What Does Russia Want in Syria?

October 6, 2015 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - The Western media has portrayed Russia's recent joint anti-terror security operations with the Syrian government as a means of expanding its influence beyond its borders. CNN in its article, "Petraeus accuses Putin of trying to re-establish Russian Empire," would go as far as claiming:
One of America's top former generals compared the situation in Syria Tuesday to a historic nuclear disaster, implicitly criticizing the U.S. for allowing it to worsen, and accused Russia's President of trying to re-establish an empire.
CNN would also report:
Russian moves in Syria are designed to bolster and hold on to their naval base and airstrip along the Mediterranean coast of Syria, and shore up the al-Assad regime in order to preserve Russian influence in the Middle East, Petraeus said.

"I think that what Vladimir Putin would like to do is resurrect the Russian empire," he said.
Ironically, the United States maintains over 800 military bases around the world while occupying Afghanistan since 2001 and carrying out armed operations everywhere from Somalia, Yemen, Iraq, and Syria to the borders of Pakistan. Russia's only overseas base is in fact the naval facility mentioned by Petraeus. Petraeus never elaborates on how despite such obvious disparity between Russia and America regarding foreign policy, why Russia is suspected of pursuing "empire" while the US is not then completely guilty of already establishing and fighting desperately to maintain an immense one.

Image: Russians at their one and only overseas military complex in Syria - and they are there upon the invitation of the long-standing, legitimate government of Syria. 
While undoubtedly Russia's cooperation with the Syrian government indicates Moscow's ability to project power beyond its borders, it has done so only at the request of the legitimate government of Syria, and only after all other possible options have been exhausted.

And despite many having depicted Syria's ongoing crisis as a "civil war," it is abundantly clear that it is nothing of the sort, with terrorists receiving the summation of their material support, and many of their fighters even from over Syria's borders, not from within them.

Stopping Global Blitzkrieg 

In 2011, when the United States and its collaborators in NATO and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) set out to destroy the North African nation-state of Libya, it was portrayed as an isolated intervention based upon the geopolitical doctrine of "responsibility to protect" - or in other words - an alleged humanitarian intervention.

US Upstaged at UN General Assembly - Who's to Blame?

October 2, 2015 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - The UN General Assembly this year celebrated its 70th anniversary which is why more leaders than usual attended and participated. While the speeches were typical and mostly irrelevant for people already well-informed about world events, there was one particular point to note that made this gathering more telling than most.

It wasn't a point that could be discerned by simply watching the speeches play out on the floor of the General Assembly hall, but rather revealed itself in the reaction to the speeches by American policymakers online.

While they predictably railed against the speech presented by Russian President Vladimir Putin, they also derided US President Barack Obama for being upstaged by his Russian counterpart. But it wasn't President Obama's shortcomings nor that of his speechwriters that led to this apparent humiliation. It was American policy itself, owed to the very policymakers being derisive.

Contrary to popular belief, American policy is not created by politicians either in the Oval Office or in Congress. Instead, doctrine, war plans, domestic and foreign economic policy, and geopolitical and strategic plans laid out for years to come, originate in corporate-financier funded think tanks and among the army of academics, industry leaders, and other lobbyists of special interests employed by them. These think tanks and the policymakers that work within them are unelected, transcending political party lines, and political administrations. 

The fact that a Democratic US president expanded the wars of his Republican predecessor, and provoked those this Republican opponents failed to implement during their term, illustrates perfectly the continuity of agenda prevalent in Western politics. Like the US often accuses its competitors around the world, the United States itself is ruled by an oligarchy of special interests who simply dress up their singular agenda as partisan politics to maintain the illusion of representative governance.

Their wars which in reality serve the singular purpose of achieving and maintaining global geopolitical socioeconomic hegemony are dressed up as "defending the homeland" under Republicans, and "humanitarian interventions" under Democrats. In following the unwarranted wealth and influence wrought from such wars, it can be seen clearly for what purpose they are truly waged. 

Thus, the criticism from across American foreign policy circles in the wake of the UN General Assembly, reveals precisely where America's true problems lie. It was their policy that President Obama was attempting to present to the world at the UN General Assembly. President Obama wasn't upstaged because he is a poor orator or because he depends on incompetent speechwriters, but because nothing the United States is truly doing around the world could be honestly presented to the public, leaving only the same tired rhetoric and boundless hypocrisy that even the least observant among us are beginning to notice.

This can best be illustrated in Syria, where the United States claims to be committed to defeating terrorism, all while it transparently supports terrorist militants in its goal to overthrow the government in Damascus. Thus, President Obama's talking points during the UN General Assembly regarding Syria rang particularly hollow. Conversely, when Russia stated that it planned to defeat terrorism in Syria, the world could already see clearly that it has been Russia supporting the only force within Syria's borders confronting terrorism - the government in Damascus.

American policymakers don't appear to realize or at least be willing to accept that it is they and the special interests they serve that are responsible for America's decline, its unpopularity, and the rise of competitors able to upstage the US in front of the UN General Assembly, and upon the stage of geopolitics.

These policymakers responsible for America's current course will never admit that they are not as smart as they believe themselves to be, or that their poor judgement, petty ambitions, egos, and plain incompetence has led to this irreparable decline in American legitimacy and influence.

And because they can never admit it, they can do nothing to resolve it. But maybe that is for the better.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazineNew Eastern Outlook”.   

US Complains As Russia Bombs its Terrorists

October 1, 2015 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - The New York Times in its recent article, "Russians Strike Targets in Syria, but Not ISIS Areas," attempts to frame Russia's recent actions in Syria as dishonest and dangerous. It reports:
Russian aircraft carried out a bombing attack against Syrian opposition fighters on Wednesday, including at least one group trained by the C.I.A., eliciting angry protests from American officials and plunging the complex sectarian war there into dangerous new territory.

This of course would only make Russia's actions dishonest or dangerous if groups trained by the US CIA were in fact the "moderates" the US claims they are. However, they are not, and thus Russia's actions are duly justified as is the expansion of their current policy.

There Are no Moderates, and There Never Were

For months now, after years of headlines confirming the US has been covertly arming militants in Syria for the purpose of overthrowing the government in Damascus, a narrative revolving around tens of thousands of these militants "defecting" to Al Nusra and the so-called "Islamic State" (ISIS/ISIL) has been peddled to the public by the Western media and US politicians to account for the apparent failure of America's alleged policy of creating an army of "moderates" to both fight ISIS/Al Qaeda and the Syrian government.

In reality, from the beginning, there were never any moderates. Starting as early as 2007, years before the war in Syria began, the US as a matter of policy had long since decided to intentionally fund and support the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood - for all intents and purposes the political wing of Al Qaeda - and begin arming militants affiliated with Al Qaeda itself.

The Western Media Is Dying and Here's Why

September 28, 2015 (Tony Cartalucci - NEO) - Seymour Hersh has risked much over his decades of journalism. He is a true journalist who has been attacked, slandered, and shunned by all sides simply because he seems to resist taking any side.

When he reported on US atrocities in Vietnam, he was first attacked and denounced as a traitor or worse. In time, both the truth and Hersh were vindicated and the importance of what he did as a journalist to both inform the public and serve as a check and balance against the special interests of ruling power were recognized with a Pultizer Prize. 

In 2007, when he exposed the then Bush-administration's plans to use the Muslim Brotherhood and militant groups linked to Al Qaeda to overthrow the government of Syria - the result of which is unfolding today - the New Yorker gladly welcomed his work as a message they perceived would resonate well with liberal audiences. 

But then in 2013, when Hersh brought forward information contradicting the West's official narrative regarding a chemical attack on the outskirts of Damascus, the New Yorker decided not to publish it. His report, "Whose Sarin?" instead found itself published in the London Review of Books. 

The story of Hersh bringing this information forward to the public and how the Western media attempted to first discourage it, then bury it, before attempting to discredit both the report and Hersh himself is a microcosm of the dying Western media. 

The Final Nail 

Hersh's  report went on in detail covering the manner in which Western leaders intentionally manipulated or even outright fabricated intelligence to justify military intervention in Syria - eerily similar to the lies told to justify the invasion and occupation of Iraq, and the escalation of the war in Vietnam after the Gulf of Tonkin incident 

And not only did the report punch holes through the official narrative, it helped hobble what little momentum was left for Western military aggression against Syria based on the lies told by the US and its allies regarding the chemical attack.

In Hersh's follow up report, "
The Red Line and the Rat Line," also published by the London Review of Books, he revealed information not only further exposing the lies told by the US and its allies, but suggested NATO member Turkey and close US-ally Saudi Arabia may have played a role in supplying those responsible for the attack with the chemical weapons.

Should Hersh's reports reach wider audiences and the idea of a West capable of conceiving, carrying out, then trying to exploit a crime against humanity to justify expanded, unjust war, Western foreign policy would irrevocably be disfigured and perhaps begin to unravel.

Know World War II, Avoid World War III

September 27, 2015 (Tony Cartalucci - LD) - An Asian state aggressively expanding its military, bullying its neighbors, illegally fortifying islands, and bent on regional, then global domination - sound familiar? Are you thinking it's China 2015? No, it is Japan 1937-1944.

So shockingly similar is American propaganda regarding Japan during World War II to the propaganda being leveled against Beijing today that it seems almost intentional. Or perhaps those on Wall Street and Washington think so little of the general public's ability to discern fact from fiction, they see no reason to revise the script and are going ahead with a remake faithful to the original with only a few minor casting twists.

This US government production is titled "Why We Fight: A Series of Seven Information Films" with this particular part titled, "The Battle of China" released in 1944.

It describes Japan almost verbatim as how the US today describes China. China is depicted as a righteous victim - but as the film elaborates - it is clear that any affinity shown toward the Chinese people is only due to the fact that the US held significant economic and geopolitical interests there. Admittedly, the US military was already occupying China after extorting through "gunboat diplomacy" concessions from China's subjugated, servile government - not unlike US troops occupying Japan today, hosted by a capitulating government in Tokyo.

Japan in the film is depicted as a "blood crazed" race of barbarians, while the Chinese are depicted as noble resistors. Of course, this narrative shifted immediately as soon as US interests were ousted from China and US troops began occupying and shaping the destiny of conquered Japan after the war.

The Warning Then are Warnings Now

US Marine Corps General Smedley Butler in his book "War is a Racket" would specifically warn about a military build up aimed at Japan for the jealous preservation of American conquests in Asia Pacific. Speaking specifically about these conquests, General Butler would say:
What does the "open door" policy to China mean to us? Our trade with China is about $90,000,000 a year. Or the Philippine Islands? We have spent about $600,000,000 in the Philippines in thirty-five years and we (our bankers and industrialists and speculators) have private investments there of less than $200,000,000. 

Then, to save that China trade of about $90,000,000, or to protect these private investments of less than $200,000,000 in the Philippines, we would be all stirred up to hate Japan and go to war -- a war that might well cost us tens of billions of dollars, hundreds of thousands of lives of Americans, and many more hundreds of thousands of physically maimed and mentally unbalanced men. 

Of course, for this loss, there would be a compensating profit -- fortunes would be made. Millions and billions of dollars would be piled up. By a few. Munitions makers. Bankers. Ship builders. Manufacturers. Meat packers. Speculators. They would fare well. 

Yes, they are getting ready for another war. Why shouldn't they? It pays high dividends.

Of provoking Japan, he would state specifically that:
At each session of Congress the question of further naval appropriations comes up. The swivel-chair admirals of Washington (and there are always a lot of them) are very adroit lobbyists. And they are smart. They don't shout that "We need a lot of battleships to war on this nation or that nation." Oh no. First of all, they let it be known that America is menaced by a great naval power. Almost any day, these admirals will tell you, the great fleet of this supposed enemy will strike suddenly and annihilate 125,000,000 people. Just like that. Then they begin to cry for a larger navy. For what? To fight the enemy? Oh my, no. Oh, no. For defense purposes only. 

Then, incidentally, they announce maneuvers in the Pacific. For defense. Uh, huh. 

The Pacific is a great big ocean. We have a tremendous coastline on the Pacific. Will the maneuvers be off the coast, two or three hundred miles? Oh, no. The maneuvers will be two thousand, yes, perhaps even thirty-five hundred miles, off the coast.

The Japanese, a proud people, of course will be pleased beyond expression to see the United States fleet so close to Nippon's shores. Even as pleased as would be the residents of California were they to dimly discern through the morning mist, the Japanese fleet playing at war games off Los Angeles.
Incidentally, General Butler's warning of provoking war to fulfill the ambitions of lobbyists in Washington and to protect America's ill-gotten holding in Asia Pacific, would come to full and devastating fruition.

Today, a similar scenario plays out verbatim. The US seeks to expand its military in Asia Pacific to preserve what US policy makers call "US primacy over Asia," and has been intentionally provoking China, by flying, sailing, and otherwise maneuvering just at the edge of Chinese territory.

In addition they have attempted to encircle China with military bases from South Korea and Japan to as far south as Darwin, Australia, and as far west as Afghanistan, all while attempting to carve off Chinese territory in the Xinjiang and Tibet regions, destabilize Hong Kong, and stitching together Southeast Asia into an supranational bloc with which to isolate and threaten China with economically and militarily. Political subversion underwritten by the US State Department is ongoing in Xinjiang through the use of Uyghur terrorists, Tibet via the Dali Lama, Myanmar via Aung San Suu Kyi and her "Saffron monks," Thailand through the Shinawatra family and their ultra-violent "red shirt" mobs, Malaysia via Anwar Ibrahim and his Bersih street movement, and Hong Kong via the so-called "Umbrella revolution."

Despite this effort, American designs are failing, and China has likely learned many lessons before, during, and after World War II. Asian nations who seek regional peace and stability as well as cooperation with Beijing, have also learned much about the inner-working of US hegemony and how to confound it.

Beijing is unlikely to exhibit the hubris and impatience of the Japanese in World War II, or allow themselves to be provoked into an unwinnable war. Beijing is also well aware that as impressive as America's grand strategy of geopolitically and militarily encircling China may be, it is failing on all fronts.

China has learned these lessons of history, and by examining history ourselves, we can see how the US provoked, then framed the war with Japan during World War II, and how it is using precisely the same tricks today against China.