Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Russia, Israel and America are on the same page in Syria

Faisal Al-Qassem 

Dr Faisal Al-Qasim
Dr Faisal Al-Qasim

The ridiculous and lying members of the so-called “axis of “resistance and defiance” have given us headaches since the beginning of the Syrian revolution with their talk about those plotting against Syria; they claim that such people want to move it from the “axis of resistance” to the axis of subordination to the US and Israel. The conflict in Syria has been portrayed as one between the US and its supporters on one side and Russia and the “axis of resistance” on the other. This talk has been shown to be nonsense after the Russians and Israelis started coordinating their operations in Syria in collaboration with the Assad regime and its “defiant” allies such as Iran and Hezbollah.
I do not know why the Arab nationalists, resistance and what remains of the weak left-wing insist on portraying the conflict in Syria as one between East and West, as if we were still caught up in the Cold War between the USSR and America. It is true that Russia’s President Vladimir Putin is trying to restore the glory of the Soviet Union with a new mentality and ideology, but there is no potential for Moscow to challenge the US in the Middle East. I do not believe that the Russians are filling the vacuum left by America in the region, as if the Americans have been defeated by the Russian expansion.
The blatant Russian interference in Syria has no relation whatsoever to America’s weakening nor to Moscow’s increased power. The whole matter is associated with Israel’s interests in Syria specifically and across the region in general, as well as with the mutual interests of the US and Russia. For example, Russia could not intervene so strongly in Egypt without Israeli, and therefore US, blessing. Egypt is still in America’s pocket politically and militarily, and its military budget still feeds off US aid. If Russian influence and power had an impact on US influence in Egypt, then Putin would not have dared even to greet the Egyptians. Notice too how Jordan is now coordinating with Russia more than with America; would Jordan have dared to do that if it didn’t have the green light from Israel and the US?
Russia’s intervention in Syria occurred after Israel-Russia deliberations at the highest political, military and intelligence levels. Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met twice during the two weeks preceding the intervention. Former Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has admitted that Russian-Israeli coordination in Syria is taking place 24/7.
Even young children know that US policy in the Middle East is dictated by Israel and not the State Department in Washington. If Tel Aviv is driving US foreign policy in the region, then it is fairly obvious that America must approve of the Russian intervention in Syria when it happened with the blessing of Israel.
As such, it is shameful to hear some Syrian, Lebanese and Iranian individuals supporting the Syrian regime and boasting about Russia’s role in Syria, as if it is confronting Israel and the US. How ridiculous that they say that Russia came to cleanse Syria of US-backed terrorists and restore stability, as if Russia is a charity coming to help the needy. There is nothing to suggest that Russia is fighting the Americans in Syria. At best, it may be a process of dividing interests between the Russians and the Americans, if the Russians aren’t actually acting on behalf of the American in Syria, that is, as they did when they put pressure on the Syrian leadership to hand over its strategic chemical weapons to serve US and Israeli interests. Those who remove Syria’s strategic weapons to serve Israel are undoubtedly closer to Tel Aviv than to Damascus. Anyone cheering the Russian intervention in Syria must remember the Kerry-Lavrov agreement — which some described at the time as a new and possibly more dangerous version of the 1916 Sykes-Picot agreement —to tear the region apart into US and Russian spheres of influence. US Senator Lindsey Graham admitted in his questioning of the US Secretary of Defence a while back that America willingly sold Syria to Russia and Iran as part of a game of exchanging interests.
Hence, no matter how much the resistance and defiance axis gloats about its strategic alliance with Russia, we know that the Israel-Russia alliance remains much stronger. We must not forget that there are more than a million Russian Jews in Israel; they control Israel policy and maintain close ties with their homeland. Putin wore a Jewish skullcap during his visit to the “Temple Mount” excavations under Al-Aqsa Mosque, blessing the work that will one day destroy the third holiest site in Islam.
According to international analysts, Russia is weaker than America; it is a regional force, not a global superpower and still dependent on oil and gas exports. While it is true that Russia has a powerful military and impressive arsenal, this alone does not make it a threat to the US. That is why what Russia is doing in Syria and other areas must be done with US consent, or at least its approval. If Russia’s actions in Syria were not to America’s liking, Russia would not have dared to send even a paper aeroplane there.
Anyone talking about a Russia-US conflict in Syria similar to that during the Cold War has little knowledge of the situation. If the US wanted to hinder the Russian intervention, it would have given the Syrian opposition a handful of anti-aircraft missiles to shoot down Russian aircraft in Syrian airspace. That would have damaged Russia’s prestige and turned it into an international laughing stock overnight. It is true that Russia’s latest national security document describes America and NATO as being the greatest threat to Russia, but when it comes to Syria, the Russians, Israelis and Americans are all on the same page.
Translated from Al Quds Al Arabi, 15 January, 2016.

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