By Fazal Rahman, Ph.D. November 25, 2015
The following immediate reaction is prompted by the disturbing, but not unexpected, news of some dangerous escalations in the war and civil war in the already devastated country of Syria.
The shoot down of a Russian Sukhoi Su-24 bomber aircraft by Turkish Air Force F-16 fighter jets that occurred near the Syria-Turkey border on 24 November 2015 is a very dangerous and ominous escalation in the extremely complex military conflicts and operations in that area, in which almost all the major world and regional powers-consisting of the US-led Coalition, on one side, and Syria, Iran, and Russia, on the other-are engaged in massive airstrikes and other military operations against various non-state organizations that are waging war against the Syrian government, as well as against each other. The most powerful organizations among these are Daesh (Islamic State) and Al-Qaeda linked, Al-Nusra Front, which are being targeted both by the Coalition forces and those of Russia, Syria, and Iran (mainly through advisors and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah). The Free Syrian Army and some other rebel organizations are being funded, armed, and trained by the Coalition forces to overthrow the government of President Bashar Al-Assad. Turkey has also played a major role in routing tens of thousands of Jihadists through its territory to Syria, and in training and funding them, in order to overthrow the Syrian government. Syrian armed forces have been fighting against all these foreign supported groups since 2011. The pilot, Oleg Peshkov, and weapon systems officer, Konstantin Murakhtin, were able to eject from the hit Russian aircraft. Peshkov was shot and killed by the Syrian Turkmen rebels while he was in mid-air parachuting toward land and Murakhtin was rescued from the rebel area by a joint Syrian-Russian rescue team. A marine from the search-and-rescue team launched to retrieve the two airmen was also killed when the rescue helicopter was shot down by the rebels in that area.
Turkey claimed that it shot down the Russian aircraft because it violated its airspace. It also claims that it did not know the nationality of the aircraft and that it gave repeated warnings to the aircraft before firing. Russia disputes those claims. The rescued Russian, Murakhtin, an experienced airman, denied that any warning was received from the Turkish jets. He also emphatically denied that his aircraft had violated the Turkish airspace. All the evidence indicates that it was shot down in the Syrian airspace. It fell within the Syrian territory. Even if it had violated the Turkish airspace, why the Turkish jets simply did not escort it out? Only the Russian aircrafts have been carrying out operations in that area and Turkey knows that very well. Hence, its claim of not knowing the nationality of the aircraft is also not credible.
Turkey is a member of NATO and such an action on its part creates the danger of confrontation between NATO and Russia, and its escalation to much larger conflict, including even the Third World War, with all its catastrophic consequences. Russia has already reacted strongly to that incident and announced that it was deploying S-400s missiles to Syria that have a range of 250 miles and can easily shoot down any hostile aircraft in the border areas of Syria and Turkey. It also ordered its most powerful missile cruiser, the Moskva, to patrol in-shore waters near Turkish-Syrian border. It is also capable of destroying any aerial target that may pose any threat to Russian aircrafts. Russia has also been reported to have launched major attacks across northern Syria against rebel groups backed by Turkey. All this constitutes a major and very dangerous escalation, indeed.
Turkey seems to have provoked this escalation. Did it do it on its own or with the instigation of some of its NATO partners, above all the US? It is highly unlikely that Turkey would risk a military and/or economic war with Russia, if it did not have some powerful backing from the US and NATO. But, why would the US and NATO want such an escalation in Syria? It is complete insanity, which is not uncommon these days in the political and military leaders of the US and NATO. After all, they have been trying to provoke such escalations both with Russia and China in Ukraine, other former Soviet republics, Eastern Europe, and South China Sea.
What is happening in Syria is a total technocratic-militarist madness on part of the US, NATO, and their regional clients, into which Russia has also jumped in. In such madness, things can easily get out of control and once the escalations start, given the modern capitalist technocratic insanity and arrogance, it may become increasingly difficult to put brakes on them. I have discussed the deformation and mutilation of Human Soul and Human Reason in the Advanced Capitalist-Imperialist Technocratic Societies (ACITS) in some of my previous articles. There, I have also pointed out the reduction of Human Reason to Capitalist Technological Rationality, and increasing transformation of the latter into Sinister Insanity (1). ACITS-instigated-and-fueled war and civil war in Syria is the worst manifestation of that in recent history. Such manifestations had also occurred in Germany-which led the Axis Powers-before and during the Second World War. It seems that the US-led ACITS have learnt nothing from that.
The overwhelming dominance of Capitalist Technological Rationality in the mass human mental apparatus in the ACITS has been progressively developing since the beginning of the co-evolution and mutual empowerment of capitalism and technology in these societies, during the past few centuries, greatly accelerating in the last century and continuing that into the current. History of the previous six centuries is loaded with innumerable examples of the manifestations of such transformations. There is no need to list them here, as these have been very well documented and analyzed by many competent and honest historians, for example by Professor Howard Zinn in his 1980 book, “A People’s History of the United States”, and much before that, by the British Communist historian, Arthur Leslie Morton, in his 1938 book, “A People’s History of England.”
The following part is from a paper I recently posted on my web site on the context of Daesh (Islamic State) attack in Paris, France. As it is also relevant to the topics of this article, I am inserting it below.
Section from my article of November 15, 2015 on Daesh attack in Paris
The following simple truths need to be highlighted:
1. US imperialists, and following in their footsteps, the NATO imperialists, do not leave anyone or anything alone and create, instigate, and fuel military interventions and conflicts everywhere.
2. Daesh, Al-Qaeda, Shia militias, and other such non-state terrorist groups in Iraq came into existence as a result of the massive US and NATO military invasion of that country and its diabolical devastation. In the absence of that invasion, these groups would not have been born.
3. Similarly, the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban, Al-Qaeda, Haqqani, and other non-state terrorist groups were born as a result of and in reaction to the massive US and NATO state terrorism, first by unleashing a proxy war against the socialism-oriented government in Afghanistan in 1979 and then directly invading the country in 2001, with massive military forces.
4. US and NATO militarists also instigated the Libyan civil war, in which they acted as the air force of the anti-government rebel groups, which, with their crucial help, overthrew the Libyan government and murdered its leader, Moammar Gadhafi. From a prosperous socialism-oriented country, which was the envy of not only the Third World, but also much of the West, Libya has been transformed into a pathetic country, with anarchist chaos and various armed militant groups engaged in constant conflict. Daesh has also been able to expand there.
5. In Syria, the rebellions against the government were instigated and fueled by US, NATO, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates etc., which developed into a devastating civil war. These countries funded, armed, and trained various rebel groups in Syria and later started bombing massively large areas of that country by daily airstrikes, which have been going on for more than a year now, killing and wounding tens of thousands of people, most of them civilian non-combatants, massively destroying the means of living and properties, and forcing millions to flee to other countries as refugees, including the recent influx to Europe. Estimate of those killed in Syria is around 250,000. Without the intervention of US, NATO, and their regional allies, the rebellion in Syria would not have developed into a civil war and would have been short-lived. Now, Even Russia has jumped into the Syrian conflict, with massive airstrikes and other operations. It has already paid the price of this intervention when one of its airliners was shot down by Daesh in Egypt, killing all of the 224 passengers and crew. All the big powers, except China, as well as the regional powers, are now involved in the wars in Syria and Iraq. The US -led coalition and Russia are in a frenzy of airstrike bombings.
Such airstrikes have also been going on in Iraq for more than a year, in which France was the first country to join the US. It has been taking a hardline position against the government of President Assad of Syria, insisting that he must go, and has been supporting anti-Assad as well as anti-Daesh groups in Syria.
Around 8000 airstrikes have been conducted by the coalition forces in Iraq and Syria, against selected Sunni Islamist groups, most of them against Daesh. Such airstrikes also generate significant sales and profits for the Military-Industrial Complex (MIC).
The following news article of November 16, 2015, about sales of $1.29 billion of smart bombs to Saudi Arabia, which is using these in its airstrikes in Yemen and Syria, is relevant to the American and NATO policy on wars in Syria and Yemen. It is in the interests of the MIC to keep these wars going and MIC always has had strong influence on the foreign policies of the US government. Saudi Arabia is one of the biggest buyers of American weapons and, as mentioned in the article, sales of other weapons, worth $16.65 billions, have also been approved.
Politics | Mon Nov 16, 2015 3:39pm EST
Related: World, Election 2016, Politics, Saudi Arabia
U.S. approves $1.29 billion sale of smart bombs to Saudi Arabia
By Andrea Shalal
The U.S. State Department has approved the sale of $1.29 billion in smart bombs to Saudi Arabia to help replenish supplies used in its battle against insurgents in Yemen and air strikes against Islamic State in Syria, the Pentagon said on Monday.
The Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), which facilitates foreign arms sales, notified lawmakers on Friday that the sales had been approved, it said in a statement.
The lawmakers now have 30 days to block the sale, although such action is rare since deals are carefully vetted before any formal notification.
The sales reflect President Barack Obama’s pledge to bolster U.S. military support for Saudi Arabia and other Sunni allies in the Gulf Cooperation Council after his administration brokered a nuclear deal with their Shiite rival Iran.
The agency said the sale would help the Royal Saudi Air Force’s (RSAF) replenish weapons supplies that are becoming depleted due to high demand for multiple counter-terrorism operations, while providing reserves for future missions.
“This acquisition will help sustain strong military-to-military relations between the United States and Saudi Arabia, improve (the ability of Saudi forces to work) with the United States, and enable Saudi Arabia to meet regional threats and safeguard the world’s largest oil reserves,” it said.
Providing the munitions to Saudi forces would also help deter its enemies, and “directly conveys U.S. commitment to the RSAF’s current and future ability to sustain combat operations,” it said.
The proposed sale includes 22,000 smart and general purpose bombs, including 1,000 GBU-10 Paveway II Laser Guided Bombs, and over 5,000 Joint Direct Attack Munitions kits to turn older bombs into precision-guided weapons using GPS signals.
The weapons are made by Boeing Co (BA.N) and Raytheon Co (RTN.N), but the agency told lawmakers the prime contractors would be selected in a competition.
No further details were immediately available.
Saudi Arabia, one of the largest buyers of U.S. weapons, was approved in September for a potential second sale of 600 Patriot-PAC-3 air defense missiles made by Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N), a deal valued at $5.4 billion.
Last month, the U.S. government also approved the sale to Saudi Arabia of up to four Littoral Combat Ships made by Lockheed for $11.25 billion.
(Reporting by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Ted Kerr and Richard Chang)
End of news article
6. With the encouragement and coordination of US and NATO, Saudi Arabia and other oil-rich Gulf states, ruled by family dynasties, have been massively bombing the impoverished country of Yemen for months, with airstrikes, causing massive losses of lives, and damages to the infrastructures and means of living.
7. Under great pressures from the US and NATO, Pakistani military has been devastating the North Waziristan and other tribal areas, on the borders with Afghanistan, with massive bombing airstrikes and ground invasion for about 18 months now, causing huge losses of lives and damages to the means of living and properties, as well as creating around one million internally displaced persons.
8. Let us not forget the Israeli state terrorism and expansionism against the Palestinians in Gaza-including last years’ diabolical invasion and destruction inflicted upon them-and other areas of Palestine.
9. Logical solutions are still possible for resolutions of the wars in Syria and Iraq, if the western imperialist powers and their regional allies substitute logic and wisdom for the technocratic, capitalist-imperialist, and militarist rationality and arrogance, and policies and actions based upon these. For example:
I. Including Daesh and Al-Nusra in the peace negotiations, along with the Syrian and Iraqi governments, Kurds, and other groups. It is very likely that, as part of the agreement, Daesh and Al-Nusra will agree to not carrying out any actions in the West. However, that would be contrary to the profiteering of the MIC and associated US government and Pentagon interests in perpetuating the phony war on terrorism, as MIC is the most profitable and major part of the current American economy. As long as there is no danger of a nuclear war and mutual assured destruction, more wars there are, more sales and profits for the MIC and its associated government, media, and academic establishments. Relatively small local terrorist actions, like 9/11, Paris attacks, and Boston bombings, are also beneficial to the MIC, as well as to the military production industries throughout the West. In the matters of war and peace, the objective economic and security interests of the American and Western public are diametrically opposed to the sales and profits interests of the Military-Industrial-Media-Academic-Complex (MIMAC) and its associated Pentagon and government establishments.
II. Stopping airstrikes and all other operations of the coalition and other external forces in the area and letting the internal forces in both countries work it out, through negotiations or fighting. This will also require a complete arms embargo to the area. Such an arrangement will have to be worked out and enforced by the United Nations. As mentioned above, it is very likely that Daesh and Al-Nusra will agree to not carrying out any actions in the West, if such an arrangement is made. But again, that will not suit the interests of MIC, US government, and Pentagon.
The formula involved in both I and II above is also very simple: “From now on, if you leave us alone, we will leave you alone.” This will work between the foreign powers, intervening in the internal conflicts of Middle Eastern and other Muslim countries, and the non-state organizations, like Daesh and Al-Nusra Front. On the basis of this principle, other agreements are also possible, for example, in exchange for stoppage of the incomparably greater high-tech brutalities of the coalition forces by indiscriminate massive bombings, Daesh may agree to stop its own relatively much smaller scale, but horrible brutalities. Other solutions will have to be found for the conflicts between the latter and the national governments of states where these are taking place. These solutions will be expedited after the withdrawal of massive foreign military and other interventions in the internal affairs of those states.
The above-mentioned and other such proposals for potential solutions to the ongoing wars in the Middle East do not even occur in the heads of the coalition-controlled UN and other so-called peace negotiators, almost all of them career diplomats, with mass psychologies and brains that are highly structured, conditioned, and regulated in the service of powers-that-be, with very little independence or creativity. That is the nature of what is known as an “expert” in the international political world. Such dime a dozen experts are particularly ineffective and useless for dealing with unconventional non-state organizations that are engaged in armed struggle against various states, for various reasons.
All the above truths and facts are simple and apodictic, and should be perfectly clear to any honest, thoughtful, and humane person. The reason, also very simple, that these are not clear to majorities in the West, is that they are dishonest, thoughtless, brainwashed, and dehumanized supporters of militarism and colonialism in the Third World. So much for the “democratic” (Demonocratic) West! The news and other media, academics, and pet intellectuals of the powers-that-be in the West, unleash clouds of obscurantist fog, straining their literary skills, under which these and other such simple truths become invisible and are replaced by complexities that are substituted for them. On the ground also, simple situations are transformed into complex ones by the imperialist interventions and invasions. So much for the integrity of the “free media” and “free minds” of the “intellectuals” in the West. Of course there are exceptions to these generalizations, but we are focusing here on the mainstream and overwhelming majorities.
Losses of lives through violence need to be condemned everywhere, not just one-sidedly. Losses of French, European, and American lives are not more important than the losses of Syrian, Iraqi, Libyan, Afghan, or Pakistani lives. The massive state terrorism is not any better than the relatively small-scale non-state terrorism. It is incomparably worse. Viewed from this perspective, all state terrorisms, and particularly those of the West, need to be condemned a million times more than those of the Daesh and other non-state terrorist organizations, which are, in almost all the cases, the products of the former.
End of Section from my article of November 15, 2015 on Daesh attack in Paris
In view of the November 24, 2015 shoot down of the Russian aircraft by the Turkish jets and very dangerous developments in its aftermaths, new and creative proposals for solutions to the war and civil war in Syria, like the ones under Item No. 9, I and II above, in the section of my November 15, 2015 article on Daesh attack in Paris, are now essential for stopping development of further escalations there. These examples of proposals for the solutions show that logically such solutions are achievable. It is the foreign military and other forms of interference in the internal affairs of Syria, technocratic militarism and arrogance of US-led Coalition, and war profiteering of the Military Industrial Complex, which are the main obstacles in implementing such solutions.
1. Rahman, F. Multidimensional and complex nature and effects of imperialism on democracy, society, nature, and human nature.
Dr. Fazal Rahman is an interdisciplinary researcher and writer, with background in many areas of biological and social sciences. He has lived and worked in many countries, like Pakistan, Brazil, USA, Lebanon, and Zambia, as a scientist and head of research and development programs and centers. He has done in-depth and extensive studies on Marxism, Leninism, phenomenology, existentialism, political economy of capitalism and socialism, political economy of US and former USSR, technocracy, psychology, mass psychology, and genetics, etc.