By Federico Pieraccini
August 3, 2017
After months of debate over the bad state of relations between the United States and Russia, the G20 offered the stage for the two leaders to meet and start discussing the various problems facing the two countries. In the days following the summit in Hamburg, the Kremlin and the White House revealed that Putin and Trump met three times in bilateral talks to discuss how to improve relations between the two nations. The ceasefire reached in southern Syria is therefore intended as the first step in a new direction set for Washington and Moscow.
As was easy to foresee, the deep state did not like this prospect of cooperation, immediately unleashing the mainstream media on Trump, because repeated meetings with Putin at the G20 were apparently suggestive of some sort of collusion, as if the leaders of two nuclear powers cannot even speak with each other. Obviously uncomfortable with these meetings, the sabotaging of relations between Russia and the US has taken a new turn. The previous ceasefire in Syria, reached by Kerry and Lavrov during the previous administration a year ago, was sabotaged by the US Air Force’s bombing of Syrian troops at Deir ez-Zor, which killed and injured more than a hundred Syrian soldiers. This served to favor Daesh’s assault on government positions, hinting at some sort of cooperation between Washington and the terrorists. Moscow immediately interrupted any military-to-military communication with Washington, which included the ceasefire reached between Lavrov and Kerry.
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This time the strategy seems more refined and certainly does not lend itself to military action. Following the incident in Deir ez-Zor, the bombing of the Syrian base, and the downing of the Syrian Su-22, any further US military provocation would be met with a harsh response from the Russian side, risking an escalation that even the US military does not seem willing to to risk. For this reason, it seems that an approach that relies more on legislative means than military power has been chosen.
The Senate has overwhelmingly voted to impose new sanctions, the primary purpose of which is to deny the US President the ability to end sanctions on Russia without Moscow first demonstrating good will to resolve points of friction between the two countries. The areas of disagreement include the situation in Ukraine and Syria, nuclear weapons, an end to the alleged hacking of US elections, and the supposed intention of Moscow to invade the Baltic states. Obfuscation, lies and misinformation seem to be the driving force behind the Senate vote. The bill will end up on Trump’s desk, and at that point he will have to decide whether to sign it or not. If he signs it, it will obvioulsy limit his autonomy.
With Trump’s latest move, it is difficult to know whether he directly ordered the CIA to stop funding jihadists fighting Assad in Syria, or whether it was an independent choice of the CIA connected with other plans of which we are not aware. In any case, it seems to have particularly agitated the deep state, which now sees its destabilization plans for Syria hampered, with Moscow left in full control of the Syrian state and its fate.
The role of the deep state, in addition to enriching its components through the military-industrial complex, is based on the continued need for the United States to have enemies (read my complete series in parts 1, 2, 3 and 4), which requires major investments in armaments and intelligence agencies, two of the fundamental components of the deep state.
The 4+1 theory, in military terms, refers to the four major challenges facing the United States, plus a fifth, namely: Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, plus terrorism. Having four powerful enemies – regional if not global powers – such as China and Russia, creates the necessary conditions for the United States to continue to justify its presence in volatile regions like the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Eastern Europe. In all these areas, US attention is directed at one of these four challenges. The fifth danger, terrorism, acts as a corrosive that slowly erodes individual freedoms within the United States and its allies, justifying their continued presence in historically hostile territories like the Middle East under the guise of fighting terrorism, when in actual fact advancing their own geopolitical objectives. The bottom line remains the need for Washington to expand its own war machine over the whole planet, hoping to be able to influence every single issue with political, economic and military power or pressure. The end game is to prolong as long as possible the agony of a unipolar, American-dominated world order that is rapidly fading in the place of a fairer and more just multipolar world order.
American allies push for sabotage
With this latest Senate proposal, the deep state wants to eliminate the danger that Trump can exercise his own initiative to remove sanctions against Moscow and pursue the path of peace with Russia. A reconciliation with Moscow is viewed with particular suspicion by two main allies of the US in the region, that is to say, Israel and Saudi Arabia. There are no two other capitals that have more influential lobbies in Washington then Riyad and Tel Aviv. It is not surprising, then, that the American deep state, made up of many who are sympathetic to the Saudis and Israelis, views positively the sabotage of relations between Washington and Moscow. It is very likely that the Israeli and Saudi lobbies have spent considerable sums of money to push senators and congressmen to support this proposal.
Saudi Arabia and Israel have invested enormous amounts of money and political weight to the overthrow Assad, and the direction that the war in Syria is taking is likely to turn violently against them. Israel finds a Syrian state strengthened by alliances with Hezbollah, Russia, Iran, Lebanon and Iraq likely to render the Israeli hopes of controlled chaos in the region vain. Saudi Arabia, like Israel, is afraid of seeing the rebuilding the Shiite axis extending from Iran to the Mediterranean through Iraq and Syria. It is a nightmare for those who hoped to oust Assad, control Iraq and ultimately subdue under their own power all of the Middle East region. With Moscow’s intervention almost two years ago, Syria’s Assad resumed a triumphant march against Daesh and jihadist terrorism, cleaning up much of the nation and reversing the negative trend that threatened to break down the Baathist republic.
A rapprochement between Moscow and Washington is seen as a danger by Tel Aviv and Riyadh, which is why hostile relations between Russia and the US has become a rallying point for an alliance between liberals and neoconservatives in the United States, along with takfiris in Saudi Arabia and Zionists in Israel.
This axis opposed to any kind of rapprochement between Moscow and Washington has found many sponsors in the European political system; that is until the consequences of these new sanctions were made clear. Trump reiterated that the US objective is to sell LNG to European partners by becoming an energy-exporting nation. One of the direct effects of sanctions on Russia is the prevention of Europeans from collaborating with Russian energy companies, thereby sabotaging the plan for the North Stream 2 link and probably even the Turkish Stream integrating into the European pipeline network. Political reactions in Europe have not been missed, and understandably irritation has reached boiling point (including Moscow’s). It would also seem that schizophrenia seems to be a distinctive feature of the politicians of the old continent. The Baltic states fear a non-existent threat of a Russian invasion, while Germany and Austria complain of American interference in their strategic energy plans, considering it unacceptable.
A divided and inconsistent West drowns in its own discordant decisions. Trump, stupidly, initially tried to placate the deep state by offering Flynn’s head to the highest bidder. This only served to worsen the situation, bringing Trump to admit an unwavering attempt to hack US elections on the Russian side. To complete this disaster, missiles were launched against the Shayrat Airbase in Syria on the basis of fictitious evidence of a chemical attack on Syrian civilians by the Syrian Arab Air Force.
All of these choices have worsened the initial situation of the presidency, which now finds no more cartridges to fire in order to withstand the pressure of its senators to approve new sanctions. Trump decided to bend the knee and obey in hope of obtaining some kind of concessions from the deep state. This did not work, and now Trump is struggling for political survival.
It seems clear now that the Republican senators are in some way blackmailing Trump: so long as he does not fully give up on Russian rapprochement, the huge electoral promise of eliminating and replacing Obamacare will remain just a dream, causing him major damage. In this context, Trump seemed less prepared for the Washington hawks, and seems to have lost this important political battle.
It remains to be seen how effective the deep state will be in sabotaging these attempts of rapprochement between Washington and Moscow. The effects may be exactly the opposite, as already seen in the many failures of Washington’s strategic plans. The neocons/liberals and their regional allies in the Middle East continue to weaken American security by renouncing a partnership against terrorism, which would certainly benefit American citizens in the first place as well as calm the situation in the region. But then again, chaos is always the first choice of the American deep state for the purpose influencing events by fomenting violence and thereby advancing strategic goals and objectives. We can only hope that this time they have overplayed their hand and that European allies, or the Trump administration, will try to survive this new sabotage attempt.