We live in “interesting times”. I wish they weren’t so interesting – I find peace and goodwill amongst men to be a compelling proposition, even if relatively ‘boring’.
Blaming the chemical weapons attach in Syria on Assad is a joke of a proposition. I note that even Srdja Trifkovic, the brilliant foreign affairs commentator at the paleo-conservative magazine chroniclesmagazine.org, has used the FF phrase – “false flag” – even though he never did so wrt the great 911 farce. See Syria: A Classic False Flag Atrocity
Having gained the upper hand in the military conflict in recent months, Assad does not need gas. He did not use it not because he is necessarily horrified at the thought of its effects but because its use makes no sense. In view of his string of recent battlefield successes, using gas would have been strategically unnecessary, tactically irrelevant, and politically suicidal. The Allawite-officered army is doing quite nicely with their conventional arsenal. In a conflict that has killed tens of thousands by small arms and artillery fire, a barrage of sarin causing a few hundred civilian deaths would not have been a rational option.
The only party interested in fabricating nerve gas stories are the rebels. They have everything to gain and nothing to lose from staging a stunt. Their rating in the West had fallen somewhat in the months preceding Ghouta, what with all those mass executions of POWs, public beheadings of alleged Assad supporters—not to mention that one episode of cannibalism—all lovingly videotaped, to the usual background chants of Allahu akbar. Intervening on the rebel side was made additionally difficult with the confirmation of Assad’s claim of long standing that most of his foes were seasoned jihadists, many of them foreigners, who had gained valuable combat experience fighting Americans and their allies in Iraq and Afghanistan. Atrocity management was the obvious solution to the rebels’ image problem. “In order to secure international support for the rebels,” my friend Scott Taylor wrote on Monday, “Assad would need to do something so stupid, so diabolical, and so dastardly that the world would have no choice but to choose Al Qaida as the lesser of two evils.”
The plot thickens as per the following report that ‘Bandar Bush’ was stupid enough to threaten Putin with Islamic terrorism. From Bandar Bush threatens President Putin with Sochi terrorist attack
(Disclaimer: this particular article makes a few points that I don’t believe. e.g., it says the US “drove the Arab Spring”. No, it didn’t, instead it sought to co-opt it, achieving some success.)
As an example, I can give you a guarantee to protect the Winter Olympics in the city of Sochi on the Black Sea next year. The Chechen groups that threaten the security of the games are controlled by us, and they will not move in the Syrian territory’s direction without coordinating with us. These groups do not scare us. We use them in the face of the Syrian regime but they will have no role or influence in Syria’s political future.”
I’m not really sure this report is true. I took a look at front pages of antiwar.com, rt, globalresearch.ca and didn’t see any mention.
In spite of this, I consider the report eminently plausible. The Saudis are our ‘partners in crime’ in the Middle East, and as I diaried previously, have even spent megabucks to bring down the Muslim Brotherhood dominated (previous) government of Egypt, with more radical Muslims. (See Giraldi: Saudi Islamo-Fascists Conspire with Egyptian Military Fascists to Foil Anti-Secular Islamists (Muslim Brotherhood) ). Their immorality is palpable (on par with ours, for crying out loud!), and hubris is to be expected.
See (actually listen) also, to the most interview by Gary Null of Paul Craig Roberts. (Will try and post a link, later.)
So, if the report IS true, what would be a rational response by Putin? Russia is a nuclear capable country, they have sea launch capable cruise missiles (some of which may be deployed tactical nuclear weapons).
Saudi Arabia probably has the finest US armaments that money can buy, but I doubt that any of them can stop supersonic Russian cruise missiles. (At least one’s targeting port facilities. Not sure about US space based systems). Saudi’s power ultimately derives from it’s oil boodle, and the Russians could put an end to the situation, stretching indefinitely into the future, in about 1 hour.
IOW, my best guess is that destroying the Saudi Arabian economy may well be the most cost effective way for Russia to protect not just Syria, but also itself. And furthermore, with Saudi oil off the market, there’d be a tremendous $$ windfall profit to be made, perhaps for many years (until Saudi facilities were rebuilt). The West’s economies would suffer – maybe even crash – and that might help make drive up antiwar sentiment.
If you listen to the Paul Craig Roberts interview, he states his conviction that the US’ targetting of Russia and China is leading to nuclear war. (I’m not sure that I agree with this, but I can’t help but agree that we are pushing China into becoming a major nuclear power.) The Russians could conceivably come to the same conclusion, and thus choose to destroy a vital pillar of the Western economies, now, rather than having to deal with terrorists onslaughts within their own borders, later.
Attacking the US warships, and possibly Israel, could trigger a war with the US, which nobody could win. Saudi Arabia is a logical choice – the one that had occurred to me*, even before I read the following. From Putin Orders Massive Strike Against Saudi Arabia If West Attacks Syria
A grim “urgent action memorandum” issued today from the office of President Putin to the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation is ordering a“massive military strike” against Saudi Arabia in the event that the West attacks Syria.
According to Kremlin sources familiar with this extraordinary “war order,” Putin became “enraged” after his early August meeting with Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan who warned that if Russia did not accept the defeat of Syria, Saudi Arabia would unleash Chechen terrorists under their control to cause mass death and chaos during the Winter Olympics scheduled to be held 7-23 February 2014 in Sochi, Russia.
* to be precise, what had occurred to me was a pre-emptive decimation of a Saudi oil refinery or pipeline or two, not a massive military attack. I don’t have any background in military strategy, so I’ll assume that Russian military war game planners have settled on a more strategic option.