The topic of Russian actions in Syria still continues to fascinate and provoke numerous polemics. This makes senses – the issue is exceedingly important on many levels, including pragmatic and moral ones, and today I want to stick strictly to the pragmatic level and set aside, just for a while, moral/ethical/spiritual considerations. Furthermore, I will also pretend, for argument’s sake, that the Kremlin is acting in unison, that there are no Atlantic Integrationists in the Russian government, no 5th column in the Kremlin and that there is no Zionist lobby exerting a great deal of influence in Russia. I will deal with these issues in the future as there is no doubt in my mind that time and events will prove how unfounded and politically-motivated these denials are in reality. But for the purpose of this analysis, we can pretend that all is well in the Kremlin and assume that Russia is fully sovereign and freely protecting her national interests.
So what do we know about what is going on in Syria?
I submit that it is obvious that Russia and Israel have made some kind of deal. That there is an understanding of some kind is admitted by both sides, but there is also clearly more happening here which is not spelled out in full. The Israelis, as always, are bragging about their total victory and posting articles like this one: “In Syria, Putin and Netanyahu Were on the Same Side All Along” with the subheading reading “Putin is ready to ditch Iran to keep Israel happy and save Assad’s victory“. Really?
The chaotic world of contradictory declarations and statements
Let’s look at that thesis from a purely logical point of view. First, what were the Israeli goals initially? As I have explained it elsewhere, initially the Israelis had the following goals:
- Bring down a strong secular Arab state along with its political structure, armed forces, and security services.
- Create total chaos and horror in Syria justifying the creation of a “security zone” by Israel not only in the Golan but further north.
- Trigger a civil war in Lebanon by unleashing the Takfiri crazies against Hezbollah.