I’ve dropped everything the past couple of days to try and find out what the hell is going on both in Syria and in the corridors of power elsewhere. Whenever there’s a serious conflict anywhere in the world my first reference is an Atlas, not just for geographical information but more importantly for mineral and oil reserves. I’ve also had to research using available internet information some of which is somewhat dubious.
The first thing to note is the Russian port of Tartus, its last remaining Mediterranean naval base. Previously they had a base in Egypt but since the Egyptian revolution, have been kicked out of there. What precipitated that revolution I wonder ?
The map doesn’t show the oil reserves of the Levant basin but a little online reading indicates that it is a huge oil and gas deposit just offshore from Syria, Lebanon, Israel and Gaza.
Reading Pravda, Voice of Russia and Russia Times doesn’t make me a commie sympathiser. I do it in order to determine how the world’s second biggest superpower may react to Nato forces encroaching on what it considers to be its sphere of influence and particularly what appears to be an attempt to deny it access to the Mediterranean.
What I have discovered is that Russia is currently building its fleet for deployment to the Med coast of Syria. It would also appear that Putin has a firm grasp of power within the Russian Federation and since our western press have taken their eye off the ball, has made overtures to all the nations of the ex Soviet Union and is winning them over.
Obama has used the flimsy excuse of a gas attack on a total of 150 people in a war with over 100,000 casualties, he calls it “crossing a line” and has used it as an excuse to publicly aid Syrian rebels. I said publicly, because what we don’t know is how much equipment is sitting in Jordan and Turkey waiting for the green light. Anyone who thinks the USA have just made this decision is an idiot. Military excursions require long term planning, the only escalation is the public announcement.
What line has he crossed as far as the Russians are concerned ?
My view is that in Russia now, the Gorby we all loved, is hated for breaking the Soviet Union and more importantly, Putin is viewed as a tough and able leader. I watched a long interview with him and my impression is that this is NOT a man to screw with. He doesn’t fuck about, he answers questions eloquently and knowledgably and can’t be drawn into giving away anything he doesn’t want to. Compared to Putin, Obama is stammering and evasive.
Rather than narrowly confine my research into the specific Syrian problem, I’ve also encompassed the Nato squeezing of Russia by the deployment of so called defensive missile systems. In the world of Mutually Assured Destruction, there’s no such thing as a defensive missile. Any system which limits retaliation becomes an OFFENSIVE system and this is what NATO have been deploying. The Russian navy have continued to build and deploy ballistic missile submarines and believe me they are very bad news. It only takes a single sub to escape detection and that boat can knock out a few cities.
When the Berlin Wall toppled in 1989 and Gorby continued his fine work for the West, we all thought the Soviets were out of the game. Russia now has about 10% national debt compared to US 100% + and are building considerable military forces.
No they’re NOT out of the game.
Let’s go to the political and religious makeup of the Middle East. Syria; pro Russian and Russian backed, Iran; pro Russian and here’s the real surprise, Iraq; pro Russian. Didn’t we have a war there so that they’d like us ?
Bush and Blair’s discredited WMD’s compared to Obama’s claims of chemical weapons, sound familiar ? Egypt, Turkey and Israel, our side (for now). Assad, a dictator who represses his people. Wait a minute, what about Erdogan? Haven’t there been recent demonstrations about his authoritarian government ?
It also seems that the pro Russian lot are mostly Shias while our mob are mostly Sunnis. Islam itself is polarising into two factions and more dangerously, are aligning with the cold war antagonists.
Some of the more dubious websites have been claiming that the CIA instigated these Arab uprisings with the intention of destabilizing to force Russia out of the game. If true, it’s also possible that Russia started the Turkish unrest. There are claims that Iraq was first on the intended list followed by Syria and that the US plans to control the whole Middle East. Who knows? Only the boys at Langley and they’re too busy reading this to confirm or deny. Anyone surprised by Prism is a fool. Britons knew back in 1980 that GCHQ was monitoring telephones and had programmed trigger words to automatically monitor a call. Technologically if it can be done, it WILL be. Corporations don't become giants without government assistance and guess what? Government might want something in return.
I want to go back to the subject of oil because most people think that’s what Iraq was about and this one is looking increasingly similar. Let’s suppose we could green our economies, drive electric cars, build more wind turbines and renewable energy. In civil life, that would reduce our dependence on oil. Civil, not military.
Superpowers require massive amounts of military oil. Airforces are grounded without, army equipment, tanks etc. can’t move and navies; most ships are oil driven, a few nuclear powered but mostly oil powered turbines. A superpower can only maintain that status with oil.
While trying to find out the truth, it’s amazing how many weirdo conspiracy sites I’ve come across. The reason they exist is because our own governments have been lying and concealing for so many years that we can’t find the truth from them. By applying a certain scepticism however, it is possible to find little snippets of information.
Before the collapse of the Soviet Union, I had access to certain NATO information and in particular, two exercises which even now are only fleeting snippets online. I became aware that Thatcher and Reagan were prepared to squeeze the Soviets so hard that they had only two choices. Luckily for all of us they chose the second option. I can only conclude that I was led by people who were prepared to risk a nuclear first strike. The fact that the birds didn’t fly is because of the restraint of the Soviets and not because of the skill of a demented president and his bag lady.
So what’s happening now ? In my view the cold war never ended and this is another escalation in an attempt to impose superpower domination.
But this time we don’t have a Gorby in the Kremlin. It’s time to start playing wargames to see where this will go.
If Assad wins in Syria, the rest of the Middle East could come under Russian control. Imagine a USA without Middle East oil, no more military superpower and the world balance tips heavily in Russia’s favour.
We can abuse Obama for doing too little too late, OR arming the rebels but never forget that he inherited this from Bush. Somehow this guy has to pull the bunny out of the hat. There is no way that Russian domination of desert oil is acceptable to the USA.
The US military as far back as 1980 had scenarios in place to fight a limited nuclear war in Europe. Do they care about Europe? Of course not, their only concern is mainland USA. Europe is expendable. Do the Russians love the British and French ? US poodles in their opinion.
If this war escalates, I envisage a scenario where this time the Russians won’t give ground and a VERY clear signal for the US to back off, is nuking Britain. Cameron and Hollande's attempts at trying to gain advantage for BP and Total could backfire hugely. Yes that’s extreme but what are the lesser scenarios.
If Russia decides it’s going to fight, then Syria remains Russian and that leaves the USA no choice but to fully commit to Iraq.
To me that’s poetic justice. They made this mess so they have to clean it up. I never agreed with the Iraq invasion because I read the 50 page WMD excuse by HM government and knew from the outset that it was balls.
Invading Iraq and then leaving behind a failed state isn’t just immoral, it’s cowardice in the extreme. Sorting out Iraq will cost billions of dollars and thousands more lives but nothing short of full occupation for many years will stabilize it.
Perhaps once it’s fully realized what the Bush and Blair excursion has cost, it’ll be time to put them on trial for treason.
From my perspective, I can only hope that Obama and Putin agree a peaceful outcome at the G8 and at subsequent summits because I believe we are facing a worse situation than the Cuban Missile Crisis. Back then, only the two superpowers were involved. Now the situation involves every nation in the Middle East and European meddling.
Escalation is too horrendous to consider.