Geopolitical Notes From India
M D Nalapat
CASH from wealthy members of the “Wahabbi International” ( the global alliance of Wahabbi interests) flows into think-tanks in the US and the EU, although mostly in the UK. These days, such money has also started flowing to some Scandinavian scholars and institutes, prompting them to write opeds about what they have been prepped to describe as “ creeping fascism” in the Nordic countries. Or in other words, restrictions on the entry of migrants from the Middle East, the single biggest issue in large parts of Europe, a continent that has changed forever as a consequence of the generosity of Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel ensuring that the EU permitted refugees to enter with minimal paperwork, before herself throwing open the door to citizenship in Germany to what will certainly be at least four million refugees and their extended families during the coming five years.
It must be admitted that the complex of think-tanks, mediapersons and former and current officials patronized by the Wahabbi International have proved very effective in influencing policy within the US and the EU, most lately in the Syrian conflict. Judging by the vituperation directed at Assad, it would be easy to forget that the only locations where Christians are safe in Syria is where Assad rules, followed by the Kurdish enclaves. Those parts of Syria still controlled by the “moderate opposition” ie any group funded by the NATO powers and their Middle Eastern allies) have been cleansed of Muslims,Shia and many moderate Sunnis. Such zones are firmly in the Wahabbi grip, and yet CNN and BBC consider such territory to be havens of democracy. The dress code, especially for women, is very strict. Unlike the more relaxed norms followed in those places run by those NATO is seeking to finish off, the Assad forces. Despite the experience of the past, the romance between the Atlantic Alliance and the Wahabbis still continues.
Although Wahabbi academics seldom permit outsiders into their homes,nor allow women to dress other than by the codes popular within Sudan’s Wahabbi elite, their personal conversation with NATO bloc scholars (many eager for grants and fellowships) revolves around the desirability of “freedom”. And in the pantheon of foes of such freedom, President Bashar Assad of Syria heads the list, now that both Saddam Hussein of Iraq and Muammar Kaddafy of Libya have been eliminated. It has become a matter of prestige for Wahabbis to somehow ensure that NATO finish off Assad at the earliest. The method of choice is the allegation that the Syrian military is using chemical weapons against women and children. Bashar Assad must be cursing the day he handed over his chemical weapons stocks on the initiative of Russia, which believed that such a sacrifice by its ally would ensure the end of sanctions against it. Instead, now that he is a less formidable foe as a consequence of the chemical weapons handover, the pressure by NATO on Assad has increased substantially.
The probability is high that the chemical weapons attacks blamed by CNN and BBC have been “false flag” operations, carried out so as to create a justification for a war on Assad similar to that waged against Kaddafy in 2011, and which would involve the air forces of selected countries as was the case in the Libyan regime change operation. The same grim pictures have appeared on television screens and the “talking heads” who have for decades backed Wahabbi causes are these days demanding “immediate and deadly” action against Assad and his administration.
The present ruler of Russia,Vladimir Putin, has shown that he understands the errors made in the past, including by Dmitry Medvedev as President, who stood aside while Kaddafy was defeated and killed and is clearly in the Gorbachev-Yeltsin mould. For Putin, the protection of the Syrian regime is a matter of supreme importance, as it ensures not merely a significant base area for Moscow within the Middle East but shows leaders of the region that Russia will not cut and run from its allies. An attack on Assad will be met with defensive systems that are certain to destroy hostile aircraft. How much farther can President Trump go before getting close to an all-out war with Russia? If that happens, and if Russia moves its forces into the Baltic Republics, the nuclear weapons at its command will mean that NATO will be unable to credibly respond. Should a nuclear weapons state of the potency of Russia launch a tactical nuclear weapon strike on forces from a non-nuclear country , the odds are close to zero that there will be a nuclear response from the US, the UK and France.
The three are well aware that a war between two full-fledged nuclear weapons states can only end in the destruction of the planet. This is the immunity enjoyed by a nuclear weapons state, and this is being seen in the behaviour of Israel and the responses to it. Any battle between NATO forces and Russia would spook global markets substantially. Brinkmanship works only if the other side is prone to blinking. If not, it can end in catastrophe. Catastrophe is what an attack by the US and its allies on the Syrian government would be. Such a move would meet with an immediate riposte from Russia, with unintended consequences that may end in the unimaginable. Hopefully, Donald Trump will remember his warnings against getting involved in quixotic wars, and free himself from the clutches of the Beltway. Should he instead do what television anchors are clamouring for, which is war, the world may witness a direct clash of arms between Washington and Moscow for the first time ever in their histories.
—The writer is Vice-Chair, Manipal Advanced Research Group, UNESCO Peace Chair & Professor of Geopolitics, Manipal University, Haryana State, India.