21.02.2016 Author: F. William Engdahl

Mr President, Sir, Are You About to Blow Up the Middle East?

3563565655I have a very uneasy feeling that the US President is about to set off a chain of events that will literally blow up the Middle East. Earlier I’ve detailed the very careful steps, seductions and actions of key players of the Obama Administration, from the President himself to Secretary of State John Kerry to CIA director, John Owen Brennan, to Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman, General Joseph “Fightin’ Joe” Francis Dunford, Jr., Washington dirty tricks specialist and now UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey D. Feltman, and numerous others not in the spotlight. Their reactions to the provocative actions of Turkish Sultan-in-waiting, now mere Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, as well as to Saudi Arabian King-in-waiting, Defense Minister Prince Mohammed Salman, in the months since the surprise Russian entry into the Syria war on the side of legitimately-elected President Bashar al-Assad, are clearly not result of a bumbling Washington policy disorder. Washington has set a huge, deadly trap for the delusional Saudi monarchy’s Prince Salman and his bosom buddy, Erdoğan. Now it looks like they are about to spring their trap.

First it’s useful to look a bit more closely into the UN-sponsored Geneva III “peace talks” which began the first week of February. The talks, despite Russian and Syrian efforts, have been a farce from the onset. The key UN point-person guiding the Geneva sabotage agenda is UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey D. Feltman.

Feltman-Bandar Plan

Feltman is a US State Department dirty tricks specialist who was Ambassador to Lebanon at the time of the 2005 Harari assassination. Before that Feltman served in Iraq in the aftermath of the US military invasion. Even earlier, he was posted to Yugoslavia, in the early 1980’s to play a role in Washington’s dismemberment of that country. His résumé suggests that he is a Washington specialist in their very-loved and very-often-practiced art of national dismemberment. Destruction of the Bashar al Assad regime is his current obsession. Not exactly a neutral peace mediator.

Indeed, in 2008, Feltman authored a secret plan with former Saudi Ambassador to Washington, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, nicknamed “Bandar Bush” by George W. Bush for his intimate ties to the Bush family. That Feltman-Bandar Plan was revealed in internal documents hacked in 2011 from the thousands of files of STRATFOR, the murky US “strategic intelligence” consultancy to the Department of Defense and military industry.

That Feltman Plan, financed by a reported $2 billion from Bandar’s Saudi piggy bank, describes in detail what has ensued since Washington, under then-Secretary of State Hillary R. Clinton, launched war in Syria in March 2011, after destroying Qaddafi’s Libya. The Feltman-Bandar plan “strategically” depended on the exploitation of peoples’ legitimate desire for freedom, dignity and getting rid of corruption by turning these wishes into a revolt against Assad.

The Feltman-Bandar plan called for dividing Syria into different ethnic groups–Alawite, Sunni, Shi’ite, Kurd, Christian, and dividing the country into three areas: big cities, small cities and villages. Then the USA and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and selected allies would begin covert training and recruiting of five levels or networks of actors, controlled by the CIA and Saudi intelligence, which Bandar later headed, to execute the destruction or national dismemberment of Syria. The plan outlined the five networks they would manipulate:

1- The “Fuel”: educated and unemployed youths who are to be linked in a decentralized way.

2- The “Thugs”: outlaws and criminals from remote areas, preferably non-Syrians.

3- The “Ethnic-Sectarians”: young people with limited education representing ethnic communities that support or oppose the president. They must be under the age of 22.

4- The “Media”: some leaders of civil society institutions which have European funding not American, to conceal US role.

5- The “Capital”: traders, company owners, banks and commercial centers in Damascus, Aleppo and Homs only.

The aim of that 2008 Feltman-Bandar “plan” according to knowledgeable sources was to bring Syria back to the “stone age.” It called for each sect the Saudis and CIA recruited “to commit horrible bloody massacres against violators. These crimes must be filmed and posted to the media as soon as possible.” If we view the countless photos of Syrian cities, villages and towns today, that is pretty much what has been accomplished in now almost five years of war.

And now, as UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman cannot be expected, like the proverbial leopard, to have changed his spots. In fact the UN Under-Secretary-General at the Geneva III talks can be expected to skillfuly sabotage any positive outcome in terms of an enduring ceasefire in Syria that might prepare the way for peaceful national elections free of Saudi or Turkish or Qatari malfeasance.

Blaming the Russians and Assad

In Geneva, the Saudi-backed “opposition”, the pompous-sounding High Negotiations Committee (HNC), whose members were hand-picked by the Saudi monarchy as Sunni tribal Saudi loyalists, referred to in the media as “the most important opposition alliance,” has done nothing but disrupt, insisting that no Geneva talks can go forward unless the UN end the “crimes” of the Syrian government as a condition for their participation.

Finally, on February 2, the hand-picked Saudi HNC delegation to Geneva pulled out of the talks, de facto collapsing the entire effort. Their justification was a lie. They claimed as reason for walking out the continued Russian support bombing in Syria to liberate Aleppo and other terrorist-beseiged towns, blaming Russia and Assad for violation of “international law.” They didn’t specify which law they had in mind.

Specifically, High Negotiations Committee spokesperson,Farah al-Atassi, charged, quite falsely, that an ongoing Syrian-Russian offensive against DAESH or IS and the terrorist Al Qaeda Syria group called Al Nusra Front was the group’s reason for declining the meeting: “Our objective is to ensure the immediate implementation if paragraphs 12 and 13 of UN Security Council resolution 2254 before the start of any negotiation. It’s clear from the current situation that the regime and its allies — in particular Russia — are determined to reject the UN’s efforts to implement international law.”

Paragraph 12 of that December 2015 UN Security Council Resolution is excerpted here: “12. Calls on the parties to immediately allow humanitarian agencies rapid, safe and unhindered access throughout Syria by most direct routes, allow immediate, humanitarian assistance to reach all people in need, in particular in all besieged and hard-to-reach areas…” That humanitarian relief effort with emergency food and medical airdrops by the Syrian Air Force has been constantly sabotaged by precisely DAESH and Al Nusra and other Saudi-tied terror groups.

Moreover, Paragraph 13 does not say anything about a full ceasefire BEFORE Geneva talks can even begin. Paragraph 13 is excerpted here: “13. Demands that all parties immediately cease any attacks against civilians and civilian objects as such, including attacks against medical facilities and personnel, and any indiscriminate use of weapons, including through shelling and aerial bombardment, welcomes the commitment by the ISSG to press the parties in this regard, and further demands that all parties immediately comply with their obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law and international human rights law as applicable.”

Now, with perfect orchestration by Washington, their UN man, Feltman, Prince Salman and Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, the fuse is about to be lit on what is shaping up to be one of the most dramatic instances of “national dismemberment” since 1939.

Only, while the only-too-clever Prince Salman and Erdogan are convinced, by all the soft, subtle encouragement from John Kerry, from Joe Biden and those in Washington that they have a green light to invade and take over the rich oil and gas fields of Syria and of Turkey’s next-door neighbor Iraq and its huge Mosul oil riches, in fact they are about to fall into a horrendous trap.

That trap will likely see the map of the entire Middle East redrawn fundamentally for the first time since the secret British-French (and Russian until the Bolshevik seizure of power in 1917) Sykes-Picot Plan. As in 1916, it will not be Riyadh or Ankara’s cartographers and geographers drawing the new boundaries. It will by Anglo-American ones, at least that is the game plan. It seems we Americans these days can only organize wars. We used to make quality cars, steel, machine tools to build our industry.

F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

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