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Deafening silence over Trump’s Syria breakthrough


The Arab Spring was, in the eyes of the Western elites, going to bring peace, prosperity and liberal values to an area controlled by despots. At least that was the theory. Instead Western intervention in the Middle East has produced nothing but chaos, violence, increased Muslim terrorism and the incredible economic and cultural problems facing Europe as we try to assimilate hundreds of thousands of immigrants.

After bombing the country David Cameron may have been eager for photo ops in Libya along with Sarkozy. Sadly, for Libya there was no follow-up. Once the cameramen had left, the country was abandoned to sink into mayhem and anarchy. One result of which is that Libya is now a staging post for people traffickers and NGOs ferrying boatloads of economic immigrants over the Mediterranean.

Lessons are rarely learned. The students of Syria were encouraged in their unrest against the odious Assad regime. When civil war eventually broke out the West encouraged and supplied weapons and equipment to ‘moderate’ groups who immediately channelled them to some of the worst Muslim terrorist organisations imaginable. The West ended up arming and assisting organisations dedicated to the overthrow of the West.

And Syria sank ever deeper into a cesspit of brutal violence reminiscent of the Dark Ages. A country was ripped apart. The Assad regime and the terrorists relentlessly destroyed villages, towns and cities to ‘liberate’ them. And people died. And people fled.

Western intervention in Syria has done nothing but intensify and prolong the agony.

Yet, unheeded by the media, it looks as though the suffering may be coming to an end. Something of immense importance was achieved in the Helsinki meeting between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. A deal was reached amongst all the warring parties in Syria, apart from the Muslim terrorists, the result of which is that the ghastly seven-year civil war looks to be reaching a conclusion. But because of the source it has been largely overlooked.

What fun the media had at Helsinki. Trump dared to imply that he doesn’t completely trust the intelligence agencies who have been trying to undermine him. These are the same Western intelligence agencies proven disastrously wrong in the Middle East before. The same agencies which deliberately and knowingly producing a tissue of lies on Iraqi WMD to justify intervention.

According to progressives and the MSM, but I repeat myself, Trump is a traitor colluding with the Russians and should be impeached. The brouhaha and squeals of anguish have covered up the fact that the USA and Russia, with the close co-operation of Israel, reached a position where the conflict is likely to end and stability restored so that national rebuilding can begin.

Unlike many in the West Trump is a realist and astute enough to realise that despite everything the West could do to bring down Assad, short of massive military intervention, the dictator was going to hang on to power.

This move was already in the making before Helsinki. Not long ago the USA was close to going to war with the Assad regime. Then last month the Islamist rebels in south-west Syria, birthplace of the rebellion, found their American backing withdrawn. Most of the rebels surrendered and were given safe passage to the north. The few remaining intransigent holdouts await the inevitable onslaught from the Syrian army and Russian Air Force.

Trump is eager to fulfil his promise to keep US soldiers out of the interminable foreign wars so fascinating to Democrats. It is likely that the 2,000 US special forces in Syria will be withdrawn, probably before the mid-term elections.

The USA and Russia are the major players in the cessation of hostilities, but they couldn’t have achieved the prospect of stability without the aid of Israel. Just days before the Helsinki summit, Benjamin Netanyahu announced Israel would have no problem working with an Assad regime in Syria in the future.

Throughout his career Bibi has always resolutely maintained that Palestine and its terrorists are a diversion, not the central problem in the Middle East. Israel’s main concern today is Iran and its forces who have been setting up house with their proxies in Syria.

If Russia would agree to forcing Hezbollah to return to Lebanon and for Syrian forces to draw back from its borders, Israel would accept that Syria is under Russian control. This is only realistic; such has been the mishandling of the Syrian debacle that to all intents and purposes Syria is a Russian protectorate.

Given the chaotic state of Syria, Netanyahu seems to have accepted Putin’s assurances that he would control the situation within Syria. At least for the short term. Putin has also shelved plans to sell Assad Russia’s formidable S-400 air defence system which is ‘the most capable and lethal long-range air defence system on the planet’. This would have significantly limited Israeli air capability in the region.

Why would the Iranians agree to withdraw after expending so much effort in Syria? Putin announced a $50billion Russian investment in Iranian oil and gas. Iran can pocket the cash and save face by proclaiming that its Revolutionary Guard has defeated Assad’s enemies and is now coming home covered in glory.

Trump has pulled off a win-win for everyone other than the Muslim terrorists. Assad, having survived against all expectations everything the West could throw at him has gone from being a monster to being a force for stability. Russia has a protectorate in Syria and keeps its warm-water naval port on the Mediterranean coast. The US extricates itself from the morass of Syria. Saudi and the other Gulf Arabs’ paranoia about Iran is dialled down a notch. Israel removes the Iranian threat from its border.

Just don’t expect either Trump, Putin or Netanyahu to get any credit for the prospect of peace in Syria.

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Dr Campbell Campbell-Jack
Dr Campbell Campbell-Jack
Campbell is a retired Presbyterian minister who lives in Stirlingshire. He blogs at A Grain of Sand.

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