New Eastern Outlook
by Phil Butler
I began this morning reporting on Britain’s next king saying climate change is partly responsible for Syria’s civil war, and his blaming the refugee crisis and civil war there on drought. In an exclusive interview with Sky News, Prince Charles waxes profoundly over the lost Copenhagen climate accord in 2009, and on far reaching strategies you probably never even dreamed of. Then the news came a Russian SU24 fighter/bomber had been shot down by Turkey, and the world turned over. As I type this Twitter, Facebook, and the digital media stream is inundated with a foreign policy horror story. All I can see is Vladimir Putin’s face as Jordan’s king spoke with him, and images of Mr. Obama’s “moderates” machine gunning a pilot before his parachute set down. I wonder if the bad climate will be the cause of World War III?
As I listened this morning to the British prince go on about climactic disaster, sitting here in wonderment at how the Sky News dialogue turned to Syria in that interview, today’s surreal leadership impotence gave me a tremendous headache. Droughts do cause migrations, I began to think, “Why there was one in India about the time the British Empire force migrated tens of millions to walk barefoot to Pakistan.” But Prince Charles’ most stunning slip of the lip in this interview is not about Syrian wheat harvests going belly up, it’s an offhand mention of the American “Pentagon” totally out of context. I wondered as I listened; “Is Sigmund Freud at work here?” No, the shifting of the Harmattan and ice caps melting have not run Syrians out of their homes. But the Freudian slip of England’s icon did bear fruit today, about the time Turkey lost its mind, or simply followed NATO or Pentagon orders. Given the fate of the world now rests on the broad shoulders of Vladimir Putin, on his coming decision over Turkey and the “back stabbers,” as he put it, let’s take a brief historical look at some pressures that have been exerted on this Syria cook pot.
Syria has been a problem for the British, the French, the Americans, and especially the Israelis for some time now. Forgetting decades of friction in between Tel Aviv and Damascus for now, it was Bush’s Undersecretary of State John R. Bolton who was one of the authors to first put the “stamp” of approval on a war against Syria and Libya with his “Beyond the Axis of Evil” speech naming “rogue” states which included Cuba. Of course the fear additive of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) was added there too. Since the 9/11 events, a new operational motif has supplanted any democratic idealism that was previously existent in Washington. With the supplanting of Saddam Hussein in Iraq, the leadership of the United States went on a coup de etat binge that has not ceased.
No one reading this will have taken note that former US Secretary of State Colin Powell’s pressure on Syria to cut ties with groups within the country back in 2003, planted some of the seeds of discord we see with jihadists now fighting him. One action in particular, bears special consideration. President Assad assured Powell that the Syrian offices of Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command would be closed after months of warnings and saber rattling from George W. Bush and the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Sewing in the seeds of discontent in Syria has taken many forms. The civil war you see poisoning world relations today, has been going on since before the Arab-Israeli wars began. And while Prince Charles does an excellent job of acting out Nicollo Machiaveli’s leadership principles for princes, drought and global warming only play a minor role in the pressure cooker MI6 and the CIA set to boiling after 9/11.
Later in 2003, despite Assad’s assurances Syria would “play ball,” the Bush administration went ahead with broad reaching actions against Assad’s government. In November, Bush cajoled the House of Representatives to follow the Senate’s lead in passing;
“the amended Senate version of Syrian Accountability and Lebanese Sovereignty Restoration Act requiring the president to prohibit the export of any dual-use item if Syria does not end its support for terrorist groups, cease support for terrorist activities in Iraq, withdraw from Lebanon, and give up its missile and WMD programs.”
The bill also gave the president a blank check to turn on and off sanctions any time he deemed it necessary. Taking into account the sensitive economy of Syria and other Middle East nations, economies based largely on oil exports, and the United States and her allies held devastating sway over the populations of every country in this region. Imagine your poor and living in Syria, and then the faucet of food and life gets turned off. In 2004 Bush used the legislation to slam an economic fist down on Assad and the Syrian people. Then in November 2005, the Foreign Operations Appropriation Act extends bans on aid to Syria but also requires that at least $6.5 million be made available for programs supporting democracy in Syria and Iran, as well as unspecified amounts of additional funds to support democracy, governance, human rights, and rule of law programs.
Moving to US allies in the current Cold War event, the EU started turning up the heat on Syria back in 2011. Since then, there have been enacted and enforced sanctions on the Syrian economy including oil, construction, banking, luxury goods, and blocking property and visa rights of individuals which exacted a horrible toll on a once stable society. This was part of what became known as “Arab Spring,” what Washington, London and Brussels portrayed as some international grassroots revolution toward freedom and democracy. Only complete idiots even utter such drivel under their breath these days. This document (PDF) lists a wide array of sanctions used to help overthrow President Assad, you’ll be fairly amazed the Syrian leader has miraculously held onto power once you go down this list. Moses’ plagues on Egypt were less stringent. At this point I am beginning to doubt even the Old Testament of my own religion. Was Moses the bad guy? Anybody inquiring today, simply has to wonder what is truth?
Back in 2006, about the time Bush leveled sanctions on Syria and Assad, Isreali Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz suggested an axis of terror was operating in between Iran and Syria. Later that year Israel’s UN Ambassador, Dan Gillerman further cemented this idea for the nations collective in suggesting a “new axis of terror” had formed to include Iran, Syria, and the new Palestinian government. Then in 2008 Iran, Russia, and Venezuela were accused of being an “Axis of Diesel” over arms dealings in between the countries. Fast forward to 2012 and William C. Martel comes up with the “Authoritarian Axis” accusative for China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, Syria, and Venezuela in a The Diplomat piece.
As you can see on the map, Mr. Bush outlined his “axis of evil” including Iran, Iraq, and North Korea (in red). Then with “Beyond the Axis of Evil” America’s enemies grew to include Cuba, Libya, and Syria (orange). Then later Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice added Belarus, Burma, and Zimbabwe are green. As you can see, the United States is true blue.
Next up, Operation Orchard in 2007, saw the bombing of a Syrian nuclear reactor site planned by the US and Israel, and carried out by Israeli commandos and the air force, is but one instance of armed incursion inside the borders of a sovereign state. What’s most significant about this event is not the bombing of a neighbor’s nuclear power plant, but the total news blackout about the event by the Israeli and U.S. governments that lasted 7 months after the raid. The stormy non-romance in between the United States and Syria took on it’s most tumultuous after the 9/11 attacks. Syria maintained a positive attitude toward the US throughout the Iraq campaign, even allowing the United States to torture those who truly needed it under a program called Extraordinary Rendition, essentially torture by proxy. You read that correctly. Our country sub-contracted the illegal torture of human beings outside any humane convention on our planet. On this note, the Bush administration regularly sent so-called “illegal combatants” to Syria and other countries to receive “enhanced interrogation.” To frame these violations of every code of ethics I ever heard tell of, let me quote former CIA officer Bob Baer:
“If you want a serious interrogation, you send a prisoner to Jordan. If you want them to be tortured, you send them to Syria. If you want someone to disappear—never to see them again—you send them to Egypt.”
President Barack Obama has continued most of the practices I’ve mentioned, and improved up anti-Assad efforts too. The case of the alleged sarin gas attacks by Assad’s forces being the most damnable. And now we hear Mr. Putin tell us he suspects Turkey called NATO instead of calling a supposed ally against ISIL (Russia that is). American weapons, moderates armed by men like John Kerry, John McCain, Lindsey Graham and of course their British, Saudi, and French counterparts, fed the whirlwind, and we are all ready to reap it on their behalf.
At the same time the Obama administration was accusing the Assad regime of torturing the people of Syria, he knew full well of the CIA’s torture activities in Syria and other so-called “black sites,” for proxy torture. Before Russia President Vladimir Putin wrote his now famous New York Times appeal on Syria, the White House and the Pentagon knew Turkey was probably responsible for the false flag gas attack intended to draw the US into Syria. Again, the attempted over up of the Seymour Hersh investigative report damning Turkey, and not Assad, it is iconic illustration of Washington’s illegal power plays. You may not be aware, Hersh tried to pitch his stunning revelation that Turkey was behind the attacks Obama used to leverage support for a Syria invasion, but the story was squashed – nobody, and I mean no-bo-dy would print it. What a blockbuster no American citizen ever heard tell of!
Miraculously, Mr. Putin’s spooks got their hands on samples of the Sarin supposedly used by Assad’s forces to kill his own people. After determining the brand of gas used could not have been in Assad’s inventory, the Russians turned the information over to MI6, which then warned the Obama team a new WMD bullshit story would not cover asses along the Potomac. Hence, we have the much protracted plan we see in play today. As for the son of the biggest land owner on Earth, Britain’s renowned Prince Charles, he knows full well the Pentagon factors in drought, sanctions, false flags and fervent CIA torture for its planning recipes. And so does MI6. The public perception has to be about neutered sovereigns spinning about in their climate change robes. The Sky TV interview was well rehearsed, and intended as all royal appearances are, to bolster commoner attitudes. You see the British, above all other nationalities, tolerate their supposedly bumbling royals.
Finally, if you’re sitting there wondering just how much mind control is going on in the United States, the Seymour Hersh banned sarin gas story is significant. Even since the findings have been largely validated, there’s literally no mention of his name attached to any news story in the US outside his previous Osama Bin Laden, ones. No mainstream media outlet can be found that discusses this crucial topic. Except for the Slate, and an array of alternative media, the world only knows what Barack Obama tells it on the Syria situation. The man who stunned us with the My Lai massacre and Abu Ghraib, he fell prey to media forces unimaginable in any previous era. And so did we all.
Can Mr. Putin do it again? Is their a card left to play in the dirtiest poker game ever played? I told a colleague moments ago, we’ve one chance in three. If Putin goes “soft” and plays the moderate again, the sharks will smell blood, and we’ll have war for sure. If he goes in “hard” – too hard that is, then the war many feared the west wanted in the first place, it may become reality. Our only chance at peace now, is if Vladimir Putin and his advisers have one more ace in the hole. What was in those dossiers Putin handed western leaders at the G20? What has the NWO so scared or desperate, they’d sanction ultimate war? These are only questions Russia’s president can answer. We know damned well Prince Charles will blame it on a tumbleweed in the Syrian desert, or a sun flare, crop harvest, or locust plague.
Phil Butler, is a policy investigator and analyst, a political scientist and expert on Eastern Europe, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.