The Official Reasons
We all know the governments of the West, lead by the US and the UK, have turned against Russia. There are many reasons offered by our media: Russia tried to stop the Ukraine from joining the EU. Russia helped the pro-Russian rebels shoot down MH-17. Russia invaded the Crimea illegally. Thousands of Russian troops and tanks are fighting in the Ukraine. Some of us think these claims are war propaganda for the citizens of the West used to justify sanctions against Russia and increasing military tensions.
The Geo-political Reasons
Less widely discussed but much more important are the Geo-political reasons which look at the areas of conflict between the economic interests of the US and those of Russia and China. At the moment the EU is heavily dependent on energy from Russia. The US would like to stop this. The conflict in the Ukraine is an important part of the process of economically separating the EU from Russia. But there is also a wider agenda. China and Russia lead the BRICS group of countries consisting of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The BRICS countries want to develop a world wide economic system that does not depend the US dollar. They want to be independent of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World bank. China has also suggested to Europe that they join together with Russia and themselves in what they call the New Silk Road, stretching across the whole of Eurasia, from Lisbon to Shanghai. Needless to say there is no immediate place for the US in this plan, so this gives another reason to cut the economic ties between Russia and the EU.
The Secret Reason – The War that Didn’t Happen
While these factors are all important, there is another factor which is never discussed in the Western media. The trigger for the sudden hostility against Russia and Putin can be found in almost unreported events which took place late in August and early September 2013. What happen in that crucial period is that a planned NATO surprise attack on Syria was stopped by Russia. This was probably the first time since WWII that a military attack planned by the West was confronted by sufficient force to require its cancellation. The people in the West will not be told because their belligerent, tough-talking leaders “blinked”. They backed down and decided to change their plans. The new plan: Undermine the Ukraine and seize Crimea for NATO. This obviously didn’t work either, and the mess they created is still with us.
The Planned US-French Attack on Syria
Early in the morning of Saturday, August 31, 2013, an American official called the office of President Hollande telling him to expect a call from Obama later in the day. “Assuming that the evening phone call would announce the commencement of U.S. air strikes (against Syria), Hollande ordered his officers to quickly finalize their own attack plans. Rafale fighters were loaded with Scalp cruise missiles, their pilots told to launch the 250-mile-range munitions while over the Mediterranean.”(1) In other words, at this point in time the French pilots and the US forces were only waiting for the final command from President Obama to begin their attack. However, later that same day, at 6:15 pm, Obama called the French President to tell him that the strike scheduled for 3:00 am, September 1, would not take place as planned. He would need to consult Congress.(2)
Why Did the US Change Plans?
It is difficult for us to know all of the manoeuvres which took place behind the scenes during August and September, 2013, but the final outcome is clear. After years of increasing tensions and threats, the US and its allies decided not to launch a direct attack on Syria as planned. Given the rhetoric and military deployment directed against Syria seemed to follow the script used for Iraq and Libya, there has been little discussion in the West about why the US and its friends suddenly changed their plans. Now with hindsight we can see that this failed direct attack led to an increased indirect attack and the rise of what is know known as ISIS.
Two of the obvious reasons
I can see for this sudden change are not the sort of things the political leaders of the West want to discuss. One is the fact that these wars are very unpopular. As a result of countless lies and failures revealed about the pointless and savage wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, it seems that some of the politicians are listening to their citizens. How else can you explain the unexpected decision of the British Parliament on Thursday, 29 August, to vote against the UK taking part in any strikes on Syria?
The other reason is the extent of the military build-up by Syria, Russia and even China.(9) The Russians and Chinese have not only blocked the US in the Security Council. They “voted” with their military hardware. They are not happy about what the US planned for Syria and made it quite clear that they would use force to stop them. When was the last time the Chinese ever sent warships to the Mediterranean? Russia and China are clearly not happy with the way the US decides to invade one country after another.