The Dynamics of the Crisis in Syria. Conflict Versus Conflict Resolution. (Part 5)
(Part 1)(Part 2) (Part 3) (Part 4) – Dr. Christof Lehmann. – With 2013 approaching, the crisis in Syria is about to enter its second year. Feasible solutions to the crisis seem more far removed than ever after a recent Russia – E.U. Summit in Bruxelles failed to enter into a constructive dialog about the primary causes. The influx of fundamentalist Salafist or Wahabist fighters which have been streaming to Syria since the failure of two major Free Syrian Army assaults on Aleppo in June and July 2012 made it increasingly difficult to build a coherent and credible Syrian political and military opposition among the proponents of regime-change. The international anti Syrian alliance has difficulties in identifying a political or military opposition that could be used as an argument for regime change. The conflict risks to spiral out of control with potentially catastrophic consequences for Syria, Turkey, Lebanon, the Middle East and Europe, including Russia. The international community is as divided as the Syrian opposition. The pressure is on all sides to resolve the crisis. Opinions about how to solve the crisis differ widely. The article offers the necessary analysis, suggests possible solutions and the potential consequences of a protracted and widening conflict.
National Interests and Belligerent Cartels.
This section of the article is an attempt to create an overview over the primary stakeholders national stakes within the context of belligerent cartels. In many cases there is a dichotomy between a nations approach and siding in the conflict and national security, national coherence and unity, national and regional economic interests, energy and energy security and other issues which seldom are addressed within the public discourse.
These factors however, have to be taken into consideration before it is necessary to suggest feasible initiatives to resolve the crisis, or before it is possible to assess the consequences of failure to resolve the crisis peacefully. Naturally an article of this nature cannot address all nations nor all details. It can however point toward problems which have to be taken into account.
Even though the USA uses a variety of diversion strategies it is the USA which is the primary stakeholder in the Syrian crisis and the aggression against Syria. In many respects it is also one of the most vulnerable stakeholders, which explains much of its push toward a swift regime change. The USA has been outflanked in the recent decades shift away from oil and toward natural gas as the primary energy source for the next 100 – 150 years and related geo-political developments.
A Syria – like scenario has since 2007 been prepared in Myanmar´s Rakhine State. In Myanmar the attempted subversion is being marketed as inter-communal violence between the externally displaced, Bangladeshi, Muslim Rohingya and Buddhists.
In fact, the root causes of the violence in Rakhine State are similar to the root causes for the conflict in Syria. Rakhine State is the richest area in the entire Greater Mekong Region in terms of natural resources. In particular natural gas. In Myanmar two pipeline projects, a dual oil and gas pipeline from Myanmar to China and a gas pipeline from Myanmar through Bangladesh to India. US, UK and Bangladeshi energy and security requirements are not being met to the extend that had been envisioned. (1)
In the Middle East the USA has lost out on the Nabucco Pipeline project which is less profitable than the Russian South Stream pipeline. More details about these projects will be dealt with in part 6 of this article.
The discovery of the worlds greatest known natural gas field, the Pars field in the geo-politically volatile Persian Gulf between Qatar and Iran aggravated the situation of the USA with regard to dominance over the worlds primary energy resources. Notice that the value of the Petro Dollar primarily depends on the US´s ability to back the Dollar with dominance over resources.
After the discovery of the Pars gas-field in 2007, Iran, Russia, Iraq, Syria formed a cartel to build the 10 billion USD Pars pipeline which traverses all of the above mentioned countries and which is planned to end at the Syrian Mediterranean Coast. The Pars pipeline is currently completed to the outskirts of Damascus, Syria.
Notice also that 2007 was the year when the global economic crisis set in. 2007 was the year when Saudi Arabia declared that the investment of the future is an investment in gas, not oil.
2007 was the year when Qatar sent 10 billion USD to the Freedom and Justice Party of Turkey´s Prime Minister R. Tayyip Erdogan. The money was earmarked for boosting the Turkish Muslim Brotherhood in preparation of a war on Syria.
Never before has the value of the Petro Dollar been as critically challenged as it is today and the USA, together with the UK, literally fighting for the survival of the Dollar and their Dollar based economies.
The hegemonic role of the USA in Europe is also seriously challenged. Currently the EU receives between 22 % and 26 % of its natural gas from Russia. If the Pars pipeline goes on-line and Russia takes part in developing Syrian gas fields in the Eastern Mediterranean Levantine Basin, the EU may depend on Russia for up to 45 % or 50 % of its natural gas for the coming 100 to 120 years.
This would prompt many continental European nations to further integrate the European and Russian energy sectors and national economies; was it not for the fact that Europeans are aware of the risk the USA poses with regard to pushing Europe and Russia into a conflict with each other.
The USA has principally two choices. It can attempt to play high stakes together with Qatar and Saudi Arabia against Syria, Iran, Russia and Continental Europe.
Alternatively the USA would have to reconfigure its national economy and begin a constructive dialog and cooperation with regard to the creation of a new, preferably gold based economy and the peaceful cooperation with Russia, China, Europe, and not least Iran with regard to the energy sector.
Regardless what course the USA choses, the crisis in Syria is spelling an end to the global dominance of the Petro Dollar. The question for the USA is whether it will play everything on one card, risking to draw the entire Middle East, Europe and Russia with it, or if the USA will be willing and able to withdraw from the attempted subversion of Syria peacefully and count on Russia, China and Europe to assist the USA with a peaceful transition to a new economy.
The primary obstacle with regard to a change in the USA´s approach to its Middle East policy is a powerful Israeli lobby. The possible appointment of Hagel as US Secretary of Defense could indicate a certain willingness of the Obama administration to change course, but it would be an uphill battle. So far, nothing indicates that the USA is willing to reconsider the subversion of Syria or to to surrender the dominance of the Petro Dollar peacefully and constructively.
Since the discovery of the Pars gas field in 2007 Qatar is developing into a regional superpower which is challenging Iran. Qatar is the home of the international Muslim Brotherhood. In 2007 it invested 10 billion USD in Turkey´s AKP and Muslim brotherhood to prepare the Arab Spring and the war on Syria.
Qatar is the financial muscle behind the victory of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Between 2007 and 2009 Qatar succeeded in convincing both Hamas and Al-Jamaa al-Islamiya to turn away from their alliance with Iran and Syria and to realign themselves with Qatar and the Muslim Brotherhood.
Qatar is also currently boosting the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan, and most analysts agree that it is merely a question of time and convenient timing before King Abdullah of Jordan will be challenged by a Jordanian Arab Spring.
Qatar has been one of the principle financiers of the war on Libya and it is one of the principle financiers of the war on Syria. Since the onset of the Arab Spring in 2011 it has also significantly contributed with special forces, logistics, arms and not least mercenaries.
Qatar has tied its national security and fate to that of the USA. One of the primary reasons for Qatar´s participation in the aggressions is that Qatar is is perceiving Iran as a threat rather than a partner in the development of a shared resource.
With Qatar´s national security tied to regional US and UK hegemony, Qatar is investing heavily into the attempt to save the Petro Dollar by transforming the Middle East with the prevention of the Pars gas pipeline going on-line as primary target.
In 2007 the Royal Family of Saudi Arabia and Saudi Oil cartels began investing heavily in the development of natural gas, stating that gas was the resource of the future. In fact, in early 2007 the investment in natural gas as well as into related biochemical industries was “the insider tip” at the worlds stock markets.
The situation of Saudi Arabia is similar to that of Qatar. The survival of the Saudi Royal family as despotic rulers is dependent on US and British hegemony. An imploding Petro Dollar would be equivalent to a collapse of the Saudi national economy and it would most likely lead to a popular uprising in Saudi Arabia within months.
Saudi Arabia is one of the principle sponsors of Salafist or Wahabist organizations who recruit mercenaries for Jihad in Syria. The desperation of the Saudi regime becomes evident when one considers that Saudi Arabia is committing the war crime of forced use of prisoners. A recently disclosed, official Saudi document proves that Saudi Arabia has given hundreds of prisoners from numerous countries who were sentenced to death the choice between execution or so-called Jihad in Syria. (2)
Many analysts wrongfully conclude that Turkey has the ambition to create a Neo-Ottoman Empire. It may be so that this ambition exists in the minds of certain delusional Turkish politicians but the facts are indicating the contrary to an empire; the planned balkanization of Turkey.
According to the Workers´ Party – Turkey and retired, high-ranking Turkish military officers Turkey is being used as a front-line state against Syria by the USA, the UK and Qatar. Even though it is unknown whether plans to destabilize Turkey and to divide it into smaller states will be initiated after an envisioned division of Syria or whether Turkey will have to wait until a post-Iran war period is so far unknown. What is known however, is that plans to divide Turkey into three or four smaller nations have been developed by the RAND Corporation for the US Department of Defense in 1996, and that the USA, together with elements within the AKP of Prime Minister Erdogan are actively working toward the “balkanization” of Turkey.
An eventual decision by a Turkish government to cease cooperating with the USA on the dismantling of Turkey is complicated by continental European nations own insecurities with regard to energy security and US attempts to use Europe for a conflict with Russia in an attempt to save the Dollar. (3)
Jordan has since early summer 2012 been used as a military staging area for the so-called Free Syrian Army. Prior to the two major military campaigns of the Free Syrian Army the Jordanian border town of Al-Mafriq housed approximately 23.000 Libyan fighters from the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group under the command of convicted Al-Qaeda terrorist Abedlhakim Belhadj. (4)
The Al-Mafriq region is also housing a significant number of Syrian refugees who have been fleeing the violence in Syria. Refugee camps however, are systematically misused for the recruitment, training and housing of militants. Some of this activity is organized under the command of Turkish military and intelligence officers as well as US Special Forces.
The developments are slowly beginning to spill over into Jordanian politics and the Jordanian population. The Jordanian Royal family and the Jordanian government are in fact being targeted for subversion by Qatar, the USA and not least Israel. Jordan is playing a crucial role in Israels´, the United States´, Qatar’s´, Egypt’s´, and the Muslim Brotherhoods´ long-term plans for Palestine. (5)
The Jordanian Royal Family and government are attempting to whether the storm and to secure their survival by walking a tightrope between neutrality and letting Jordanian territory be used as staging and transit area for the war on Syria. It is likely that Jordan currently is negotiating with Israel about post-Syria war cooperation with regard to Palestine.
Even though Lebanon is politically divided with regard to Syria´s regional role and Syria´s role in Lebanon, even though Lebanon is politically divided with regard to its foreign policy and Iran, France, the UK, the USA and Israel, even though attempts were made to destabilize Lebanon and to provoke sectarian violence, and even though major political power brokers in Lebanon such as Saad Hariri and his Future Movement and the leader of the Lebanese Progressive Socialist Party and the Druze community Walid Jumblatt actively support insurgents in Syria with finance, arms, intelligence and operations rooms, command structures and other aid, the situation in Lebanon remains relatively stable and calm. (6)(7)
The political and strategic influence of Hezbollah has been somewhat weakened during the initial phases of the war on Syria but it has recovered and is currently in fact strengthened. Some of this is due to the wisdom of Hassan Nasrallah and his closest advisors, some of it is caused by the fact that it is not popular among Lebanese to co-operate with Israel, and some of it, in fact much of it is caused by the sheer political incompetence of Hariri, Jumblatt and colleagues as power peddlers, lax internal security,intelligence leaks and so forth.
In case of a Turkish, NATO, or GCC military intervention in Syria it is to be expected that Hezbollah will become involved in a war against Israel and eventually also inside Syria. Limited internal violence will have to be expected but it will be limited.
The position of Lebanon as part of what is best described as the Middle Eastern alliance against imperialism and Zionism is solid. In fact Lebanon is, in spite of all reports to the contrary in western mainstream media one of the most politically stable counties in the Middle East.
With regard to the Pars pipeline project as well as gas fields in the Eastern Mediterranean, Lebanon would most likely neither suffer significant advantages or disadvantages if the regional dynamics changed. It would however, suffer disadvantages from a strengthened regional role of Israel which is a uniting factor.
Although there exists extensive literature about the first war on Iraq, some issues continue to be under emphasized; the facts that Kuwait illegally tapped into Iraq´s oil resources and that the US-Administration of President George Bush Senior set up Iraq and Saddam Hussein by giving Iraq a “green light” for a limited military operation in Kuwait to secure that Kuwait ceased drawing oil from Iraqi oil wells.
Iraq was in both so-called “Gulf Wars” set up by the USA and railroaded into a war. Although Iraq is still weakened by internal divisions, it has over the last decade become increasingly self-confident as a coherent nation state and developed increasingly friendly relations with its most important neighbor, Iran.
Iraq´s al-Malaki Administration is expressing grave concerns about the attempted subversion in Syria, which is a traditional Arab ally of Iraq. Iraq is especially expressing concerns about Saudi Arabia´s involvement. Saudi Arms smuggling routes which have been used to fuel the terrorist insurgency which has created the context of pretext for a continued US occupation for years, are now being used for Saudi arms smuggling to Salafist terrorist organizations in Syria. Iraq fears that Saudi Arabia also will attempt to destabilize Iraq, in an attempt to weaken Syria and Iran.
One example for Iraq´s position with regard to Syria is the statement of Iraq´s Prime Minister Nouri al-Malaki to the Lebanese al-Mayadeen satellite network in December 2012. Al-Malaki stated: “Qatar and Saudi Arabia which are meddling to topple the Syrian government are now doing the same meddling to topple the Iraqi regime. Their goal is overthrowing the Iraqi government. Their goal is overthrowing the Iraqi ruling system and not overthrowing me”. (8)
Iraq is a parner to the Pars pipeline. The attempted subversion in Syria is directly involving Iraq, along with Iran as targeted nation.
Iran is in many respects the primary target of the attempted subversion in Syria. Iran shares the worlds largest known natural gas field with Qatar. The completion of the Pars gas pipeline would bring Iran into a position where it, together with Russia, would control 40 % to 50 % of the natural gas that will be consumed in the European Union for the next 100 to 120 years. The completion of the Pars pipeline would also significantly weaken the US Dollar.
These two factors combined would endorse Iran with a significant political, economical and security leverage with regard to volatile issues such as Israel´s occupation of Palestine and the Syrian Golan Highs, the lack of inspections of Israel´s nuclear program at Damona and Israel´s nuclear weapons, Iran´s development of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, regulation of the value of the EURO and the US Dollar, the NATO presence in Afghanistan beyond 2024 and a wide range of other issues with regional or global consequence. (9)
The key for attaining this influence for Iran is Syria and the completion of the Pars gas pipeline from Iran, via Iraq and Syria to the Eastern Mediterranean.
Iran is acutely aware of the fact that it is the primary target of the attempted subversion in Syria. Its own national security and integrity depending on a stable, Iran friendly Syria, it cannot afford not to respond militarily to an overt military aggression against Syria.
Together with the USA and the UK, Israel is among the primary beneficiaries of a destabilization of Syria and of the Arab Spring. The “increased risk” which Israel states, that it would experience from Muslim Brotherhood governments in Egypt, Jordan or Syria, as well as the proposed increased threat from Salafist terrorist organizations is grossly exaggerated.
In fact it is exaggerated to the extend that it would be more correct to state that it is invented as a public relations exercise. Traditionally neither the Muslim Brotherhood, other than the partially questionable Hamas, nor Salafist terror organizations like Al Qaeda are significant threats to Israel´s security.
To the contrary, Israel stands to profit from the Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt and the planned establishment of a free trade zone in the Sinai. Israel stands to gain from the joint Hamas, Egyptian move toward the establishment of a separate Palestinian state in Gaza. Israel stands to gain from a planned establishment of a future Muslim Brotherhood controlled Jordan and the establishment of Jordanian controlled Palestinian micro enclaves. Israel stands to gain from the permanent annexation of Eastern Jerusalem and the greatest parts of the West Bank in response. (10)
Israel stands to gain from a permanent annexation of the Syrian Golan. Israel stands to gain from a weakened Hezbollah and a weakened Lebanon. Israel also stands to gain from a war on Syria, because the fall of Syria would allow it to share the exploration of Palestinian gas resources in the Mediterranean with Egypt and is likely to also become part of co-opted or stolen Syrian gas resources if the attempted subversion in Syria succeeds.
Most significantly however, Israel would stand to gain from a weakened Iran which does not have increased leverage over US and EU foreign policy decisions, the value of the US Dollar and the EURO, and so forth. ( ibid.) In fact Israel is the primary beneficiary of the destabilization of Syria.
Russia and Continental Europe
Russia has drawn and had to draw a red line in Syria. The economic survival of both Russia and the European Union depend to a high degree on the continued integration of the Russian and European national economies and markets. Many continental European governments are, together with Russia, investing heavily into this development. This development would naturally include the further integration of the Russian and European energy sectors.
The negative outcome of a Russian – E.U. summit in Belgium in December 2012 strongly indicates that Europe is too intimidated by the US/UK drive toward a Middle Eastern, and if necessary European war to dare continue along the route of further integration of the Russian and European economies.
Many continental European nations perceive the destabilization as a US/UK attempt to drive a wedge in between Russia and continental Europe. A recent bomb threat in Bonn, Germany is by many analysts understood as a US/UK threat against the German government; a threat that is meant to be understood as “close ranks or else”. (ibid.)
Whether the USA and UK, together with Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Israel are successful with this policy depends to a large degree on whether the US/UK/GCC/Zionist alliance succeeds at dragging Europe and Russia into a regional war in the Middle East. It is certain that neither the USA nor the UK would hesitate to manufacture a European war in case continental Europe does not close ranks behind the US/UK Hegemony and the US Dollar would be seriously threatened by European policies.
Preparations for War.
The developments over the last weeks of December 2012 are clearly indicating that a war on Syria is being prepared. The deployment of Patriot missile systems along the Turkish Syrian border and Russian counter moves. The deployment of US Carriers to the Eastern Mediterranean and the repositioning of parts of Russia´s Baltic fleet to the Eastern Mediterranean. The increased political grandstanding of Britain’s David Cameron, that the Assad Regime had to be ousted “by all means necessary”.
The repeated propaganda and misinformation about the Syrian military´s use of chemical weapons and ballistic missiles against Syrians, the deployment of US troops in Jordan, indicate a continuation of the escalation. Whether it is planned or not, if the trend continues, it will at some point reach a dynamic where a widening of the war becomes inevitable.
To be continued in Part 6:
Gas, the Petro Dollar, Peace, and other volatile substances.
Toward a possible peaceful resolution of the Middle East Crisis.
Dr. Christof Lehmann is a psychologist, independent political adviser and consultant with 30 years experience on highest levels of international politics, geo-politics, conflict and conflict resolution. He is a lifelong advocate for human rights, peace and international justice. Christof Lehmann is a frequent contributor to print and online media and is the founder end senior editor of nsnbc – no spin news, www.nsnbc.me . He can be contacted at nsnbc.wordpress(AT)Gmail.Com .
Myanmar, Gas and the Soros Funded Destruction of a Nation State. Lehmann Christof 2012, published on nsnbc at: http://nsnbc.wordpress.com/2012/09/08/myanmar-gas-and-the-soros-funded-explosion-of-a-nation-state/
Turkey; Millions Protested Against Balkanization of Turkey and Syria War. Christof Lehmann 2012, published on nsnbc at: http://nsnbc.wordpress.com/2012/11/08/turkey-millions-protested-against-balkanization-of-turkey-and-syria-war/
NATO`s 25th Summit in Chicago in Preparation of Global Full Spectrum Dominance, Interventionism, Possible Preparations for A Regional War Directed against Russia and China, and Developments in Global Security. Christof Lehmann, 2012, published on nsnbc at: http://nsnbc.wordpress.com/2012/05/20/natos-25th-summit-in-chicago-in-preparation-of-global-full-spectrum-dominance-interventionism-possible-preparations-for-a-regional-war-directed-against-russia-and-china-and-developments-in-global/
Hariri and Sakr Caught Red-Handed Al-Akhbar, 2012, published on nsnbc at: http://nsnbc.wordpress.com/2012/12/02/hariri-and-sakr-caught-red-handed/
Hariri Implicated in Arming NATO Insurgency in Syria. Christof Lehmann, 2011, published on nsnbc at: http://nsnbc.wordpress.com/2011/09/14/hariri-implicated-in-arming-nato-insurgency-in-syria/
Saudi Smuggling Route to Syria Disclosed. Christof Lehmann, 2012, published on nsnbc at: http://nsnbc.wordpress.com/2012/12/26/saudi-smuggling-route-to-syria-disclosed-2/
- Ibid. Russia – E.U. Meeting in Bruxelles: Risk of…. see Note No. 9)
Ibid. Russia – E.U. Meeting in Bruxelles: Risk of Middle East and European War increased. See Note No. 9)