• Taking down President al-Assad bound to end in more bloodshed, more chaos, less freedom for all.
By Richard Walker —
By training rebel fighters, which Turkey and Jordan are sending into Syria to topple the Syrian government, President Barack Hussein Obama has so far refused to live up to the promise he made to Russia’s nationalist President Vladimir Putin that the United States would target only the militant Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria.
A senior East European intelligence source told AMERICAN FREE PRESS he expects Putin to respond to Obama’s “treachery.”
The absurdity of Obama’s policy has Russia asking who is pulling Obama’s strings. For example, the Islamists being trained by Turkish, Jordanian and U.S. Special Forces are being sent into Syria to do exactly what ISIS is trying to do—remove Russia’s ally, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, from power.
What is even more bizarre is that members of Congress like Senators John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who have promoted this strategy, have yet to learn that training radicals is a dangerous business. History has shown that these rebel fighters often turn on their masters. Once they are embedded in Syria, it is expected that they will more than likely join forces with ISIS and use their training to go to war against America.
That has been the pattern of events since 2010 when Washington and its Mideast allies, especially the Saudis, began to arm what they called the “moderate” Syrian opposition. As the world now knows, there were no moderates in the opposition, just groups like the al Nusra Front, al Qaeda and others, some of which have morphed into what we now know as ISIS. Obama and his favorite Mideast dictators, as well as Turkey, created ISIS.
Four years ago, Russia warned the West it was inviting disaster by arming militias to fight in Syria but Obama and North Atlantic Treaty Organization members like France and Britain were not willing to listen. They encouraged rich Arab states like Qatar, that had been prominent in forcing regime change in Libya, to funnel resources to militias in Syria.
Qatar bought arms from Libyan militias after the overthrow and assassination of Colonel Muammar Qadaffi and sent them to Syria. The U.S. even helped facilitate these weapons transfers.
Watching all of this, Putin advised Obama that taking down the Syrian regime would increase the power of militant Islam throughout the region. Obama ignored the advice until 2014 when it became clear that ISIS was a bigger threat than the Syrian regime. He then made a deal with Putin to bomb ISIS in Syria but not the Syrian government’s forces. AFP first reported on this in the October 6 issue.
Turkey was unhappy with the Putin deal. For years, the Turks have been at the forefront of sending men and arms into Syria and have plotted with the Saudis to replace Assad’s secular government with a Sunni regime.
It now appears the Turks, Saudis, Jordanians and Israel’s toadies on Capitol Hill have won the day and Obama has opted for a dual policy that breaks the agreement with Moscow and allows the Arab states to continue to help ISIS take down Assad by adding newly trained Islamists to the fight.
“Turkey is not sending trained militias into Syria to fight ISIS,” said a senior East European intelligence source, who has spoken before to this newspaper about the Syrian crisis. “Instead it is asking them to topple the regime, and Obama knows that. Putin does not want to put troops into Syria, but Crimea should be an indication to Obama that Putin could change his mind if it looked like Assad was going to fall. At the very least, Putin will now respond to Obama’s treachery by making more technical assets available to Assad and by sending more weapons to his forces.”
Richard Walker is the pen name of a former N.Y. news producer.
Vladimir Putin: World Entering Global Anarchy
• Russian president addresses global conference and warns the 108 foreign representatives that democracy and stabilization are being threatened by America’s provocative, insane foreign policy
On October 24, Russian nationalist President Vladimir Putin spoke at the Valdai International Discussion Club, where 108 historians and political analysts from 25 countries gathered to debate the most important topics of the day. Below readers will find excerpts from Putin’s lengthy talk, which he titled appropriately enough: “New Rules or a Game Without Rules.”
By Vladimir Putin
Colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, friends, it is a pleasure to welcome you to the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club. Today’s discussion took place under the theme: “New Rules or a Game Without Rules.” I think that this formula accurately describes the historic turning point we have reached today.
The world is full of contradictions today. We need to be frank in asking each other if we have a reliable safety net in place. Sadly, there is no guarantee and no certainty that the current system of global and regional security is able to protect us from upheavals. This system has become seriously weakened, fragmented and deformed. The international and regional political, economic and cultural cooperation organizations are also going through difficult times.
Yes, many of the mechanisms we have for ensuring the world order were created quite a long time ago now, including and above all in the period immediately following World War II. Let me stress that the solidity of the system created back then rested not only on the balance of power and the rights of the victor countries, but on the fact that this system’s “founding fathers” had respect for each other, did not try to put the squeeze on others, but attempted to reach agreements.
But the United States, having declared itself the winner of the Cold War, saw no need for this. Instead of establishing a new balance of power, essential for maintaining order and stability, they took steps that threw the system into sharp and deep imbalance.
The Cold War ended, but it did not end with the signing of a peace treaty with clear and transparent agreements on respecting existing rules or creating new rules and standards. This created the impression that the so-called “victors” in the Cold War had decided to pressure events and reshape the world to suit their own needs and interests. If the existing system of international relations, international law and the checks and balances in place got in the way of these aims, this system was declared worthless, outdated and in need of immediate demolition.
The very notion of national sovereignty became a relative value for most countries. In essence, what was being proposed was the formula: The greater the loyalty toward the world’s sole power center, the greater this or that ruling regime’s legitimacy.
The measures taken against those who refuse to submit are well known and have been tried and tested many times. They include use of force, economic and propaganda pressure, meddling in domestic affairs and appeals to a kind of “supra-legal” legitimacy when they need to justify illegal intervention in this or that conflict or toppling inconvenient regimes. Of late, we have increasing evidence too that outright blackmail has been used with regard to a number of leaders. It is not for nothing that “big brother” is spending billions of dollars on keeping the whole world, including its own closest allies, under surveillance.
Do We Feel Safer?
Let’s ask ourselves, how comfortable are we with this, how safe are we, how happy living in this world and how fair and rational has it become? Maybe we have no real reasons to worry, argue and ask awkward questions? Maybe the United States’s exceptional position and the way they are carrying out their leadership really is a blessing for us all, and their meddling in events all around the world is bringing peace, prosperity, progress, growth and democracy, and we should maybe just relax and enjoy it all.
Let me say that this is absolutely not the case.
A unilateral diktat and imposing one’s own models produces the opposite result. Instead of settling conflicts it leads to their escalation, instead of sovereign and stable states we see the growing spread of chaos, and instead of democracy there is support for a very dubious public such as Islamic radicals.
Why do they support such people? They do this because they decide to use them as instruments along the way in achieving their goals but then burn their fingers and recoil. I never cease to be amazed by the way that our partners just keep stepping on the same rake, as we say here in Russia, that is to say, make the same mistake over and over.
They once sponsored Islamic extremist movements to fight the Soviet Union. Those groups got their battle experience in Afghanistan and later gave birth to the Taliban and al Qaeda. The West if not supported, at least closed its eyes, and, I would say, gave information, political and financial support to international terrorists’ invasion of Russia (we have not forgotten this) and the Central Asian region’s countries. Only after horrific terrorist attacks were committed on U.S. soil itself did the United States wake up to the common threat of terrorism. Let me remind you that we were the first country to support the American people back then, the first to react as friends and partners to the terrible tragedy of September 11.
During my conversations with American and European leaders, I always spoke of the need to fight terrorism together, as a challenge on a global scale. We cannot resign ourselves to and accept this threat, cannot cut it into separate pieces using double standards. Our partners expressed agreement, but a little time passed and we ended up back where we started. First there was the military operation in Iraq, then in Libya, which got pushed to the brink of falling apart. Why was Libya pushed into this situation? Today it is a country in danger of breaking apart and has become a training ground for terrorists.
We sometimes get the impression that our colleagues and friends are constantly fighting the consequences of their own policies, throw all their effort into addressing the risks they themselves have created and pay an ever-greater price.
This is why we see attempts at this new historic stage to recreate a semblance of a quasi-bipolar world as a convenient model for perpetuating American leadership. It does not matter who takes the place of the center of evil in American propaganda, the USSR’s old place as the main adversary. It could be Iran, as a country seeking to acquire nuclear technology, China, as the world’s biggest economy, or Russia, as a nuclear superpower.
Joint economic projects and mutual investment objectively bring countries closer together and help to smooth out current problems in relations between states. But today the global business community faces unprecedented pressure from Western governments. What business, economic expediency and pragmatism can we speak of when we hear slogans such as “the homeland is in danger,” “the free world is under threat” and “democracy is in jeopardy”?
We know how these decisions were taken and who was applying the pressure. But let me stress that Russia is not going to get all worked up, get offended or come begging at anyone’s door. Russia is a self-sufficient country. We will work within the foreign economic environment that has taken shape, develop domestic production and technology and act more decisively to carry out transformation. Pressure from outside, as has been the case on past occasions, will only consolidate our society, keep us alert and make us concentrate on our main development goals.
So, what is in store for us if we choose not to live by the rules—even if they may be strict and inconvenient—but rather live without any rules at all? Many predictions can already be made, taking into account current trends, and unfortunately, they are not optimistic. If we do not create a clear system of mutual commitments and agreements, if we do not build the mechanisms for managing and resolving crisis situations, the symptoms of global anarchy will inevitably grow.
Many states do not see any other ways of ensuring their sovereignty but to obtain their own bombs. This is extremely dangerous. The fewer nuclear weapons we have in the world, the better. And we are ready for the most serious, concrete discussions on nuclear disarmament—but only serious discussions without any double standards.
What do I mean? Today, many types of high-precision weaponry are already close to mass-destruction weapons in terms of their capabilities, and in the event of full renunciation of nuclear weapons or radical reduction of nuclear potential, nations that are leaders in creating and producing high-precision systems will have a clear military advantage. Strategic parity will be disrupted, and this is likely to bring destabilization. The use of a so-called first global pre-emptive strike may become tempting. In short, the risks do not decrease, but intensify.
Sovereignty & Non-Interference
Practical experience shows that joint answers to challenges are not always a panacea, and we need to understand this. Moreover, in most cases, they are hard to reach; it is not easy to overcome the differences in national interests, the subjectivity of different approaches, particularly when it comes to nations with different cultural and historical traditions. But nevertheless, we have examples when, having common goals and acting based on the same criteria, together we achieved real success.
Let me remind you about solving the problem of chemical weapons in Syria and the substantive dialogue on the Iranian nuclear program, as well as our work on North Korean issues, which also has some positive results. Why can’t we use this experience in the future to solve local and global challenges?
What could be the legal, political and economic basis for a new world order that would allow for stability and security, while encouraging healthy competition, not allowing the formation of new monopolies that hinder development? It is unlikely that someone could provide absolutely exhaustive, ready-made solutions right now. We will need extensive work with participation by a wide range of governments, global businesses, civil society and such expert platforms as ours.
However, it is obvious that success and real results are only possible if key participants in international affairs can agree on harmonizing basic interests and on reasonable self-restraint and can set the example of positive and responsible leadership.
We must clearly identify where unilateral actions end and we need to apply multilateral mechanisms, and as part of improving the effectiveness of international law, we must resolve the dilemma between the actions by the international community to ensure security and human rights and the principle of national sovereignty and non-interference in the internal affairs of any state.
Russian Populist: The Political Thought of Vladimir Putin, by Dr. Matthew Raphael Johnson, former editor of THE BARNES REVIEW Revisionist history journal. This book explains why nationalists across the globe are calling Putin “the Russian populist.” Dr. Johnson, an acknowledged expert on Russian and Slavic studies, tells us exactly what makes Putin tick—from Putin’s rise to political power, through his crushing of the “oligarchs,” and up to today’s frequent clashes with Western meddlers.