John Chuckman



John Bolton has been on a trip to Israel to reassure Israel’s Netanyahu that Trump really didn’t mean what he said about withdrawal from Syria.

At least that is what Bolton’s actual words boil down to.

Bolton said that any withdrawal from Syria is “conditioned on the security of Israel and other allies and defeat of ISIL.”

That might sound good to an untutored ear, but it is, in fact, utter rubbish, rubbish carefully constructed to keep American troops in Syria as long as possible against Trump’s withdrawal decision. Hell, what do a mere President’s words mean anyway?

The United States only uses the presence of ISIS as an excuse to remain in northeastern Syria. For most of the history of the war in Syria, the United States did not fight ISIS, not at all. It viewed them quietly as welcome grief for Assad. Much of America’s (and Britain’s) early bombing effort basically provided ISIS and other mercenary cutthroats with a de facto air force by destroying Syrian national infrastructure. It was only Syria’s army, still loyal to Assad after a long and grievous war, with the invited help of Russia and Iran, who consistently fought ISIS.

And why would internal events in Syria have anything to do with Israel’s security? They do not, except in the sense that Israel’s main goals in the deliberately-constructed proxy war, the destruction of Syria and the toppling of Assad, have failed.

Plus, if there is anything Israel hates more than Assad, it is Iran. That very large (ten times the population of Israel) and potentially wealthy (oil and gas) country, which if viewed by any objective third party, would be understood as the region’s natural long-term regional power (exactly how America saw them back in the days of the Shah), but that is the role Israel has determined must be its own.

Israel needs to keep a hold on Washington because without the public and private subsidies pouring in from America, it would soon be seen for what it is, a small and relatively poor country located, much like a Crusader fortress, in a region of people for whom it largely has contempt.

Israel uses the legitimate presence of Iran in Syria (legitimate because it was invited by Syria’s government to help fight a war) much the way the United States uses the presence of ISIS in the Northeast – that is, as an excuse to do other things. Ergo, Israel’s estimated two hundred bombing runs against a country, Syria, with which it is not at war. Plus, lots of other nasty stuff like large covert shipments of weapons, expert advice, intelligence information, helicopter ferrying, and even medical assistance.

Well, at least ISIS is something worthy of our hatred. Iran is not, never having started any wars in its modern history and legitimately working to better its people and having demonstrated its willingness to cooperate and keep its word, as with the international nuclear agreement. Indeed, when America recently arbitrarily tore up that agreement, its only genuine reason for doing so was one that it could not state in public: tearing up the agreement was what Israel wanted.

Compare the record, and a fair-minded observer could only say Iran is much of what Israel is not. Israel with its secret nuclear weapons. Israel with its past record of secret nuclear cooperation with apartheid South Africa (which briefly, before its end, became a small nuclear power thanks to Israeli assistance). Israel with its dozens of broken United Nations’ resolutions and broken international laws. Israel with its unwelcome occupation of millions of people. Israel with its near-constant war and aggression for seventy years. And Israel with its long record of dark operations and assassinations throughout the region.

Even in terms of religious and ethnic tolerance, Iran has some favorable comparisons despite its being a theocratic state. A good-sized Jewish community in Iran flourishes. Compare that with the state of non-Jews or even Jews who happen to be black, as from Africa, in Israel. The property of Jews and other groups is secure in Iran, and you have only to turn on your television news to know that that is not the case in Israel.

By the way, part of Assad’s popular support in Syria comes from the fact that he is seen as a protector of religious minorities. The country’s many Christians definitely view him that way and were in great fear about what kind of government might emerge if Assad lost the war. Assad is sometimes seen walking with his wife on the streets of Damascus, something many leaders would fear doing. His troops, as I said, have stayed loyal through a long and bloody war.

Our press’s treatment of Assad has been consistently unbalanced. It has consistently been an Israeli government view of Assad, much as is the case with our press’s treatment of Iran.

Israel has a poisonous narrative it has developed and pushed about Iran surrounding them through its relationships with other states such as Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq. Never mind the nonsense of a non-nuclear nation being truly capable of threatening a nuclear one with an arsenal a third the size of France’s. Here’s where never acknowledging your illegal weapons comes in handy. You can pretend to be afraid of someone like Iran.

So why are American troops in Syria’s northeast, openly against the will of the county’s government?

They are there to assist Syria’s Kurds – who would like a separate state, a rather unrealistic expectation given Turkey’s intense feelings against a Kurdish state on any of its borders – in disrupting the reunification of Syria.

In the pettiest possible fashion, any disruption of Syria is viewed as positive by Israel and the United States. The same motive is at work in the United States having announced that it will not contribute to the rebuilding of Syria so long as Assad remains in power. Not contribute, despite having been a major contributor to the destruction.

Kurdish disruption in the northeast is a kind of consolation prize to Israel for having lost the main dirty war. It benefits Saudi Arabia, too, the main original financiers for ISIS, but the princes running that country these days quietly work hand-in-glove with Israel, so anything benefitting the one benefits the other.

That’s how you earn the right to buy more than a hundred billion dollars in the latest American military hardware, as Saudi Arabia did recently, and gain a new sense of self-importance in the region. Otherwise, that sale could not possibly have happened given Israel’s influence in Washington. Just as a measure of the massiveness of Saudi Arabia’s purchases, Russia, a country more than four times the land mass and more than four times the population, with a far more complex economy, has a defense budget of about $46 billion.

The proxy war of the last half dozen years – inaccurately called a civil war regularly in our press – has been a barely-disguised effort to destroy Syria and topple its leader, President Assad.

Israel’s leaders hate Assad – just as they hate all independent-minded Arab leaders, especially ones with any popular support who serve as unifying forces in their societies – and they hate him especially because he remains adamant about the return of the slice of Syrian territory Israel has (illegally) occupied since 1967, the Golan Heights.

Israel pretends to itself that it has formally annexed this land, but the world does not recognize the claim as valid, and it is against international law to annex land you occupy following a war. Indeed, Netanyahu took the opportunity of Bolton’s visit to once more push the idea of America’s recognizing the annexation.

It would all become easier with Assad out of the way, and there were potential additional benefits from his removal. Israel had hoped to seize a further slice of Syrian territory as a “buffer zone” for the stolen Golan Heights against the violence in Syria (the violence deliberately induced by Israel and its proxy-war associates), something Israel spoke about a number of times. In these objectives, the proxy war against Syria, which Israel worked hard to foster and supply, has failed.

That’s why we now have the effort to secure the consolation prize of encouraging trouble and division with the Kurds in the northeast. It would weaken Syria, especially since the region is Syria’s major oil-producing area.

But anything involving Kurds, a people without a state and scattered across several countries of the Middle East, anywhere near Turkey’s border is viewed as a genuine threat, Turkey having fought Turkey’s own Kurdish separatists quite viciously for years. Bolton made Turkey’s Erdogan extremely angry with words suggesting Turkey was interested in slaughtering Kurds in Syria’s northeast.

There are also reports of talks between Syrians and Kurds, talks aimed at the Kurds accepting the Syrian army as a protector against a Turkish invasion. It does seem likely that in the end, by one means or another, Syria will reclaim the Kurdish region.

So, the American-Israeli scheme to see Syria partitioned is likely to fail. Maybe then, Trump can have his troop withdrawal and show the world he is a man of his word and not a man whose generals and senior officials go around contradicting him days after he orders something done. Of course, they’ll only withdraw to new bases in Iraq near the Syrian border. America keeps building bases in Iraq even though the government there has told them it does not want continued occupation.

It seems that you just can’t tell those glorious defenders of freedom that you don’t want them. America just ignores the government of Iraq.

Overall, despite years of bloody war, the Neocon Wars, America has lost influence in the region, and largely because it has bet on the wrong horses. The effort has been pointless, destroying millions of lives, toppling some perfectly good governments, and leaving chaos in a number of places.





Posted January 9, 2019 by JOHN CHUCKMAN in Uncategorized


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  1. An analysis right to the point ! Thank’s a lot !


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