Sunday, November 16, 2014

Coalition Divided Over Goals, by Thierry Meyssan

Washington seems to have abandoned its Levant remodeling map for another. However, the failure of the first project and the strength of the Syrian people do not bode well for the implementation of this new plan. Thierry Meyssan reviews the adjustments it requires and the division it has created within the coalition: on one side, the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia, on the other, France and Turkey.

 Washington no longer wishes to overthrow the Syrian Arab Republic because it considers that the National Coalition as unable to govern and it does not want to see the country falling into unmanageable anarchy. Indeed, unlike Libya and Iraq, Syria and Israel are adjacent, so chaos in this place could be fatal to the US protégé.
Gradually, the US General Chiefs of Staff have reviewed their remodeling project, the Greater Middle East Initiative, as defined in 2001, and whose map was published by Colonel Ralph Peters during the debates of the Baker-Hamilton Commission [1]. A faction within the Obama administration is pushing for the creation of a new plan: the simultaneous remodeling of Iraq and Syria into five states, including two cross-border states.
The representative of Ban Ki-moon in Iraq, German neo-conservative Martin Kobler, strangely reported the merger of the Iraqi and Syrian battlefields to the Security Council in July 2013. [2]
The map of this new plan was published in September of 2013 by journalist Robin Wright, then a researcher at the United States Institute of Peace, the Pentagon’s think tank. [3]
 t foresees the drastic reduction of three quarters of Syria’s territory. It is now supported by Israel, as stated by its Defense Minister, Moshe Yaalon, during a trip to the United States. [4]
Washington intends to maintain the Republic at least on the Israeli border, in Damascus and on the Mediterranean coast. In contrast, France and Turkey do not want a fusion of Iraqi Kurdistan and northern Syria which would inevitably lead to a partition of Turkey. Nor do they want to lose a large Sunnistan taking up that part of Iraq occupied by Daesh and the Syrian desert for the sole benefit of the United States and Saudi Arabia.
This is why Paris and Ankara have made every effort to eliminate or have eliminated the PYG Kurds (PKK allies favourable to the establishment of a Kurdistan in Turkey and therefore hostile to the US project of pseudo-Kurdistan) and to restore Washington’s original draft of the "Arab spring in Syria": to put the Muslim Brotherhood in power in Damascus.
Given the strength of the Syrian people and the continuous victories of their army for over a year, Washington is not sure of the feasibility of its plan. Also, President Obama has imagined to involve Iran. He secretly wrote to the Leader of the Revolution, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, offering him an alliance to crush Daesh if - and only if- he approved the Protocol negotiated by the government of Sheikh Hassan Rohani Vienna [5]. "Crush Daesh" could mean either to release the Iraqi and Syrian populations that it dominates and return to the status quo ante bellum [6] or, in the name of realism, to install a legitimate government in its space, that is to say achieve the Wright plan.
Reacting to the proposed creation of an Iraqi-Syrian Sunnistan, the secretary general of Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah took the Ashura opportunity to denounce Saudi Arabian responsibility for the development of Takfirism [7]. In doing so, for the first time, he designated Wahhabism as a template for a project turned against Islam; which is like saying that Wahhabism is not a branch of Islam, but a heresy that is harming all Muslims.
Considering that the Guide would turned down the US proposal and that Washington would then attack the Syrian Arab Army to force it to fall back on Damascus and Latakia, Syria immediately took the lead in pressing Russia to deliver the latest generation of S-300 missiles, alone capable of holding off the US Air Force. Moscow has confirmed that this would be done once some administrative steps have been completed. [8]
For his part, on November 3rd, the French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius published an open forum in three newspapers, a French one, a US one and a Saudi Arabian one, calling for "saving Aleppo" from the Damascus "regime" [9]. Very well written, it tries to convince his allies to drop their offensive against Daesh and help him overthrow the Syrian Arab Republic. But it is unlikely that this forum would suffice as those who know the terrain have been shocked by his incredible bad faith.
In addition, France and Saudi Arabia have finally signed the contract to arm Lebanon which Riyadh had announced almost a year ago. [10] Officially, King Abdullah has offered $ 3 billion in French weapons to the Lebanese Army so it can modernise and defend its country.
Unofficially, the idea was to thank the Lebanese military for not having registered the confessions of terrorist Majed al-Majed [11]. Moreover, the only possible purpose of this transfer of weapons being to make the Lebanese Army a rival of Hezbollah, it is unlikely to run its course. At most, the Saudis might provide the means to eradicate the Qalamoun jihadists who, according to the Wright plan, would no longer be of use. Let’s hope they will leave the Lebanese and the French to their dreams.
Anyway, a deeply divided Coalition advancing towards its objectives is unlikely to go on to victory.

[1] “Blood borders - How a better Middle East would look”, Colonel Ralph Peters, Armed Forces Journal, June 1, 2006.
[2] “UN envoy: Iraq and Syrian conflicts are merging”, Edith M. Lederer, Associated Press, July 16, 2013.
[3] “Imagining a Remapped Middle East”, Robin Wright, The New York Times Sunday Review, Sept. 28, 2013.
[4] “Israel’s Defense Minister: Mideast Borders ’Absolutely’ Will Change”, NPR, October 23, 2014.
[5] “Obama Wrote Secret Letter to Iran’s Khamenei About Fighting Islamic State”, Jay Solomon and Carol E. Lee, Wall Street Journal, November 6, 2014.
[6] Status quo ante bellum, in Latin: status quo before the war.
[7] «Sayyed Nasrallah: le wahhabisme menace l’Islam» ("Sayyed Nasrallah: Wahhabism threatens Islam)," Al-Manar, October 27, 2014.
[8] “Damas recevra prochainement des systèmes russes S-300 (ministre)” ("Damascus will soon receive Russian S-300 systems (Minister)," Ria Novosti, November 6, 2014.
[9] “After Kobane, saving Aleppo”, by Laurent Fabius, Washington Post (United States), Voltaire Network, November 3, 2014.
[10] «L’Arabie saoudite et la France ont signé ce mardi à Riyad un contrat de livraison d’armes françaises pour le Liban» ("Saudi Arabia and France signed this Tuesday in Riyadh a contract for delivery of French weapons to Lebanon")," RP Defense, November 6, 2014.
[11] « Le silence et la trahison qui valaient 3 milliards de dollars » ("The silence and betrayal that were worth $ 3 billion"), Thierry Meyssan, Réseau Voltaire, January 15, 2014.