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Syria peace process: The ten year (Shock and Awe) itch

Pepe Escobar
Pepe Escobar is an independent geopolitical analyst. He writes for RT, Sputnik and TomDispatch, and is a frequent contributor to websites and radio and TV shows ranging from the US to East Asia. He is the former roving correspondent for Asia Times Online. Born in Brazil, he's been a foreign correspondent since 1985, and has lived in London, Paris, Milan, Los Angeles, Washington, Bangkok and Hong Kong. Even before 9/11 he specialized in covering the arc from the Middle East to Central and East Asia, with an emphasis on Big Power geopolitics and energy wars. He is the author of "Globalistan" (2007), "Red Zone Blues" (2007), "Obama does Globalistan" (2009) and "Empire of Chaos" (2014), all published by Nimble Books. His latest book is "2030", also by Nimble Books, out in December 2015.
Syria peace process: The ten year (Shock and Awe) itch
Ten years after Iraq was inflicted with 'Shock and Awe', the target is now Syria. It’s Marx all over again – history repeating itself as a double tragedy and double farce.

Let’s start with that Stooge Central; the Syrian National Coalition (SNC), which is nothing but a US State Department/Qatar concoction.

The head of the SNC, Moaz al-Khatib, resigned this past Sunday, blaming Qatar for trying to “control” it. Al-Khatib, crucially, was in favor of civilized negotiations with Damascus, as he told Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi. 

Moaz Al-Khabib, President of the National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces.(AFP Photo / Christof Stache)

So he had to disagree with the new “interim Prime Minister” invented by Washington and Doha; one Ghasan Hitto, a Syrian-American IT business executive based in Texas who has not been to Syria for three decades. 

It’s the same old story. This Syrian Ahmed Chalabi [President of the Governing Council of Iraq in September 2003 who spent most of his life in the United States and the United Kingdom – RT] – in itself a deadly joke harking back to those heady pre-Shock and Awe days in 2002 – already had a Libyan counterpart; Abdurraheem el-Keib, a US citizen involved in the oil industry and the Prime Minister installed in Libya after NATO “liberated” it via humanitarian bombing.

Along with al-Khatib, the collection of gangs known as the Free Syrian Army (FSA) also refused to recognize the Syrian Chalabi. And still, it’s this Qatar-approved entity who is representing the Syrian “rebels” in the widely discredited Arab League summit dedicated to Syria on Tuesday in…Qatar.

Syria's provisional prime minister Ghassan Hitto.(Reuters / Osman Orsal)

Washington/Doha’s game is to de facto legitimize a puppet “Free Syria” enclave in the north – a bunch of scrawny villages – and thus totally discard any possibility of a negotiated solution for the Syrian civil war tragedy; the UN's Special Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi might as well pack up and go home.

What Washington/Doha want – which is what the Muslim Brotherhood wants – is, in the Big Picture, what the NATO-GCC compound wants; regime change. The feudal 'petro-monarchies' of the GCC – Gulf Cooperation Council, also known as Gulf Counter-Revolution Club – are essentially an annex to NATO.

Blowback, it goes without saying, will be horrendous. The top warring actors in Syria are Iraqi-Syrian jihadis. Jabhat al-Nusra – which Washington regards as a terrorist outfit – strictly follows the modus operandi of Iraqi jihadis. Iraqi tribal clans are up to their necks in their operations – as in the tribal confederation Aqidat, the largest in eastern Syria, stretching all the way to Saudi Arabia.

This is how the GCC directly interferes inside Syria; weapon smuggling is controlled by powerful Sunni clans. In the future, when jihadis return from Syria, they will raise hell inside Iraq.

That Desert Storm feeling

By now everyone knows that most “Syrian revolutionaries” are remote-controlled by Washington and Doha.

Yet it gets worse. Not only because in early March the proverbial “US official” leaked that the CIA has been training “rebels” in Jordan since 2012. The notion that the CIA, the Pentagon and the State Department are successfully “vetting” militias in Jordan and Turkey and only supporting “friendly” incarnations of “freedom fighters” is ludicrous. The fighters that really matter are weaponized directly, privileging from Saudi, Qatari and Emirati funds.

With a Syrian Chalabi and an army of mercenaries in place, the only piece missing for full regime change would have to be a 'Shock and Awe' remix. And that’s exactly what US European Command head Admiral James Stavridis confirmed last week to the Senate Armed Services Committee; the Pentagon and NATO – which is essentially the Pentagon in Europe – are practically ready to roll.

Stavridis spelled it out as the US “being prepared if called upon to be engaged as we were in Libya.” This implies a NATO-imposed no-fly zone, which in Libya immediately translated into war. NATO is at the stage of “discussing” a no-fly zone.

In the main stage, we’re actually getting closer to an imminent false flag – certainly involving Syria’s arsenal of chemical weapons. US President Barack Obama has already framed any chemical weapons movement as his “red line” .

Diplomats in Brussels told me this process does not mean NATO acting as a whole; it’s essentially Britain and France. David “of Arabia” Cameron and Francois “Desert Storm” Hollande have already called an emergency EU foreign minister meeting this week to plug their new war – starting with the EU lifting their arms embargo, the first step towards a no-fly zone.

Denmark might be tempted. Germany is resolutely against it, stressing the only ones to benefit will be jihadis. What’s troubling is that Cameron “of Arabia” and “Desert Storm” Hollande are even threatening to go around the EU.

A Syrian man escorts a boy away from fumes as a street covered with uncollected garbage is fumigated in the northern city of Aleppo.(AFP Photo / Bulent Kilic)

Even though Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey still refuses a “military option” , two senators in Washington, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin and Iraqi war fanatic John McCain, are already leading the Capitol Hill army.

US Secretary of State John Kerry has already imparted his blessing;

“The United States does not stand in the way of other countries that made a decision to provide arms, whether it’s France or Britain or others.” And ominously, rising from the dead, the Foreign Policy Initiative – the successor to the infamous, Iraq war-peddling, neo-con Project for a New American Century (PNAC) – started spewing out war cheerleading press releases. 

Obama, among all the hysteria, gives the impression of a (glamorous) deer caught in the headlights on a desert highway. Before posing as a tourist in Petra, Jordan, he warned about the danger of post-Assad Syria becoming a jihadi paradise.

And still the President is clueless;  ten years after 'Shock and Awe' , many in the Washington-Brussels axis dream of a remix that can only lead to the outcome he apparently dreads.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.