Putin demands a real investigation, but the Western establishment has already decided how to use the massacre
This post first appeared on Russia Insider
Originally appeared in German at German Economic News. Translated by David Norris
The attacks on Paris could lead to a massive military operation of NATO in Syria. Russia's president Putin has consequently asked the question as to who is pulling the strings. The question is related to the Russian military successes in Syria - and with the efforts of the US-Neocons and intelligence agencies to seize the opportunity to extend the war in Syria as quickly as possible.
Once again Russian's president, Vladimir Putin, has posed the right question: Who were pulling the strings in the Paris attacks? Putin, according to TASS, has given the French his full support in "solving the crime, as well as identifying both those who carried it out and those pulling the strings".
What do we actually know?
Basically, we know very little. We should note: As unprepared for the attacks as the French security services were, they were quick with ready answers on the day. Said to be responsible were the terror-militia "Islamic State" (IS). President Hollande acknowledged this and declared war on IS. However, Charles Winter of the Quilliam Foundation, specialists on Syria and IS, points out that it cannot yet be shown whether the attacks were directly organised by IS or were "inspired" by the terrorists. It is quite possible that IS, currently under enormous pressure in Syria, have simply claimed the attacks for themselves in order to induce fighting spirit in their followers. The New York Times cites Bruce Hoffman of the Center for Security Studies at the University of Georgetown: the organisation of the attacks points rather to Al-Qaeda. Hoffman recalls the message of Osama bin Laden, who challenged the supporters of terror to carry out attacks such as that in Mumbai – that is to say, on "soft targets" among the civilian population.
The information supplied by the French investigators should be treated with caution: a Syrian passport was found on one of the terrorists, who blew himself up. In security service circles, it is thought to be highly unlikely that a suicide bomber would carry a passport in his pocket whilst carrying out this final action. In this connection the attacks on Charlie Hebdo come to mind: also on that occasion the killers had by chance forgotten their passports in their getaway car. Until this day, it remains unclear, who were pulling the strings, who had commissioned the killers. At the same time, the Greek security service asserts that the killer came into Europe along with refugees. In this way fear of refugees is fomented – very much in the interest of Turkey, that can then drive yet higher the price demanded.
Putin has called for close co-operation in Syria by the world community: this he is doing from a prevailing position of military strength. After a successful offensive in the south of Aleppo, the Syrians supported by Russia and Iran are now just a few kilometres outside Saraqib, the most important intersection of the motorway from Damascus and Lattakia to Aleppo.
Mercenaries of the Americans who were put together for the storm against Damascus and Lattakia where the Russian military base lies, north of Hama and 50 kilometres from Lattakia, will within a few days be encircled. They consist of several hundred Turkish and US military advisers and mercenaries financed by the US. Turkey had already in the past weeks led IS fighters to safety from the Russians. A historical example of this retreat is to be found in the encirclement of the Taliban in the north of Afghanistan. At that time Bush had tolerated an airlift by the Pakistanis for the top Taliban and military advisers ― 5000 fighters died later in the attack. Now a similar fate awaits IS between Kweires and Aleppo.
Here, however, there is no suitable airfield. This is why the Americans urgently need to be militarily active if the mercenaries and the advisers are not to be worn down by the Syrians and the Russians.
For this reason the US-Neocons, the US generals and NATO used the attacks on Paris within a few hours to put US President Barack Obama under pressure: Obama wants to pull out of Syria. This is interpreted by the Neocons and the generals in the light of the Paris attacks as weakness. The military analyst Jerry Hendrix from the Center for a New American Century says in Time Magazine: "The Paris attacks could be a catalysing event that will shake the international community into action." William Kristol joins in the criticism of Obama's Syria strategy against IS, writing in the Weekly Standard, he calls for a hard line clamp down ― that is, the intervention of ground troops. Kori Schake of the Hoover Institute writes in Politico "Obama's strategy of containment of IS is wrong." He calls for the extermination if IS, not just their containment. This can only be accomplished using ground troops.
NATO general secretary, Jens Stoltenberg, declared himself ready to intervene and invited Paris openly to invoke the alliance treaty. In this case the NATO partners are obliged to become active in Syria. The Bild-Zeitung, whose position appears to be closely aligned to that of NATO, has already asked: "After the terror in Paris – must we now go to war?" The chairman of the German Reservist Association and CDU parliamentarian, Roderich Kieswetter, said to the Bild-Zeitung, "I shall support that we too should deploy our military capabilities in Syria. We could together support our allies by sending in our reconnaissance Tornados." The Bild-Zeitung summed up the NATO efforts with the headline: "Preparedness for War Grows".
Turkey could play a significant role in the deployment of ground troops. For months now she has been conducting her own dubious war, against international law, by fighting against the PKK on Iraqi and Syrian territory. Erdogan claims to know terrorism and its effects from personal experience. The Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said after the Paris attacks, talking must now come to an end. He demanded massive military strikes. The logic of "my terrorist is good, yours is bad" should no longer apply. "Terrorism recognises no religion, no nation, no race, no fatherland." Yet with exactly the same words just a few weeks previously in Brussels, Erdogan had accused the EU of insufficient support for the fight against the PKK.
The advance of the Russians in Syria brings some difficulty for Erdogan: He desperately needs relief in order to carry through with his own interests in Syria. As a NATO land standing faithfully with France, attacks could afford him some legitimacy to march into Syria with ground troops. Erdogan can in any case mobilise far quicker than the USA who have certain democratic procedures to follow before they can send in the troops. Until they are completed, it could by then be too late because of the successes of the Russians.
Vladimir Putin is himself a security service man. He will therefore know the state of play.
The Russians are de facto the only ones, who at the moment are actually fighting against IS. At the G20 summit in Turkey it would with some certainty come to a meeting between Putin and Obama. Ironically, Putin is the closest ally of Obama, above all against the Neocons and the generals. At the summit, the refugee crisis is also to be discussed, with which Erdogan blackmails the EU and also the German Chancellor, who is in this matter completely overwhelmed.
The refugees as to cause play only a subordinate role with respect to the Paris terror. In reality the terrorists who shot indiscriminately all around with Kalashnikovs have no need to hide themselves in the stream of refugees. However, with the launching of the assertion that two killers travelled with the refugees to Europe, the fear within the EU of the "threat" from refugees is further fomented. In this way the EU can be forced to agree to a military campaign and authorise Erdogan to be the spearhead.
It must now be decisive whether Putin and Obama can agree on a common way to proceed and whether he can keep the Neocons from his throat. John McCain particularly has built up a tremendous amount of pressure and demanded on Friday that IS be "destroyed". Secretary of State, John Kerry has only spoken in very general terms about terrorists and has not mentioned IS as the culprits in Paris, as the New York Times analyses.
Putin's central demand, that also those pulling the strings with respect to Paris must be sought out and punished, is likely, however, in the confusion of war in Syria to come to nothing. Shedding light on what happened, as with the shooting down of MH17, is of less interest than making this out to be a criminal act that can be utilised for one's own geopolitical advantage.
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