Again Russian canons of war applied to seemingly irrational fanatical terrorists proved effective again. The local cease fire or evacuation deals that are part of the Russian war tactics adopted by SAA paid off handsomely, so by now about half of the territory taken back from terrorists by SAA and allies were gained via some deals between local commanders in the field bypassing the higher command, and in the process saved lives of many terrorists and introduced confusion and mistrust among different factions or even among ISIL commanders, some of who were recently beheaded because of deals they made with SAA or even Russians to save their groups from instant annihilation. With Baghdadi injured, convalescing in Ankara, the true picture of unified ISIL command is foggy at best and at worset already disintegrated into local fronts where commanders had to make deals will everybody to maintain their logistical supplies, weapons and money to pay the terrorists. Many of groups that previously attached themselves to ISIL lured by their money and Western connections for weapon supplies now deserted the ISIL and declared themselves as moderate, even making deals with Russians not to be bombed as long as they would not attack SAA.
The first casualty of a war is truth. This well know truism however, it obfuscates the real truth that the war is a lie. In its core there is a Hegelian assumption about “Total War” which means all out assault on everything that enemy wants, needs or cares or think positively about, anything that could be, even tangentially, useful or beneficial in short or long term, or even neutral, non-threatening to a perceived enemy.
Since it is Total War, it is not limited to the material things or human beings who could support war effort in any even minute ways but increasingly to ideas, cultural heritage, spirituality, religion and other social constructs such as morality, dignity and what Orwell skillfully described as weaponizing of language (newspeak) and conceptual meaning of words and subjugate it to the aims of total war.
Almost all wars are Total Wars, wars made seemingly rational via apocalyptic character of their motivations, apocalyptic religious or ideological character that presents itself as an absurd, irreconcilable conundrum, unsolvable moral dilemma, logical dead end, for otherwise peaceful people, all to pretend that the war itself is the only rational providence, relieving people from horrible burden of making faithful decision and releases them from responsibility for the path they chose. People in a mode of automaton, driven by weird amalgamate of Rousseau naturalism and Voltaire rationalism succumb to a war fever as the only simple and effective remedy for a leaders’ concocted existential threat, a logical singularity that nobody can feel or understand. The truth is that war is never a solution to anything.
Syrian war is no different. It’s total. On all sides it is presented as war between good and evil, about existential strive, with no hope of reconciliation unless morally reprehensible enemy is destroyed and all human, cultural, religious, economic, political traces of enemy erased from the face of the earth.
You pick whom I am talking about.
As a man in charge of a nation Putin epitomizes Russian history, culture and soul informed by echoes of old imperial hubris and state chauvinism. Russian empire was not a nation, it was first of all a state that held or strangled if you will, the society in a Byzantine style of perpetual, bloody revolution within ruling elite, in western terms a form of political process. The winner, who remained alive after struggle for power, became entitled to set (not negotiate) the rules of new social contract with his subjects, however harsh or cruel the rules may be he appointed himself a guardian of social order against abuses of Russian aristocrats, oligarchs, clergy and foreign powers.
In Russian political tradition one does not call for change of leadership who do not measure up to expectations, however, one calls for leadership to change their actions or attitudes so original social contract imposed by the power is respected. So in this sense power is vast but not absolute. The notion of gravity and poise of leadership, a requirement of father-like figure of tough but just ruler, is the foundation of government power base within population, not lies, empty promises or catering to particular interest or gain of particular political formation as within western democratic tradition.
In a sense, Russian state political tradition is morally authoritarian and constitutes the glue that holds the nation together.
The Russian leader takes ALL the power and ALL the responsibility for the nation very seriously, at least in minds of Russian people, otherwise looses legitimacy.
From whatever sources people getting their daily news fix about Russia, Syria, or Middle East they might have noticed quite disturbing trend. The previous longer term ideological dedication of editorial opinion to certain consistent, rational, however misguided political agenda of those controlling whatever is being published in any given media outlet and meticulous care of maintaining the steady dependable perspective on incoming series of political events, is no longer practiced.
The confusion seems to reign supreme in today’s world of grotesque scale, globally conglomerated media, segmented audience into razor thin slices of special interests promoting shameful peddlers of every financial, economic, political and cultural perversion and abomination within society of so-called consumers of news, or human robots waiting for daily programming, affirmation of the their own sick notions of reality. The war in Syria is a case in point.
Now, consistence, dependability and reliance on the underlying “morality based politics” supporting interest of a certain dependency structures as a propaganda method for maintaining population support within extremely partitioned society has been reduced in duration from years, months to days, hours leaving loyal propagandists bewildered with no daily guidance, perplexed with ridiculous official reports coming from halls of power and transmitted to their disciples by more and more incoherent stooges who often have to eat their words before their farcical briefings are over. But is it just confusion or something else?
Can it be just by mistake that repeated contradictory statements are often made about meetings between Russia and the US while common communiqués are not issued? What propaganda purposes does this apparent political confusion serve?
Syrian war like any war is an absurd if we believe lies that are being spread around media as facts. If one removes himself/herself from the emotional stance, rooting for a side of a of original victim, whoever propaganda we chose leads us to believe is, then it is so clear and obvious that war is completely chaotic endeavor, with changing military goals, loyalties, and principles and political objectives daily.
It is old saying that we always prepare to fight previous war and never see what future war will be all about. Such a statement is very profound and true in many dimensions.
First of all it is true that we are sowing seeds of future wars during the so-called peace times, what are at best pause times between wars, via cultivating heroes of the so-called patriotic wars, wars of liberations, wars of religious or ideological tribute, a pure propaganda constructs to make us pay into a protection/ extortion racket run by the ruling elites.
Moreover, the wars are creations of the ruling elites and stem from conflicting interests among elites that could not be resolved via profitable intellectual endeavor. The fundamental reasons that when unresolved notoriously causes wars are often capricious claims over property or rights to exploitation of the population. Hence the true reason for the war cannot be divulged to population who suppose to die for a petty little personality squabbles that mean nothing.
Time and again, pain and suffering is forced upon people as a result of adolescent insecurities of the leaders blown beyond proportions just to assert mental or intellectual domination, righteousness or narcissistic drive for infallibility.
If there should be any peace prospects for the people in Syria assuming that seemingly insurmountable geopolitical confrontation is somehow peacefully resolved there is no hiding the fact that no matter what, Syrian people already lost this war as a nation and a delicate balance, political compromise, a social contract set up in post colonial era of Arab nationalism has been irreparably destroyed.
There is no returning to the pre-war Syria, with Assad or without him since there is no returning to pre-war Middle East or previous geopolitical configuration no matter how desirable it may seem now.
The mountain of over quarter million of dead corpses of men, women and children stand for something, mean something and it is not good, it is not hopeful. This is something that will take generations to digest and realize in very personal ways. And hence it cannot be accomplished without resolving piling up global economic and political conflicts that may as well constitute an existential threat to whole humanity.
However strange it may sound, it seems that a fate of Syria now is surprisingly intertwined in many ways with the fate of humanity at large.
And hence it is an imperative that a new common narrative about the hell that broke loose in Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East including Palestinian lands has to be found again and certain difficult questions must be honestly asked and answered to rebuild the Syrian Nation and the Middle East if it is even possible in the age of global reconfiguration.
Recently strange even shocking statements are coming from Russian leadership even from Putin himself. Just few days ago Putin stated that Russian military forces coordinate and even collaborate with FSA and other groups against ISIL and other terrorists.
What a shock! Careful reader of this blog, and many other sources including Russian and Syrian sources however, would know damn well what Reuters seem to be flabbergasted about.
Yes, from the beginning of direct Russian involvement Russian leadership openly called for coordination or cooperation with any forces that would attack ISIL or Al-Nusra and affiliates and agree to at least temporary cease-fire with SAA.
Such a move, seemingly inconsistent with western propaganda of Russians fighting for Assad regime only, may be shocking to a western ignorant but it is written deeply into the Russian military doctrine, which they seem to execute brilliantly so far. I very briefly described it in my post:
(10/18/2015) SYRIAN WAR UPDATE: HOW WE FIGHT; RUSSIAN EDITION;
Syrians seem to adopt Russian military doctrine and gave local commanders wide latitude to seek cooperation or temporary cease-fire arrangements or making all kinds of deals with everyone in the battlefield for tactical reasons.
And that’s what we are experiencing in Homs now and elsewhere many times before, with temporary no-bomb agreements with smaller terrorist groups, providing Russians with bombing coordinates of ISIL command posts and weapon storage.
It would not be a surprise if some money is being exchanged to achieve local deals that enabled SAA to regroup and assault different terrorists at different points of the complicated frontline.
The Reganesque BS mantra of no negotiating with terrorists is not a way Russians do business. To the contrary one must negotiate them to death play on their fantasies of grandeur, righteousness and infallibility while exposing their greed, thuggery and weakness of their logistics and sources of support. We have to be mindful of how Roman Empire was born. Not only by a sword but via art of division and conquest step by step one enemy at a time.
This tactic pays handsomely and already stirred resentments and conflict between FSA and ISIL and even mutual military assaults and beheadings on both sides as documented on the blog and elsewhere although in many cases ISIL took over command of the FSA fighters rendering them no longer moderate. And that was precisely the goal of Russian psychological warfare that played of terrorists’ internal divisions and resentments or different sources of funding.