will be hell to pay for NATO's Holy War
By Pepe Escobar
10, 2012 "Information
Clearing House" --
of State Hillary Clinton is running out of rhetorical ammunition
in the US's Holy War against Syria. Perhaps it's the strain of
launching a NATO war bypassing the UN Security Council. Perhaps
it's the strain of being eaten for breakfast routinely by
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
Hillary has just called on "Western powers" and their Arab
stooges - the NATOGCC compound  that passes for the
"international community" - to "make it clear that Russia and
China will pay a price because they are holding up progress"
regarding weaponized regime change in Syria.
In non-newspeak, this means, "If you block our new war, there
will be payback".
Howls of laughter in the corridors of the Kremlin and the
Zhongnanhai notwithstanding, this shows how desperate the
NATOGCC compound is to force regime change in Syria as a
stopover in cutting off Iran's privileged connection with the
Arab world. And this while Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip
Erdogan - leading NATO's eastern flank - itches to attack Syria
but can't find a way to sell it to Turkish public opinion.
Into this incandescent context plunges WikiLeaks - releasing a
batch of very embarrassing emails against the Assad system and
the NATO rebels as well. A possible side effect will be to
inspire waves of so-called progressives all across the West to
start supporting the Holy War on Syria. A realistic effect will
be to show how unsavory both sides - the police state Assad
system and the armed opposition - really are.
Car bombing tourism, anyone?
useful to examine what price Washington itself, not to mention
its NATO subjects, could be paying for this Holy War branch-out
fought with - who else - the same bunch of "terrorists" who
until yesterday were about to destroy Western civilization and
turn it into a giant Caliphate.
Washington, London and Paris have tried - twice - to twist the
UN Security Council into yet another war. They were blocked by
Russia and China. So plan B was to bypass the UN and launch a
NATO war. Problem is NATO has no stomach - and no funds - for a
very risky war with a country that can actually defend itself.
Thus plan C is to bet on a prolonged civil war, using the
Far-from-Free Syrian Army (FSA), crammed with mercenaries and
jihadists, and the band of opportunistic exiles known as the
Syrian National Council (SNC).
The SNC has actually called for a Libya-style no-fly zone over
Syria - shorthand for a NATO war. Turkey also formally asked
NATO for a no-fly zone. NATO commanders may be inept - but they
have a certain amount of experience with major embarrassment
(see Afghanistan). They flatly refused it.
The SNC - and the FSA - could not be more un-representative. The
"Friends of Syria" - as in Hillary and the Arab stooges - barely
acknowledge the existence of the National Coordination Body for
Democratic Change (NCB), the main indigenous opposition movement
in Syria, composed of 13 political parties, mostly from the
Left, Arab nationalists and including one Kurdish party. The NCB
firmly denounces any form of militarization and totally
dismisses the FSA.
Iraq's Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari - a Kurd - has warned
that Salafi-jihadists of the al-Qaeda mould are moving into
Syria in droves. Apparently this bunch still listens very
closely to "invisible" al-Qaeda ideologue Dr Ayman al-Zawahiri;
five months ago he issued these marching orders to jihadis in
Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. It also helps that many of
them are being weaponized - via different networks - by the
House of Saud and Qatar.
For months everybody knows that the Libyan Islamic Fighting
Group (LIFG) of al-Qaeda-linked Abdul Hakim Belhaj has been
active in Syria - as well as remnants of al-Qaeda in Iraq now
responsible for car bombings even in Damascus.
In the event of a post-Assad Syria dominated by hardcore Sunnis
infiltrated by Wahhabis and Salafi-jihadists, guaranteed
blowback will leave Afghanistan after the 1980s anti-Soviet
jihad looking like a ride on Disneyland Hong Kong.
We accept yuan and rubles
As for China, it's laughing about Hillary's desperation all the
way to the bank. As the House of Saud becomes ever more paranoid
with what it sees as the Obama administration flirting with
democracy in the Arab world, Beijing jacked up trade ties by
delivering a bunch of new missiles to Riyadh.
And while the "West" flirts with Holy War, Beijing's
state-sponsored corporations have been buying commodities like
crazy all across the Middle East, North Africa and South America
- as well as stockpiling rare earths for strategic reserves.
China produces no less than 97% of the world's rare earths -
used on everything from iPads to those shiny new missiles now
frying in the Arabian desert.
Other side effects as in "the price to pay" for the bypassing of
the UN and the obsession on NATO as global Robocop will be
inevitable. It shouldn't be forgotten that the Holy War on Syria
is a stopover on the way to Tehran. For instance, a new system
of maritime insurance, as well as a new international exchange
mechanism - bypassing Western diktats - may be about to be born.
Yet the most important element may be a concerted move by
Russia, Iran and China to reorganize the global energy market by
transacting outside of the petrodollar.
So Washington cuts Iran off from SWIFT - the international bank
clearing system? Iran's central bank counterpunches; if you want
to do business with us, you can pay in any currency apart from
the US dollar, or you can pay with gold.
This is the Holy Grail of the Holy War - not Syria; one thing is
for Tehran to accept euros as payment for its oil and gas;
another thing is to accept gold. On top of it with full support
from both Russia and China.
In a nutshell; the whole Holy War syndrome is accelerating the
end of the US dollar as global reserve currency. And when it
happens, will there be an American Spring? Or will US elites -
like the Mob - have the guts, and the muscle, to force Russia
and China to pay the price?
1. NATOGCC is a compound of the North Atlantic treaty
Organization and the Gulf Cooperation Council.
Pepe Escobar is the author of
Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid
War (Nimble Books, 2007) and
Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge. His
most recent book is
Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).
He may be reached at
This article was originally published at
Copyright 2012 Asia Times Online (Holdings) Ltd.
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