The fight to the death in Moscow’s inner circles is really between the Eurasianists and the so-called Atlantic integrationists, a.k.a. the Western fifth column. The crux of the battle is arguably the Russian Central Bank and the Finance Ministry – where some key liberalcon monetarist players are remote-controlled by the usual suspects, the Masters of the Universe.
The same mechanism applies, geopolitically, to any side, in any latitude, which has linked its own fiat money to Western central banks. The Masters of the Universe always seek to exercise hegemony by manipulating usury and fiat money control.
So why President Putin does not fire the head of the Russian Central Bank, Elvira Nabiulina, and a great deal of his financial team - as they keep buying U.S. bonds and propping up the U.S. dollar instead of the ruble? What’s really being aggressed here if not Russian interests?
That Stab in the Back
It’s clear by now which party profited from the downing of the Russian Su-24 by the Turkish Air Force – a graphic act of war. The immediate result was the suspension – which could lead to the cancelling – of a crucial Pipelineistan plank: Turkish Stream, which is a bęte noire for the Masters of the Universe as Turkey was about to become the key alternative bypassing failed state Ukraine for supplying natural gas to southern Europe.
On top if it the EU paid Ankara 3 billion euros for its “indirect” services (the official excuse is to allow Turkey to control Syrian immigration to the EU.) And EU sanctions to Russia were extended for another six months.
A fitting Russian response would be Moscow defaulting on all debt to Western banks in retaliation for the sanctions. An extreme step would be blocking natural gas shipments to the EU. If Russia even floated one of these moves, not to mention both, sanctions would be lifted in a flash. So who’s really being “aggressed” here?
Putin – and Russian intel – didn't see it coming: Sultan Erdogan’s “stab in the back.” So a case can be made that Russian intel seriously underestimated Erdogan’s massive investment on regime change in Syria.
Whatever happens on the ground – much more than in the Vienna-Geneva charade now passing for a “peace process” – the future of Syria bears two stark options; a neo-Ottoman colony, but essentially subordinated to the whims of the Masters of the Universe; or a unitary sovereign nation, not partitioned, with a strong relationship to both Russia and Iran.
The question, though, remains; how does Turkey get away with such a provocation, with Russia imposing just a few sanctions?
That Fuzzy Agenda
The missing link in the puzzle is Israel. Contradictions became glaringly obvious with the flattening of a building in Jaramana, in Damascus, by Israeli missiles, killing nine civilians as well as Hezbollah-linked Samir Kuntar.
This could not have happened, in any way, without Russian acquiescence – considering Russian missile defense now protects Syrian territory. So the message is clear; Russia won’t interfere with Israel’s priorities in Syria/Lebanon – and vice-versa.
“Vice-versa” couldn’t be trickier. Tel Aviv tacitly “supports” the Nusra Front, a.k.a. al-Qaida in Syria, which even the Obama administration finally has been forced to admit is a terrorist outfit.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry – as well as independent Turkish investigations - most of the stolen Syrian/Iraqi oil Islamic State group scam ends up with the oil being bought by Israel. Tel Aviv happens to be the top buyer of the stolen-from-Baghdad Iraqi Kurdistan oil with which stolen Daesh oil is mixed.
And to top it off, Tel Aviv is a mortal enemy of both Iran and Hezbollah – which are essential nodes of the “4+1” coalition (Russia, Syria, Iran, Iraq, plus Hezbollah) fighting the Islamic State group. Not to mention that Tel Aviv – which favors a partitioned Syria - wants to gobble up the energy-rich Golan Heights for perpetuity.
So how does Israel get away with it?
That War Party “Offer”
The bottom line of these three scenarios – the Russian economy, Turkey and Israel – is that a lethal, devastating response is an easily available option for Putin on all three. Yet he refuses to be trapped by a war logic. Putin is the ultimate adversary of “Russian aggression.”
A full confrontation with Turkey will unite a disunited NATO. Now Russian intel has connected the dots on how the Masters of the Universe are trying to use Ankara as bait to trap Moscow, as they extensively used a now discarded, irrelevant Kiev. Turkey’s top three import nations happen to be Russia (10.4 percent), China (10.3 percent) and Germany (9.2 percent); deep trouble in Turkey would be a major headache for the trio, much to the delight of the Empire of Chaos.
A confrontation with Israel will obviously bring about the full force of the Masters of the Universe. Not to mention that the last thing Moscow needs is to open a new front in the Levant. Here is a meticulous attempt by The Saker to clarify the dangerous liaisons between Israel and Russia.
The key front though is the Russian economy; sooner or later there’s got to be a purge of the Russian Central Bank and the Finance Ministry, but Putin will only act when he has surefire internal support, and that’s far from given.
The lame duck Obama administration – whatever rhetorical and/or legalistic contortions – still sticks to the Cold War 2.0 script on Russia, duly prescribed by Obama mentor Dr. Zbigniew “Grand Chessboard” Brzezinski.
That follows a “tradition” Bill Blum, for instance, has extensively documented, as since the end of WWII Washington attempted to overthrow more than 50 governments – the absolute majority full democracies; dropped bombs on the civilian population of over 30 nations; attempted to assassinate over 50 foreign leaders; attempted to suppress nationalist movements in 20 nations; interfered on countless democratic elections; taught torture through manuals and “advisers”; and the list goes on.
Putin and the best and the brightest of Russian intel very well know it.
And yet they do maintain a decent margin of maneuver; establishing Russia as an indispensable power all across Southwest Asia (after smashing the fake “Caliphate” from Raqqa to Mosul); preventing any Masters of the Universe encroachment on the Black Sea; and putting up a real fight in the near future in the Balkans.
The real advances will keep coming as spin-offs of the Russia-China diplomatic/strategic partnership – from energy to trade to the military sphere. And that projects us once again towards the New Silk Roads – and the convergence of the China-driven One Belt, One Road with the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU).
The bottom line is that in 2016 the option will continue to be stark; it’s either the hegemony of the War Party – with the subtext of a Washington “willfully” condoned Salafi-jihadi “offer” to young, disaffected Muslims; or the vision of a full, prosperous trade/commerce/communication network for the whole of Eurasia. Ladies and gentlemen, place your bets.
Pepe Escobar is an independent geopolitical analyst. He writes for RT, Sputnik and TomDispatch, and is a frequent contributor to websites and radio and TV shows ranging from the U.S. to East Asia. He is the former roving correspondent for Asia Times Online, where he wrote the column The Roving Eye from 2000 to 2014. Born in Brazil, he's been a foreign correspondent since 1985, and has lived in London, Paris, Milan, Los Angeles, Washington, Bangkok and Hong Kong. Even before 9/11 he specialized in covering the arc from the Middle East to Central and East Asia, with an emphasis on Big Power geopolitics and energy wars. He is the author of "Globalistan" (2007), "Red Zone Blues" (2007), "Obama does Globalistan" (2009) and "Empire of Chaos" (2014), all published by Nimble Books. His latest book is "2030", also by Nimble Books, out in December 2015. He currently lives between Paris and Bangkok. Follow him on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pepe.escobar.77377