This is a response from me to Polish Wolf over at his Intelligent Discontent blog. We’ve had a long back-and-forth, and it takes so much time to answer him that my urge to write is gone for the day. This is my take on events as they have played out with the Syrian confrontation.
I need to set aside some of your (PW’s) basic perceptual framework:
- 1. Democracy is an impediment to war. Because of the illusions it enhances, countries have to construct elaborate justifications to conceal their motives, but not for the benefit of the enemy. It is to fool the domestic population. That is why the WMD’s, impending massacre in Libya, and CW’s in Syria. Just ignore those things. They are grist for the mill.
- 2. Countries don’t plan on heavy, costly engagements with uncertain outcome unless they are called to defend their home territory. The US only attacks when it is certain that resistance is weakened to the point that victory is certain. In Iraq in 2003, there had been ten years of brutal sanctions and disarmament. In Syria, the “civil war,” as you called it, was really designed to weaken Assad to prepare his country for the usual – bombing without letup, destruction if infrastructure, chaos, massive civilian suffering, and a new tyrant to take his place.
- 3. The world is never in a more dangerous situation as during the collapse of empires, as there is a rush to fill vacuums. The Plan for a New American Century, the NeoCon document that was a presage to 9/11, had an urgent tone to it – the US had to move, and move quickly, and some great mobilizing impulse, a New Pearl Harbor, had to happen. 9/11 was a springboard into the ‘stans, the final conquest of Iraq, and the other dominoes set to fall – Somalia, Lebanon, Libya, and two now left, Syria and Iran. Syria has to be removed to cover Israel’s north flank for the final move on Iran. The urgency of PNAC had to do with opportunity – Russia was in paralysis, so that there would never be a better time.
- 4. Nothing in war goes according to plan. Ever. Iraq was far more costly than anyone imagined, to us, even as the country itself was devastated, no concern to anyone. Libya fell quickly, and there was a loud clinking to campaign glasses. Immediately after Libya there as a movement of terrorist forces, including US-sponsored “Al Qaeda” terrorists, into Syria, next in line. Because of the nuisance of the illusion of democracy, they had to put lipstick on the pig, and that was that Assad was a brutal dictator fighting a domestic uprising. How you can fall for that is beyond me. Can you not see brutal dictators everywhere, most in our employ?
- 5. The “Red Line” was a tactical maneuver, setting the domestic agitprop stage for the final attack. Nothing more.
- 6. Urgency again raised its head, as Syria was well-armed and had ongoing support from Russia, and was defeating the terrorists at every turn, even mopping up. The Pentagon, unable to marshal its own forces due to the high cost of an encounter with the Russians, ordered Morsi to move Egyptian troops into Syria. Morsi was removed that very day [June 15], as there are historic ties between Syria and Egypt. The US itself had to move, and quickly, to rescue the terrorists, and for that had to invoke the Red Line. Due to high morale costs, the US usually uses shock and awe and heavy ordnance to destroy and demoralize a place before the troops arrive. A chemical weapons attack, a real one (Britamgate exposed plans to do a fake one, filmed in Turkey) was launched. Troops had been put on ready on the Turkish border three days in advance, war ships were on the ready, and cruise missiles and sorties set to go from the countless US bases in the region. Contrary to what you say, the Russians have a heavy presence in the Mediterranean and were mobilizing in the weeks before the false flag CW attack.
- 7. Time had run its course, and the Russians had been feverishly refurbishing their military and were now in a position to fight back. Among the real underlying objectives is control of gas for Western Europe – the US very badly wants the Russians taken out of that picture, but a pipeline from the South Pars field through Iran and Syria, allied with Russia, is a major problem. That field straddles Iranian and Qatari territory, which is why Qatar has been so active in arming the terrorist forces. (South Pars is the largest gas field in the world.) In addition, the Russians also have a naval base on the Mediterranean in Syria, and are set to defend it.
- 8. Warfare, as Iraq and Vietnam showed, must be quick and decisive. Prolonged battles naturally favor weaker forces, as support on the home front always wavers. The US did not even have this support to begin with, as the 9/11 magic had worn off, and there was no public support for an attack on Syria. Even the CW attack and dead children did not mobilize opinion. The propaganda front dissolved, and the US was exposed as the aggressor on the world stage. Fake democracy, for a brief while, became real, and there was apparent a split in the ruling forces here. This was apparent in the New York Times allowing Putin an op-ed. The content did not matter – it was the fact of the op-ed, a signal within our ruling forces that the military would be wise to back down at this point, that a costly war was not in the cards.
- 9. Never underestimate the Russians. They have enormous resources a their disposal, and the best scientists on the planet. That is why they were so demonized in the US propaganda system in the 20th Century – the were an impediment to US expansion. Still are.
- 10. What did you say above? Oh yeah – you said there was “lack of enthusiasm” that caused the US to back down. Not hardly. There was a failure of propaganda, a failure of the terrorists attack, an uprising in Egypt, and a potentially costly battle ahead. Never forget the Vietnam Syndrome – it is real. It is the reason why the US only attacks weak enemies. The cards did not fall right. That’s all.
But it ain’t over. Not hardly.