This is extraordinary news, and makes me think our global meditation on the Grand Cross/Grand Sextile Sunday, August 25, 2013 is indeed beginning to turn the tide and stop the running dogs of war. Interesting that the news stems from Pravda. Hmmm. Are Obama and Putin working together behind the scenes? On the other hand, that Pravda is the source will most likely necessitate some way for the only remaining hyperpower to “save face” geopolitically.
I imagine General Dempsey is more than familiar with the infinitely complex dynamics of the Middle East hornets’ nest, not to mention polls showing that people in the U.S. do not want this war. How will Obama finesse this possible “failure” (to go to war) politically in the hornets’ nest that is Washington, D.C.? (P.S. check out talk of the new book on D.C. political, revolving door culture: This Town.)
August 27, 2013
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey said that the Syrian rebels could not promote U.S. interests at this stage. The “Hawk” who recently proposed five options of Syrian intervention has surrendered. The statement marked the position of the military that do not recommend a direct U.S. involvement in the conflict in Syria.
CBS channel quoted Dempsey who in his letter to a congressman from the state of New York Eliot Engel wrote that today in Syria the U.S. would have to choose between not two, but multiple parties. He added that the party that the U.S. chooses must be prepared to defend both its own and the U.S. interests when the balance shifts in its favor. Today, none of the parties is ready for it, the general said.
Congressman Engel asked for a clarification on the possible U.S. military action in Syria. In particular, he asked about the possibility of missile attacks on Syrian military air bases, which, in his opinion, would significantly help the “rebels” without the full engagement of the United States in ground operations. Dempsey said that the U.S. could destroy the Syrian Air Force and eliminate the capacity of “the Assad regime” to bomb the opposition from the air. However, according to him, this move would potentially increase the U.S. commitment to directly enter into a conflict without addressing its root causes.
The general wrote that the use of military force can change the military balance in various ways, but it will not solve the main ethnic, historical, religious and tribal issues that are fueling the conflict. He said that he believed that the U.S. could help in a humanitarian crisis on a much more significant scale. This is some amazing pacifism and wisdom for a military person.
According to Dempsey, Washington believes that any opposition that could now theoretically replace Bashar al-Assad, in fact, would not make things better, and may even make them worse. It seems that the bad experience of Afghanistan where the United States attempted to combine military action with bribes, coalition building, and humanitarian efforts in order to “win the hearts and minds of the Afghan people” served as a good lesson. The U.S. authorities fear a repeat of Afghanistan that has become a fertile ground for Osama bin Laden and “Al Qaeda.” Engel was not pleased with the general’s response. The congressman believes that the U.S. involvement in the Syrian conflict is a choice between the acceleration of the end of the regime of Bashar al-Assad and his continuation, rather than a choice between rebel groups.
Dempsey presented the Pentagon’s official position on the issue of intervention in Syria, and did it only a week after the publication of the five options of such interference. In addition to limiting air strikes, he proposed creation of a no-fly zone over the entire Syria, training of the opposition forces in safe areas, creation of buffer zones as a safe haven for militants, and destruction or seizure of chemical weapons.
What affected the general’s opinion? The statements were published almost immediately after another provocation about mass deaths of innocent Syrians by an alleged chemical attack of government troops. We can assume that the United States has evidence of who actually uses chemical weapons in Syria.
These suspicions are reinforced by simple thoughts about the reasons why the President of Syria would need to use chemical weapons on the second day after the beginning of the mission of the UN inspectors. Damascus now does not need such an attack with massive loss of life, as its superiority in an armed conflict is obvious.
During the last twelve years, the American “neo-conservatives” and other “hawks” of the war presented a military intervention in the Middle East as the only way to fight terrorism, promote stability in the region and guard democratic values. Last month, the Taliban opened an office in Doha (Qatar) to start peace negotiations with the U.S. However, the intervention in Afghanistan was carried out to destroy the Taliban.
After the U.S. left Iraq, the country plunged into chaos, its infrastructure is destroyed, there is an inter-religious war, two million refugees are on the verge of a humanitarian disaster, ancient Christian communities are destroyed, and the Iraqi government intends to cooperate with Iran. The U.S. intervention in Libya has led to the emergence of a nominal government that does not control the country and supplies Islamists throughout Africa.
A former ally, Egypt today is controlled by the military junta armed with the latest U.S. technology. The democratically elected government was overthrown, and “Muslim Brotherhood” chose to cooperate not with the U.S., but with Iran. Everywhere where democratic elections were held after the “Arab Spring,” governments with dubious prospects of support for the U.S. or Israel were elected.
During the twelve years of active war, the U.S. did not achieve the promotion of its interests in the region, on the contrary, it is losing its influence with the prospects of strengthening of anti-American sentiment. If the Syrian government troops are able to take key cities of Homs and Aleppo from terrorists, the war in Syria will end in a victory of Bashar al-Assad. This will be the first case of anti-American victory in the campaign since the collapse of the Soviet Union, and it would deal an unprecedented blow to the U.S. geopolitical power.