Galland, Managing Director at Casey Research writes a provocative, timely piece on Syria.  David begins: 

As I write, the Mexican president and his senior military staff are
finalizing plans to respond with force to the Syrian government's purported use
of chemical weapons on the United States' Islamist allies.

"Eeets an outrage!" said President Enrique Peña Nieto in his best

He then went on to detail how his secretary of defense, working with allies
in Bangladesh and Mozambique as a "Coalition of the Absurd," was moving troops
into place to "respond decisively" to the Syrian government's decision to commit
collective suicide by engaging in the one act sure to bring international forces
into the conflict on the side of the revolutionaries determined to overthrow

When asked if it wouldn't be more prudent to wait until the UN inspectors in
Syria issued their findings—you know, to avoid a repeat of the mistake the US
made when it ignored the UN inspectors' report that there were no weapons of
mass destruction in Iraq—Maria Harfarta, Secretario adjunto del
Departamento de Estado, snapped, "We are making our own decisions on our
own timeline, and we believe that the UN inspection has passed the point where
it can be credible."

At which point El Presidente Nieto raised a carbine over his head and, in a
particularly deep and masculine tone, yelled, "¡A las armas! Vamos a ir a la

Of course, dear reader, I have purposely misled you—all in the hopes of
making a point.

Namely that it makes no more sense for the United States, the United Kingdom,
and France (among others) to attack Syria than it does for Mexico, Bangladesh,
and Mozambique.

In an attempt to support that contention, it may prove helpful to engage in
the Socratic exercise of asking questions, in the hope of finding answers.

For example…

What national interests are the Western powers

Given that creating a power vacuum in Syria will likely result in yet more
chaos in the Middle East, which translates to higher oil prices, it certainly
doesn't seem to be in the interest of the cash-starved flailing

(I put that word in quotes because according to the latest Gallup polls, 90%
of Americans are opposed to siccing the US military onto the Syrians.)

In addition, the action will deepen the strain between the US, Russia, and
China, with Russia being a long-term staunch ally of Syria's and China being the
largest holder of US Treasury instruments in the world.

It also sets the "West" against the Arab League, which opposes yet another in
an almost unbroken string of Western assaults on their region over the last
1,000 years.

For the record, the Arab League includes Algeria, Bahrain, Comoros, Djibouti,
Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman,
Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Tunisia, UAE, and Yemen.

While the leaders of certain Arab League countries, for example the Saudi
royal stooges, are against the Assad regime, among the 300 million people on the
Arab Street there's a strident level of opposition to yet more Western bombs
landing in their backyard.

Thus the imminent military action could be like throwing a lit match into a
puddle of gasoline, igniting the simmering resentment of the downtrodden in
Saudi Arabia and Bahrain (among others) and leading to something approaching an
energy apocalypse. After all, over 50% of the world's oil reserves reside under
the sand of the Middle East. And much of the rest is located in Russia, the
world's largest oil producer.

Furthermore, any serious attack on the Syrian military's ability to defend
itself will almost certainly tip the balance of power and allow the rebels to
gain control. At which point the US will have delivered yet another large piece
of territory unto the Islamists. For a quick lesson in how that has worked out
so far, take a glance over at Libya, Iraq, and Egypt.

I don't know, but the last time I checked, it seemed to me that the West was
at war with the Islamic extremists. If eating the lungs of their opponents, as one of the commanders
of a US ally in Syria did, isn't considered extreme, I'm not sure what is.

So, if an attack doesn't serve the interests of the Western countries
now revving up for war in Syria, then whose interests does it

There are two clear winners from the attack.

Based strictly on the hard evidence, one would have to mention Israel
(immediately triggering a rainfall of reflexive charges of anti-Semitism on the
head of anyone daring to mention it—which is why it's never mentioned in the
mainstream press).

Though the end of Assad in Syria means delivering the country into the hands
of more overtly anti-Israel extremists, simple observation tells us that once an
Arab state fails, it tends to stay failed for many years. That's because it
invariably sets off internecine fighting—often supercharged by religious
passions—which acts like a cancer, quickly spreading throughout the inner
workings of a previously reasonably cohesive state.

Put another way, whereas a well-armed and well-organized Syria under Assad
may represent a threat to Israel, a Syria descended into chaos represents no
threat at all.

Of course, over time some new strongman is likely to emerge, but I suspect
that whoever ultimately prevails over the competition will only do so with help
from powerful and deep-pocketed friends… in the West. History tells us that is
how puppet governments are created.

The other clear winners are, of course, the rebels. While unfortunate in the
extreme for those caught out by the chemicals, a decision by Assad's military to
cross the red line on using chemical weapons would be the single best way to
bring powerful allies to the side of the rebels.

Not to put too fine a point on it, knowing full well the consequences, the
only possible explanation for Assad green-lighting a chemical attack would be a
psychotic breakdown. Especially considering that he allowed UN chemical weapons
inspectors into the country the very day before the chemicals were

Which begs the knock-on question, "Would the rebels really use chemical
weapons on their own fighters and innocents?"

In addition to a certain callousness (not to mention poor taste) attributable
to the eating of human body parts, one could certainly see the rebel leaders
doing the math and deciding it was acceptable for a few hundred people to die
from a false-flag operation in order to bring the world's most powerful military
into the conflict on their side. After all, far more would die should the
rebellion stretch out for months or even years.

Of course, at this point all we have is conjecture, though something a little
harder than that is starting to bubble to the surface… this just in from the
Live Trading news website…

Testimony from victims now strongly suggests it
was the rebels, not the Syrian government, that used Sarin nerve gas during a
recent incident in the revolution-wracked nation, a senior UN diplomat said

Carla del Ponte, a member of the UN Independent
International Commission of Inquiry on Syria, told Swiss TV there were "strong,
concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof," that rebels seeking to
oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had used the nerve agent.

But she said her panel had not yet seen any
evidence of Syrian government forces using chemical weapons (CW), according to
the BBC, she added that more investigation was needed.

(Full story here.)

So, given all the rhetoric about punishing the perpetrators of the chemical
attack on the outskirts of Damascus, one has to wonder whom Obama et al.
will smite should the attack be found to have emanated from the rebels?

At this point, given the scale of the rhetoric, I suspect any evidence
pointing in the direction of the rebels will be discarded or denounced in favor
of alternative evidence conveniently uncovered by military spying apparatuses.
They are good at that sort of thing.

Of course, the US isn't the only Western power with an itchy trigger finger.
Socialist French patsy François Hollande has also signed on for a tour of duty,
as has UK prime minister David Cameron who said in Parliament yesterday, "This
is not like Iraq. What we are seeing in Syria is fundamentally different."

Yes, one country is spelled I-R-A-Q and the other S-Y-R-I-A. How much more
different could things be than that?

Just because it's kind of interesting, the map here shows—in white—the
countries that Britain has NOT invaded over the centuries. Must be something in
the Anglo-Saxon DNA that periodically requires us to take the show on the

How else to explain the illogic of attacking Syria? And I have little doubt
that the attack is coming, if not now, then on some other pretense in the weeks
just ahead.

Evidence that the attack will happen sooner than later are comments made by
one of the participants in a meeting in Istanbul earlier this week, where
Western diplomats from the 11 countries that make up the "Coalition of
the Willing" "Friends of Syria" met with rebel leaders…

"The opposition was told in clear terms that
action to deter further use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime could come
as early as in the next few days."  —Reuters

If it makes no obvious sense for the US and its allies to once again
start firing heavy metal into the Middle East, why would they do

Several possible explanations…

Wag the dog. As I don't need to tell you, the degrading
Western democracies are broke as broke can be. In the case of the United States,
the next debt ceiling will be reached in mid-October, after which the government
will have to effectively stop answering the phones. Having run out of money for
bread, putting on a circus might seem just the thing.

The military-industrial complex is alive and well. I assume
every one of you dear readers has already seen Dwight Eisenhower's incredible farewell speech to the nation in which he warned
against allowing the rise of a military-industrial complex. Unfortunately, not
enough of the right people paid attention to 'Ike," and the military-industrial
complex has grown huge… and politically very powerful. War is the health of
the state, opined Randolph Bourne. And right now, the state could use a
booster shot.

US foreign policy has been hijacked by the Neocons. This
notion is something I have written about before. Evidence for it arrived earlier
this week in a short video forwarded by a dear subscriber. The video, which
appeared on ZeroHedge, is from 2007 and features Gen. Wesley Clark calmly
describing how in the days immediately following 9/11, a general working with
the US Joint Chiefs of Staff showed him a memo outlining a US plan to take out
seven countries in the Middle East, including Iraq, Syria, and Libya, before
ultimately finishing up with Iran. It certainly seems a plausible scenario to

Here's the video… it's pretty eye-opening.

As I go to press, it seems as though the rush to war that was so evident as
recently as Wednesday is running into a wall of public opposition. So much so
that David Cameron has started back-pedaling and Obama begun waffling.

Unfortunately, for strictly political reasons, the odds are high that
President Obama won't back down completely. If he did, the loud-mouthed
opposition would pillory him as being weak and indecisive, and we couldn't have
that. So, he'll take action, if only to fire off a few billion dollars' worth of
missiles at random Syrian military targets.

(Speaking of loud-mouthed opposition, I feel compelled to mention John
McCain, whom I now firmly believe to be insane. No, really. He has become a
dangerous character á la Dr. Strangelove, advocating the invasion of Iraq and,
to this day, defending it as a good idea.

As bad as Obama is—and in my view he's about as bad as the younger Bush—I
think we'd all be scraping for food through radioactive rubble if McCain had won
the presidency.

Since we're chatting about radioactivity, a song of the dramatic genre I so
enjoy recently caught my ear—though I suspect it will appeal only to the
headbangers among you. The song is a live version of Radioactive, by Imagine Dragons.)

Finally, what consequences might there be to a Western attack on

There are many words and phrases used in describing war, including "fog,"
"hell," and "wow, never saw that coming."

At its very core, war is unpredictable: any conceivable outcome can occur
once the bombs start flying.

But we can make some general assumptions as to how things might work out. For
example, we know that military leaders tend to fight the last successful

Having been burned by the long-term consequences of putting boots on the
ground in Iraq and Afghanistan, it is probable that in Syria the US military
will look to follow the script from Kosovo where the war was fought almost
entirely from a distance using long-range cruise missiles and fighter planes. It
was, as far as the West was concerned, a wonderful little war in that there were
no NATO casualties as a direct result of the conflict.

If the Syrian war goes according to that script, the Syrian military response
will be limited to hiding in bunkers and muttering angry prayers to an angry god
as missiles rain down upon their heads. Back at the US fleet, the sailors would
spend their free time sunning on the decks and painting snappy slogans on the
side of missiles yet to be deployed ("Special Delivery DAMASCUS" and "Next Stop
Syria!"—that sort of thing).

While there is little chance that Syria could prevail against the West under
pretty much any circumstance, it might be premature to think they have no means
of retaliation. For instance, in the world of today—as opposed to at the time of
the Kosovo conflict—there is such a thing as computer hackers.

And (surprise, surprise) there is actually a group called the Syrian
Electronic Army that, this week, took down the New York Times

Could this group—or someone who uses the group as cover to pursue a separate
agenda—tip the switches on the fragile North American power grid? Or cause the
US air traffic control system to take a nap at a busy time of day? It's not out
of the question.

Then there are the Russian shore-to-ship missiles deployed along the Syrian
coast. One assumes the US Navy is smart enough to have calculated their
effective range and is parking its billion-dollar ships well outside of that
range, but what if there has been a miscalculation? Or the Russians have
secretly upgraded the Syrian missiles? Could happen.

Or what if Iran, seeing the cards on the table for what they are—i.e., that
they are next—decided to take an active role in the conflict? Maybe by closing
the Persian Gulf? Unlikely, I know, but what if?

Could the attack trigger a quick and violent sympathetic public uprising in
Saudi Arabia, sending the Saud family on the run and oil prices to $200 or

In terms of consequences of a less violent nature, what if the Russians and
the Chinese, the latter being Syria's largest trading partner, decided to
protest by dumping some of the massive amount of US dollars they hold?

I could go on, but won't.

Instead, I'll leave off by saying that, given the risks vs. the rewards of
yet another Western attack on the Middle East, I personally couldn't be more
opposed to it. Hopefully there are enough people in what's left of the degraded
Western democracies who feel the same way (and who are willing to express
themselves): that the politicians should follow Mexico's example and mind their
own business, rather than blundering forward into Syria with blunt force.

Hopeful thinking, I know. But one does like to try and walk on the sunny side
of the street whenever possible.


Source:  Casey Research







Please note:  Comments by guest authors are provided as-is, without editing and do not necessarily represent the views of this blog or GGR staff. 

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