Mideast situation enters Twilight Zone

The site of bomb attacks that killed 46 people in Turkey’s southern town of Reyhanli on May 11, 2013

The site of bomb attacks that killed 46 people in Turkey’s southern town of Reyhanli on May 11, 2013

Mon May 13, 2013 8:45AM GMT

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By Jim W. Dean

The Israeli attacks were of course a provocation to see if Syria might send a Sarin-laced missile into Israel in return, but they are not that stupid. And then we had the multiple car bombings on the Turkish border, an obvious provocation to trigger Erdogan sending the Turkish cavalry to save the FSA with air cover and heavy weapons.”

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I was in a quandary today as to what to write about on the escalating Mid East situation, looking for some clear trend that I could focus on for enlightenment.

But frankly, I couldn’t find anything. So I have decided to write about how difficult it is to bring any clarity or predictability to this God awful situation, especially if you don’t want to make things up.

Don’t think I am whining about the difficulty of the work. It is challenging and one must rise to the occasion. I picked the Twilight Zone theme for a title because that is where I thought I was after reviewing all of the geopolitical gyrations of the last few weeks… in a world gone mad.

Press TV’s Saturday news about the May 7 agreement of Russia and the U.S. to encourage a political solution to the Syrian war is what launched me into outer space. You may notice I did not use the term civil war. Everyone now knows, even the dead… that it is not.

The West and the Persian Gulf states are openly at war with Syria, but we are supposed to believe that their actions just represent concerns over protecting their interests. The new thing in modern warfare is that you use proxies to keep your downside risks manageable. Hopefully that theory will be relegated to the trash bin after Syria.

After the May 7 breakthrough we had Israel conducting two air attacks on Syrian targets. You might have heard of these, the pre-emptive kind where a threat you think could evolve in the future gives you permission to attack someone now.

I just can’t wait until Israel is on the receiving end of one of these, or several, to see if there is a change of attitude. Who knows, we may not have to wait too long. Gordon Duff’s last Viewpoints laid out his Intel sources confirming that Israel launched a ground attack on Syria with its mobile howitzers to bring the Army base grid in Damascus under fire. Maybe they thought this would be some kind of cover for their offensively going nuclear in the Mid East.

Dear Israeli general staff, if you want some cover and deception next time with your howitzers, I would suggest leaving the nuclear bunker busters at home. Your using one on Syria just gave permission to everyone else to use them on you. I think they call that ‘unintended consequences’, something they are supposed to teach you at War College.

I know what you are thinking. Because the Bush regime thugs gave you bunker busters to use on Iran and you have been denied the pleasure, you decided to try one out on Syria. You felt that because these were made in America you had all of us on the hook for having to cover for you. Big mistake.

Did the Obama administration give you the OK to use the big one, as so many think? If so we are quite worried as maybe the Boston bombings were a demo for walking a couple of mini-nukes into a big event.

It certainly appears that someone might have wanted to demonstrate that the space age hyper-spectral cameras, the explosive sniffers being used there for the first time, could be defeated by a sealed pressure cooker bomb with a mini-nuke in it. Gosh, I wonder who might have wanted to demonstrate that?

The American intelligence community knows that you penetrated our early mini-nuke development to the point where you had your own parallel program going on at the same time. The word is that yours was even better than ours when we were done.

But back to the Twilight Zone. We have the Israelis shooting down one of their drones, which sounds fishy to me. They are rigged to self destruct if needed, and over the ocean they are easier to retrieve if not blown into many small pieces. My bet? somebody shot it down… sending them a message. I wonder who, and why.

The Israeli attacks were of course a provocation to see if Syria might send a Sarin-laced missile into Israel in return, but they are not that stupid. And then we had the multiple car bombings on the Turkish border, an obvious provocation to trigger Erdogan sending the Turkish cavalry to save the FSA with air cover and heavy weapons.

The Syrians would not be so stupid as to attack the Turks. There was absolutely no military or strategic reason for them to do it. They are rolling the FSA back now and the last thing they would want is a flagrant red line crossing to risk an intervention.

Speaking of red lines, we also had a flurry of chemical weapons charges and counter charges which again all seemed like someone wanting to give Obama his excuse for a full air attack, which did get a lot of press coverage after the two Israeli strikes.

Weeks before, we had the planted story about Obama staging Jordan for a 20,000-man force to go into Syria if the need came. No US military commander is going into Syria with a puny 20K force. The Russians would then respond, possibly bringing in their top-of-the-line air defense missiles and other potent weapons they have to defend their ally from being overrun.

Ziggy Brzezinski weighed in this week on the disaster a wider Syrian conflict could bring, agreeing with me that Russia and Iran would not stand by while Syria is dismembered, and possibly not even China.

“Broader regional fighting could bring the U.S. and Iran into direct conflict, a potentially major military undertaking for the U.S. A U.S.-Iran confrontation linked to the Syrian crisis could spread the area of conflict even to Afghanistan. Russia would benefit from America’s being bogged down again in the Middle East. China would resent U.S. destabilization of the region because Beijing needs stable access to energy from the Middle East…

The various schemes that have been proposed for a kind of tiddlywinks intervention from around the edges of the conflict -no-fly zones, bombing Damascus and so forth- would simply make the situation worse. None of the proposals would result in an outcome strategically beneficial for the U.S.”

What has been going on here folks is psy warfare on steroids. My bet on who did the Turkish bombings is the Israelis of course. Why? Who would be the most unhappy to see a negotiated settlement and be willing to do anything to stop it? Israel of course. And those folks can do car bombings in their sleep.

Erdogan may have gotten himself a counter move to the Mavi Marmara squeeze that he put on the Israelis with Obama pitching for him. With the border area crawling with all types of insurgent operators the potential bombing suspects could be in the thousands. Up until now Erdogan has had no skin in the game but he has some blood in it now, and one foot on a banana peel.

He also had made a deal to cut the Kurds loose to consolidate with the Iraqi branch to take over and defend their oil fields to increase exports through Turkey. The Israelis have been active in the Iraqi Kurdish region for a long time now, particularly in pre-staging Iran strike logistics there and training their army. All the bombings in Iraq are tied into this grand show, also.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch the FSA is scheduled to meet in Istanbul to try to iron out their leadership problems and decide what to do about the US/Russian peace conference. I don’t really think any of this matters to the al-Nusra people as they plan on staying right where they are in Syria.

And I don’t think whoever is backing them wants them coming back home feeling like they were betrayed. These boys would be bringing back their experience of 600 terrorist attacks on Syria. I have written in the past about the unintended consequences of all this craziness. We see signs of more than a few regrets already.

As former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said last week, “I thought it [intervention] was a mistake in Libya, and I think it is a mistake in Syria, even if we had intervened more significantly in Syria a year ago or six months ago. We overestimate our ability to determine outcomes.”

Amen on that brother Bill, but there are always the idiots who want to keep raising the stakes so they can stay in the game. Maybe one will pose that if the West can hang on long enough the new British aircraft carrier could tip the scales. I hope they did not miss the reports that the new carrier is only going to have a dozen planes.

Welcome to the Twilight Zone folks. If Rod Serling came back from the dead I am sure he would say, “You just can’t make this stuff up!”

JD/HSN

Jim W. Dean comes from an old military family dating back to the American Revolution. His father was a WWII P-40 and later P-51 Mustang fighter pilot. Jim’s mother was a WWII widow at 16, her first husband killed with all 580 aboard when the SS Paul Hamilton, an ammunition ship with 7000 tons of explosives aboard, was torpedoed off the coast of Algiers. He has appeared on PBS most recently on the Looking for Lincoln documentary with Prof. Henry Lewis Gates and lectured at the Army Command and General Staff School at Fort Gordon. His current writing focus is on national security, intelligence, black and psyops, military/Intel history including personal video archives, and the current wars. Jim Dean is the managing editor of Veterans Today. More articles by Jim W. Dean

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