Friday, October 14, 2016

Growing up I loved movies, in particular gangster movies.  One of my all-time favorites was The Public Enemy with James Cagney. The movie was about these two lifelong friends and their growth and maturation into the world of gangsterism during the time of prohibition.  In many respects, it is all I can think about comparatively speaking when I think of the how Putin has been maneuvering himself in comportment when compared to President Obama.
Over the past few weeks, and some may say even two years since Russia began airstrikes in Syria, overtly supporting the sovereign nation state of under the leadership of President Bashar al Assad, the Obama Administration hasn’t had any clear approach to Syria that can be honestly explained to the U.S. public – in particular since his “Redline” statement.  Why is this?

Well to begin with, the Obama administration has no policy let alone any strategy to deal with what the U.S. has created in Syria.  All that exist are goals, goals mainly proffered to accomplish objectives to benefit a select group of oligarchs more so than the citizens of Syria (who overwhelmingly support Assad) and the surrounding region or Americans. Attacking Assad was not only designed to accomplish  regime change, it was also designed to do such in order to covet assets in the form of invaluable gas line routes, crude oil, gold and more importantly – to crush the state own National Bank of Syria.

I suspect that the powers that be via the current U.S. administration had a completely new landscape planned for the Middle East. Just taking a look at what has happened in Libya and Egypt for example makes this clear. However Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin has come to the stage.

Putin clearly isn’t well liked on the world stage by the West, but he has positioned himself and Russia like Knights and Bishops on the chessboard of geopolitics like a Lasker defense and counter attack.

After Obama’s classic ‘redline’ proposition, Putin made his opening mood by boldly going where no man has gone before – to openly stand with the sovereign nation of Syria and backing it up with his military apparatus. His next move was to have a closed door meeting with Obama to discuss securing the Syrian-Turkish border, although it may have been useless without the participation of Syria and Turkey. The objective for Putin was to try and end the continuous influx of arms entering Syria from Turkey and also expressing the need for “moderate” rebels to distance themselves from IS and associated Al-Qaeda derivatives. At the same time Turkey and Russia were on opposite ends regarding how they viewed the Syrian conflict, while Obama knew he needed Turkey to continue supplying weapons to ISIS

Fast forwarding to the past few months and we have seen, Russia announce that they will be rebuilding its Soviet-era network of airfields in Vietnam and the northwestern Pacific island of Matua and that they conducted naval exercises in the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea that started on Aug. 15. This is in the background of Erdogan previously willingly expressing his views of President Obama and his policies in the Middle East. From Obama failing to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan and Iraq to his support for Kurdish autonomy (without admitting such). Also, Erdogan has disagreed with the enduring economic sanctions from the West against Russia since the crisis in the Ukraine began. Then the Coup attempt happened and mind you this was after the attack on Istanbul's Ataturk airport.

Erdogan made his first trip abroad since the July 15 coup attempt when he visited Russia, in which he had his first direct meeting with Putin since the shooting-downof a Russian fighter jet. Some are under the impression that he has Putin to thank for surviving the recent military coup and for even for saving his life (another reason his selection of Moscow for his first foreign visit since the coup is viewed with difficult eyes by London, Berlin, Paris and Washington­). Not only would this put a wrench in the region but it would or could upset the entire geopolitical landscape by rebuking the West and entering a closer relationship with Russia.

This benefits both Turkey and Russia and this fledgling Moscow-Ankara axis as Erdogan described it from an economic and geopolitical perspective. Moreover it allows Putin to highlight and disrupt U.S foreign policy inconsistencies and also those of the European Union.

We cannot forget that Turkey is a NATO member state and that the European Union needs the nation to serve as a shield between refugees and migrants from the Middle East to Europe.  The posturing by the EU and their lucid desire to keep Turkey out of the club is being used by Putin equally as a postulate in his strategy. Now not only has Russia managed this, Putin has also been able to establish newrelationships for Turkey with Iran and opened their perspective to a future Syria that doesn’t require the ouster of Assad. In essence, Putin has altered the past 50-60 years of U.S. power dynamics in the Middle East in less than three months.

After Erdogan’s visit to Russia, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu met with his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif in a meeting that resulted in both nations agreeing on more dialogue and cooperation on resolving the Syria crisis. It was the first meeting between top Iranian and Turkish officials since the failed coup attempt. This was during the same week when Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Turkey was willing to accept a role for Syrian President Bashar Assad during a transitional period. Ironically this came when Assad's forces started attacking Kurdish positions which may be an indication that a Syrian-Turkish rapprochement was underway (say goodbye to Kurdish autonomy in northern Syria).

The last nail was the Coup, which has provided the momentum for all of the aforementioned. Since this event, Turkey has incessantly carped about a lack of support from its Western allies and as with the rest of the world, has been watching EU’s power shrinking in real time. Now true, some have suggested that Turkey is using Russia as some kind of leverage (Obama’s state department word of the day) to place some heat in the Obama administration and EU after the coup attempt, but it seems in my opinion to be way more than that. It is also a reflection of Turkey’s and Russia’s perceived lack of U.S. leadership in the region with President Obama placing his tail between his legs when confronted with Russia on every major issue concerning Syria.

Since this, deeply anti-American sentiments and allegations that the Obama administration was behind the coup attempt (nearly 70 percent of Turks believe the U.S. was involved in the coup) and failure of the Administration to take serious (whether true or not) Erdogan’s request for the U.S. to quickly extradite Fethullah Gulen has placed more distance between the U.S. and the Muslim Brotherhood-led government of Sunni Arab Turkey.

Just this past week, we saw Russia and Turkey signed an agreement to build a gas pipeline from Russia, called the TurkStream pipeline which would bring Russian natural gas to Europe on a southern route that would bypass Ukraine with the main pipeline running across the bottom of the Black Sea.

Based on all of the aforementioned factual observation, it is no wonder why President would do anything, even something stupid, half-baked and witless as to even speak of taking military action against Russia, sadly as well, over any provocation (bombing parts of West Aleppo occupied by ISIS and Al-Nusra to a make believe propagandized hack on the Clinton campaign).

I should have seen this coming.  Ever since Obama touted his so-called Russian ‘reset’ all we have seen from the Administration is Russia raise their flag over Crimea and more bungled relations with the Russians (clearly a major failure of Obama’s foreign policy).  Seems as if President Obama is no longer in charge of any of the activity regarding Russia or anything involving Syria.  This is true for his activities at home, with the coalition and even NATO. What we are presently viewing in Syria may be one of the most unstable and hazardous geopolitical situations in modern times, at least since the last World War. On the surface, it is more than evident that Obama or his handlers are pushing the limit with Russia. From the war games NATO is conducting in Russia’s backyard to the massive influx of U.S. and NATO troops into the Baltic States and elsewhere in EasternEurope. And in Syria, suffice it to say the administration never wanted a ceasefire in Syria anywhere.

Before this week there was a bellicose Ambassador Samantha Power (who ran over a child and killed him with her car in Africa recently) calling the bombings in Russia barbarous and the suspension of military contact between the U.S. and Russia. Now we hear U.S. intelligence officials (without evidence) accusing the Russian government for being responsible for recent hacking in an effort to disrupt America’s political process.  One has to ask why is there such an angry and aggressive tone coming from the Whitehouse?

For one, President Obama has spent a lot of loot arming therebel in Syria, in particular Jabhat al-Nusra and the Obama administration will continue to support Jabhat al-Nusra and even call the “moderate Rebels” or member of the “Free Syrian Army” when a name change will never obviate the reality that they are still al-Qaeda and/or a part of al-Qaeda in Syria. Abual-Ezz, a major commander of the group has gone on the record and has openly stated that his organization is part of al-Qaeda. Thus the folk that the Obama administration is supporting with weapons are an affiliate to the terrorist organization the United States has been at war with since 9/11 – as a recently leaked Hillary Clinton email reveals. On the opposite end Russia is fighting the groups that the United States are funding and arming. So in essence we have is a rebel group funded and backed by the United States fighting against the Russians and Syrians.

The Obama Administration needs to stop arming and funding the Jabhat al-Nusra and discontinue this idiocy directed towards Russia because if this doesn’t stop, Obama’s will be leading the nation closer to World War III.  What we need to do is to fight on the same side as Russia and Syria, considering that they are actually targeting al Qaeda and ISIS, but this makes too much sense. The problem is that even when President Obama leaves office, if Hillary wins, she will carry on what Obama has started.

What is clear is that Putin has taken the lead in this race and that it may be a premonition of things to come regarding U.S. and Russian interaction on the world stage. Obama, neoliberal, neocons and Clintonites are occupied with the goal of U.S. military intervention and aggression against Syria although it may lead to a war with Iran and Russia. I don’t understand why, although I outlined a few reason and known facts in the beginning of this essay. Not to mention, Putin has been basically pimp slapping Obama around the room like he was James Cagney smashing a grapefruit in Mae Clarke’s face.

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