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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 9/4/17

Syria: The Empire's Defeat

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Message Jean-Luc Basle

An ill-conceived strategy leads to failure. A strategy is defined by its objective. The Empire's objective is to dominate the world. But, several nations refuse to subject themselves to its will. The Empire is failing in these countries.

In Afghanistan, the goal is no longer to win the war but to "avoid losing it". In Iran, Donald Trump wants to tear up the nuclear agreement of July 2015. But, Iran is in compliance, as confirmed by the IAEA's report of June 14. His statement: "If it was up to me, I would have had them [Iran] noncompliant 180 days ago" did not go down well with the other signatories to the agreement (China, France, Russia, Britain and Germany). In North Korea, the only solution is a dialogue without preconditions, as advocated by Russia and China. In Syria, the Empire is facing defeat.

Syria is a major player on the Middle East chess board. It was supposed to crumble immediately after Iraq, according to the Empire's plan. But, the Empire is powerless when confronted with a people who would rather die than surrender. Syria is a repeat of the Vietnam War with a twist. Unlike Vietnam which is populated by one ethnic group, Syria is composed of a multitude of ethnic and religious groups -- a factor the Empire was counting on to submit it. Lo and behold, the opposite happened. Unexpectedly, Syrians rallied behind Bashar al-Assad -- quite a surprising performance for a "dictator".

The Syrian leader with the help of his allies, is about to win the war. He has made it clear he wants to recover all of Syria, including the Golan Heights. Not surprisingly, Benjamin Netanyahu is frantic over the upcoming disaster. Adding insult to injury, neither Donald Trump nor Vladimir Putin is prepared to come to his rescue. Israel is isolated as never before. Reportedly, in his meeting with Vladimir Putin, last week, he threatened to bomb the Syrian Presidential Palace -- not a very smart move. World opinion has no stomach for another Libya style destruction. According to analyst Eric Zuesse, "the only way to prevent Israel from invading Syria" would be to overthrow and replace U.S. President Trump by Vice President Mike Pence, who is a fundamentalist Christian whose entire career in public office has been unwaveringly pro-Israel."*

This would be tantamount to a coup d'e'tat" and would lead to "boots on the ground" and the creation of a "no-fly zone". Asked what this would mean by the Senate in February, Army Chief of Staff Joseph Dunford answered: "For us to control all the air space in Syria would require us to go to war against Syria and Russia. That's a pretty fundamental decision that I am certainly not going to make." The confrontational policy advocated by the neoconservatives and Israel leads to an impasse, unless one is willing to contemplate a nuclear holocaust. Of course, one may surmise that Putin will cave in and withdraw from Syria, but this is most unlikely at this stage of the game.

The time has come for the political elite in Washington DC to come to its senses and forgo its unattainable goal. The United States is the most powerful country in the world, economically, financially, and militarily. It should behave as a benign leader, not as a hegemon.

*Netanyahu Intends to Assassinate Assad; Will U.S. Allow It? Eric Zuesse, August 31, 2017.

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Former Vice President Citigroup New York (retired) Columbia University -- Business School Princeton University -- Woodrow Wilson School

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