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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 12/28/18

Syria: here's what it's all about; the underlying reasons for this terrible bloody war

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Message Michael Payne

Syrian winter: Owner: FreedomHouse at

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Trump, the "lame duck" president who is on his way out the door, has just set off a massive firestorm in Washington, D.C. with the announcement that he is going to remove all U.S. troops from the bloody war in Syria. Washington D.C., including the Congress, the military establishment, and various foreign affairs experts and observers were shocked and stunned after hearing that news.

In a very short time, Secretary of Defense James Mattis announced that he was resigning and would leave the Trump administration at the end of February. He indicated he is resigning in protest of the move that he has called a monumental mistake. Trump, upon hearing of his resignation and the reasons he stated, immediately fired him.

It's been widely reported that "Mattis's resignation letter was the sharpest, and most public, protest from inside the Trump administration over the president's rejection of the alliances and relationships that have underpinned American security since the end of World War II." Washington is in an uproar over this controversial move,, one that is not going to die down in the near future.

I have a very different view than Trump relative to the Syrian situation. He wants to pull our troops out of that country because he believes that ISIS has now been defeated and that terrorist group is no longer a threat in that country.

I think that our troops should be removed from that country but for an entirely different reason; because they should never have been sent to that country in the first place, that their illegal entry into Syria was in no way justifiable.

My position on this issue was clearly stated in this article that I wrote back in September 2015, the purpose of which was to identify and report on the specific root causes of that war, based on the facts and evidence gathered from some of the best, highly respected Middle East experts.

Many of my conclusions were based on the excellent writings and conclusions made by one of the very best Middle Eastern and Eurasian affairs experts, Pepe Escobar, who for many years was the main writer for the Asian Times website. There are few of his kind who can match his expert views and conclusions in these regions of the world.

Here are some excerpts from the article:

"This situation is very complex and there is much confusion over who initiated this civil war; who is the most responsible and the most guilty, and how and it will ever be resolved. We must not just accept the usual explanations that are offered up by this government or the controlled national media but, instead, think deeper to try to develop the most plausible underlying causes.

With that in mind let's turn our attention to the vast oil and natural gas reserves in the Middle East and the transit systems that are used to deliver these resources to other countries. When we speak of pipelines it should be understood that a tremendous competition currently exists for delivery of natural gas to many of the European nations.

The country of Qatar has substantial reserves of gas which it badly wants to sell to these European countries, to take the business away from Russia, the current major supplier, and prevent Iran from doing the same in the future. The favored, most expeditious route for the Qatar gas pipeline is via Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Syria, to Turkey and then to Europe.

The problem is that President Assad of Syria, who initially signed off on the routing this pipeline through his country did an about-face and backed out of the deal. And that was what then triggered this massive, bloody conflict that has devastated the country of Syria and its people.

Quite likely Assad did it because he decided to align himself with the planned development of the competing Iran,-Iraq-Syria pipeline. That move on his part is why many geopolitical experts say that this clash between Syria and Iran (with Russia in the background) on the one side and Qatar/Saudi Arabia and the U.S. on the other, was the main reason why this conflict erupted.

Is it logical to think that competition over a pipeline route could actually cause such a massive war and crisis? Well, many past wars were started over much less important issues; and in this situation, the European gas market represents mega-billions of business for whoever is the major supplier and controls the method of delivery."

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