Washington Looking for a Syria Scapegoat – Turkey or the Saudis?
The conflict opposing the United States to Russia and China is evolving on two fronts – on one hand, Washington is looking for a possible scape-goat to bear the responsibility for the war against Syria, and on the other, Moscow, which has already connected the situations in Syria and Yemen, is now attempting to link them to the Ukrainian question.
Washington seeks a scape-goat
In order to disengage without losing face, the United States have to blame one of their allies for their crimes. They have three possibilities – either blame Turkey, Saudi Arabia, or both. Turkey is present in Syria and in Ukraine, but not in Yemen, while Saudi Arabia is present in Syria and Yemen, but not in Ukraine.
We now dispose of verified information about what really happened on 15 July in Turkey – these data oblige us to revise our initial judgement.
First of all, it transpired that handing Turkey the management of the jihadist hordes after the attack which wounded Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan was not without problems – indeed, while Bandar was an obedient intermediary, Erdoğan pursued his own strategy for the creation of the 17th Turko-Mongol empire, which led him to use the jihadists independently of his mission.
Besides this, the United States could not avoid levying sanctions against President Erdoğan for aligning his country economically with Russia while he was still a military member of NATO.
Finally, with the crisis in the world power structure, President Erdoğan became the ideal scape-goat for the US to extricate itself from the Syrian crisis.
From the US point of view, the problem is not Turkey, which is an indispensable regional ally, nor Hakan Fidan’s MIT (secret services) which organises the world jihadist movement, but Recep Tayyip Erdoğan himself.
Consequently, the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) first of all attempted, in August 2013, to instigate a colour revolution by organising demonstrations at Gezi Park in Istanbul. Either the plan failed, or the US changed its mind.
The decision was taken to overthrow the Islamists of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) by vote. The CIA had organised the transformation of the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) into a true party of the minorities, and also prepared an alliance between it and the Socialists of the Republican People’s Party (CHP). The HDP adopted a wide-open programme for the defence of ethnic minorities (Kurds) and social minorities (feminists, homosexuals), and included an ecological chapter. The CHP was reorganised for two reasons – to mask the over-representation of the Alevis in the party, and with a view to promoting the candidacy of the ex-President of the Supreme Court. However, while the AKP lost the elections in July 2015, it proved impossible to execute the alliance between the CHP and the HDP. As a result, a new round of general elections was held in November 2015, but they were brutally rigged by Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Washington therefore decided to physically eliminate Mr. Erdoğan. Three assassination attempts occurred between November 2015 and July 2016. Contrary to what has been reported, the operation of 15 July 2016 was not an attempted coup d’état, but an attempt to eliminate Recep Tayyip Erdoğan alone. The CIA used Turko-US industrial and military connections in order to recruit a small team within the Air Force to execute the President during his holidays. However, this team was betrayed by Islamist officers, (who represent almost a quarter of army personnel), and the President was warned an hour before the arrival of the commando. He was then transferred under the protection of a loyalist military escort. Aware of the foreseeable consequences of their failure, the conspirators launched a coup d’état without any preparation, and while the streets of Istanbul were still full of people. Obviously enough, they failed. The repression which followed was not aimed only at arresting the authors of the attempted assassination, nor even the soldiers who rallied to the improvised coup d’état, but all pro-United States activists – first of all the secular Kemalists, then the Islamists of Fethullah Gülen. In total, more than 70,000 people were tried, and the ordinary prisoners of civil law had to be liberated to make room to incarcerate the pro-US prisoners.
President Erdoğan’s megalomania, his insane white palace, his rigging of the elections, and his all-round repression make him the ideal scape-goat for the errors committed in Syria. However, his resistance to a colour revolution and four assassination attempts suggest that it will not be possible to get rid of him so quickly.
Saudi Arabia is just as indispensable for the United States as Turkey, for three reasons – first of all, for its oil reserves, which are of exceptional quality and quantity, (although Washington no longer needs to use them, but only to control their sale), then for their financial reserves, (although these reserves have fallen by 70%), which enable the financing of secret operations sheltered from the control of Congress, and finally for its grip on the sources of jihadism. Indeed, since 1962 and the creation of the Muslim World League, Riyadh has been financing, on behalf of the CIA, the Muslim Brotherhood and the Naqshbandis, the two organisations which supply the total of all jihadist officers throughout the world.
However, the anachronistic character of this state, which is the private property of a royal family who are strangers to the commonly accepted principles of freedom of expression and religion, demanded radical changes.
The CIA therefore organised the succession of King Abdallah in January 2015. On the night of the sovereign’s death, the majority of the inefficient civil servants was relieved of its functions, and the country was reorganised according to a pre-established plan. From now on, the power is shared between three main clans – King Salmane (and his beloved son Prince Mohammed), the son of Prince Nayef (the other Prince Mohammed), and finally the son of the dead king (Prince Mutaib, commander of the National Guard).
In practise, King Salmane (81 years old) allows his son, the dashing Prince Mohammed (31 years old), to govern in his stead. Mohammed increased Saudi engagement against Syria, then launched the war against Yemen. Besides this, he also launched a vast programme of economic and social reforms corresponding to his «Vision for 2030».
Unfortunately, the results were not as glorious as expected – the kingdom is now bogged down in both Syria and Yemen. This last war has backfired, with incursions by the Houthis on Saudi territory and the defeat of his armies. From the economic point of view, the secured oil reserves are drawing down, and the defeat in Yemen prevents him from exploiting the «Empty Quarter», in other words the desert region which straddles both countries. The fall in oil prices has certainly enabled the elimination of a number of competitors, but it has also dried up the Saudi Treasury, which is now obliged to borrow on the international markets .
Saudi Arabia has never been so powerful and at the same time so fragile. Political repression reached a summit with the decapitation of the head of the opposition, sheikh Al-Nimr. The revolt is not only brewing among the Shia minority, but also in the Sunni provinces in the West of the country. On the international level, the Arab Coalition certainly looks impressive, but has been falling apart since the Egyptian retreat. The public rapprochement with Israël against Iran has raised an outcry in the Arab and Muslim world. Rather than the dawn of a new alliance, it illustrates the panic which has gripped the royal family, now universally hated.
Seen from Washington, the moment has come to choose the elements in Saudi Arabia that are worth saving, and to get rid of the others. Logic would require a return to the previous sharing of power between the Sudairis (but without Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has proved to be useless) and the Chamars (the tribe of deceased King Abdallah).
The best solution, for Washington and the Saudi subjects, would be for King Salmane to die. His son Mohammed would be isolated from power, which would be entrusted to the other Prince Mohammed (the son of Nayef). Prince Mutaib would conserve his position. This succession would be easier to manage for Washington if it occurred before the investiture of the next President, on 6 January 2017. The applicant would then charge the defunct king with the responsibility for all mistakes and announce peace in Syria and Yemen. This is the project currently occupying the CIA.
In Arabia, as in Turkey and other allied nations, the CIA is seeking to maintain the status quo. For that purpose, they are making do by organising attempts to change leaders without ever touching the structures themselves. The cosmetic character of these modification makes it easier to guarantee the invisibility of its work.
Moscow attempts to link the Middle East and Ukraine in negotiations
Russia has managed to link the Syrian and Yemeni battle-grounds. While its forces have been publicly deployed in the Levant for a year, they have been unofficially present in Yemen for three months, and are now actively participating in the combats. By simultaneously negotiating the cease-fire in Aleppo and Yemen, it has forced the United States to accept the linkage of these two theatres of operation. In both of these countries, its armies have showed their superiority in conventional equipment faced with the allies of the United States, while at the same time avoiding a direct confrontation with the Pentagon. This sidestepping prevents Moscow from investing in Iraq, despite its historical antecedents in this third country.
However, the origin of the quarrel between the two major powers is basically the blockage of the two Silk Roads – once in Syria, then again in Ukraine. Logically, Moscow is therefore trying to link these two dossiers in its negotiations with Washington. It is all the more logical in that the CIA has itself already created a link between the two battle-grounds via Turkey.
By going to Berlin, on 19 October, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Minister for Foreign Affairs, Sergey Lavrov, were hoping to convince Germany and France, if not the United States, to link these dossiers. Thus they exchanged the extension of the truce in Syria for the end of the Ukrainian blockage of the Minsk agreements. This bargain must irritate Washington, which will do everything in its power to sabotage it.
Of course, in the end, Berlin and Paris will align themselves with their NATO suzerain. But from Moscow’s point of view, a frozen conflict is better than a defeat (in Ukraine, as in Transnistria, for example), and everything which damages the unity of NATO anticipates the end of US supremacism.
By Thierry Meyssan