People need to pay more attention to Mikhail Gorbachev. When he talks about the possibility that America is setting itself on a collision course with Russia over Syria that could lead to World War III, he should be taken seriously. The first stumbling block to our understanding is the incredibly false, misdirected, manipulated spin of not only American media, but European media as well. Now ordinarily, if you aggregate the various US and European media together, you will come to a pretty good understanding of what the truth is about a situation.

Unfortunately, there is a rule that makes reportage on Syria etc. unreliable, and that is -- if a country stands to gain from a particular policy it will slant the news any way it wants.  And to hell with the truth!  That is certainly the case of both European and American press barons and their pals in the military and international finance.  To be sure, there is no unanimity of opinion within the entire range of the power elite. ln Russia's case, there are a constellation of extremely powerful interests who are interested in not only insuring an ongoing flow of military hardware. But they are also interested in rolling back the Russian regime for their own benefit.

Now most Americans do not monitor the German or French press as much as they should.  But if you did, you would discover that these press sources actually run an alternative line in their news coverage of Syria. One of the factors that people in America do not take into account are European trade relations with both Russia and Ukraine.  And believe me, both Germany and France are being asked to bear substantial financial and economic burdens by their Anglo-Saxon brethren in their misguided quest to roll back both Assad and Putin.

No one outside of France, Germany, or Russia (in my reading) seems to observe that both Syria and Ukraine are joined at the hip as a foreign policy issue. And if you remember the false bill of goods that the press fed us all in the run-up to the war on Iraq and Afghanistan, you will see the same news distortion that we are seeing now.

The weird thing for President Obama is that he fundamentally understands the complications of these terrible twins of foreign policy.  He knows he's partially to blame for the FUBAR that's been created in Syria, and his problem is that once he established the policy of regime change for Basher Assad he has effectively locked himself into an absolutely no-win position.

In an ideal world, the president would say that the USA has done an absolutely terrible job in the Middle East in a variety of ways and places.  He would admit that regime change in Syria effectively would mean that ISIS would control Syria. But the chicken bone sticking in the throat of our foreign policy is that a comprehensive change in direction in our Middle East policy could have potential catastrophic consequences for the region and the world. Our Turkish, Gulf, and maybe even Israeli allies have been supporting not only Al Queda but ISIS in the region.  And we supply the hardware and finance to keep our enemies afloat (lushly) while we pretend to fight against them.

In a nutshell, American foreign policy reminds me of the joke about the missionaries captured by bloodthirsty savages in New Guinea or someplace.  The savages are about ready to incinerate them on a woodpile, but the head chief goes up to them and asks, "Death or booga booga?" 

The first missionary thinks and says, "I don't want death. So I'll take booga booga."  The savages roar, and hundreds of them subject the missionary to the most horrible sexual torture.

When the savage asks the second missionary what he wants, he bravely says, "Give me death."

The chief replies by saying, "Death by booga booga!"

The point I'm trying to make with this observation is that Obama realizes that there are no good options towards Ukraine or Syria. And so he has decided to pass the burning match down to President Clinton II.  The problem as it's currently constituted is that Hillary's public comments on Syria are 100% terrifying!

In recent testimony, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff was asked by a senator what the effect of a no-fly zone would be if it were implemented.  Without hesitating, the general said that it would immediately lead to a war between the US, NATO, and Russia -- directly! Given the nature of war planning, this would mean World War III would commence. And this is precisely the cornerstone of La Clinton's pronouncements!

Hillary and the neocons in DC and London etc. assume a replay of the Yugoslavian conflict in 1999.  Bill Clinton engaged in the same brinksmanship as Hillary proposes. And how close to World War III did we come in August, 1999?  So close, that President Clinton had to get out of bed at 3AM to fire General Wesley Clark from directly confronting Russian forces at the Pristina airfield. The nature of war plans for World War III is identical to the war plans operational in Europe in 1914.  Once they get to a certain threshold, they activate automatically.  And then the world ends.

From every perspective, it looks like the powers that be are using the same 1999 playbook, which is extremely unfortunate.  According to the US playbook, this means that all of the parties can come to the table and engage in extended negotiations. After getting one millimeter from World War III in 1999, Yugoslavia finally proved to be a benefit to American and European powers at the expense of Russia. And Russia has not forget this.

The problem is that both Syria and Ukraine are very much more in the Russian sphere of influence.  And any American / European attempt to bring either country into our orbit is a fool's mission.  With regards to Ukraine, imagine that the Russians have captured British Columbia. What do you think America's reaction would be? Syria is equally vital to Russian interests, as it is the home of Russia's only naval and air force presence in the Mediterranean. Again, using another thought experiment, imagine that Russia was waging military action in every country surrounding Puerto Rico. What would our reaction be?  And yet we are somehow oblivious to the dangerous path that US policy is taking.

At the end of the day, there are only a few takeaways from all of this. First is that President Hillary will have to figure out a way to transition out of the current hash that is our foreign policy in both areas. Secondly, we can hope that both Washington and Moscow have deep, intelligent understandings of the roles that both actors have been forced to play. And we hope some clever, mutually satisfactory hack can be improvised around this vexing problem. Perhaps the script has already been written, but for now -- it is a deep state secret.

Because without these conditions, there is the serious risk that the whole world will be awash in radioactive carbon and nuclear winter.

Views: 79

Comment by Zanelle on October 12, 2016 at 3:00am

Yikes.  You paint a bleak and completely believable picture of that region.  When the refugees first started fleeing Syria I blamed Obama.  Now I dont know.  WWIII sounds bad.   Maybe we are already there when you add in Korea.  Clinton does not have an enviable job.  Sounds stressful.

Comment by JMac1949 Today on October 12, 2016 at 7:13am

I look at today's world today and see the prescience that George Orwell of perpetual war and omniscient surveillance portrayed in Nineteen Eighty-Four.  Scary how close he came.

Comment by alsoknownas on October 12, 2016 at 7:20am

Thesis + Antithesis = Synthesis

Comment by koshersalaami on October 12, 2016 at 8:15am

The US has been mishandling Russia ever since the fall of the Soviet Union. No one here has ever tried to figure things out from a Russian perspective, and that failure is pretty sick. We are responsible for the existence of Putin, not that we sponsored him or anything but we made him necessary to Russia. We've been trying to contain a nation that stopped exporting a revolution decades ago. 

By the way, Russian surface to air missiles are better than any others in the world. They can shoot down aircraft over the horizon, which ours can't. 

Comment by old new lefty on October 12, 2016 at 4:03pm

Just found out good news today, in that Vladimir Putin has been practicing diplomacy with both the Gulf States and Turkey. Turkey in particular has come out in favor maintaining the Assad regime. And this could eventually go a long way towards the US signing off on an arrangement that would maintain appropriate spheres of influence in the Middle East.


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