Syria: will peace plan mean world war?

Russia announced that it is preparing to deploy troops to police the borders of planned “de-escalation zones” in Syria after finalizing an agreement with Turkey and Iran. The word came from Russian negotiator Alexander Lavrentyev following the latest round of ongoing talks in the Kazakh capital, Astana. (Reuters, July 4) We’ve noted that the so-called “de-escalation zones” or “safe zones” could become kill zones, where Russia and Assad will be able to bomb with (even greater) impunity—as they will officially not be “safe” for ISIS, and Moscow and Damascus have long used the propaganda trick of conflating all rebel forces with ISIS. Now, with the US also sending ground troops to join the forces fighting ISIS, American and Russian soliders could find themselves in close proximity, with greater of odds of ending up shooting at each other—potentially leading to unparalleled catastrophe.

The US is already practically at war with Iranian-led forces in Syria. June 19 saw a fourth engagement in which the US fired on pro-regime forces in Syria. The fifth came the very next day, when a US warplane for a second time in less than a month shot down an Iranian dorne near the flash-point town of al-Tanf. (Fox News, June 20) Just hours later, there was yet another unnerving incident over the Baltic Sea as NATO and Russian warplanes came close to open confrontation. (BBC News, June 21)

Hours after that, Russia threatened to shoot down aircraft flown by the US and its allies west of the Euphrates—that is, outside the area where all the Great Powers are more or less unified against ISIS, and in the area where Russia and Iran are backing the Assad regime in its war on the Free Syrian Army and other rebels. (NYT, June 19)

President Trump is to sit down for an extended meeting with Vladimir Putin this week on the sidelines of the G-20 meeting in Hamburg. (LAT, July 4) Perhaps they will arrive at a modus operandi for respecting each other’s spheres of influence in Syria—which will not be particularly good news for the Syrians, but could at least contain the conflict from becoming further internationalized. Or, they may not…

There have been signs of both collusion and breach between Trump and Putin in recent weeks—each with dangers of their own. But we have noted how every “ceasefire” or “peace plan” in the Syrian war has actually presaged a massive escalation

  1. Pseudo-left shills for Trump-Putin axis… again

    Russophilic darling of the left Stephen F. Cohen spoke (yet again) with Fox News' Tucker Carlson—this time to hail the oleaginous Trump-Putin meeting in Hamburg as opening a "potentially historic new détente anti-Cold War partnership," to praise Trump as "politically courageous"—and to protest how Trump, Putin and Bashar Assad are being "demonized." He calls for Trump to pursue an "anti-terrorism alliance with the Kremlin," applauds that "we will side now with Russia and Assad"—and decries that this "will be assailed in Washington." He exalts Assad as "the protector of the Jews, of the Christians and of the non-jihadist Islamic population in Syria." 

    So here we have a contributing editor at The Nation appearing on Fox News to cheer on the collaboration of America's would-be despot and Russia's actual despot in building a global anti-terrorist police state, and portray the genocidal mass-murderer of the Syrian people Bashar Assad as their "protector."

    Canceled your subscription to The Nation yet?

  2. Trump goes full Nazi in Warsaw speech

    From the New York Times, July 6:

    Mr. Trump roused his Polish hosts by recounting the country's history of resistance to invaders, including Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. But he said nothing about the right-wing government’s crackdown on judges and journalists and its refusal to accept more migrants, policies that have upset European Union leaders. He instead praised Poland as a defender of liberty in the face of existential threats.

    "The fundamental question of our time is whether the West has the will to survive," he said. "Do we have the confidence in our values to defend them at any cost? Do we have enough respect for our citizens to protect our borders? Do we have the desire and the courage to preserve our civilization in the face of those who would subvert and destroy it?"

    Pretty hilarious that he invoked the Nazis while virtually paraphrasing Oswald Spengler, author of The Decline of the West (1918), a work that inspired Hitler and continues to inspire neo-Nazis like the Holocaust-revisionist Institute for Historical Review today… Pretty alarming how pratcailly no media outlets have picked up on this, although Salon alludes to it, at least…