Friday, January 6, 2017

Those Whom the Gods Will Destroy, They First Make Mad -- Part 2

Why has Syria become the touchstone for so much humanitarian outrage and political posturing over the past six years?  And why so much attention from corporate media?

Six years ago, few people could spell Aleppo, much less find it on a map, and many still think Ghouta is a kind of cheese.  Just ask Gary Johnson, shortly after he quit weed to run for President. For the last three years, Syria has become the only global disaster worse than climate change and Putin's Jedi mind control over American voters. Indeed, Syria is a tragedy of almost unspeakable dimensions, a war that, according to the WaPo,
has killed almost half a million people, spurred the largest refugee crisis since World War II and given safe haven to a global terrorist threat in the form of the Islamic State.
How could that happen?  What could a little country such as Syria do that would generate so much angst in Europe and the Middle East?

Well, let me fast forward past all the shibboleths we hear from TV pundits to tell the story they won't tell.  The short and cynical version is,  It's the oil, stupid!  More specifically, it's the profits of moneyed globalists and their political puppets.  The large-scale swath of death and destruction in Syria is essentially kabuki theater for oil rights.

First, some background.  Syria's internal problems reached a crisis point in 2011. A fifty percent drop in domestic oil production, a commensurate drop in wheat production, increasing dependency on food imports, a rise in food costs and fuel costs, and a growing national debt all happened to dovetail with another and more regional phenomenon, namely, the Arab Spring.  People began to protest.  The Arab Spring spread across much of the Middle East, from Tunisia on one end to Saudi Arabia and Iran on the other.  Seeing this, Syrian protesters became more emboldened, some calling for regime change.  Assad reacted strongly to tamp down the protests in his own country. He understood the potential threat from outside agitators and terrorists, so he used a heavy hand.  The protesters also got violent.  Things went downhill from there.

Normally, you would think that, okay, times are tough and Syria will need to solve its internal problems and dig itself out, just like other countries do when hard times lead to civil unrest.  We all face exigencies that confront us with tough choices.  That's as true in the world of nations as it is in the world of our private lives.

So why did the West's humanitarian spotlight get focused almost exclusively on Syria these past few years?  Was there nowhere else for the media to turn their cameras?  Is Haiti all better now?  And Afghanistan?  And Libya?  And Chicago, for that matter, where I hear the annual murder rate has set new records?  Of all places, why would nations choose sides and fight a proxy war in Syria, slaughtering so many innocents in a gambit that could have been avoided but wasn't? And why so much interest from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iran, France, Britain, the U.S. and Russia?

Hmm.  Let me ponder those entanglements for a moment.  Okay, I'm done.

The answer is quite simple.  There's a major oil play to be made in Syria.  Trillions upon trillions of petrodollars are on the line.  Follow the money to see who profits from Assad's fate.  If you want to get down in the weeds on this one, start here and here.  If you don't, then just keep reading.  As for the murder rate in Chicago or riots in Venezuela or starvation in Yemen, well, eh, who really cares, right? Syria is where the action is.  But if you're looking for a higher cause to explain all the carnage in Syria, such as God or the value of human life, you'll be disappointed.

Here's the money angle in three easy-to-remember parts:  Petrodollars pull the cart .... politicians hold the reins ... investors tell the drivers where to go ,,. and the road leads through Syria.  It's really that simple.

With this game plan in hand, listen to Wesley Clark describe the money at play:

And here's the oil angle.  It's a competition between two groups:

Note the purple line which traces the proposed Qatar-Turkey natural gas pipeline and note that all of the countries highlighted in red are part of a new coalition hastily put together after Turkey finally (in exchange for NATO’s acquiescence on Erdogan’s politically-motivated war with the PKK) agreed to allow the US to fly combat missions against ISIS targets from Incirlik. Now note which country along the purple line is not highlighted in red. That’s because Bashar al-Assad didn’t support the pipeline and now we’re seeing what happens when you’re a Mid-East strongman and you decide not to support something the US and Saudi Arabia want to get done.
h/t:  mintpressnews

You will notice that one oil pipeline starts in Iran and flows through Iraq, Syria and Lebanon on its way to European markets.  Russia is allied with Iran and Sryia.

The other oil pipeline starts in Qatar and flows through Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and Turkey on its way to European markets.  The U.S. is allied with Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

Syria hangs in the balance, since both proposed pipelines must go through Assad's country.  That helps you understand who is in favor of Assad versus who wants Assad deposed.  To replace Assad with a more amenable ruler, one first must fan the flames of rebellion.  Money is needed.  And rebels. Rebels need weapons.  Lots of them.  Enter Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the U.S., France and Britain.

The strife in Syria is not due to an internal conflict between Sunnis and Shiites.  Or between Syrian nationals and rebels.  Or secularists versus fundamentalists.  It's about  oil and gas and the money at stake for years to come.  Follow the money to see who benefits.  Tragically, it's almost always about the money.  The Syrian conflict is a case in point.  ISIS has been a major player. A cruel and brutal player.  But many of the mercenaries in Syria are fighting for whoever pays them more. They are killing for pay in a violent game of hide-and-seek.

Obama was correct when he called ISIS a JV team.  The fact is, ISIS can be reduced to nuisance status merely by taking away their access to oil, money and weapons.  It may sound difficult, but it isn't.  Up until the buttinsky Russians got involved, ISIS and al-Nusra mercenaries were useful tools against Assad.  And some of them were admired by the mainstream media, provided we called them white helmets rather than terrorists,

Did I mention that our current allies, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, provide financial and military support to ISIS and were recipients of our export of arms from Libya to Syrian rebels?  And that Iran is an ally of Russia and Syria and does much the same for Assad? But, then, you already knew that.  What you may not know is that the Obama regime got those arms into terrorists' hands by way of Qatar, Libya and Turkey through a secretive back-door scheme known as Operation Zero Footprint. Catchy name, eh?  Mix deceit with a little treachery and that's the kind of code name you get.  The name comes in handy when you need to blame the debacle in Benghazi on an anti-Muslim film.  Or when the militants you are supporting in Syria morph into the enemy (ISIS) that you oppose in Iraq. Talk about insanity. That's like subsidizing the tobacco industry while suing them for causing cancer. Huh, wait! What?  That happened, too? Why, that's insane.  It's utter madness.

Anyway, we were talking about Syria going up in smoke.  So let me give it to you in a nutshell.  The horrors in Syria come down to one question:  Who will be the major oil and gas supplier to western Europe in the coming years?  Europe has become increasingly dependent on Russia for oil and gas, an arrangement that benefits Russia financially and politically.

So keep your eyes on the money players.  Forget the humanitarian rhetoric.  That's for the nightly news.  The coin of the realm has only two sides -- Iran and Qatar -- either of which holds value for a lot of global companies.  No matter that a few hundred thousand eggs get cracked to make the deal work.  That's merely the political version of Let's Make a Deal.  As for politicos, many will posture for the high moral ground in Syria, but they really don't give a damn about the lives of ordinary people, Syrian or otherwise, unless it leads to re-election, empowerment, or an improvement in some of the private investments they make.

Yes, I'm being harsh.  And cynical.  But how else to deal with such madness?  The same folks who condemned George W. Bush for regime change in Iraq have been promoting regime change ever since, first in Libya and now in Syria, only these days it's called "Responsibility to Protect" or R2P, either of which is code for a coup.  At least, that's how John Kerry described it in regard to Syria. Cute acronym, isn't it?  R2P"  And dripping with righteousness.  Hubris is a god of a thousand faces, even moral ones, evil though they be.  Over 400,000 dead Syrians bear witness, plus another 4,000,000 refugees.

Millennia ago, Socrates referred to hubris as extreme pride or arrogance.  It takes many forms.  Envy is one.  Greed is another.  Lust for power is a third.  And madness a fourth.  Wanting to be like God, one presumes to act like a god and take what one wants.  The inevitable result is tragedy.

The horrors in Syria are nothing if not mad.

R. Stephen Bowden blogs at the Steve Bowden Journal at