Eric Margolis sums it up correctly: “The Assad government in Damascus was for decades a tacit Western ally that suppressed militant Islamists, kept its border with Israel quiet, and interrogated prisoners for US intelligence services. Damascus even muted claims to its Golan Heights, illegally annexed by Israel after the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. But good behavior and cooperation did not help Syria when the US, Britain, France and Israel decided to go after Iran, Syria’s leading ally. When Syria’s President Bashar Assad refused to join the US-led alliance of western powers and conservative Arab states against Iran, his nation’s fate was sealed. “The road to Tehran runs through Damascus,” went up the cry. Syria was marked for Iraq-style destruction.“
Yet it remains to be seen if Assad can be toppled without a real military intervention like in Iraq and Libya. The difference this time is that Assad can count on real support from Teheran, Hezbollah, Russia and China.
And then there is Turkish prime-minister Erdogan, the ‘great humanitarian’, worried about chemical weapons, the Assad regime ostensibly is using against it’s own population. His intentions are so obvious that it borders embarrasment. Not even US loyalists in the UN like Carla Del Ponte are buying it. Erdogan wants to see a repetition of the chain of events in Iraq post 2003, where effectively Iraq was handed over to the Iranian sphere of influence, courtesy US taxpayer. In other words, Erdogan wants the US to cough up another few trillion dollar to invade Syria, accomplish regime change in Damascus, hang around for a few years and then withdraw, leaving a wrecked Syria up for grabs for Turkey, that will install a Sunni muslim Brotherhood satrap regime. Game, set and match Turkey. Erdogan is cleverly exploiting a mistake made by Obama when he talked about red lines in the Syrian conflict. Now he is owned by the neo-Ottoman aspirations of Turkey, that is quietly abandoning it’s EU-ascession strategy, now that it has bigger geopolitical fish to fry: become the de facto leader of Sunni Islam, much to the relief of the population of Europe, fed up with muslim immigration.
One of the very few sane voices in Washington, Zbigniew Brezinski, oppposes an intervention. Brezinski is also one of the very few who can afford to oppose the almighty Israel lobby and get away with it. The conflict in Syria is to be seen as part of the Clean Break strategy, formulated in 1996 by said lobby group: “it… advocated an aggressive new policy including the removal of Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq, and the containment of Syria by engaging in proxy warfare and highlighting their possession of “weapons of mass destruction”.” This is precisely what happened since 9/11, the pretext that was used to implement the strategy and not few suspect that that event was organized to that effect. However, this is 2013, not 1996 and a lot has changed since: Europe is now united under a single currency, Russia has managed to stop decline and has become an energy powerhouse, China continues to rise, the US narrowly escaped a financial crash in 2008 and is severely weakened since the Iraq debacle. And since 1996 there is the internet, bypassing media, effectively US government propaganda organs.
Meanwhile the US government has understood that a stalemate situation has emerged in Syria and that the rebels are not going to achieve regime change in Damascus on their own any time soon, if ever. This explains the meeting between Putin and Kerry (after the former let the US foreign minister wait for three hours to underline the new relationship). Although this initiative will lead to nothing, it provides an excuse for the US to postpone intervention. The US is stumbling on it’s last legs in it’s role as a global hegemon, a role it could adopt after the demise of the USSR, it’s brother in arms during WW2, their common war against Europe. Regardless of whether the US will intervene militarily in Syria or not, the lasting effect of US policies regarding the Middle East will be the creation of two segregated muslim empires: a Shi’ite empire, centered around the Teheran-Bagdad axis and a Sunni empire, led by Turkey. With Palestine as a province. By still concentrating on Iran and Syria, based on it’s completely outdated 1996 Clean Break strategy, the Israel lobby proves that it is not as smart as it likes to think it is.