The NATO-Russia Face Off In Syria
By Pepe Escobar
October 07, 2015 "Information
Clearing House" - "RT"
- So a Su-30 enters a few hundred meters into Turkish airspace for
only two minutes over Hatay province, and returns to Syrian airspace
after being warned by a couple of Turkish F-16s.
Then all hell breaks loose as if this was the ultimate pretext for a
NATO, predictably, went out all rhetorical guns blazing. Russia is
causing “extreme danger” and should immediately stop bombing those
cute “moderate rebels” the coalition of the dodgy opportunists
refuses to bomb.
But wait; NATO is actually too busy to go to war.
The priority, until at least November, is the epic Trident Juncture
2015; 36,000 troops from 30 states, more than 60 warships, around
200 aircraft, all are seriously practicing how to defend from the
proverbial “The Russians are Coming!”
Still, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu – he
of the former “zero problems with our neighbors” doctrine -
actually “warned” Moscow that next time Ankara would
Until, of course, he backed down;
“What we have received from Russia …is that this was
a mistake and that they respect Turkey's borders and this will not
The incident could have been easily defused – via
military to military communication - without the posturing.
But Ankara – NATO’s eastern flank – is under
immense pressure from ‘Exceptionalistan’. It’s no accident
Pentagon supremo and notorious neocon Ash Carter “conferred”
with Ankara about the incident. Carter of course is the most stellar
practitioner of the official Beltway diktat;
“By taking military action in Syria against moderate
groups’ targets, Russia has escalated the civil war.”
right on cue, and straight from Strasbourg (no, he was not
campaigning for the European Parliament) doubled down:
“Assad has committed state terrorism, and
unfortunately you find Russia and Iran defending (him).”
And yet ‘Sultan’ Erdogan won’t go down in
history as the catalyst for the much-awaited NATO-Russia Hot War
2.0. At least not yet.
Only bomb if we say so
Enter Dr. Zbigniew “Grand Chessboard”
Brzezinski, growling in a FT Op-Ed that Washington should
“retaliate” if Moscow does not stop attacking US assets in
Syria. “US assets” means CIA-trained “moderate rebels”.
And after all, “American credibility” is at stake.
Dr. Zbig – Obama’s prime foreign policy mentor –
insists bombing CIA-trained “rebels” accounts for
“Russian military incompetence”. And the American
counter-attack should be to “disarm” the “Russian naval
and air presence.” Now that’s how you go for a NATO-Russia Hot
Dr. Zbig admitted though that “regional chaos
could easily spread northeastward,” and then “both Russia
and then China could be adversely affected.” Who cares? What
matters is that “American interests and
America’s friends…would also suffer.”
This is what passes for prime geopolitical
analysis in the ‘Empire of Chaos’.
for his part, remains restless. Moscow has already evaporated his so
cherished three-year-old dream of a no-fly zone over northern Syria.
There is an actual no-fly zone all over Syria now in effect. But
it’s managed by Russia.
And that explains why there’s already full
spectrum hysteria for more US Congress sanctions on Russia. How can
a no-fly zone be imposed over Syria when Russia got there first?
And it was all going so swimmingly for the
‘Sultan’. Ankara – at the insistence of Washington – had
finally thrown open its air bases to fight ISIS/ISIL/Daesh, but as
long as this was part of a regime change operation in Damascus. And
for that, Ankara would get its no-fly zone.
Enter ‘The Sultan’s’ recurrent nightmare;
the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its sister
organization, the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).
‘The Sultan’ simply
cannot accept the PYD advancing to the western bank of the Euphrates
to help in the fight against ISIS/ISIL/Daesh. ‘The Sultan’
wants to “contain” the PYD in Kobani.
The problem is the PYD – supported by the PKK – is
the only reliable ‘Empire of Chaos’ ally in Syria. Yet
‘the Sultan’ could not help himself; he got into a war – again
– against the PKK. Washington was not exactly amused.
And then there’s the key corridor from the Bab
al-Salam border crossing down to Aleppo - controlled by
Ankara-supported goon squads. That’s Ankara’s bridge to Aleppo;
without it, not the slightest chance of regime change, ever. The
fake “Caliphate” was threatening to take over the corridor.
So action was imperative.
Russia’s spectacular entry into the war theatre
threw all these elaborate plans into disarray. Imagine a complete
liberation of northeast Syria as soon as the PYD – with help from
PKK fighters - is weaponized enough to smash the ISIS/ISIL/Daesh
goons. And imagine the Russian Air Force providing air cover for
such an operation, with extra coordination by the
Russia-Syria-Iraq-Iran central in Baghdad.
‘The Sultan’, in
desperation, would have to maneuver his F-16s against such an
offensive. And then we might really have a NATO-Russia five seconds
to midnight scenario – with terrifying consequences. ‘The
Sultan’ would blink first. And NATO would collapse into the
ignominy it never left – back to its elaborate “Russia is
Say hello to my geopolitical jihadi tool
Next steps for the Russian campaign would be to
pay close attention to the road linking ISIS/ISIL/Daesh’s capital,
Al-Raqqah, around which jihadis are fighting for the control of oil
and gas in Sha’ir and Jazal. And then there are pockets east of both
Homs and Hama, and in al-Qaryatayn. Moscow – slowly, surely,
methodically - is getting there.
What the Russian air campaign has already
graphically exposed is the whole rotten core myth of the new Jihad
ISIS/ISIL/Daesh, Jabhat al-Nusra and assorted
Salafi-jihadi goon squads have been kept up and running by a massive
financial/logistical/weaponizing “effort” – which includes
all sorts of key nodes, from arms factories in Bulgaria and Croatia
to transportation routes via Turkey and Jordan.
As for those Syrian “moderate rebels” –
and most of them are not even Syrian, they’re mercenaries – every
pebble in the ravaged Sykes-Picot desert sands knows they were
trained by the CIA in Jordan. The desert pebbles are also aware that
ISIS/ISIL/Daesh goons have been infiltrated into Syria from Turkey –
once again, across Hatay province; and vast swathes of ‘the
Sultan’s’ Army and police were into the game.
As for who pays the bills for the lavish
weaponizing, talk to the proverbial “pious wealthy donors”
– incited by their clerics - in the GCC, the petrodollar arm of
NATO. None of these goon squads could possibly thrive for so long
without full, multidisciplinary “support” from the usual
So the hysterical/apoplectic/paroxystic rage
enveloping the ‘Empire of Chaos’ betrays the utter failure,
once again, of the same old “policy” (remember Afghanistan)
of using jihadis as geopolitical tools. Fake “Caliphate” or
“rebels”, they are all NATO-GCC’s bitches.
To add insult to injury, a frustrated ‘Sultan’
has also been forced to annex himself to a slightly changing
Washington position – which now rules that “Assad must go,”
yes, but it may take some time, as part of a yet to be defined
‘The Sultan’ will
remain a pile of nerves. He does not give a damn about ISIS/ISIL/Daesh.
Washington now does – sort of. He wants to smash the PYD and the PKK.
For Washington, the PYD is a helpful ally. As for Moscow, ‘the
Sultan’ better watch his neo-Ottoman step.
‘The Sultan’ simply
cannot afford to antagonize ‘The Bear’. Gazprom will expand
the Blue Stream pipeline into Turkey. It would be by 3 billion cubic
meters; instead it will be by 1 billion cubic meters. According to
Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak, it’s due to technical
Yet Ankara better get its act together, because
even that extension may evaporate if there’s no agreement on the
commercial terms of TurkStream, the former Turkish Stream. Ankara is
under tremendous pressure from the Obama administration. And
‘the Sultan’ knows very well that without Russia all his
elaborate plans to position Turkey as the key energy transit hub
from East to West will vanish in Anatolian scrub. In the end, he may
even get regime-changed himself.