Tuesday, September 23, 2014

America's Plan B, and the Houthi fly in the ointment

by Mindfriedo
From the start of the conflict in Syria, one thing has been conspicuously absent: Balance, tit for tat, and eye for an eye. Hafiz Al Assad understood these concepts well. He kept his friends close and his enemies closer. The Israelis and the great powers understand balance, at least when dealing with equals. Bashar was overtly loyal to Iran and the resistance, he should have seen things coming. His father would have. The Saudi's failed bid to woo Syria was the harbinger to Syria's ills. 
Bashar also did the one thing his father never did. He opened his doors to Turkey. Two states that have always harmed Syria, and every Syrian will tell you this, are Egypt and Turkey. With friends like these who needs Israel. 
The resistance has been fighting defensive. Slowly and self assuredly the empire, and it's  bully in the region, Israel, along with the other big crime families: Saudi, Qatar and Kuwait have been escalating the conflict against the resistance with impunity. The current advance of the Shia Houthis in Yemen, is a late yet visible response to the Empire's Daash (ISIS) project in Syria and Iraq. It has now forced the Saudis to talk to the "snake" Iran. Saudi Arabia may soon need its "moderate" 5000 strong Sunni army in the east rather than in far away Syria.
The steadfastness that the "spear tip" of Iran (Hezbollah) has shown has frustrated Israel at every turn. Israel has vented its frustration by hitting Gaza hard and by proving to the world that "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never harm me." It has also baited Hezbollah by pressing hard on Gaza. But has realised that the next war it fights will involve an invasion of Israel. 
But the Shia resistance, aided by Sunni fighters of Assad, and backed by Russia, has frustrated the Americans even more. One thing that now seems very clear is that what the US wanted, more than anything, was boots on the ground in Iraq. The  Shia political leadership in Iraq could be bought---as was the military leadership on the eve of Iraq's collapse---but not the older, deeper, and wise Hauza. Sistani's insistent opposition to any extension of US occupation, Sadr and Iran aiming for the same, made sure that the US could not stay. Maliki became immaterial to the US after that. 
Another approach was needed, and in came Daash. Like a disease incubated, the leadership of Daash coalesced while under US "detention." The United States provided humane living quarters for psychopaths and degenerates that should otherwise have been killed. Sistani's call to arms prevented Baghdad from falling, an eventuality that would have had Obama come to the rescue. 
Turkey is brazenly and self assuredly playing with fire. The Kurds in Syria are now fleeing to Turkey. Turkey that is inhuman enough to at first close its borders. Turkey that is making money off blood oil. Turkey that has had its hostages released. Turkey that wants a greater role and is unwilling to fight Daash. Turkey that is the strategic depth of Daash to the north. Turkey that is headed for disaster. For there is bound to be some move like the Houthi one against Saudi. Without balance the picture skews to one side. And that is naturally unacceptable. There is enough of an Allawi population in Turkey to start something as is the huge Kurdish refugee population. When and how the resistance pulls this off is going to be very interesting and heart warming. Like Ariel Sharon, Erdogan, a winner so far, is going to be loathed once he starts to loose (he is already loathed by half of Turkey's population).
In Iraq, everything is now pretence but transparent. The mask has now come off. The United States did not gets its reward(oil) for bringing "democracy" to Iraq. The oil is flowing in the wrong direction, and no body is paying the bill. So Iraq has to pay in lives. At a recent Sadr rally in the south of Baghdad, (http://www.ndtv.com/article/world/suspicions-run-deep-in-iraq-that-cia-and-the-islamic-state-are-united-595462?pfrom=home-lateststories) Shias and Sunnis said the same thing: Daash is CIA. The air strikes are placebos. The Great Satan is up to no good. 
The game, Empire against the Resistance, is on. 
PS: SITREPs will begin tomorrow, but will be twice a week
Two interesting stories from Syria's Ba'athist past:
Ali Duba was Hafez Al Assad's head of intelligence. So renowned/feared was he that when the uprising/project against Bashar started, Bashar is rumoured to have said to his people to get in line or he would bring back Ali Duba.
The first story is when Duba's son was kidnapped. The intelligence apparatus of the Syrian state was fast enough to locate the kidnappers in a village on the Syrian Lebanese border before the boy could be carried over. Duba surrounded the village with tanks and made the villagers an offer they could not refuse. He said either my son walks out, or nobody does. His son walked out.
The second was when Hafiz was visiting his home town. A neighbour of his, an old Allawite lady approached him and said that her conscripted son was posted far away from home. And that he as President could perhaps do something and bring him closer to home. When Hafiz remonstrated that his own sons were serving far away, she asked him not to worry, it was ok, she would ask Ali Duba.
In tomorrow's SITREP: the downfall of Ali Duba
To know very little about the man: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ali_Duba