World View: Russia Humiliates US Again as It Begins Striking Syria

Vladimir Putin
The Associated Press

This morning’s key headlines from

  • Mahmoud Abbas’s United Nations ‘bombshell’ something of a dud
  • Russia humiliates US again as it begins striking Syria

Mahmoud Abbas’s United Nations ‘bombshell’ something of a dud

Palestinians in Ramallah, West Bank, watch Abbas's UN speech on Wednesday (AP)
Palestinians in Ramallah, West Bank, watch Abbas’s UN speech on Wednesday (AP)

Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas gave his United Nations speech on Wednesday, and delivered the “bombshell” that he had promised. ( “28-Sep-15 World View — Palestinian leader Abbas expected to deliver ultimatum to Israel at UN”)

Abbas stated that Israel has repeatedly failed to implement the agreements of the 1993 Oslo peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, and he listed various alleged infringements. He made a demand of Israel:

I call on the Israeli Government, before it is too late, to cease its use of brutal force to impose its plans to undermine the Islamic and Christian sanctities in Jerusalem, particularly its actions at Al-Aqsa Mosque, for such actions will convert the conflict from a political to religious one, creating an explosive in Jerusalem and in the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

He then delivered his ultimatum:

Thus, we declare that as long as Israel refuses to commit to the agreements signed with us, which render us an authority without real powers, and as long as Israel refuses to cease settlement activities and to release of the fourth group of Palestinian prisoners in accordance with our agreements, they leave us no choice but to insist that we will not remain the only ones committed to the implementation of these agreements, while Israel continuously violates them. We therefore declare that we cannot continue to be bound by these agreements and that Israel must assume all of its responsibilities as an occupying Power, because the status quo cannot continue and the decisions of the Palestinian Central Council last March are specific and binding.

Abbas’s threat, if implemented, would be a major blow to Israel, because Israel would be required to police and provide security for the entire West Bank, taking responsibility for chores that the Palestinians themselves current handle. There would be constant demonstrations across the West Bank targeting Israeli security forces, and these would certainly get out of hand from time to time, and result in gunfire. This could spiral into a much larger conflict.

However, Abbas did not provide a timeline, specifics or an action plan. Also, he did not resign, as some speculated he might.

Mahmoud Abbas is a man who fits his generational template to a T. He was a survivor of the bloody genocidal 1948 crisis war that followed the partitioning of Palestine and the creation of Israel. Millions of people died, suffered, or were driven from their homes. Any generation that grows up through a generational crisis war suffers a kind of generational child abuse, and the entire generation become negotiators and mediators, in order to prevent a repeat of the crisis war.

Abbas was born in 1935 and is now 80 years old, so he may resign soon anyway. The most likely replacement, according to polls, is Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh, a Gen-Xer born in 1963. It is pretty certain that if Haniyeh or any younger Palestinian leader gave Israel an ultimatum at the United Nations, then it would be backed by threats that could lead quickly to war. WAFA (Palestine News & Information Agency) and ABC News

Russia humiliates US again as it begins striking Syria

Russia’s warplanes began striking targets in Syria on Wednesday, and it was done in a way that can only be described as intentionally inflicting as much humiliation on the Obama administration as possible.

A Russian 3-star general knocked on the door of the American embassy in Baghdad on Wednesday morning and asked to speak to a military attaché. He informed the attaché that Russia would begin bombing in Syria in one hour, and he demanded that the US-led coalition stop its airstrikes, and that the targets would be from the so-called Islamic State (IS or ISIS or ISIL or Daesh).

Russia’s warplanes started bombing an hour later, but they were centered around the city of Homs where is no ISIS activity, but which is under the control of the Free Syrian Army. The FSA is the moderate opposition to Syria’s genocidal president Bashar al-Assad, and some of them have been trained and supplied by the US. Some reports indicate that Russian warplanes also targeted civilians. And so, in a sense, Russia’s warplanes are striking US-allied targets.

Secretary of State John Kerry swung into action immediately and made one of his typical SNL-worthy hard-hitting statements:

If Russia’s recent actions, and those now ongoing, reflect a genuine commitment to defeat that organization, then we are prepared to welcome those efforts and to find a way to deconflict our operations and thereby multiply the military pressure on ISIL and affiliated groups.

However, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter made a statement that actually made sense:

Last week I observed from this podium, as I had observed privately to Russian defense minister [Sergei] Shoigu the week prior that there is a logical contradiction in the Russian position and now its actions in Syria. Russia states an intent to fight ISIL on the one hand, and to support Bashar al-Assad and his regime on the other. Fighting ISIL without pursuing a parallel political transition only risks escalation in Syria. 2:08 And with it, the very extremism and instability that Moscow claims to be concerned about, and aspire to fighting. So that approach is tantamount, as I said then, to pouring gasoline on the fire.

I certainly agree with this. Russia’s actions are insane.

ISIS came into existence when thousands of Sunni jihadists from countries around the world traveled to Syria to fight against Shia/Alawite Bashar al-Assad, who was massacring tens of thousands of innocent Sunni women and children with heavy weapons and Sarin gas, and with barrel bombs loaded with explosives, metals, and chlorine gas.

And now, Russia is going to send Orthodox Christian troops and warplanes to continue bombing innocent Sunni women and children. This is crazy. As Carter said, it is like pouring gasoline on the fire.

I wrote in “13-Sep-15 World View — Russia opens a dangerous new chapter in Syria and the Mideast,” that Russia’s military deployment would trigger nationalistic and belligerent responses from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations, from terrorists in al-Qaeda linked Jabhat al-Nusra (al-Nusra Front) and ISIS, and from the Recep Tayyip Erdogan government of Turkey.

Wednesday’s events significantly exacerbate those trends. It is one more major policy debacle for the Obama administration, and a big new humiliation for the United States. Even worse, it is clear that Russia is not even targeting terrorists, but is targeting innocent Sunni women and children. This is what caused ISIS to come into existence in the first place, and now ISIS is going to grow even faster. Daily Beast and AP and Russia Direct

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian Authority, Hamas, West Bank, Oslo peace accords, Ismail Haniyeh, Russia, Syria, Bashar al-Assad, Vladimir Putin, Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Nusra Front, John Kerry, Ash Carter, Islamic State / of Iraq and Syria/Sham/the Levant, IS, ISIS, ISIL, Daesh, Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan
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