Saturday 14 April 2018

Syria: the morning after the night before

It looks like America, England and France bombed locations in Syria at the cost of $240 million but no lives. Russia and Syria seem willing to take this without retaliation. This is what the ill-named Mad Dog Mattis counselled. A relief. Things can go on as before.

Donald Trump has shown he has more moral courage than President Obama - or is it immoral? His habit of threatening war with Russia in tweets certainly adds to an unpredictability factor that has a deterrent effect, on Russia and on North Korea, but he should not be acquitted of blame. 

He has intervened in a country where America has no genuine interest and this could be a precedent for further intervention. 

He was elected to keep out of foreign adventures. His supporters want him to protect America from invasion by illegal immigrants, not to protect Syrians from chlorine bombs.

How splendid it would have been had Theresa May kept out of this attack instead of faithfully following the American lead. She is no De Gaulle, but a globalist. 

She needs the favour of Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron and could not wait till Parliament returned on Monday because, had a vote been held, Parliament would not have backed her.

Journalists told us soon after the start of the Syrian rebellion that Assad could not win, but they got that wrong. They said, when Russia intervened on his side, that this was not enough to enable him to take back the whole country. They were wrong again. 

The only way to end the suffering of the Syrians is for the ruthlessly brutal government to win and this will happen unless the West prevents it. 

The British and Americans on the other hand have been covertly giving the rebels enough support to continue the war without winning it. Perhaps because of lack of public support and because a rebel win would mean a victory for Al Qaeda and ISIS - and for chaos like in Libya.

I do not believe that ISIS was created by the USA, or even by the Saudi state or Oman, though Saudi princes were probably involved, but America created the circumstances in which ISIS grew. The vacuum left by the fall of Saddam did so. The withdrawal by Mr Obama, which I welcomed, made things even worse. 

As Colin Powell had warned, before the Anglo-Americans invaded Iraq, 
If you break it, you own it.
The West should speed things up by helping Assad win his war in return for a deal whereby the Kurds get autonomy, the Turks and Saudis get out, the refugees return and the land that has been confiscated is returned to its rightful owners. 

This is not what he wants. The departure of Sunnis and the redistribution of their land to his clients suits his strategy.

An ideal peace would include a non-aggression pact between Israel and Iran - there is no reason why Israel and Iran should be enemies.

MI6 man turned analyst Alastair Crooke pointed out recently, in this piece, that Israel was pragmatic enough to have relations with the leaders of Iran immediately after the 1979 Islamic revolution and began demonising Iran for internal political reasons, rather than because of a threat from Iran.

There is no reason why America and Iran should not get along. 

This is an excerpt from an interesting article by British analyst John R. Bradley published in the Spectator in September, entitled "Forget our misguided friendship with Saudi Arabia: Iran is our natural ally".

The Saudi town of Awamiya — like so many countless cities across Iraq, Syria and Yemen that are witnessing an unleashing of the ancient hatred of Sunni for Shia — now exists in name only. Last month, days before an assault on its Shia inhabitants by the Saudi regime, the UN designated it a place of unique cultural and religious significance. But under the guise of fighting Iran-backed terror cells, the Saudis then subjected Awamiya’s entire civilian population to the indiscriminate use of fighter jets, rocket-propelled grenades, snipers, heavy artillery, armoured assault vehicles and cold-blooded executions.
More than a dozen Shia, including a three-year-old boy, were killed. Hundreds of young men were rounded up. At least 500 homes were flattened, and 8,000 residents were forcibly removed from those that remained. Saudi soldiers recorded themselves dancing and singing amid the rubble of the town’s once-beautiful old city. They stomped on a poster of a revered Shia cleric from the eastern province, Nimr al-Nimr, beheaded last year for sedition. And they denigrated the town’s ‘cleansed’ local Shia as ‘rejectionists’ and ‘dogs’ — language identical to that of their fanatical Wahhabi brothers in Iraq and Syria, who rejoice in slaughtering Shia in the name of Isis. The mass beheading of 14 local Shia activists, including a severely disabled teenager, is said to be imminent.


  1. Last night the regime of Saudi Barbaria struck Syria, using its three most faithful agents.

    — Nassim Nicholas Taleb (@nntaleb) April 14, 2018

  2. It's “If you break it, you own it.”

    1. International Law under agreements in the United Nations does not justify an attack upon any nation for its actions domestically. See more at

  3. Eva Bartlett comments on the truly Orwellian reality-inversion of mainstream media reporting on Syria.

  4. If Assad was in fact responsible for that chemical attack, then I believe the Anglo-Franco-American bombing was wholly justified.

    I just wish the U.S. had presented some kind of proof that Assad used chemical weapons. Because there is no logical reason for him to have used chemical weapons. He was on the verge of winning the war. On the other hand, the rebels had every incentive to use chemical weapons and frame Assad.

    How can the people judge their leaders' actions if their leaders will not reveal the basis for their actions?

    Mattis declined to say that Assad was responsible. Yet according to the mainstream media, those who question whether Assad did it are conspiracy theorists. I'm not a conspiracy theorist! I'm not accusing anybody of conspiring to do anything! I just want to know on what grounds my government attacked a sovereign nation. Don't I have the right to know? Is James Mattis a conspiracy theorist because he refused to say Assad did it?

    But that's the extent of my concerns about this strike. Frankly, I'm not that troubled by it. I'm willing to give Trump the benefit of the doubt. At least this was a limited, surgical strike and there are no plans to escalate U.S. involvement in the conflict. So far, Trump has indeed kept America out of foreign adventures. He is not getting enough credit for that.

    And certainly I'm relieved that Russia does not seem willing to retaliate, despite their "fire and fury" rhetoric yesterday. Today, Putin told the President of Iran that "further strikes will lead to chaos." The key word, it seems, is "further."

    As for whether it's Trump job to protect Syrians from chlorine bombs, in a civilized world, someone has to do this, and, for better or for worse, the United States is the world's policeman. Certainly, I'd prefer it if the UN were the world's policeman rather than any country in particular, but unfortunately that is not the situation that prevails at this time.  

    1. Sergio,

      You have already accepted the Western media’s premise that a chemical attack of any kind happened.

      Here you can quite clearly see footage of of the rebels in the act of staging false flag attacks. In particular note the rehersal video training the children to mimic symptoms of gas attacks and crucially - applying foam to their mouths.

      Here is more evidence the video sold to the West was manipulated.

      I’m with the Russians. I think the gas attack was completely staged. Nobody was gassed. You just have people being treated for smoke inhalation interspersed with actors and bodies that have been brought in from elsewhere.

  5. What if Mattis/Trump actually followed Theresa May et co., or rather they found a compromise solution to the call for blood?
    The Skirpal case was a genuine May blunder, a somewhat preparation for further decisive action against Russia. We're again in a web of tensions and divergent inetrests, just as before WWI. And again, one of the main subjects is Russia, despite it's apparent lower position on the richness scale. And again it's about a distribution route.
    A. M.

  6. Things can go on as before.

    Except that the U.S. once again got away with flouting international law and suffered no consequences. They will keep on pushing. They will push harder next time. It is clear that very very powerful forces in the U.S. want way. What's more worrying is that most ordinary Americans will go along with it because Americans have acquired a taste for being the schoolyard bully. And Americans think war is sexy and fun.

    Russia has two long-term choices. Either they can surrender in which case their nation ceases to exist, or they can fight. If they fight there's a good chance it ends in nuclear war. If they surrender the U.S. will start the same process over again with China as their next victim.