Who really cares what Trump says when nobody’s words one way or the other are going to change the reality that “Israel” probably won’t be dislodged from the occupied Golan Heights anytime soon, especially not when Russian troops are enforcing an anti-Iranian “buffer zone” there and Moscow itself strongly suggested that Damascus surrender this territory in the Russian-written “draft constitution” that it’s been incessantly “encouraging” Syria to promulgate since January 2017.
Words Matter…As Distractions!
Practically everyone except for the “Israelis” themselves are furious about Trump’s announcement that the US will “recognize” “Israel’s” annexation of the Golan Heights, but this is yet another example of the “chattering class” thinking that their words will make any difference whatsoever in changing this de-facto geopolitical reality.
It’s certainly true that Washington’s move violates international law, but nobody should have been under any impression at this point that the US — let alone Trump — would let the so-called “rules of the game” agreed upon in the bygone era of “feel good” post-war multilateralism hamstring its behavior.
Many will probably mock this decision as embodying the policy of “Israel First” more than “America First” but that will just distract from the fact that Syria was unable to liberate its occupied territory for nearly half a century and certainly isn’t in any shape to do so in the indefinite future, especially not when Russian troops are presently enforcing an anti-Iranian “buffer zone” there.
The Russian-Enforced Anti-Iranian “Buffer Zone”
Most of Alt-Media ignored this “politically inconvenient” development last summer or arrogantly dismissed it as a “pro-Zionist” conspiracy theory because it contradicted their fake news assumption that President Putin is an “anti-Zionist crusader”, but it was officially recognized by the Russian Ministry of Defense in September (and reported on by RT at the time) that Moscow “managed to secure the withdrawal of all Iran-backed groups from the Golan Heights to a ‘safe distance for Israel,’ more than 140 kilometers to the east of Syria, the spokesperson said, adding that this was done at the request of Tel Aviv.”
The outlet quoted Defense Ministry spokesman Konsashenkov as adding that “a total of 1,050 personnel, 24 MLRSs and tactical missiles, as well as 145 pieces of other munitions and military equipment were withdrawn from the area”, confirming that he wasn’t just saying this “for the sake of it” like some have wishfully imagined but that there are hard facts to prove that the “buffer zone” was indeed implemented to ensure “Israel’s” security.
Curiously, despite Moscow expectedly condemning Trump’s move, the Russian-written “draft constitution” for Syria that was unveiled in January 2017 at the first Astana Summit strongly implies that Damascus would inevitably surrender the Golan Heights to “Israel” as part of its externally “encouraged” post-war policy of refusing to resort to war against its neighbors no matter the reason may be.
The Russian-Written “Draft Constitution” For Syria
Here’s what I wrote at the time in my in-depth legal analysis of that document for 21stCenturyWire.com titled “SYRIA: Digging Into The Details Of The Russian-Written ‘Draft Constitution’”:
“Are The Golan Heights Part Of Syria’s State Borders?
Article 9 briefly states that “the territory of Syria is indivisible, inviolable and integral” and that “state borders may be changed only after a referendum among all Syrian citizens, as the expression of the will of the Syrian people”, which makes perfect sense but doesn’t expressly mention whether the disputed Golan Heights – presently occupied and annexed by “Israel” in contravention of international law – would presumably be part of the country’s state borders at the time of the “draft constitution’s” passing.
This is an exceedingly important detail which mustn’t be overlooked, because Article 85 says that “the Constitution shall come into force on the day of its promulgation after the referendum”, which in practice means that if there isn’t any clear reference to the Golan Heights being part of the “indivisible, inviolable and integral” territory of Syria, that the case can be made that Damascus must abide by Article 8’s decrees that it “maintain good neighborly relations with other countries based on cooperation, mutual security and other principles stipulated by international legal rules” and also “denounce war as an infringement on other countries’ sovereignty and a means to resolve international conflicts.”
In practice, this might constitute a legal quandary whereby Syria de-facto, if not de-jure, ends up withdrawing its claims to the Golan Heights. If Syria is forced to enter into “good neighborly relations” with “Israel” and “denounce war” as ever being an option whatsoever to liberate the occupied Golan Heights, then it’s essentially ceding this territory even if the people aren’t fully aware of it.”
As such, Trump actually seems to be getting a head start (or possibly “jumping the gun”) on the “Yinon Plan”-inspired future that Russia itself seems to also envision, albeit that he’s doing so unilaterally in his typical attention-grabbing manner of trolling the world instead of waiting for Syria to (be “encouraged” by Russia to) go through the “democratic” motions of “legitimizing” its surrender of the Golan Heights through the promulgation of the Russian-written “draft constitution” that Damascus has hitherto refused to accept.
Ignorance Or Agenda?
Practically everyone criticizing Trump’s move is either unaware of these facts or deliberately ignoring them in order to virtue signal support for international law and the anti-Zionist cause, all while implying that his decision tangibly changes anything (irrespective of its morality and international legality) and pretending the Russia didn’t “passively facilitate” this through its strong suggestion in the “draft constitution” that it’s been incessantly “encouraging” Syria to implement and the anti-Iranian “buffer zone” that it’s currently enforcing along the occupied Golan Heights, the latter of which indisputably prevents either Tehran and/or Damascus from militarily liberating this territory.
Whatever one’s views are about this issue, these are the facts as they objectively exist, and no amount of condemnation from the “chattering class” is going to change them. Nor, for that matter, will Trump’s “recognition” of “Israel’s” annexation change anything either since it’s actually surprising in and of itself that the US waited so long to do so since it was never the “friend of Palestine” that its decades-long lack of this “recognition” implied, let alone an adherent to international law after regularly violating it on countless other occasions.
The Putin-Bibi-Trump Brotherhood
The only possible consequence that this decision could have is that it might give Netanyahu a boost ahead of next month’s early elections because he could predictably portray it as a foreign policy success that could be leveraged to woo voters from his far-right rival. Interestingly, his potential victory would also be to Russia’s interest as well since President Putin has met Netanyahu more times than any other leader in the past four years and is known to be very close friends with him.
In fact, the Russian leader just recently invited him to visit to the opening of a synagogue in Crimea, during which time he also spoke a few words of Hebrew in demonstrating his extremely close connection to the Jewish religion that is one of Russia’s four constitutionally recognized traditional faiths (the video evidence of which is embedded in the previous hyperlink). It also suggests that President Putin might be investing some of his precious free time into studying the language so as to personally deepen Russia’s strategic partnership with “Israel” to the point where the true polities truly feel as though they’re “two states, one nation” like I suggested they’re becoming in the piece that I published about this topic at the beginning of the year.
In any case, it should be acknowledged by all that while Trump broke a taboo, he hardly broke the news, like geopolitical analyst Adam Garrie observed. All that he did was unilaterally lend the US’ “legal legitimacy” to “Israel’s” annexation of the Golan Heights, which shouldn’t bother the “chattering class” unless they secretly think that America’s support really matters in “winning hearts and minds” over this issue, something that they regularly swear isn’t the case but which might actually matter more than they’ve publicly let on judging by their overreaction to this move.
By Andrew Korybko
Source: Eurasia Future