Unz.com is one of my favorite blogs and The Saker writes some great foreign policy articles for the website. According to Russian Insider who also publishes articles of The Saker, ""The Saker" is a pseudonym for a top level American military analyst who lives in Florida...". The Saker has a blog, here.
Anyway, I'm posting an article titled Neocon Panic and Agony by The Saker in its entirely because it's worth reading and dives deeply into the geopolitics of a region that can't seem to ever escape war and misery - the Middle East . Saker legitimately raises the issue that Trump cannot forge a new foreign policy in the Middle East so long as he commits to appeasing Israel.
Neocon Panic and Agony
The home front
One the home front, the Neocons have resorted to every possible dirty trick on the book to try to prevent Donald Trump from ever getting into the White House: they have
*organized riots and demonstrations (some paid by Soros money)
*encouraged the supporters of Hillary to reject the outcome of the elections (“not my President”)
*tried to threaten the Electors and make them either cast a vote for Hillary or not vote at all
*tried to convince Congress to refuse the decision of the Electoral College and
*they are now trying to get the elections annulled on the suspicion that the (apparently almighty) Russian hackers have compromised the election outcome (apparently even in states were paper ballots were used) and stolen it in favor of Trump.
That is truly an amazing development, especially considering how Hillary attacked Trump for not promising to recognize the outcome of the elections. She specifically said that Trump’s lack of guarantees to recognize the outcome would threaten the very basis of the stability of the US political system and now she, and her supporters, are doing everything in their power to do just that, to throw the entire electoral process into a major crisis with no clear path towards resolution. Some say that the Democrats are risking a civil war. Considering that several key Republican Congressmen have said they do support the notion of an investigation into the “Russian hackers” fairy tale, I submit that the Republicans are doing exactly the same thing, that this is not a Democrat vs Republican issue, but a “deep state vs The People of the USA” issue.
Most experts agree that none of these tactics are going to work. So this begs the question of whether the Neocons are stupid, whether they think that they can succeed or what their true objective is.
My guess is that first and foremost what is taking place now is what always happens when the Neocons run into major trouble: they double down, again. And again. And again. That is one of the key characteristics of their psychological make-up: they cannot accept defeat or, even less so, that they were wrong, so each time reality catches up to their ideological delusions, they automatically double-down. Still, they might rationalize this behavior by a combination of hope that maybe one of these tricks will work, with the strong urge to do as much damage to President-Elect Trump before he actually assumes his office. I would never underestimate the vicious vindictiveness of these people.
What is rather encouraging is Trump’s reaction to all this: after apparently long deliberations he decided to nominate Rex Tillerson as his Secretary of Defense. From a Neocon point of view, if General Michael Flynn was bad, then Tillerson was truly an apocalyptic abomination: the man actually had received the order of “Friend of Russia” from the hands of Vladimir Putin himself!
Did Trump not realize how provocative this nomination was and how it would be received by the Neocons? Of course he did! That was, on his part, a totally deliberate decision. If so, then this is a very, very good sign.
I might be mistaken, but I get the feeling that Trump is willing to accept the Neocon challenge and that he will fight back. For example, his reaction to the CIA accusations about Russian hackers was very telling: he reminded everybody that “these are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction”. I think that it is now a safe bet to say that as soon as Trump take control heads will roll at the CIA.
[Sidebar: is it not amazing that the CIA is offering its opinion about some supposed Russian hacking during the elections in the USA? Since when does the CIA have any expertise on what is going on inside the USA? I thought the CIA was only a foreign intelligence agency. And since when does the CIA get involved in internal US politics? Yes, of course, savvy observers of the USA have always known that the CIA was a key player in US politics, but now the Agency apparently does not even mind confirming this openly. I don't think that Trump will have the guts and means to do so but, frankly, he would be much better off completely dissolving the CIA. Of course, that could get Trump killed – messing with the Fed and the CIA are two unforgivable crimes in the USA – but then again Trump is already very much at risk anyway, so he might as well strike first].
On the external front
On the external front, the big development is the liberation of Aleppo by Syrian forces. In that case again, the Neocons tried to double-down: they made all sorts of totally unsubstantiated claims about executions and atrocities while the BBC, always willing to pick up the correct line, published an article about how much the situation in Aleppo is similar to what took place in Srebrenica. Of course, there is one way in which the events in Aleppo and Srebrenica are similar: in both cases the US-backed Takfiris lost and were defeated by government forces and in both cases the West unleashed a vicious propaganda war to try to turn the military defeat of its proxies into a political victory for itself. In any case, the last-ditch propaganda effort failed and preventing the inevitable and Aleppo was completely liberated.
The Empire did score one success: using the fact that most of the foreign forces allied to the Syrians (Hezbollah, Iranian Pasdaran, Russian Spetsnaz, etc.) were concentrated around Aleppo, the US-backed Takfiris succeeded in breaking the will of the Syrians, many of whom apparently fled in panic, and first surrounded and then eventually reoccupied Palmyra. This will be short lived success as I completely agree with my friend Alexander Mercouris who says that Putin will soon liberate Palmyra once again, but until this happens the reoccupation of Palmyra is rather embarrassing for the Syrians, Iranians and Russians.
It seems exceedingly unlikely to me that the Daesh movement towards Palmyra was undetected by the various Syrian, Iranian and Russian intelligence agencies (at least once source reports that Russian satellites did detect it) and I therefore conclude that a deliberate decision was made to temporarily sacrifice Palmyra in order to finally liberate Aleppo. Was that the correct call?
Definitely yes. Contrary to the western propaganda, Aleppo, not Raqqa, has always been the real “capital” of the US backed terrorists. Raqqa is a relatively small town: 220,000+ inhabitants versus 2,000,000+ for Aleppo, making Aleppo about ten times larger than Raqqa. As for tiny Palmyra, its population is 30,000+. So the choice between scrambling to plug the holes in the Syrian defenses around Palmyra and liberating Aleppo was a no-brainer. Now that Aleppo has been liberated, the city has to be secured and major engineering efforts need to be made in order to prepare it for an always possible Takfiri counter-attack. But it is one thing to re-take a small desert town and quite another one to re-take a major urban center. I personally very much doubt that Daesh & Co. will ever be in control of Aleppo again. Some Neocons appear to be so enraged by this defeat that they are now accusing Trump of “backing Iran” (I wish he did!).
The tiny Palmyra was given a double-function by the Neocon propaganda effort: to eclipse the “Russian” (it was not solely “Russian” at all, but never mind that) victory in Aleppo and to obfuscate the “US” (it was not solely “US” at all, but never mind that) defeat in Mosul. A hard task for the tiny desert city for sure and it is no wonder that this desperate attempt also failed: the US lead coalition in Mosul still looks just about as weak as the Russian lead coalition looks strong in Aleppo.
Any comparison between these two battles is simply embarrassing for the USA: not only did the US-backed forces fail to liberate Mosul from Daesh & Co. but they have not even full encircled the city or even managed to penetrate beyond its furthest suburbs. There is very little information coming out of Mosul, but after three months of combat the entire operation to liberate Mosul seems to be an abject failure, at least for the time being. I sincerely hope that once Trump takes office he will finally agree to work not only with Russia, but also with Iran, to finally get Daesh out of Mosul. But if Trump delivers on his promise to AIPAC and the rest of the Israel Lobby gang to continue to antagonize and threaten Iran, the US can basically forget any hopes of defeating Daesh in Iraq.
Our of despair and spite, the US propaganda vilified Russia for the killing of civilians in Aleppo while strenuously avoiding any mention of civilian victims in Mosul. But then, the same propaganda machine which made fun of the color of the smoke coming out of the engines of the Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov (suggesting that she was about to break down) had to eat humble pie when it was the US navy’s most expensive and newest destroyer, the USS Zumwalt, which broke down in the Panama canal and had to be immobilzed, while the Kuznetsov continued to do a very good job supporting Russian operations in Syria.
Over and over again, the AngloZionist propaganda machine has failed to obfuscate the embarrassing facts on the ground and it now clearly appears that the entire US policy for the Middle-East is in total disarray and that the Neocons are as clueless as they are desperate.
The countdown to January 20th
It is pretty obvious that the Neocon reign is coming to an end in a climax of incompetence, hysterical finger-pointing, futile attempts at preventing the inevitable and a desperate scramble to conceal the magnitude of the abject failure which Neocon-inspired policies have resulted in. Obama will go down in history as the worst and most incompetent President in US history. As for Hillary, she will be remembered as both the worst US Secretary of State the US and the most inept Presidential candidate ever.
In light of the fact that the Neocons always failed at everything they attempted, I am inclined to believe that they will probably also fail at preventing Donald Trump from being sworn in. But until January 20th, 2017 I will be holding my breath in fear of what else these truly demented people could come up with.
As for Trump, I still can’t figure him out. On one hand he nominates Rex Tillerson in what appears to be a deliberate message of defiance against the Neocons, while on the other hand he continues to try to appease the Israel Lobby gang by choosing a rabid Zionist of the worst kind, David M. Friedman, as the next US ambassador to Israel. Even worse then that, Donald Trump still does not appear to be willing to recognize the undeniable fact that the US will never defeat Daesh as long as the anti-Iranian stance of the Neocons is not replaced by a real willingness to engage Iran and accept it as a partner and ally.
Right now the Trump rhetoric simply makes no sense: he wants to befriend Russia while antagonizing China and he wants to defeat Daesh while threatening Iran again. This is lunacy. Still, I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, but somebody sure needs to educate him on the geopolitical realities out there before he also end up making a total disaster of US foreign policy.
And yet, I still have a small hope.
My hope is that the latest antics of the Neocons will sufficiently aggravate and even enrage Trump to a point where he will give up on his futile attempts at appeasing them. Only by engaging in a systematic policy of “de-neoconization” of the US political establishment will Trump have any hopes of “making America great again”. If Trump’s plan is to appease the Neocons long enough from him to be sworn in and have his men approved by Congress – fine. Then he still has a chance of saving the USA from a catastrophic collapse, but only as long as he remains determined to ruthlessly crack down on the Neocons once in power. If his hope is to distract the Neocons by appeasing them on secondary or minor issues, then his efforts are doomed and he will go down the very same road as Obama who, at least superficially, initially appeared to be a non-Neocon candidate and who ended up being a total Neocon puppet (in 2008 the Neocons had placed their bets on McCain and they only infiltrated the Obama Administration once McCain was defeated).
One way or another, we are headed for a crisis, the only open question whether the USA will come out of this crisis liberated or doomed