[News] Do warmongers dream of playing chess?

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Tue Sep 10 13:59:46 EDT 2013

*Do warmongers dream of playing chess?*

By Pepe Escobar

The frantic spin of the millisecond is that the White House is taking a 
"hard look" at the Russian proposal for Bashar al-Assad to place Syria's 
chemical weapons arsenal under UN control, thus defusing (or at least 
postponing) yet another US war in the Middle East.

Oh, the joys of the geopolitical chessboard - Russia throwing a lifeline 
to save US President Barack Obama from his self-spun "red line".

True diplomats are supposed to prevent wars - not pose as warmongers. 
American exceptionalism is of course exempted. So just as Secretary of 
State John Kerry had the pedal on the metal selling in a London press 
conference yet another war, his beat up Chevy was overtaken by a 
diplomatic Maserati: Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

This was Kerry's slip: "... [Assad] could turn over any single bit of 
his chemical weapons to the international community in the next week. 
Turn it over. All of it. And without delay and allow the full
and total accounting for that. But he isn't about to do it, and it can't 
be done obviously."

It can be done, obviously, as Lavrov turned Kerry's move against him - 
forwarding a two-step proposal to Damascus: Syria turns its chemical 
weapons to UN control and later agrees with their destruction, as well 
as joining the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. 
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem lost no time in agreeing. The 
devil, of course, is in the fine print.

*Somebody help me! What's the message? *
Predictably, all hell broke loose at the State Department. Damn! Bloody 
Russki peacenik! A Kerry spokeswoman said this was a "rhetorical 
argument". It was just "talk". Damascus and Moscow have a horrible track 
record. This was just a "stalling tactic''. Washington could not trust 
Assad. And even if there was a "serious" proposal, that would not delay 
the White House's push to sell its war in the US Congress.

Yet two hours later, closet future US presidential candidate Hillary 
Clinton saw it as ... a serious proposal, "suggested by Secretary Kerry 
and the Russians". And she made clear she was for it after meeting with 
Obama himself.

Meanwhile, the bat-shit crazy department kept the pedal on the metal, 
with National Security Adviser Susan "Wolfowitz" Rice busy warning that 
chemical attacks in Syria are a "serious threat to our national 
security" including to "citizens at home''. What, no "mushroom cloud"?

Yet just as "on message" was up in smoke, magically, deputy national 
security adviser Tony Blinken, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf 
and Hillary herself started talking in unison (somebody forgot to brief 
Rice). And the White House decided to take its "hard look". Sort of. 
Because expectations are not that high. And the push to war in the US 
Congress is bound to continue.

Not even hardcore Beltway junkies have been able to keep track in real 
time of the Obama administration's ever-shifting "policy". This is how 
it (theoretically) stands. "Assad is responsible for the gas attack." 
Translation; he did not order it, directly (no one with half a brain, 
apart from the /Return of the Living Dead/ neo-cons, believes the 
current White House "evidence" sticks). But he's still "responsible". 
And even if Jabhat al-Nusra did it - with "kitchen sarin" imported from 
Iraq, as I proposed here 
<http://rt.com/op-edge/war-chemical-weapons-obama-syria-120/> - Assad is 
still "responsible"; after all he must protect Syrian citizens.

In his Monday TV Anschluss, Obama, clinging to the lifeline, was quick 
to steal Lavrov's credit, saying he had "discussed" the broad outlook of 
what Russia announced directly with Putin at the Group of 20 summit last 
week. This has not been corroborated by Moscow.

Obama told CNN this was a "potentially positive thought''. And he was 
keen to stress it only happened not because his Designated War Salesman 
slipped, but because of a "credible military threat''. To NBC, he kept 
peddling what Kerry defined as an "unbelievably small" attack; the US 
"can strike without provoking a counter-attack". Yet to CNN he admitted, 
"the notion that Mr Assad could significantly threaten the United States 
is just not the case''. So why the need for the "unbelievably small" 
kinetic whatever? That's too much of a metaphysical question for US 

*You have the right to remain inspected*
Now for the fine print. Everybody knows what happened to Saddam Hussein 
and Colonel Gaddafi after they gave up their deterrence. Assuming both 
Washington and Damascus accept Lavrov's proposal, this could easily be 
derailed into an Iraqi-style ultra-harsh inspection regime. At least in 
theory, no US Air Force will attack UN inspectors at Syrian chemical 
weapons depots. As for false flags, don't underestimate the deep pockets 
of Saudi Arabia's Prince Bandar bin Sultan - aka Bandar Bush.

Still, considering Washington won't abandon its real agenda - regime 
change - Obama might eventually be re-presented with his full Emperor 
hand to "supervise" the chemical weapons handover and "punish" any 
infringement, real or otherwise, by Damascus, facilitated by the usual 
spies infiltrated into the inspectors mechanism. As in, "If you 
complain, we bomb."

The key point in all this, though, is that, for Damascus, chemical 
weapons are just a detail - they are worthless on the battlefield. What 
matters is the 250,000-strong Syrian Arab Army (SAA), as well as 
military support by Iran and especially Russia - as in badass missiles 
of the Yakhont variety or S-300 (even 400) systems. Destroying the 
weapons - assuming Damascus agrees - is a very long-term proposition, 
measured in years; even Russia and the US have not destroyed theirs. By 
then, the myriad gangs of the "Un-Free" Syrian Army may have been 
thoroughly defeated.

Obama may have read the writing on the (bloody) wall; forget about 
convincing the US Congress to bomb Damascus when there's a real 
diplomatic way out on the table. Yet nothing changes in the long run. 
Those who are paying or cheering in the sidelines for this operation - 
from Bandar Bush to Tel Aviv - want by all means to smash Damascus, for 
the benefit of Israel in terms of strategic balance, and for the benefit 
of the House of Saud in terms of isolating Iran in the Middle East.

So Lavrov's chess move is not a checkmate; it is a gambit, meant to 
prevent the United States from becoming al-Qaeda's Air Force, at least 
for now. The quagmire would then move to a negotiating table - which 
would include those chemical weapons inspections.

No wonder assorted Western-weaponized psychos and jihadis on the ground 
in Syria don't like this one bit. It's happening just as more damning 
circumstantial evidence of false flags galore surface.

RT has been informed that the "rebels" may be planning a monster false 
flag on Israel, to be launched from Assad-controlled ground. [1]

And then there's the release of two former hostages detained for five 
months by the "rebels" in appalling conditions; Domenico Quirico, a 
correspondent for La Stampa, and Belgian historian Pierre Piccinin. Here 
is a shortened version of Quirico's story, in English 

I talked to a very close friend at La Stampa who spoke directly with 
Quirico. He confirmed that Quirico and Piccinin overheard a Skype 
conversation between a "rebel" speaking very bad English, who introduced 
himself as a "FSA General", and somebody speaking very good English on 
the other side of the line. It was clear from the conversation that the 
Assad government was NOT responsible for the gas attack in Ghouta. So 
Quirico is admitting exactly what Piccinin told Belgian TV. It may not 
be conclusive; yet as proof goes, it certainly beats the Israeli-fed 
White House intel.

Unlike Piccinin, Quirico cannot tell the whole true story; most of all 
because La Stampa, a newspaper owned by the Agnelli family, very close 
to Henry Kissinger, is staunchly pro-"rebel". Here's a translation of 
what Piccinin <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FG5QteeaNxc&feature=share> 

    It's a moral duty that we have, Domenico and myself, to say it was
    not the government of Bashar al-Assad that used sarin gas, or other
    nerve agent, in the Damascene suburb of Ghouta. We are certain about
    this, it's a conversation that we captured, even if it pains me to
    say it; I ferociously support the Free Syrian Army, and its fair
    struggle for democracy.

Needless to say, none of this crucial development is being fully 
reported by US corporate media.

The Anschluss continues. Obama is addressing US public opinion this 
Tuesday night. Don't expect him to announce yet another twist to the 
"Obama doctrine" - criminalizing "evil" dictators who use Agent Orange, 
napalm, white phosphorous and depleted uranium against other people.

1. RT sources: Syrian rebels plan chem attack on Israel from 
Assad-controlled territories 
<http://rt.com/news/syria-rebels-chemical-attack-israel-618/>, RT, 
September 9, 2013.

/*Pepe Escobar* is the author of /Globalistan: How the Globalized World 
is Dissolving into Liquid War 
/(Nimble Books, 2007), /Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the 
/(Nimble Books, 2007), and /Obama does Globalistan 
<http://www.amazon.com/Obama-Does-Globalistan-Pepe-Escobar/dp/1934840831> /(Nimble 
Books, 2009).

He may be reached at pepeasia at yahoo.com./
Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
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