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Syrian-Kurdish clashes: new conflict or “new Détente”?

Far from being the “democratic-leftist freedom fighters” that most Western audiences have been misled into believing that they are, the Syrian Kurds are a unipolar geopolitical proxy designed to carry out the post-war partition of the Arab Republic.

Andrew Korybko

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He Says, She Says

The US shot down a Syrian anti-terrorist jet near Raqqa yesterday, which prompted the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) to send in a rescue mission to retrieve the downed pilot. Unfortunately, Al Masdar News (AMN) reported that they encountered intense resistance from the majority-Kurdish “Syrian Democratic Forces” (SDF), which if true, would mark the most serious escalation between these two sides. There’s no reason to doubt AMN’s coverage of this event because they’ve proven time and again to have reliable information acquired from on-the-ground and government sources, so it should be taken as a fact that the SAA and SDF did indeed clash last night.

The events leading up to that battle are unclear, however.

The SAA claims that they were on an anti-terrorist bombing mission near Daesh’s “capital”, while the US says that Damascus was in fact attacking its SDF proxies near Tabqa. These narratives aren’t mutually exclusive, and it’s very possible that the SAA rightly conflates the SDF with Daesh due to the Kurds’ documented connection with this terrorist organization. Moreover, the Kurds are ethnically cleansing Arabs from Raqqa en mass in order to pave the way for the city’s annexation to their unilaterally declared “federation” after its forthcoming capture, so it makes sense why Damascus could implicitly recognize them as terrorists without publicly declaring them as such for reasons of sensitive political optics.

Before going any further, I want to reaffirm what I wrote last week and remind the reader that I am solely referring to Kurdish militant groups when I use the word “Kurds”, NOT the law-abiding and peaceful majority of this demographic. This is important to always bear in mind because there’s a major difference between a regular Kurdish civilian and a militant conspirator treacherously trying to carve out a separatist “Kurdistan” from the Syrian Arab Republic; the first poses no threat whatsoever to the state, while the latter is an imminent existential threat to the country and could be targeted for elimination by the armed forces.

Considering what just unfolded last night, it’s beginning to look like Syria has finally begun to act against the Kurds, having largely refrained from doing so over the past 6 years of the war both because of more urgent priorities and due to being geographically cut off from the separatists by Daesh. It can’t be known for certain what changed Damascus’ calculations and – if the US report is to be believed – prompted them to bomb the SDF-YPG Kurds, but it wouldn’t be surprising if there were some behind-the-scenes ultimatums being passed along to the group to withdraw from its trans-Euphrates beachhead in Tabqa and return to the other side of the river.

Moscow’s Motives

There’s a very high chance that Syria will be internally partitioned after the defeat of Daesh via the “internationally acceptable” mechanism of “federalization”, and there isn’t much that the SAA can do to stop it at this point because Russia has no political will to fight the Kurds. The opposite is true, in fact; Russia stands to reap what its leaders expect will be certain strategic benefits through the sub-state transnational formation of “Kurdistan”, first and foremost the pressure that this will indirectly put on Turkey to remain within the Great Power Tripartite between itself, Russia, and Iran, stymying any chance that Ankara will ever enter into any meaningfully significant rapprochement with Washington.

There are also energy considerations as well. Like I explained in my article about “Russia’s Mideast Energy Diplomacy: Boom Or Bust?”, Russia has been making several silent moves over the past year to position itself as an indispensable power in the Mideast energy market, and two of the most relevant pertain to Iraqi Kurdistan and Syria. Moscow just signed an enormous deal with Erbil to develop and export their oil, whereas it has an agreement in place with Damascus to rebuild its entire energy infrastructure after the war. Seeing as how a large portion of this lies in the YPG-occupied areas of northeastern Syria, it can’t be ruled out that Russia has some sort of unstated understanding in place with the Kurds to have them respect this arrangement.

Continuing with this track of thought, Russia has already shown deference to this demographic by making the volte face of formally supporting “decentralization” in Syria as evidenced by the terms contained in the Russian-written “draft constitution” for Syria. Moscow, unlike Washington, isn’t actively seeking the de-facto internal partitioning of the country, but has probably resigned itself to accepting that it’s all but inevitable so long as Russia doesn’t expand its anti-terrorist military mandate in Syria to include the Kurds, which it won’t ever do. Therefore, it proposed the “compromise” of “decentralization” in an attempt to peacefully bridge Damascus’ unitary position with the Kurds’ “federal” one.

The “draft constitution” has yet to be accepted and has been put on the backburner over the past half a year since its proposal, but it will probably receive a second wind of life at the upcoming Astana and Geneva talks given what’s transpired over the past day. Without Russian military backing, there is no way that the SAA will defeat the American-armed and –supported YPG Kurds, let alone forcibly remove the couple of US bases which have purportedly popped up in Kurdish-occupied territory. Therefore, what will probably happen is that the SAA and SDF-YPG will accept the ‘frontline’ between them as the de-facto internally partitioned border following the defeat of Daesh, with this tense state of affairs being nominally formalized through the transformation of a future Kurdish “de-escalation zone” into a “decentralization unit”.

The Birth Pangs Of A “New Détente’”?

A “gentleman’s agreement” between Russia and the US would freeze this state of affairs, and given how Moscow’s actions (or lack thereof) arguably indicate that it’s already acceded to this, it’s plausible that the formation of a sub-state transnational “Kurdistan” might be the first outcome of a “New Détente” between the two Great Powers, each going along with it for different reasons. As was explained, Russia believes that this would provide the necessary leverage for indirectly pressuring unreliable and wily Turkey to remain in the Great Power Tripartite with itself and Iran, as well as protect the energy investments in northern Syria that Damascus promised it last year. The US, however, has vastly different intentions because it wants to create a “second geopolitical ‘Israel’” in the heart of the Mideast which it can then use as a springboard for exerting divide-and-rule unipolar influence in this tri-continental geostrategic pivot space.

Paradoxically, Russia and the US’ long-term interests converge – for polar opposite reasons – in the sub-state creation of “Kurdistan”. Moscow wagers that “Kurdistan” is an irreversible eventuality which isn’t worth sacrificing Russian lives to postpone, hence why it proposed Kurdish “decentralization” in the Russian-written “draft constitution”. Washington, while not stating it publicly, is probably elated by Moscow’s suggestion because it would peacefully formalize its proxy’s geopolitical claims in the region. For this reason, Russia and the US will probably use their influence on the SAA and SDF-YPG, respectively, to get both of them to recognize the ‘frontlines’ between them as the post-Daesh starting point for a “political (‘decentralized’) solution” to the overall war.

I actually forecast this in June 2016 in my article about “The ‘Democratic’ Partitioning Of Syria”, where I analyzed the following:

“Of course, the Kurds will fight to prevent the SAA from liberating any of their occupied territory in the run-up to the new constitution and related elections, but they wouldn’t have any ‘plausible’ reason for further expanding their conquests after Daesh’s defeat and will predictably sit still and try to formalize their gains instead.

The reason that the SAA wouldn’t move forward with liberating the rest of the country during this time is because the US and Russia might enter into an agreement to strictly enforce the SAA-YPG “line of control” immediately after the Race for Raqqa is finished.

Chances are that Washington would move first by declaring that it would unilaterally strike the SAA if it encroaches on the Kurds’ conquered territories, with Moscow replying that it would do the same against the YPG if they attack the SAA.

Through this manner, a very cold and fragile ‘peace’ will settle over Syria, with the threat of decisive military intervention by each of the two most important Great Powers being the only thing that keeps the SAA and YPG from attacking one another and transforming the War on Syria into an actual civil war for the first time since it started.”

Nevertheless, the “gentleman’s agreement” only works so long as both Great Powers’ on-the-ground partners agree to respect it, and thus far, that doesn’t seem to be the case, at least not when it comes to the SAA. To be clear, the Syrian Arab Republic is a sovereign and independent state, and it isn’t Russia’s place to possibly strike agreements with the US on Damascus’ behalf, let alone about its internal political-administrative post-war composition regardless of Moscow’s “good intentions” in terms of the “bigger picture”. If Syria agreed with what Russia was doing, then it clearly wouldn’t have ordered the SAA to attack the SDF-YPG.

Last night’s strike indicates that Syria and Russia aren’t coordinating with one another on the level that observers might have initially thought, no matter how much either side publicly denies this. There is no way that Russia would have advised Syria to bomb the SDF-YPG; similarly, there apparently wasn’t anything that Russia could do in convincing the SAA to stand down after the order from Damascus was given. The SDF-YPG Kurds issued a statement shortly thereafter vowing to “retaliate” against the SAA if such an occurrence ever happens again, thereby strongly signaling that an Arab-Kurdish War might soon be on the horizon, provided of course that Damascus doesn’t back down first.

Turkish-Iranian Backup

And that’s the determining factor, whether or not President Assad will recognize that the internal partition of his country might already be a fait accompli, with Syria’s fate possibly sealed at the highest levels due to an implied “gentleman’s agreement” between Russia and the US. If the combined (but not necessarily coordinated) pressure of Moscow and Washington succeeds in getting Damascus to acquiesce to this unfortunate reality, no matter how contradictory it is to the right of the Syrian people to democratically decide their country’s destiny themselves, then a cold peace will eventually prevail, at least for the short term. However, if Syria doesn’t give up and continues fighting to liberate its occupied northeastern territories from the Kurdish separatists, then it’s foreseeable that Turkey and Iran could provide crucial support in this campaign, each in their own way.

Turkey is existentially threatened by the emergence of a de-facto Kurdish statelet abutting its southern borderlands, especially one that isn’t under the proxy control of the pro-Ankara “Kurdish Democratic Party” (KDP) like Iraq’s Kurdish Regional Government, which is why it might launch a second iteration of “Operation Euphrates Shield” alongside a possible SAA liberation offensive in order to counter this threat. I forecast in my March 2017 analysis about “Palmyra’s Reliberation And The ‘Rojava Civil War’” that Turkey would naturally plan to unseat the YPG separatists by using pro-Ankara KDP-linked Kurds possibly supported through a conventional intervention. A report just a couple days ago from “Voice Of America” confirms that Turkey’s patronage of the recently formed “Syrian National Army” (SNA) is designed to achieve the proxy war component of this scenario. If Turkey directly involves itself in fighting against the SDF-YPG Kurds, then it can safely be assumed that this would have Damascus’ secret blessing, no matter how vehemently it may deny it in public, and that a fast-moving rapprochement between the two rivals might be in the cards as well.

As for Iran, I already documented in an article last week how Kurdish militant groups in Syria and Iran are linked to Daesh, and it’s for this reason why Tehran will likely provide sustained support to any operation that the SAA undertakes in countering this menace. Iran, just like Syria, Turkey, and Iraq, stands to lose part of its territory if the US-“Israeli”-Saudi (“Cerberus”) plan of carving out a “Kurdistan” succeeds, but given that it already has an undetermined number of soldiers and allied militiamen on the ground in Syria per Damascus’ request, it’s in a prime position to assist the SAA if need be. However, this is a lot easier said than done, because the US will almost certainly use its recently deployed HIMARS missiles near al-Tanf to stop any joint Syrian-Iranian liberation offensive against the Pentagon-backed SDF-YPG Kurdish occupiers. For both political and military reasons, it’s in no such position to do the same against its nominal Turkish ally if Ankara intervenes from the north, but there’s only so much that Turkey can do to help from that direction without a coordinated Syrian-Iranian thrust from the south.

Taken together, while the prospects of a grand Syrian-Iranian-Turkish liberation campaign against the SDF-YPG Kurdish occupied areas of northern Syria is theoretically possible, for all intents and purposes, it’s unlikely to actually happen. The US has already proven its military resolve in deterring any SAA attacks against the Kurds, and the same can safely be assumed if Iran gets involved as well. As for Turkey, there are other instruments of pressure that the US can leverage against it to keep Ankara out of the fray, though if Erdogan does decide to jump in head-first, then he will have to prepare for dealing with a prolonged guerrilla campaign in which the US-armed Kurds will use state-of-the-art weaponry against the Turkish military. This is why Ankara prefers to handle this scenario through its SNA proxy for as long as feasibly possible, though without a risky conventional intervention which could very well turn into a quagmire, Turkey will probably have to stand by and reluctantly watch what its leadership considers to be a terrorist state take shape along its southern frontier.

Shifting Lines In The Sand

There is a major “unforeseen” variable which has only just now come to the surface but threatens to offset the entire state of affairs which was just discussed, and it’s that Russia and the US have evidently disagreed on precisely where in the sand the post-conflict administrative-political lines should be drawn in Syria. This explains why the Russian Ministry of Defense declared the day after the Syrian jet was shot down that:

“In areas where Russian aviation is conducting combat missions in the Syrian skies, any flying objects, including jets and unmanned aerial vehicles of the international coalition discovered west of the Euphrates River will be followed by Russian air and ground defenses as air targets.”

Russia all but admitted that Syria is already divided into two unofficial “spheres of influence” with the US, with Moscow – and by implicit understanding, Damascus as well – having been “promised” control over everything west of the Euphrates, while Washington and its Kurdish proxies are “given” everything to the east of it. The US and its SDF-YPG Kurdish underlings apparently went back on their word, however, seeing as how they already stormed across the river in capturing Manbij last summer (which prompted Turkey’s conventional military involvement) and received American backing in conquering Tabqa earlier this year. The “Dash For Deir ez-Zor” will determine whether or not the Euphrates does in fact become the dividing line for the rest of eastern Syria, though it remains to be seen exactly how Russia and the SAA could conceivably dislodge US and Kurdish forces from Manbij and Tabqa given the obvious limitations derived from Moscow’s lack of political will in doing so. These two territories might become “exceptions”, or they could be “traded off” by the US and Kurds in exchange for Damascus agreeing to “federalize” the country.

Nevertheless, the Russian Defense Ministry’s dramatic pronouncement points to the fact that Moscow is willing to take actionable measures to ‘stabilize’ the ‘frontlines’ between the SAA and SDF-YPG Kurds, and that it likely feels betrayed by Washington for operating beyond its previously agreed-upon region of Syria. Russia has visibly upped the ante by strongly implying that it will shoot down American jets west of the Euphrates, and while this might just be another bluff, it’s still significant because it suggests that Moscow does in fact feel deceived (a feeling which President Putin recently told Oliver Stone that he never forgets), and it’s making a lot of noise to signal to Washington that it had better abide by its prior secret agreements. Having said that, the US could still exploit certain ‘loopholes’ such as launching long-range aerial missiles against the SAA from safely behind the eastern bank of the Euphrates or above Jordanian airspace, to say nothing of ordering yet another cruise missile assault which First Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council’s Committee on International Affairs Vladimir Jabarov said in April wouldn’t be intercepted because “it could lead to a large-scale war”.

Concluding Thoughts

At this point, the crisis will probably escalate as both Great Powers puff out their chests and issue heated polemics against the other, but it’s unlikely that any serious provocation will take place such as Russia and the US downing each other’s jets over Syria and risking World War III. The shifting lines in the sand will soon stabilize, though questions will remain about the future status of the Kurds’ conquests in Manbij and Tabqa, as well as the territory that the US’ Arab allies are occupying around al-Tanf, Idlib, and the Golan Heights. Moreover, the Dash for Deir ez Zor is ongoing, and its outcome will determine whether or not the “Euphrates Federalization Line” holds in eastern Syria or is breached by the SDF-YPG Kurds. If the latter happens, then the US might outfit its proxies with modern anti-air weaponry so that they could take out any SAA jets themselves without triggering Russia’s threatened apocalyptical response of shooting down American aircraft. Given the on-the-ground dynamics and Moscow’s prevailing strategic calculations surrounding the Syrian Kurds, there’s no foreseeable scenario where Russia will move beyond its military mandate and bomb these US proxies so long as they don’t target its Aerospace Forces first.

A Turkish and/or Iranian supportive intervention in backing up the SAA’s campaign against the SDF-YPG Kurdish separatists would potentially be a game-changing variable, but the odds of it playing out on a grandiose scale are dim, though they shouldn’t be outright dismissed. There’s little that Russia or the US can do to deter either of these two actors from getting more directly involved in the Syrian-Kurdish clashes, but they can instead concentrate on reinforcing the implied “gentleman’s agreement” between them in order to send an undeniable signal to their partners. Even so, however, there’s no guarantee that the Kurds will listen to the US, or that Syria, Turkey, and Iran will abide by whatever Russia advises. What may have at one point seemed like the birth pangs of a “New Détente” through a speculative secret Russian-American agreement over “Rojava” is dangerously on the brink of ushering in a new conflict after the defeat of Daesh, though there’s still plenty of hope that peace will prevail so long as both Great Powers can exert “moderating” influence on their relevant allies, though this can’t by any means be taken for granted.

The SAA seems determined to carry through with President Assad’s promise to liberate “every inch of Syria”, which is why they allegedly attacked the SDF-YPG Kurds near Tabqa in spite of this clearly contradicting Russia’s grand strategic interests, so with such a “wildcard” in play, it’s anyone’s guess whether the coming months will see a “New Détente” or a new Arab-Kurdish conflict.

DISCLAIMER: The author writes for this publication in a private capacity which is unrepresentative of anyone or any organization except for his own personal views. Nothing written by the author should ever be conflated with the editorial views or official positions of any other media outlet or institution. 

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Kaspersky Lab snags former NSA contractor stealing hacking tools

Semi-buried article did see publication on Politico and Fox News, but Kaspersky Lab was not vindicated for its help in solving this case.

Seraphim Hanisch

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In a time known for Smear Campaigns of the Strangest Kind, we have seen Russia blamed for being there, for interfering and preventing the election of Hillary Rodham Clinton to the Presidency, putting Donald Trump in the White House instead. One of Russia’s companies, Kaspersky Lab, has a particularly notable history of late; that is to say, this computer security company has found itself on the receiving end of quite frankly, illegal levels of slander and punishment without cause from the US government. Kaspersky Lab owner and CEO tried very hard to come to the US to discuss these matters with a Congressional committee, only to have the meeting shelved into limbo.

However, the truth made itself manifest when it became known that Kaspersky Lab actually helped the American FBI catch Harold T. Martin III, who was found to be attempting to steal some of the American government’s most sensitive hacking tools. This fact emerged on Wednesday, January 9, 2019, when sources familiar with this investigation spoke to The Politico magazine. Politico says the following in its report:

[Kaspersky Lab’s] role in exposing Martin is a remarkable twist in an increasingly bizarre case that is believed to be the largest breach of classified material in U.S. history.

It indicates that the government’s own internal monitoring systems and investigators had little to do with catching Martin, who prosecutors say took home an estimated 50 terabytes of data from the NSA and other government offices over a two-decade period, including some of the NSA’s most sophisticated and sensitive hacking tools.

The revelation also introduces an ironic turn in the negative narrative the U.S. government has woven about the Russian company in recent years.

Under both the Obama and Trump administrations, officials have accused the company of colluding with Russian intelligence to steal and expose classified NSA tools, and in 2016 the FBI engaged in an aggressive behind-the-scenes campaign to discredit the company and get its software banned from U.S. government computers on national security grounds. But even while the FBI was doing this, the Russian firm was tipping off the bureau to an alleged intelligence thief in the government’s own midst.

“It’s irony piled on irony that people who worked at Kaspersky, who were already in the sights of the U.S. intelligence community, disclosed to them that they had this problem,” said Stewart Baker, general counsel for the NSA in the 1990s and a current partner at Steptoe and Johnson. It’s also discouraging, he noted, that the NSA apparently still hasn’t “figured out a good way to find unreliable employees who are mishandling some of their most sensitive stuff.”

The Politico piece as well as Fox News’ variant still seem somewhat determined to keep that negative narrative in place, with Fox assessing that the FBI had a “strange bedfellow” in the investigation, and what appears to be an absolutely enormous presumption in Politico’s piece:

The first message sent on Aug. 13, 2016, asked one of the researchers to arrange a conversation with “Yevgeny” — presumably Kaspersky Lab CEO Eugene Kaspersky, whose given name is Yevgeny Kaspersky. The message didn’t indicate the reason for the conversation or the topic, but a second message following right afterward said, “Shelf life, three weeks,” suggesting the request, or the reason for it, would be relevant for a limited time.

However, there are many people in the world named “Yevgeny” (Evgeny, or Eugene) in Russia, and presumably many Evgenys in Kaspersky Lab itself. The notion that the CEO of the company would be involved in this appears to be an absolutely enormous leap of logic.

The maintenance of a negative narrative about Kaspersky Lab has been one of the most frustratingly effective examples of American propaganda in use since Russia overall became increasingly used as America’s newest scapegoat.

This is also not the first time that Kaspersky Lab saved the day for an American intelligence agency. In 2017 the same company’s services found 122 viruses on an NSA employee’s computer.

Kaspersky Lab itself is a highly sophisticated company based in Moscow, Russia, specializing in securing computers against malware, viruses, ransomware and all manner of invasive efforts by the bad guys out on the ‘Net, and among the providers of such services it consistently rates among the best in the industry, including in US surveys. While US retailers Best Buy, Office Depot and the US government have banned selling or running Kaspersky Lab software, European allies of the US have not even breathed the slightest bit of discontent with the AV provider. The narrative is the only thing that is actually wrong, and since Evgeny Kaspersky’s education was largely at the Academy that trained former KGB personnel, (now called FSB), the anti-Russia narrative in the US the acronym “KGB” is usually enough to alarm most low-information American news readers and watchers. 

However, logic and awareness of life in modern Russia, point to the fact that getting an education on security at the FSB Academy ought to be equivalent to the same education at the CIA. Who would know better about how to create security than those people specially trained to compromise it? However the propaganda vantage point that Kaspersky afforded the US government in its drive to get rid of President Donald Trump made the Russian company too juicy a target to ignore.

Over the last year or two, however, this narrative has slowly been falling apart, with this Politico article being a significant, though still small vindication of the company’s prowess and abilities.

That a Russian Internet Security company could succeed where American enterprises failed, and especially where it helped the Americans catch a man who was stealing very powerful hacking tools, is a significant story, indeed.

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Neofascist Push for Europe’s Implosion Is Not in EU Members National Interest

The European Union must become for the people by the people.

Gilbert Mercier

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The European Union is under numerous existential threats. On one hand, there are the internal threats, with the rise to power of the so-called nationalist-populist eurosceptics — which are in reality racist neofascists — in Austria, Hungary, Poland, and to a lesser extent Italy, with the Interior Minister Matteo Salvini being an influential part of the country’s coalition government, as well as the recent gain in political clout of anti-EU far-right parties such as the Rassemblement National of Marine Le Pen, in France. On the other hand, there are the external threats, which used to be diffuse and secretive but are becoming more and more overt, from the Trump administration in the United States through the unofficial operative Steve Bannon, as well as, to a much lesser extent, Russia, perhaps China, and also, for some odd reason, even Iran’s Islamic Republic on monetary issues. Go figure. It seems that a downgrade, or even dismantlement, of the EU as a geopolitical major player suits the needs of other leading world powers. There is a cautionary tale here for all Europeans, especially those like the Gilets Jaunes who reject the Europe of bankers and technocrats. It is a geopolitical cautionary tale about reforming what you have and not jumping to conclusions and doing a tabula rasa of a European Union adventure that is 62 years in the making.

In an era of Cold War redux, the EU is a geopolitical imperative

The birth of the EU was in 1957. It was signed into existence in the Treaty of Rome by the six founding members: Belgium, France, The Netherlands, Italy, Luxembourg and West Germany. Naturally, this must be understood in the context of a post-Yalta world, which effectively started the split of world affairs and influences between the two empires born out of the ashes of World War II: the United States of America, of course, and the USSR, which have agreed to disagree on ideologies, but have come to a tacit understanding about their spheres of influence. The constant conflicts between the two blocks have manifested themselves through various proxy wars, always at the expense of third parties. From a military standpoint, the US came up with NATO in 1949, using the fear of the supposed Soviet threat to subjugate its European so-called allies, which became not much more than vassals. Behind the legendary Iron Curtain, Stalin’s USSR had the Warsaw Pact.

Since the Ukrainian crisis, five years ago, we have reentered a Cold War logic, and again Russia is painted by Western mainstream media as the biggest threat to the supposed free world — whatever this means in the propagandist lexicon — and Vladimir Putin as the ultimate bogeyman head of state. At the time of the treaty of Rome, it took some courage for the six founding members to take this initiative, considering that all of them had US troops de facto occupying their respective countries. This very timid start in the mid-1950s was followed by attempts to make the EU, not only an economic union but a political force.

Let us fast forward to the current legal framework of the EU: the Treaty of Lisbon, still in force today, which is an amendment of the Maastricht Treaty of 1993. The Treaty of Lisbon was signed in Portugal on December 13, 2007; however, it took two years to be ratified by all EU members, and it became a legally binding agreement for all members on December 1, 2009. It is the current cornerstone of the EU’s political framework. In this treaty, which of course, BREXIT has put to a serious test, Article 50 established the provision that “Any member state may decide to withdraw from the union in accordance with its own constitutional requirement.” In the case of BREXIT, this was after an exit of the EU was voted on by British citizens, and this narrowly won a referendum.

In the case of the BREXIT win, which could turn out to be disastrous for the welfare of British people, and even the influence of the former British Empire, it was not the immensely and famously nefarious hand of Vladimir Putin that was involved, as claimed by many in the UK, but actually the hand of Steve Bannon, through the shady firm, Cambridge Analytica, using the vast assets of the Mercer hedge fund. This hedge fund is the financial entity that powers Alt-Right sites such as Breitbart and many others. This being said, to be fair, Mercer’s nemesis George Soros, for his part, invested heavily in the No-BREXIT vote. Where there foreign influences in the BREXIT vote? Yes, but it was a Robert Mercer vs George Soros confrontation that involved two conflicting visions of globalization, each one as toxic as the other. But Bannon, Mercer and Co.’s instrument, who is now operating in Europe to trigger similar scenarios, such as FREXIT for France, is in reality working for the neocon US world domination program, which is the so-called Project for the New American Century.

In a better-known fight between financial puppet masters, it was Bob Mercer’s cash and Steve Bannon’s media savvy that arguably elected Donald Trump US president in 2016, against a Clinton campaign that was partially financed by the billionaire George Soros. In both cases, Soros lost. Regardless of the pseudo-ideological bickering, and Bob Mercer phony libertarian views, US imperialism is still the hallmark of US foreign policy, just as it has been since 1945. Allies are truly vassals, and States that attempt to be independent are not fair competitors but enemies. A politically strong European Union, with its own military, independently of NATO, would be a perceived threat to the American Empire.

The neocon United States of Trumpism: Main enemy of the EU

A recent event in Washington went almost unnoticed by European observers, although it was symbolically of great importance. The Trump administration decided to downgrade the status of the European Union’s official foreign representation from an embassy to mere delegation with an office. This is an important illustration of the current US administration’s view of the EU as being something cumbersome and redundant in its foreign policy lexicon and agenda. This stand of Trumpism, really controlled by the neocon John Bolton, is reminiscent of what another neocon, this time Donald Rumsfeld, called, in the build up to George W. Bush’s 2003 Iraq war, the Old Europe. A more compliant New Europe was wanted, as opposed to the not-so-subservient Old Europe, personified by then French President Jacques Chirac, who was unwilling to join the folly of Iraq’s invasion. France was not then part of NATO.

Let’s face it. The neocons are fully in charge of Trump’s foreign policy and are pursuing more than ever their agenda. Their goal is uncontested US world domination by any means necessary: political, economic through various sanctions on whatever countries they define as enemy states, and of course, in cases of last resort, through the armed fist of US imperialism, which is NATO. Those are the US policy imperatives defined almost a quarter century ago in the neocons’ bible and opus: The Project for the New American Century. Rain or shine, the neocons still control the US foreign policy agenda.

Instead of imploding the EU, Europeans should exit NATO

What the demagogues of the European far-Right in Italy, Hungary, Austria, and Poland, as well as neoliberal governments in Germany, Spain, and the UK are not telling their populations while they posture about nationalism, is the simple fact that their countries are actually occupied by US troops. In the case of Poland, they are even eager to host more American occupiers. The unapologetic ultra neocon deep-pocketed think tank, The Heritage Foundation, which is providing a lot of top-position appointees to the Trump administration, gloats about the US empire’s military strength in Europe, and of course frames the narrative in terms of deterrent against semi-fictional potential Russian aggressions.

Today, 74 years after the end of World War II, the number of US troops stationed in the European Union is absolutely staggering. About 65,000 active US troops are deployed in Europe, in around 17 main operating bases mainly in Germany, Italy (Mr. Salvini, how about Italian sovereignty?), the United Kingdom and Spain. Deployments are in the works in Poland as well, at the request of the far-Right government. The Gilets Jaunes and some European politicians are correct: the respective EU nations should break free from their servitude to giant multinational corporations, financial institutions like the IMF and the World Bank, as well as nefarious state players such as Saudi ArabiaQatar and the United Arab Emirates. But the real masters are not in Bruxelles, they are somewhere in the United States, around Washington DC, shuffling between the Pentagon, the White House, the CIA and of course Wall Street.

Despite the claims of the US administrations, either Democrat or Republican, and their allies/vassals in Europe and Canada, NATO’s wars in AfghanistanIraqLibya and Syriawere not necessarily meant to be won on the battlefield, but rather to become a semi-permanent occupation of various countries mainly for the exploitation of natural resources. This first-wreck-then-exploit strategy has been especially applied in the Middle East by toppling Saddam Hussein and Qaddafi. In both Iraq and Libya, two failed states were, either on purpose or by default, engineered by NATO. Because of Russia, Hezbollah, and Iran, the same plan, with the minute variation of using ISIS as a proxy, didn’t work at all against Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

Afghanistan has been called the graveyard of empires: rightly so in the cases of Alexander the Great, the British Empire and the Soviets. NATO, and especially Europeans should have known better than to venture into such a dangerous land as invaders. However, America Empire Inc. and its financial, economical and military might thought that they could break the will of the Pashtuns. They didn’t.

The European Union must become for the people by the people 

In December 2010, I was, to my knowledge, the first analyst to forecast the collapse of the current dominant global empire. The out-of-control madness of Trumpism might be providing a helping hand in that process. Perhaps a redefined European Union, for the people by people, following the impulse of the Gilets Jaunes movement leading the way, will help us to free ourselves from the shackles of a globalization that only serves to profit a minute portion of the population worldwide. The European Union can be built upon rather than destroyed, and perhaps, once it finally stops serving as the little helper of corporate imperialism, it could become an inspiration of real conviviality for other continents, a truly multi-ethnic and multi-cultural association of people, more than States, which departs from the dead end that is our global capitalist system.

Editor’s Notes: Gilbert Mercier is the author of The Orwellian Empire. Photographs one by Theophilos Papadopoulos, two by Looking for Poetry, five by Gage Skidmore; six by Ian Glover, seven by Jason, eight from the archives of Resolute Support Media, nine from the archives of NATO, eleven by Radiowoodand composites ten and twelve byJared Rodriguez.

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China’s Ambassador to Canada Exposes the White Supremacist Five Eyes Surveillance State

This is the deep state that has been dedicated to overthrowing American President Donald Trump since MI6 and their junior partners in America began organising Russia-gate in 2015.

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In a January 9, 2019 op-ed in Ottawa’s Hill Times, China’s Ambassador to Canada, Lu Shaye did what no other mainstream media outlet has been willing to do since the untimely arrest of Huawei’s CFO Meng Wanzhou occurred while she was boarding a plane in Vancouver on December 1st. Much dispute has arisen over the arrest and China’s response with its own arrest of two Canadians suspected of espionage in Beijing.

In an article entitled Why the double standard on justice for Canadians, Chinese? Ambassador Lu cut through the noise being created by the media and western political class by exposing the over bloated western surveillance state known as the Five Eyes which he properly identified as the outgrowth of the unconstitutional Patriot Act, the Prism surveillance system which has annihilated all semblance of privacy among trans-Atlantic nations.

After describing the double standard applied by Canadian elites who have constructed a narrative that always paints China as the villain of the world while portraying the west as “free and democratic” Ambassador Lu stated: 

“these same people have conveniently ignored the PRISM Program, Equation Group, and Echelon—global spying networks operated by some countries that have been engaging in large-scale and organized cyber stealing, and spying and surveillance activities on foreign governments, enterprises, and individuals. These people also took a laissez-faire attitude toward a country that infringes on its citizens’ privacy rights through the Patriot Act. They shouted for a ban by the Five Eyes alliance countries…. on the use of Huawei equipment by these countries’ own enterprises”

For those who may not be aware, the Five Eyes is the name given to the British GCHQ-controlled surveillance structure that involves the four primary Anglo-Saxon Commonwealth countries (Britain, Canada, Australian and New Zealand) along with the United States. This is the deep state that has been dedicated to overthrowing American President Donald Trump since MI6 and their junior partners in America began organising Russia-gate in 2015-when it became apparent that Trump had a serious chance of defeating the Deep State candidate Hillary Clinton.

As many patriotic whistle blowers such as Bill Binney, Ray McGovern, and Edward Snowden have exposed throughout recent years, the Five Eyes system that the Ambassador referenced was formed in the “post-911 world order” as a means of overriding each nations’ constitutional protection of its own citizens’ by capitalising on a major legal loop hole (viz: Since it is technically illegal for American intelligence agencies to spy on Americans without warrant, and for CSIS  to do the same to Canadians, it is claimed that it is okay for British/Canadian intelligence agencies to spy on Americas and visa versa).

The Chinese Ambassador didn’t stop there however, but went one step further, ending his op-ed with a controversial claim which has earned him much criticism in the days since its publication. It was in his closing paragraph that Ambassador Lu made the uncomfortable point that the double standards employed against China and the west’s willingness to ignore the Five Eyes “is due to Western egotism and white supremacy”. Is this the “belligerent and unfounded name calling” that his detractors are labelling it, or is there something more to it?

When we look to the origins of the Five Eyes, which goes back MUCH further than September 11, 2001, we can clearly see that Lu Shaye is touching a very deep and truthful nerve.

Cecil Rhodes and the Racist Roots of the Deep State

19th Century spokesman for the British Empire, Cecil Rhodes wrote his infamous “Seventh Will” in 1877 where, speaking on behalf of an empire dying in the midst of the global spread of republican institutions, called for the formation of a new plan to re-organise the Empire, and re-conquer all colonial possessions that had been contaminated by republican ideas of freedom, progress, equality and self-determination[1]. Rhodes stated:

“I contend that we are the finest race in the world and that the more of the world we inhabit the better it is for the human race. Just fancy those parts that are at present inhabited by the most despicable specimens of human beings what an alteration there would be if they were brought under Anglo-Saxon influence, look again at the extra employment a new country added to our dominions gives. I contend that every acre added to our territory means in the future birth to some more of the English race who otherwise would not be brought into existence…. Why should we not form a secret society with but one object the furtherance of the British Empire and the bringing of the whole uncivilised world under British rule for the recovery of the United States for the making the Anglo-Saxon race but one Empire…”[2]

Race Patriot” Cecil Rhodes from Punch Magazine lording over Africa

The Rhodes Trust was set up at his death in 1902 to administer the vast riches accrued during Rhodes’ exploitation of diamond mines in Africa. Steered by Lord Alfred Milner, it was this Trust which gave birth to the Round Table Movement and Rhodes Scholarship Fund which themselves have been behind the creation of a century’s worth of indoctrinated technocrats who have permeated all branches of government, finance, military, media, corporate and academia- both in America and internationally [3].

The Round Table Movement, (working in tandem with London’s Fabian Society) didn’t replace the old British Empire’s power structures, so much as re-define their behaviour based upon the re-absorption of America back into the Anglo-Saxon hive. This involved centralising control of the education of their “managerial elite” with special scholarship’s in Oxford  and the London School of Economics- then sending the indoctrinated victims in droves back into their respective nations in order to be absorbed into the British Empire’s governance structures in all domains of private and public influence. In Fabian Society terms, this concept is known as “permeation theory”[4].

Although it sometimes took the early removal of nationalist political leaders from power, via intrigue, coups or assassination, the 20th century was shaped in large measure by the cancerous growth of this British-directed network that sought to undo the republican concept that progress and cooperation were the basis for both sovereignty and international law as laid out in the Treaty of Westphalia of 1648 [5].

This is the deep state that President Roosevelt warned of when he said in 1936 “The economic royalists complain that we seek to overthrow the institutions of America. What they really complain about is that we seek to take away their power.” This is the deep state that outgoing President Eisenhower warned of when he spoke of the “acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military industrial complex” in 1961 and that John Kennedy fought against when he fired Allen Dulles and threatened to “splinter the CIA into a thousand pieces and scatter into the winds”. It is what Ronald Reagan contended with when he attempted to break the world out of the Cold War by working with Russia and other nations on Beam defense in 1983. It is this structure that owned Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s entire career, from his 1980s railroading of Lyndon LaRouche into prison to his cover up of the Anglo-Saudi role in 911 as CIA director to his efforts to impeach President Donald Trump today [6].

It is this same complex which is the direct outgrowth of the racist British-run drug wars on China and suppression of India and Africa throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.

In Canada, this was the network that destroyed the plans of nationalist Prime Minister John Diefenbaker after he fired the Rhodes Scholar Governor of the Bank of Canada in 1959 during a desperate struggle to take control of the national bank in order to fund his Northern Vision [7]. Earlier, it was this group that Lincoln-admirer Prime Minister Wilfred Laurier warned of after his defeat in 1911 when he said “Canada is now governed by a junta sitting at London, known as “The Round Table”, with ramifications in Toronto, in Winnipeg, in Victoria, with Tories and Grits receiving their ideas from London and insidiously forcing them on their respective parties.”[8]

The lesson to be learned is that the Deep State is not “American” as many commentators have assumed. It is the same old British Empire from which America brilliantly broke free in 1776 and which Cecil Rhodes and Milner led in re-organising on behalf of the monarchy at the beginning of the 20th century. It was racist when Lords Palmerston and Russell ran it in the 19th century and it continues to be racist today.

So when Ambassador Lu says “the reason why some people are used to arrogantly adopting double standards is due to Western egotism and white supremacy – in such a context, the rule of law is nothing but a tool for their political ends and a fig leaf for their practising hegemony in the international arena” he is not being “belligerent or provocative”, but is rather hitting on a fact which must be better understood if the deep state will finally be defeated and nations liberated to work with the new spirit of progress and cooperation exemplified by China’s Belt and Road Initiative which is quickly spreading across the earth.

Footnotes

[1] By 1876, the American Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia showcased to a world audience the success of the “American System of Political Economy” which asserted that the value and behaviour of money was contingent upon the physical productive growth of the nation rather than “British-system free markets”. Lincoln’s system was being adopted across South American nations, Japan, China, India and many European powers as well (including Russia) which had grown tired of being manipulated by British imperial intrigues.

[2] Cecil Rhodes, 1877 Confessions of Faith, University of Oregon

[3] See American System or British Dictatorship part 1 by the author, Canadian Patriot #7, June 2013

[4] For anyone in Canada wishing to learn about this in greater depth, they may wish to ask Canadian technocratic Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland how her experience as a Rhodes Scholar shaped her career.

[5] The Peace of Westphalia: France’s Defense of the Sovereign Nation by Pierre Beaudry, EIR Nov. 29, 2002

[6] Robert Mueller Is an Amoral Legal Assassin: He Will Do His Job If You Let Him by Barbara Boyd, October 1, 2017 larouchepac.com. A common denominator among all of the mentioned American leaders is not only that they waged war on the deep state structures but made constant attempts to work constructively with Russia, China, India and other nations for industrial and scientific development. This policy of “win-win cooperation” is antagonistic to all systems of empire and is the reason why the Empire hates China and the potential created with Trump’s intention to work with both China and Russia.

[7] See John Diefenbaker and the Sabotage of the Northern Vision by the author, Canadian Patriot #4, January 2013

[8] O.D. Skelton, The Life of Sir Wilfrid Laurier, p. 510

 


BIO: Matthew J.L. Ehret is a journalist, lecturer and founder of the Canadian Patriot Review. His works have been published in Executive Intelligence Review, Global Resesarch, Global Times, Nexus Magazine, Los Angeles Review of Books, Veterans Today and Sott.net. Matthew has also published the book “The Time has Come for Canada to Join the New Silk Road” and three volumes of the Untold History of Canada (available on untoldhistory.canadianpatriot.org). He has been associated with the Schiller Institute since 2006.

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