Much water has flown down the Euphrates since the 9th round of the Astana Process took place in May. Six months is a long time in politics – especially in Middle East politics. But, paradoxically, while Middle Eastern politics is in turmoil, the prospects for peace in Syria may have improved.
Although several peace projects are currently circulating in the chanceries, they are not adequate for this sort of war. Those who begin with an amputated analysis of the conflict, yet still believe they are doing the right thing, will not only fail to resolve the problem, but will pave the way for a new war. It is imperative to treat the ideological question as a priority.
The New Yorker report by Dexter Filkins, a Pulitzer Prize winner and acclaimed author with long experience in reporting from the frontlines of Middle Eastern hotspots, concludes: “Even if—especially if—M.B.S. hangs on to his position, it seems likely that the Saudi royal family, and Saudi Arabia more generally, are entering a dangerous period.”
The clumsy, ham-handed meddling of President Trump in Saudi dynastic affairs propelled the bull in a china shop Crown Prince into power. The machinations of Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and his Israeli allies have ignited the current crisis. Trump & Co have very much to learn about the Mideast.
Canada’s very lenient immigration regime that practically amounts to a policy of “open borders” made the country an ideal destination for these terrorist-linked forces to flee to, where the government could always try to justify its decision under any future pressure on the grounds of guilting the populace into accepting what the Mainstream Media portrays as “innocent victims of the Assad regime”.
The quadrilateral summit in Istanbul on Syria has endorsed the political advances of Russia, but has decided nothing. Moscow gave its Turkish, French and German partners a lesson on the situation. The allies of Washington are having a hard time digesting their defeat and drawing its conclusions.
The bottom line is that it is the post-war Syrian order that is under discussion now. However, it must be understood as well that the proxy war is not ending but is rather morphing into the diplomatic war that lies ahead, which of course will be keenly fought, given the divergent interests of the foreign protagonists.
Far from being incentivized to submit to a foreign country’s envisioned “political solution” to Khashoggi’s killing, Saudi Arabia is actually more encouraged than ever before to continue with the diversification of its erstwhile strategic dependency on the West by embracing the likes of Russia and even China in response to the EU’s pressure.
Americans, who have been gulled by a multi-million-dollar PR blitz over the modernized ‘new’ Saudi Arabia, complete with a handful of female drivers and commercials about ‘empowered women,’ will begin to see what a corrupt, brutal regime they have so long and unquestionably supported.
Unsurprisingly, it has been announced that White Helmets will receive the 2019 “Elie Wiesel” award from the heavily politicized and pro-Israel Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. This, plus the recent “rescue” of White Helmets by the Israeli government, is more proof of the true colors of the White Helmets.
One of the main reasons for doing this appears to be the government’s plan to popularize the notion that Hezbollah is equivalent to the cartels prior to using this narrative as joint “justification” for more openly meddling in Iran’s domestic affairs and taking an even stricter approach towards the group’s activities in the Mideast.
Since the de-facto “partition” of Syria is already a fait accompli at this point, the next goal of the US and its allies is to compete with its rivals over the reconstruction of their respective “spheres of influence” in the country.