domingo, 27 de septiembre de 2015

Vladimir Putin anuncia mañana las nuevas reglas del Gran Juego

Pará un segundo de idiotizarte con los Pumas y el Mundial de rugby. Mañana habla Vladimiro en las Naciones Unidas. Si escuchaste (y te gustó) el discurso de Francisco, sospechamos que vas a escuchar, y te va a gustar, el discurso de Putin en la misma Asamblea..

Acá van varias noticias. La primera es la más reciente nota de Pepe Escobar para RT:

Título: All eyes on New York for Putin the Great

Epígrafe: It's the ultimate geopolitical cliffhanger of the season: will US President Barack Obama finally decide to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin, either this Friday or during the UN General Assembly next week in New York?

Texto: Russia's game changer in Syria - not only weapons delivery but also the prospect of actual intervention by the Russian Air Force - has left the Beltway reeling.

Syrian Minister of Foreign Affairs Walled Muallem has made it clear to RT that direct Russian involvement in the fight against ISIS/ISIL/Daesh and those "moderates" (US neocon designation) of Jabhat al-Nusra, a.k.a. Al-Qaeda in Syria, is even more important than the arms delivery.

Washington, meanwhile, remains mired in a geopolitical black-hole as far as Putin's strategy is concerned. The Obama administration's response will hinge on how Putin's speech at the UN will be received across the world, and how the frantic diplomacy related to the Syrian theatre of war will fare.

It's naïve to interpret the Russian military build-up as a mere show of force, an invitation to the Americans to finally sit down and discuss everything from southwest Asia to Ukraine.

It's also naïve to interpret the move as Moscow's desperation for some kind of dialogue, any dialogue. There are no illusions at the Kremlin. Obama and Putin exchanged a few words in Beijing late last year - and that's it; no official visits, no detailed meetings.

What's certain is that Putin's latest chess move carries the potential to smash to pieces the Obama administration's post-Maidan "strategy" of isolating Russia. Thus the predictable fear, loathing and paranoia permeating the Beltway.

Old Cold War 2.0 habits die hard - if at all. Washington may extend the proverbial "financial support" to failed state, bankrupt Ukraine, and the pressure over the EU to keep sanctions throughout 2016 will remain. US 'Think Tankland' keeps frantically spinning that the Obama administration is "not ready" to deal with Russia.

Well, at least the White House and the State Department seem to have finally understood that those Sukhois and surface-to-air missiles now in Syria are there to protect the Latakia air base. It was up to the Pentagon to elucidate a clueless John Kerry; these are for "force protection".

The new batch includes 4 Su-30SM multi-role combat jets; 12 Su-25 ground attack jets; 12 Su-24M attack fighters; and six possible Ka-52 attack helicopters. According to IHS Jane's, these provide "a significant capability to target rebels opposed to the Syrian government and to secure the Latakia homeland of President Bashar al-Assad."

The elucidation came after Pentagon supremo Ash Carter and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu held a 50-minute phone talk. The fact that this was their first phoner in more than a year tells everything one needs to know about the Obama administration's "diplomatic" skills.

Inevitably, Kerry had to change his tune; the weapons do not raise "serious questions" anymore. Now Kerry is essentially saying Moscow has the right to turbo-charge its peace-for-Syria drive, and the White House is not fussy about Assad's departure date anymore, as long as there is a "transition".

Watch the chessboard

Putin is bound to deliver a showstopper at the UN. Spare a thought for the Obama administration's foreign policy 'muppets', including the neocon cell at the State Department. Putin, under the glare of global public opinion, will frame the absolute defeat of ISIS/ISIL/Daesh as the key geopolitical issue of these times; he will commit Russia to it; and he will propose for the "West" to join in.

Scenario 1: Washington and its EU minions decide to support the Russian drive, or at least have the US-led coalition of dodgy opportunists work side-by-side with Russia - and Iran. This means helping Damascus to win a real war against ("Caliphate") terror. "Assad must go" may even go afterwards. But he'll go as a winner. The Obama administration - as well as Sultan Erdogan, Qatar, the House of Saud - will be held responsible all across the world for prolonging a tragedy that could have been resolved in 2012. And Russia will be recognized as the ultimate defender of civilization against barbarism.

Scenario 2: Washington and the EU minions refuse to act side-by-side with Russia, and continue relying on the appalling performance of the coalition of the dodgy opportunists - for instance, as in Erdogan bombing Kurds and not ISIS/ISIL/Daesh, and the French staging puny airstrikes invoking "self-defense" (I'm not making this up; it's the official Elysée Palace version.) The whole world will interpret it for what it is; the NATO-GCC combo is not really interested in smashing the Salafi-jihadis. Imagine the cataclysmic diplomatic/geopolitical fallout of five years of NATO-GCC enabling hardcore jihadis.

And there's of course the coda; if the Syrian Arab Army/Russian military push against ISIS/ISIL/Daesh works, guess who'll take the credit.

So Putin wins on both scenarios. Forget about the relentless demonization, the new Hitler-Stalin memes. 'Putin The Great' will be no less than a Slavic Perseus - the slayer of the jihadi Medusa.

The great power is back

But there's more, much more. Whatever the scenario, 1 or 2, Putin is simultaneously masterminding a Ukraine endgame, which involves the end of sanctions, probably by 2017. The nations that really count in the EU want to scrap them. And scrap them they will if Putin does what they can't possibly do; smash the "Caliphate" that is sending wave after wave of refugees towards Fortress Europe.

Here I examined how any possible peace in Syria will be Putin's fault. Now imagine the consequences. Russia back as the real indispensable nation - in the Middle East and beyond. And Russia back as a great power - period.

Some signs of intelligent life in the EU can see it coming. Enter Helene Carrère d'Encausse, Russia-expert historian and member of the venerable Académie Française since 1990, of which she's the perpetual secretary. Madame d'Encausse clearly understands how Putin sees himself as the heir of Peter The Great; a great modernizer.

And even as he recognizes Europe is not the center of the world anymore, Putin is not an adversary of Europe. Nevertheless, he firmly believes that for the Americans and Europeans Russia is a country that can be treated with disdain. That must be imperatively reversed.

'Putin The Great's' project is to make Russia regain its status of a great power. When he was elected to the presidency in 2000 - I remember it well, I was in Moscow covering it - Russia was in total chaos, perpetrated by unbridled neoliberalism. Putin got Russia back on track.

What he wants most of all - contrary to superficial drivel reigning in US 'Think Tankland' - is not to remake the Russian or Soviet empire; but to get rid for good of the humiliation of the 1990s - the decade of plundering - and make the nation proud again. Just check his popularity level; 85 percent of Russians - and counting - agree.

Madame d'Encausse refers back historically to Count Sergey Uvarov, the imperial statesman behind Tsar Nicholas I, who defined the doxa in Russia in the mid-19th century as "orthodoxy, autocracy and national genius." She emphasizes this is the heart of Putin's ideology.

National genius, in this context, refers to a sense of social justice and a very Russian spirit of solidarity. Putin always emphasizes this spirit, which is an essential component of what it means to be Russian. And it is all tied up with nationalism. We just need to re-read Dostoevsky, for whom "the Russian nation is an extraordinary phenomenon in the history of human genius."

And then, of course, there's Islam - an immensely complicating factor.

There are over 20 million Muslims in Russia. Putin recognizes that Russia is also a Muslim state; it's in fact multi-confessional, and most Russian Muslims are Sunnis. Putin clearly identifies ISIS/ISIL/Daesh as a Sunni crusade against Shi'ites. At the same time he maintains very good relations with Shi'ite Iran and the Allawites in Syria. And he realizes that Sunni republics, former Russian and Soviet possessions, are at the gates of Russia.

So Putin has to continue analyzing Islam by taking into account both internal and foreign policy. What he clearly identified is that a Salafi-jihadi "Sunnistan" in "Syraq" is a very serious threat to Russia's national security. Aleppo is virtually next door to Grozny.

Sure, 'Putin The Great' harbors great ambition. But first things first; he cannot possibly allow the resurgent great power to be infiltrated and corroded by Western-enabled barbarians at the gate.

Comment: Pepe has posted an update to the above on his Facebook page:

IMPORTANT UPDATE : The White House announced a while ago that the coin FINALLY dropped on Obama and he WILL talk to Putin at the UN General Assembly.

And now a senior adviser to Assad is saying that the US and Russia have reached a "tacit agreement" on ending the mess in Syria.

Quick recap. Putin started by refusing "Assad must go" as a prerequisite for peace negotiations.

Then he turbo-charged the military build up in Latakia - both the Pentagon and the White House DID NOT see it coming.

So this is what Putin accomplished even BEFORE Obama saw the light and decided to talk:

Forget about a Libya-remixed NATO war on Syria.

Forget about a Sultan Erdogan no-fly zone over areas controlled by Damascus.

And out with the old world order. THIS is how the new world order works, and Russia is also driving it.

Putin's speech on Monday at the UN will be about "the joint struggle against terrorism" (as branded by TASS).

Expect abundant apoplexy in the Washington/New York axis.

While the UK remains committed to Washington's line of 'removing Assad', the German government has taken Russia's position:

'Merkel admits Syrian conflict cannot be resolved without Bashar Assad ':


Ahora bien, en relación con los dos escenarios planteados por Escobar, los hechos de las últimas horas parecen hablar en esas direcciones. Acá van dos noticias de Russia Today. La primera, en castellano, habla de un cambio de actitud en el Reino Unido. La segunda, en inglés, sugiere que los franceses, siempre ambiguos, optaron por bombardear, esta vez sí, a los terroristas. Habrá que ver:

Título: "Un gran cambio político": Reino Unido está dispuesto a colaborar con Rusia en la lucha contra el EI

Texto: Reino Unido está listo para colaborar con Rusia en la lucha contra el movimiento yihadista del Estado Islámico, según el primer ministro británico, David Cameron, citado por RIA Novosti.

La colaboración entre Reino Unido y Rusia en la lucha contra el grupo terrorista Estado Islámico supondrá un gran cambio para la política británica, según 'The Telegraph'. La presencia de David Cameron en la 70.ª sesión de la Asamblea General de la ONU se enmarca en un gran plan para recabar apoyos internacionales, el de Rusia incluido, para derrotar a las fuerzas terroristas del Estado Islámico, un objetivo que hoy es prioritario.

Reino Unido dejará de considerar la salida de Bashar al-Assad como condición indispensable para alcanzar la paz en Siria, informa 'The Telegraph'.

Este sábado una fuente diplomático-militar informó que Rusia, Siria, Irán e Irak han creado un centro de información con sede en Bagdad para coordinar la lucha contra el movimiento yihadista del Estado Islámico. Según la fuente, este centro tendrá por objetivo la recogida, elaboración, generalización y análisis de información actualizada sobre la situación en Oriente Medio en el contexto de la lucha contra el Estado Islámico.


Título: France carries out first airstrikes against ISIS in Syria

Texto: France has carried out its first airstrikes on Islamic State positions in Syria, the Élysées Palace said in a statement.

"Our country thus confirms its resolute commitment to fight against the terrorist threat represented by Daesh [Islamic State]. We will strike each time that our national security is at stake," the French Presidency said in a statement, cited by Reuters.

Earlier this week France announced it may carry out airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria as an act of self-defense.

“We are part of the coalition in Iraq [against ISIS],” France’s President Francois Hollande said at a news conference. “We started reconnaissance flights [in Syria] to enable us to consider air strikes if they were necessary and they will be necessary in Syria.”

France announced last week it may carry out airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria as an act of self-defense and had already began reconnaissance missions over Syria.

“We are part of the coalition in Iraq [against ISIS],” French President Francois Hollande said at a news conference. “We started reconnaissance flights to enable us to consider air strikes if they were necessary and they will be necessary in Syria.”

Hollande's foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, said airstrikes in Syria were justified due to a series of Islamist terror attacks in Europe.

“Due to this threat we decided to start reconnaissance flights to have the option for airstrikes, if that would be necessary. This is self-defense,” the minister told the Belgian media.

Reports about France considering airstrikes against Islamic State (formerly ISIS/ISIL) in Syria first emerged in early September, when Le Monde cited an anonymous “high-level source.”

Le Monde added that the change of policy could be caused by Europe’s refugee crisis, and the inability to push back Islamic State.

Meantime Russia's president, Vladimir Putin, has been urging other countries to set aside "double standards and selfishness,” and to unite to defeat Islamic State.

Russia has long insisted on the creation of an international anti-terrorist coalition, to coordinate the efforts with the Syrian Army in combating the jihadists on the ground.

The US State Department has slammed Russia for the construction of an air base in Syria, but has not criticized France’s announcement that it was preparing to carry out air strikes against ISIS in Syria.

In late August, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop called for more European countries to join airstrikes against Islamic State, claiming that bombing would relieve the refugee crisis.

Bishop said that 40 percent of refugees trying to enter Europe are coming from Syria, suggesting that additional strikes would help reduce that number.

Australia is taking part in the effort and is already bombing ISIS positions in Iraq, but has not agreed to an US request to expand its own operations against jihadists into Syria.

Civilian deaths from the airstrikes against ISIS are on the rise. A non-profit organization, Airwars, which tracks the international airstrikes against ISIS, has said that at least 459 civilians were killed by the US-led coalition’s bombing of supposed ISIS positions. As of late August, the coalition has launched more than 5,800 airstrikes in both Iraq and Syria.

Moscow is continuing to supply Syria with weapons in accordance with already existing bilateral contracts. At the same time, Russia is boosting its counter-terror cooperation in the Middle East. Russian media reported on Saturday that Russia, Iran, Iraq and Syria had agreed to establish a joint information center to coordinate the campaign against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL/ISIS).

About 220,000 people have being killed during the ongoing conflict in Syria, qwhich started in 2011.

Troops loyal to the Assad government are fighting a number of enemies, the most powerful of which are Islamic State and the Al Nusra Front. Only two countries, Russia and Iran, internationally support the Syrian authorities, while Arab nations and particularly the Persian Gulf monarchies are backing what they call “moderate” Syrian rebel forces.

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