October 14, 2016
With the recent events transpiring in Syria – the U.S. bombing of Syrian government soldiers in Deir ez Zour and the subsequent sabre rattling of the United States and Russia – it is clear to anyone paying attention that the world is edging closer to the possibility of a major confrontation between two world nuclear powers. Such a confrontation would spell disaster not only for the populations of those countries but also for the entire earth if the full military power of Russia and the United States are ever set loose.
While panic is never the best option and constantly proclaiming that the end of the world is nigh is often an attempt to promote products and attract attention, we cannot ignore signs that the world is marching toward an abyss which, if pushed too far, it may not be able to step back from.
Over the past few weeks, however, the world, at the behest of the United States and NATO powers, has taken steps in that unfortunate direction. Indeed, the last two weeks have been a time of increasing sabre rattling on the part of the warmongering West and a statement of defiance by Russia, Syria, Iran, and now China.
The Kirby Warning
In the wake of the collapse of the ceasefire agreement in Syria during which neither the United States nor its terrorist pets abided by any of the terms of the agreements and where the United States ended up bombing Syrian military soldiers in Deir ez Zour in support of ISIS, a war of words ensued between the State Department spokesman, Samantha Power, and Russia’s Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman, Maria Zhakarova.
Yet U.S. State Department spokesman, John Kirby was not to be outdone in rhetoric and threats when he issued a thinly veiled warning to Russia by essentially saying that, if Russia did not knuckle under and play ball with the United States on Syria, the consequences would be terrorism in Russian cities and more Russian soldiers coming home in body-bags.
“Extremist groups will continue to exploit the vacuums that are there in Syria to expand their operations, which could include attacks against Russian interests, perhaps even Russian cities. Russia will continue to send troops home in body bags, and will continue to lose resources, perhaps even aircraft,” he said.
Zhakarova hit back on social media by writing,
And those [acts of terrorism] will be perpetrated by ‘moderate’ [Syrian opposition groups]? Just the ones that Washington has been unable to separate from Al-Nusra for as long as six months?
[What about] Terrorist attacks in France, America and other countries; the beheadings of people of all nationalities by Islamic State militants in Syria – is this all kind of a different paradigm? Perhaps another ‘parallel reality?’
Don’t you think that such ventriloquism about ‘body bags,’ ‘terrorist attacks in Russian cities’ and ‘loss of aircraft,’ sounds more like a ‘get ’em’ command, rather than a diplomatic comment?
Indeed, it seems that the U.S. is taking a page out of the Saudi book in terms of its threats. The Kirby statement is eerily reminiscent of the statements made by Saudi Arabia that, if Russia did not abandon Syria, the terrorist groups that KSA controls would be set loose to commit attacks on Russian soil. Kirby’s statement was certainly a more veiled threat, but only veiled with the slightest of nuance.
U.S. Suspends Bilateral Talks With Russia
Shortly after Kirby’s statement and threats to cut bilateral talks with Russia over the Syrian crisis, the United States did, in fact, sever those talks. While military-to-military communication and official government-to-government communications remain intact, all discussions over the ceasefire agreement and diplomatic solutions to the crisis were officially ended.
As Ryan Browne of CNN reported on October 4,
The US announced Monday it is "suspending its participation in bilateral channels with Russia" that had come about as part of the short-lived cessation of hostilities in Syria.
"This is not a decision that was taken lightly," State Department spokesman John Kirby said in a statement announcing the suspension.
Secretary of State John Kerry, who spent months negotiating with his Russian counterpart in order to bring about a ceasefire in Syria, spoke Tuesday about the end of bilateral talks and emphasized that the US was not giving up on peace or the Syrian people.
"Yesterday, as most of you saw, the United States announced our decision to suspend the bilateral discussions with Russia on the re-institution of the cessation of the hostilities agreement. A decision that, believe me, does not come lightly," Kerry told an audience in Brussels, Belgium, while speaking on Transatlantic relations.
The head of Russia’s Foreign Affairs Committee, Konstantin Kosachev, stated that “Russia has striven for continuing dialogue with the US on Syria until the last moment, and only our position was keeping the chance to launch a stable peace process alive.”
The U.S. decision to halt talks was largely as a result of the Russian military assistance being given to the Syrian military such as the bombing of terrorist positions in Aleppo, a move that has angered Washington since it has been supporting the terrorist forces since day one.
Russia Suspends Plutonium Deal With U.S.
In another response to increased anti-diplomatic behavior of the United States, Russia announced that it was suspending the Plutonium Disposition Pact, a nuclear accord between the two countries that was, at one time, seen as a symbol of a new era of cooperation between Russia and the U.S. This accord is a mutual pact requiring both parties to destroy excess weapons grade plutonium by recycling 34 tons of of the material per year on the march toward nuclear non-proliferation. The agreement had been signed in 2000.
Russian President Vladmir Putin stated the reason for the ending of Russian participation in the agreement was due to “the emergence of a threat to strategic stability and as a result of unfriendly actions by the United States of America towards the Russian Federation” and “inability of the United States to ensure the implementation of its obligations to utilize surplus weapons-grade plutonium.”
As David Filipov writes for the Washington Post,
Citing “unfriendly actions” by the United States, the Kremlin announced Monday that Russia would suspend a landmark agreement to dispose of surplus weapons-grade plutonium, yet another sign of deteriorating relations between the two countries.
In a decree released by the Kremlin, President Vladimir Putin said Moscow would consider a resumption of the accord only if Washington agreed to several sweeping conditions. Among them: reducing the American military presence in NATO countries near Russia’s border, canceling all sanctions against Russia and compensating Moscow for losses resulting from those sanctions.
The largely symbolic move reversed an agreement once hailed as an example of successful U.S.-Russian cooperation, and comes at a low point in post-Cold War relations between Moscow and Washington.
Following President Putin’s statement the Russian Foreign Ministry added that the United States “done all it could to destroy the atmosphere encouraging cooperation.”
U.S. Considering Striking The Syrian Military
Shortly after the suspension of bilateral talks, the U.S. media began reporting on the possibility that the United States would launch strikes against the Syrian military, particularly in Aleppo where the SAA is engaged in a fierce battle to liberate the largest city in Syria. The justification for the strikes would be the need to “make Assad pay a price” for his alleged violations of the ceasefire. The reports came as the result of “leaks” and information provided to mainstream news organizations by anonymous official sources.
Some believe these “leaks” were simply a method of suggesting a strike on Syrian forces to gauge the Russian response without officially committing to the intent to launch airstrikes.
Josh Rogin of the Washington Post put forward a standard mainstream report of the possibility of a U.S. airstrike campaign on October 4. He wrote,
U.S. military strikes against the Assad regime will be back on the table Wednesday at the White House, when top national security officials in the Obama administration are set to discuss options for the way forward in Syria. But there’s little prospect President Obama will ultimately approve them.
Inside the national security agencies, meetings have been going on for weeks to consider new options to recommend to the president to address the ongoing crisis in Aleppo, where Syrian and Russian aircraft continue to perpetrate the deadliest bombing campaign the city has seen since the five-year-old civil war began. A meeting of the Principals Committee, which includes Cabinet-level officials, is scheduled for Wednesday. A meeting of the National Security Council, which could include the president, could come as early as this weekend.
Last Wednesday, at a Deputies Committee meeting at the White House, officials from the State Department, the CIA and the Joint Chiefs of Staff discussed limited military strikes against the regime as a means of forcing Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad to pay a cost for his violations of the cease-fire, disrupt his ability to continue committing war crimes against civilians in Aleppo, and raise the pressure on the regime to come back to the negotiating table in a serious way.
The options under consideration, which remain classified, include bombing Syrian air force runways using cruise missiles and other long-range weapons fired from coalition planes and ships, an administration official who is part of the discussions told me. One proposed way to get around the White House’s long-standing objection to striking the Assad regime without a U.N. Security Council resolution would be to carry out the strikes covertly and without public acknowledgment, the official said.
The CIA and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, represented in the Deputies Committee meeting by Vice Chairman Gen. Paul Selva, expressed support for such “kinetic” options, the official said. That marked an increase of support for striking Assad compared with the last time such options were considered.
“There’s an increased mood in support of kinetic actions against the regime,” one senior administration official said. “The CIA and the Joint Staff have said that the fall of Aleppo would undermine America’s counterterrorism goals in Syria.”
Russia Threatens To Shoot Down American Jets
But the Russians quickly responded to the unofficial official American preparations for airstrikes against the Syrian military. Very soon after the mainstream reports were posted, the Russian Defense Ministry responded that Russia would consider any missiles or airstrikes launched against Syrian government-held territory as threat to Russian personnel and would respond in an appropriate manner, i.e. shoot the missile/planes down.
Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Gen. Igor Konashenkov stated,
Therefore, any missile or air strikes on the territory controlled by the Syrian government will create a clear threat to Russian servicemen.
Russian air defense system crews are unlikely to have time to determine in a ‘straight line’ the exact flight paths of missiles and then who the warheads belong to.
And all the illusions of amateurs about the existence of ‘invisible’ jets will face a disappointing reality.
Of particular concern is information that the initiators of such provocations are representatives of the CIA and the Pentagon, who in September reported to the [US] President on the alleged controllability of ‘opposition’ fighters, but today are lobbying for ‘kinetic’ scenarios in Syria,” he said.
Konashenkov went on to say that the Russian military has ordered the deployment of not only S-300 but also S-400 units in Syria in order to protect its forces on the ground. Russia has also reportedly sent an additional number of S-300 units as well as Antei-2500 units to Syria as well as more bombers and attack planes. In addition, Russia Beyond The Headlines reports that Russia is sending two missile ships to the Mediterranean in mid-October. Konashenkov also pointed out that the Syrian air defense systems have been updated as well with the implementation of Russian technology.
Mortar Attack On The Russian Embassy
While a single mortar attack on an embassy might not be the greatest indication of World War 3 when taken on its own merit, when one considers the ominous warning (or thinly veiled threat) coming from State Department Spokesman John Kirby that Russia may see terror attacks in its cities and Russian soldiers coming home in body bags if it does cooperate on Syria, the fact that a mortar attack would take place at the Russian embassy shortly after the statement was uttered is thus a monumental development.
One of the mortar shells, fired from a district controlled by rebels, exploded close to the guard post in front of the embassy, while another detonated near the entrance to the consular office, the ministry said in a statement.
The embassy compound was strewn with shrapnel, but none of embassy staff were hurt, it said. It said material damage was being assessed.
Chinese Involvement In Syria
While the United States, NATO, Israel, and the GCC are clearly maintaining a unified front, the Russians, Iranians, Hezbollah, and Syria have been brought together in an apparent loose coalition of mutual interest. Despite all the military might of the Russians and the determination of the Syrians, the latter military coalition has long seemed at a disadvantage considering the condition and prowess of the former as well as the economic disadvantage of the latter. However, with the recent entrance of China to the Syrian scene, tepid as it may be, the balance of power seems to be shifting to that of a more even playing field.
As Sputnik reported,
On Monday, Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Li Baodong said that the positions of Beijing and Moscow coincide on the Syrian issue. Speaking to Sputnik, Chinese and Russian analysts confirmed that recent events have demonstrated that the two countries are quickly building a sustainable strategic partnership in their response to the Syrian crisis.
Speaking at a briefing in Beijing, Li said that "China and Russia hold the same position on the most important international and regional issues," including the conflicts in Syria and Afghanistan. "The two countries, being permanent members of the UN Security Council, continue to cooperate closely on international and regional issues," Li added, noting that President Xi Jinping looks forward to meeting with President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the upcoming BRICS summit in Goa later this week to discuss the most pressing issues of regional and international politics. Li's words on Russian-Chinese cooperation in Syria were confirmed in practice on Saturday, when China voted in favor of a Russian draft resolution aimed at resolving the Syrian crisis at the UN Security Council. China justified its vote by explaining that the Russian proposal would be the surest way to ensure a cessation of hostilities, humanitarian access, and a more effective joint fight against terror. Chinese UN envoy Liu Jieyi expressed regret that the Russian proposal was not adopted after being blocked by the US and its allies.
According to the South China Morning Post, the Chinese military was supposed to begin providing assistance and aid to the Syrian government, an agreement which was made on August 14.
The decision was made after a rare visit by special envoy Xie Xiaoyan, the former Chinese Ambassador to Iran, in March. In addition, the Chinese military delegation to Syria, which was headed by Chinese rear admiral Guan Youfei, the Director of International Cooperation at the Central Military Commission, met with the Syrian Vice Prime Minister, Fahd Jassem al-Freij, and the Syrian Minister of Defense.
“They reached consensus on enhancing personnel training, and Chinese military offering humanitarian aid to Syria,” said a report by Xinhua news agency.
Al-Freij thanked the Chinese government as well as the Chinese military which stated, via Guan, that the Chinese PLA is willing to continue cooperation with the Syrian military.
According to the South China Post, “Guan also met Lieutenant General Sergei Chvarkov, chief of the Russian centre for reconciliation of opposing sides in Syria on Monday.”
China sets to benefit by an end to the Syrian crisis or at least the ability of the Syrian government to continue to attrite terrorists fighting on its territory due to its concerns over the Uighur element fighting not only in Syria but also in Chinese territory.
Uighur separatists have long been fighting for “independence” from the oppressive Chinese government. However, the Uighurs are themselves fanatical in nature and maintain ties to Turkey’s Grey Wolves terrorist organization as well as NATO’s Operation Gladio.
Regardless, Chinese cooperation with Syria is no doubt welcomed by the Syrian government that is currently mopping up terrorists all across the country but can still use all the help it can get.
The United States is clearly marching itself toward a confrontation with not one but two world powers. China has its own goals of empire and the Russians have given every indication that, while they are willing to stay within their own borders and concern themselves only with Russia, they are not going to allow their country to be encircled and broken apart nor are they willing to let every single ally and strategic interest be pulled out from under them in a death of a thousand cuts.
It is now time for the United States to back away from its plans to destroy Syria and, at the very least, have some sense of self-preservation and realize when it is time to pull back. The U.S. must not allow itself to continue to act as the battering ram for the Anglo-American agenda of world hegemony and empirical harmonization. Aside from the legal and moral implications of the war on Syria, it is becoming more and more clear that there are other powers in the world who are not willing to go see easily into that dark night this time around.
Brandon Turbeville – article archive here – is the author of seven books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom, 7 Real Conspiracies, Five Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 andvolume 2, The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria, and The Difference it Makes: 36 Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Should Never Be President. Turbeville has published over 850 articles on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s radio show Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV. His website is BrandonTurbeville.com He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com.
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