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Words of caution

October 11, 2015

Western dissidents and anti-imperial activists around the globe were jubilant when Russia started a bombing campaign against Islamic terrorists in Syria, who have torn to shreds a comparatively stable country and since nearly five years try to topple one of the few governments in the Middle East who care for their people. Brilliant analyses and comments tried to illuminate the geopolitical scene and many lauded Russia for standing up to the imperial forces.

Yet, several questions remain unanswered: 

1. Does the ancient wisdom, that violence only begets more violence, not count here?

2. Were all peaceful means exhausted (considering the intense diplomatic efforts of Russia to organize negotiations between opposition and government it seems so).

3. Could Russia overplay its cards, get exhausted, fall into a trap?

4. What can be done to stop the imperial rampage across the globe?

The US military budget of 620 billion US$ (including misnamed and secret funds rather one trillion US$) is matched by a 84 billion US$ (In reality some 100 billion US$) Russian military budget. The 7 – 10 times bigger US military budget will not result in an equally bigger military superiority because half of the money is wasted, payed for overpriced weapons and services, or embezzled.

Yet, if the financial efforts of the US taxpayers only result in a 3 – 4 times stronger military might it would be enough to squash Russia.

global military spending

The Russian air campaign is not a cakewalk. There will be losses and the Islamic terrorists will hide, build decoys, will strike unexpectedly, will deploy sophisticated anti aircraft missiles. Russia is the only nation besides the USA who can resort to comprehensive battlefield surveillance via drones, but drone reconnaissance was not decisive in recent US military conquests. This technology is overhyped, is prone to failures, the transmitted pictures and radio conversations can easily be misinterpreted.

There will be technical defects and fighter jets may crash. Did all cruise missiles from the Caspian Sea reach their intended targets? They are in service only since August. Western news agencies claim that four of them went down in Iran and one cannot say if this is just pure propaganda. British pilots reportedly have permission to attack Russian planes. Was a Russian jet indeed shot down by Turkey, as social media posts claim? (Possible but very unlikely).

Iranian General Hossein Hamedani was killed near Aleppo, senior Hezbollah commander Hasan Hossian al-Haj was killed in Idlib during an operation to win back the town of Mansoureh. The Syrian offensive in Idlib faces stiff resistance. Dozens of Syrian tanks have been destroyed and more than hundred soldiers died.

hands off Syria 3

A decapitation of the terrorist groups is not possible because there is no firm organizational structure on Syrian soil — the command rooms are in Turkey and Jordan. What Russia needs to do is to seal off the border to Turkey to enable a mopping-up operation of the Syrian and Iranian forces against the hundreds of marauding criminal gangs inside Syria.

Even if the Syrian offensive in Idlib is successful, the war will go on. The Gulf states will pour more funds onto the terrorist gangs. Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan will seek comfort inside the NATO fold.

The US Air Force Central Command started deploying search and rescue helicopters and airmen at Turkey’s southeastern Diyarbakır Air Base in order to help with recovery operations in neighboring Iraq and Syria. A tent city within İncirlik air base has been undergoing reconstruction for modern prefabricated houses, which will host 2,250 US military personnel. The new area is named “Patriot Town,” and after construction is completed, the İncirlik base will be larger than any US base in Europe.

The empire will not be tamed by outside pressure and it has the resources to keep its firm grip on the world for decades to come.

Will a change come from inside? Guns are still in high demand, so what could be bad about shooting at other people? In average 90 US inhabitants per day are killed by guns — will the US culture of violence, cruelty, barbarism ever change? http://www.bradycampaign.org/about-gun-violence

iraq war protest

I have mentioned Cindy Sheehan on this blog several times. She keeps going despite having to care for her cancer sick sister. She is not the only admirable, larger than life figure, there are many other committed war resisters, social activists, dissidents, whistleblowers, conscientious objectors in the USA, but there is not yet a popular groundswell of activity against the imperial war adventures. There is maybe a groundswell of discontent, but as long as people remain glued to their TVs, computers, and smartphones, the regime in Washington and Wall Street will not be challenged and the machinations, ploys, conspiracies, the deceiving, pillaging, harassing, oppressing can go on unimpeded.

As for now the US population will only uprise when their favorite team scores a goal.

Do we have to wait for the financial crash, for riots and bloodshed in the ghettos, for a tidal wave of obstruction, subversion, and sabotage (monkey wrenching) up to the highest levels of state authority? Do we have to wait for tax boycotts, for millions of citizens opting out and joining the informal sector, for the wakeup calls of widespread absolute poverty, environmental destruction, and deadly epidemics?

Maybe Cindy Sheehan, Kshama Sawant, Kathy Kelly, Medea Benjamin, Jody Williams, Brian Willson, and their fellow activists (one could mention many other names) can make a contribution to change US culture.

Maybe Sibel Edmonds, Ann Garrison, Andre Vltchek, James Petras, Robert Parry, Seymor Hersh, Mike Whitney, Chris Hedges, and their fellow dissident journalists can wake up the US public.

One has to wish them the best of luck and much stamina — they have a long way to go.

MLK Peace Rally in Spokane

P.S.: In the meantime, in Iraq a group of IS (Islamic State) leaders and maybe even “caliph” Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi were killed by air strikes on Karabla near the Syrian border. The air strikes were carried out by Iraqi planes, not by the US-led anti-IS coalition.

If one is not a psychopath, there’s no joy in killing and also no joy in getting notice of a fellow humans death. Sometimes, if the deceased person was a danger, a menace, a curse, one may feel relieve though.

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