Former French Diplomat to ST: Syria and Its Allies Are on the Right Path

The Former French diplomat Prof. Michel Raimbaud has stressed that if the balance of powers in the world has changed in favor of the Syrian government and its allies, the Atlantic neocon plan will continue to explain many maneuvers in order to delay the end of the conflict in Syria.

In an interview with the Syriatimes e-newspaper, the veteran diplomat said the Syrian State is about to win the war, but it is very likely that the hostilities will continue for some time as some parties have a strong desire to prevent any kind of peace and stability and to make any kind of reconstruction very difficult in Syria.

 “But as most of the analysts, I believe that the general evolution of the forces won’t change back. The Syrian State and its friends and allied forces are on the good and right side of the file, in the battle-field and at the level of the international legality,” he added.

The former diplomat made it clear that the Syrian Army, supported by well-known allied countries or partners, has been and is the main force really fighting on the ground foreign-backed terrorism. “No doubt about that and I think that observers or “experts” who deny and “forget” to tell the truth are dishonest. This is the reality against all the terrorist groups, including Da’esh [ISIS, IS] and Al Nusra Front.”

“But the “coalition” [US-led coalition], that claimed to be the fighter-in- chief, is operating illegally in Syria, with no agreement of the government and played a very ambiguous role. The raids and actions looked like having one main goal that was to shell and destroy the infrastructures of the country, carefully and cautiously avoiding to do any harm to Da’esh and other representatives of the tens and tens of terrorist groups. For a very good reason; why and how should you fight forces that share your own objectives: destroy the country, topple the president and make a “regime change”?” he added.

France’s policy towards Syria

Asked about the possibility of witnessing a change in France’s policy towards Syria, the professor replied: “It won’t happen today or tomorrow as you surely can guess. Even though it would be highly desirable in many regards for the frustrated French diplomacy. The Macron leadership and his foreign minister seem to be “convinced” that threats and strikes are the suitable means which could open the door to France attempting to come back to the diplomatic scene as regards the Syrian conflict.”

“In other words, they [French President and his FM] stick up to the fake idea that a military strike, even illegal from the international law and UN Charter viewpoint, is a key to enter a political process that has been sabotaged in recent times. But obviously systematic hostility against the Syrian State and the Syrian legal President and authorities cannot but bring the opposite result, whatever the complicated speeches and distorted statements or overstatements,” Prof. Raimbaud said.

He affirmed that it is difficult indeed to understand what Mr. Macron meant to say when he tried to present the decision of the “missile attack” against Syria as the starting-point of a peace process in Syria.

“The pretext the French President referred to is that France, UK and USA, three permanent members of the Security Council, were acting on behalf of the “international community“. Of course, a strike is a strike and nothing else, all the more when undertaken with no resolution by the Security Council. It cannot be justified. This operation, that is illegal from the viewpoint of the United Nations Charter and the International Law, was and is strongly criticized all around the World, including by most of the French political parties,” said the professor.

He added: “Syria has been unwillingly involved in a bloody war for over seven years, and has suffered during this long period a high number of acts of aggression. Far from being a step on the path of peace, this tripartite “missile attack” - which reminds us of the 1956 tripartite aggression against Gamal Abdel Nasser’s Egypt in retaliation to the Suez Canal nationalization - is of course perceived by the Syrians and by many people in the world, including in France, as one more aggressive act in the context of the bloody war waged against Syria since 2011, following other military interventions as (just to give two examples among many others concerning the last 25 years) in Iraq and in Libya,” stressed the Professor.

Partition plan

Concerning the partition plan of Syria, Prof. Raimbaud said: “The idea of the partition plan of “Greater Syria” dates back to the fall and discarding of the Ottoman Empire, one century ago, when France and Great Britain signed the famous Sykes-Picot Agreement and shared a mandate on the region at the end of World War I, through the League of Nations. The partition plan was partly realized, as soon as Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine and strips of land of what is nowadays Iraq and Turkey were withdrawn from the Syrian sovereignty. We should also mention the Iskanderoun [Sandjak], cut off from Syria by Turkey before World War II. But the rest of the partition Plan could not be completely implemented. Nevertheless, it was enough to enable the creation of Israel after the Syrian independence.”

“Practically and without entering into details, the newer and most recent partition plans date back to the Oded Yinon’s Map and Strategy (1982), inspired by the writer Bernard Lewis and Colonel Peters. As you know, it planned the dividing of Syria into several entities made on an ethnic and confessional basis (the maps are easily accessible through the Web). This Plan was revisited on and on and redrawn several times but the bulk of it remained unchanged until today. The basic inspiration is Israeli and American, and the Plan as such aims at the annihilation of Syria, supporter of the Palestinian cause.”

He affirmed that the plan is still the main goal of the present Wars which were triggered under the fake label of “Arab Springs” and/or “Arab Revolutions”. But the plan, which was conducted by the USA and their Israeli-western Allies on the one hand and the takfirist regimes and Co on the other hand, has clearly failed even though the War is not over.

“I don’t believe at all that it can succeed, as soon as the Syrian State has resisted for over seven years and is recovering, through its valiant National Army and Allies, the control of all the Syrian territories, which is the legal right and duty of the government. Unfortunately, the hostilities are far from getting to an end,” the professor said.

Replacement of US troops in Syria with Arab forces

Regarding Washington’s will to replace US troops in Syria with Arab forces, Prof. Raimbaud elaborated that this reflects the new financial strategy, to privilege “Proxy Wars” rather than visible presence (even a tiny presence) on the ground, and to justify the US claim to be paid by billions of dollars if the countries concerned want some US troops to remain.

“This is the principle which was pushed forward by Donald Trump since his election, with the slogan ‘America first’.It is obvious that Democracy in Saudi Arabia or Human Rights in Turkey, or survival of Qatar are not priorities for the US president. While maintaining the US military support to rich countries can be instrumented in order to pump off huge amounts of dollars from [naive regimes] in quest of security.”

The professor referred to the fact that the power system in the Gulf monarchies is based on an obvious confusion between the affairs of the State and the private interests of the ruling family. The best example of this specificity is provided by the situation prevailing in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia since the signing of the Quincy Pact on the 14th of February 1945 between the US President Franklin Roosevelt and King Ibn Saud : oil for the United States versus security for the Saudi monarchy. Let’s remain that the Kingdom is the only country in the world to bear a ruling family’s name.

He underlined that the Gulf state serves US interests in order to ensure the rulers’ security and the continuity of their power. In absence of popular or national legitimacy, reliance on the foreign (US) protection and tutorship is doubtlessly the best mean to protect the monarchies.

“It must be repeated that this protection is not granted free of charge, President Trump, accustomed to provocations, having recalled that the rich oil States have a debt and can’t just rely on Washington. According to his despising statements, America had spent 7 trillion USD in the past and time had come to be paid back by those monarchies “that would not survive ten years without the US shield”. It is not mere verbal talk, as we can see after the huge transactions and contracts that took place recently with Mohammad Ben Salman.”

Paris, Riyadh have common political views

In response to a question on France’ continuity of selling weapons to Saudi Arabia regime that kills innocent persons in Yemen,  Mr. Raimbaud said: “ Personally I have of course no answer to this specific question, even though I imagine it’s a part of the “strategic” partnership existing between Paris and Riyadh. This partnership is based on economic and commercial interests at first, but also on common political views: one of them is that Iran through its obvious support to the Houthist forces in Yemen is countering the Saudi “efforts” to bring in back “peace and stability” to the country, along with the return of the “legal” government supported by Riyadh. We perfectly know the reality of the facts.

The idea that the spread of Iranian influence in the Middle East zone must be contained and reduced as far as possible, is one of the traditional obsessions of the USA since the venue of the Islamic Revolution in 1979: the Iran- Iraq war in the eighties was clearly launched by Washington in order to topple the new regime. The 1991/ 2003 decade was dedicated to break out the Saddam’s regime and the Iraqi State, and the nuclear Iranian file was fabricated in the aftermath of the destruction of Iraq, aiming to destabilize the power in Teheran.

“At the same time, we witnessed the arising of the Saudi obsessions against the Islamic Revolution in Iran since the very beginning that were concretized by the creation of the Gulf Cooperation Council, the goal number one of which was to counter Iran.”

“The great “miracle” of the Saudi diplomacy and propaganda is to have convinced a number of Arab countries that the enemy number one was not Israel anymore, but Iran, accused to be “the major threat against peace and security in the region and the main supporter of terrorism”. The second fold of the success is that some Arabs came to share this surprising conviction.”

New world order

Moreover, the professor underscored that a kind of a new Cold War is arising indeed, opposing two blocks whose configuration is not very different from the East/West confrontation that ended in 1991 with the self-destruction of the Soviet Union.

“These blocks are The Atlantic Empire (US, Europe and Israel) on one side and Eurasia (USSR and China and their communist allies) on the other side, and in the middle, Non-Aligned countries including many former colonies. After twenty years of US unilateralism inspired by the neocon “thinkers”, a re-drawing of the geopolitical map appeared since 2011, specifically in the context of the turmoil affecting the Arab and Muslim countries in the Greater Middle East of George W. Bush,” Prof. Raimbaud said.

He underlined that the new cleavage is structuring a new world order where the competition or the confrontation is not ideological any more.

“From the western side there is an apparent continuity. NATO, which still embodies the Euro-American alliance, with Israel as its eastern proxy [fondé de pouvoir], and Turkey still to a great extent, remains the framework of the occidental “international community”. Let’s point to a huge detail: instead of being suppressed at the end of the Cold War and the dissolution of Warsaw Pact, NATO  extended its membership to Eastern Europe, including some former soviet republics, regardless of the US and German commitments towards Gorbatchev, so threatening openly Russia,” the professor added.

He went on to say: “From the Eurasian side, Shanghai Cooperation Organization and “Collective Security Treaty Organization” centered around Russia, Central Asia and China, as well as their extension, the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) have replaced the previous communist bloc; jointly to some great non-aligned countries. The competition or the confrontation is not ideological any more, even if it is getting more and more violent and even though those Eurasian organizations tend to be considered as a potential anti-NATO structure.”

“International Community”

The professor affirmed that diplomatic landscape in the frame of the United Nations Organization, specially since 2011 as regards the Syrian conflict, highlighted a sort of “clash of civilizations” between the so-called “international community” consisting of the three western permanent members of the Security Council (US, UK, France) and the two eastern members (Russia and China).

“In fact, the expression of the so-called “international community” is risky, as far as it consists of three countries with 500 million people, out of 7.2 billion, i.e. 7% of the world wide global population against the rest of Mankind,” Prof. Raimbaud stressed, pointing out that the war in Syria reproduces a confrontation between the axis of resistance and allied countries (Russia, China ..etc) on the one hand and the so-called the ‘Group of the Friends of the Syrian People, which is composed of Syria’s aggressors gathered around  the three western powers (US, UK, France) and Israel as well as the Takfiri or extremist regimes (Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, Turkey .. etc).

“But unlike what used to exist during the cold War resting on a balance of forces duly recognized and a common international law based on identified standards and rules enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, the new world order that has been emerging during the past few years, is still in search of commonly accepted and respected principles: International law and diplomatic rules of the game have been devastated,” the former French Ambassador to Sudan said.

He referred to the fact some countries that are supposed to be the guardians of the international law and rules unfortunately do not play their role, not hesitating to violate the basic principles of the Charter.

Interviewed by :Basma Qaddour