now is a face-saving exercise; each trying to be the lesser loser and even possibly a de-facto winner.

At this point in time, no party within Syria’s enemies is angling for a big win as much as ISIS. They were promised by Bandar, with an American guarantee, to be handed over the affairs of the whole state of Syria to run. When that plot failed, ISIS decided to take over not only Syria, but also Iraq. A partial gain for them, that they would settle for, would be control of eastern Iraq and western Syria. How will this pan out will depend greatly on how serious is the global effort to stamp out ISIS.

America cannot end up an outright winner for as long as Russia keeps digging in its heels. A “regime change” in Syria is no longer attainable. The most opportune window for an all-out attack on Syria closed in September 2013 in the wake of the chemical weapons attack that was allegedly perpetrated by the Syrian Army. The redline that Russia drew back then has not dissipated in the sand, and the deterrence of the combined rocket power of Syria and Hezbollah against Israel in retaliation to any such attack on Syria has not wavered one bit.

America hopes that its recent “intervention” in bombing ISIS territories is going to be a game changer, but a keen and rational analysis of developments on the battle ground plus all the political posturing, clearly indicates that America has not yet decided which party to favour and which to overrun. That said, America will keep Israel’s security in its field of vision. It cannot and will not allow Israel to be showered by tens of thousands of rockets. America cannot and will not allow Israel to pay the price and be a loser, and it will therefore not engage in an all-out war against Syria.

But here is the catch, America is shuffling its own regional interests with its genuine fear of a much-stronger-and-more-far-reaching-than-Al-Qaeda ISIS, Israel’s security, Turkey’s obstinance and hidden agendas and its commitments to Al-Saud and the Gulfies. Knowing and realizing that only a miracle will see it reaching a proper balance and a win for itself and all of its allies, America will soon have to let go of some of them thereby denigrating them to the level of fateful losers.

In all likelihood, America’s sacrificial lamb will be the Saudi throne. It has already become a heavy burden and an increasingly growing embarrassment. The power broker on the ground will be Turkey. America wants to punish ISIS but needs Turkey’s help to do it, but this will mean a Kurdish upper hand and Turkey will not allow the Kurds to end up as victors. Most likely, America will give up striking ISIS and call it “mission accomplished”, in GWB style, leaving behind a mess resulting from a stealthy Turkish support to ISIS. With a surging ISIS popularity within Saudi Arabia and an ISIS controlled region to this north, it won’t take long for the House of Saud to go tumbling down.

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