Dr. Ibrahim Alloush to ST: US Policy of Provoking Others Constantly May Lead to Total War

 Arab political intellectual Dr. Ibrahim Alloush reckons that the United States is neither willing nor able to engage in total war actually, be it against Iran or against Russia and China, referring to the fact that the US President Donald Trump, who is more Zionist than many Zionists outside the extreme right-wing in the Zionist entity [Israel], has been targeting the precepts of the globalist system laid down painstakingly in previous decades.

In an interview with the Syriatimes e-newspaper, the political intellectual underscored that the Middle East region will suffer the consequences of a US policy which is more belligerent and biased than ever before, indicating that the war against Syria has moved into a new phase amid Trump’s attempts to cover up for the fact that the US is a superpower in decline, and to help it get away with state-sponsored terrorist acts here and there without a serious response by the victims of those acts. 

 “Political escalation has become the name of the game.  Political rhetoric has become less diplomatic and more shrill.  Political stances have become less compromising and more quarrelsome, harking back to the heritage of “gunboat” or “big stick” diplomacy, so to speak, which the US never really gave up under any administration, except that Trump has totally dropped the thin veneer of diplomacy in favor of “strong-arm” tactics, be it in international economic relations or in international relations in general, especially in our part of the world,” Dr. Alloush said.

He went on to say: “As such, we can logically expect tensions to mount and skirmishes to break out more intensely and frequently.  Threatening total war, I think, is part of this charade of “playing-it-on-the-edge” to extract more concessions from friends and foes alike, and the US has been handling both Arab Gulf and European States more roughly, not just Russia, China, or Iran.”

However, he thinks that the US will probably try to undertake intermittent military actions here and there to make it look like it’s about to launch total war in the hope of extracting concessions.

“I don’t think that the US is either willing or able to engage in total war actually, be it against Iran or against Russia and China. “Yet this Hollywood image of an “out of control” maverick who would better “not be messed with”, being a trigger-happy loose cannon and all, is exactly the kind of image the Trump administration is trying to cultivate to cover up for the fact that the US is a superpower in decline, and to help it get away with state-sponsored terrorist acts here and there without a serious response by the victims of those acts.  In short, I don’t think that the US is about to launch total war anytime soon, but will probably try to undertake intermittent military actions here and there to make it look like it’s about to launch total war in the hope of extracting concessions that it knows would entail massive costs (like in Iraq and Afghanistan) to obtain from its foes.  Yet, when one plays with fire, one may have his fingers burnt.  The US may not intend to evoke total war, but provoking others constantly may lead to total war whether one intends to get to that point or not, which is a threat looming large all the time if things get out of control,” Dr. Alloush clarified.

He expects further US strikes against Syria despite the fact that the pretexts of such aggressions have become less and less plausible with the Syrian Arab state re-establishing control over many parts of Syria which were previously under the yoke of terrorist groups.

US can’t afford to occupy Syria

Because of the recapture of many parts of Syria by the Syrian army, the US is doing its best in the eastern part of Syria to preserve the leftovers of ISIS, to provide itself with the excuse to stay in Syria.  With that Takfiri excuse evaporating, the US need to stay in Syria has actually increased, which a strategic dilemma that cannot be resolved except by admitting defeat or trying to pick a fight with the Syrian Arab State over flimsy excuses like attributing alleged “chemical attacks on civilians” to the Syrian state and what have you under the cover of a huge misinformation campaign via the Western media and terrorist-affiliated groups such as the so-called “White Helmet”, according to the intellectual, who affirmed that the US can neither afford to occupy Syria nor continue to rely on local Syrian and regional terrorist militias that have proven to be no match for the Syrian Arab Army and its allies.

“The US should be remembered here that it cannot afford to occupy Syria, especially with fresh memories of the forbidding costs of the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention Vietnam, looming large.  Neither can it continue to rely on local Syrian and regional terrorist militias that have proven to be no match for the Syrian Arab Army and its allies.  So, the US’s only bet is to play the separatist (Kurdish) card, the Zionist card, and the Turkish card, all the while pretending to be waiting for the slightest chance to launch an attack against Syria,” he said, adding that the real game of the US imperialists, Turkey and Zionists is to try to push Syria towards accepting terms that they know they couldn’t get via their terrorist cronies

The real game

“It is obvious that the war against Syria has moved into a new phase, with Turkish and Zionist intrusions, via land, in the case of Turkey, and via the skies in the case of Zionists, have come to replace the terrorism of the defeated hordes of Takfiri militias.  But even Turkey or Zionists cannot occupy Syria.  They, and US imperialists, may be able to prolong the war, and can continue to support terrorism in Syria.  They may even take a swing against Syria if they get the chance.  But their real game is to try to push Syria towards accepting terms that they know they couldn’t get via their terrorist cronies.  Furthermore, Syria has allies, both regional and international, have demonstrated a true commitment towards confronting Zionists (in the case of Iran) and confronting US plans for hegemony (in the case of Russia), not to mention Hezbollah and others who would very much welcome the opportunity to engage Zionists tête-à-tête.  Here, it should definitely be pointed out that the Western-Zionist crusade to excommunicate Iran from Syria is part and parcel of the larger effort to strengthen the hand of the Zionists in Syria, in the hope of weakening the Syrian state as part of the ongoing destabilization effort against Syria.”

The Arab intellectual also talked about the “fourth-generation” warfare strategies being adopted by the US to destabilize independent states and what will happen if the US decides to escalate its direct military involvement in Syria.

“Should the US decide to escalate its direct military involvement in Syria, it will find no shortage of parties who are willing and able to target the US and its presence in Syria.  For the time being, however, this need not happen openly, in the form of a formal war between states, unless the US decides to commit the foolhardy act of attacking Russia or Iran directly.  On the other hand, just like the US has been systematically adopting “fourth-generation” warfare strategies, employing non-state actors, to destabilize independent states, it stands to reason that non-state actors can be brought to bear as well on the US presence in Syria, which, we should always remember, is an occupation, an overbearing military presence that was unsolicited by the Syrian Arab Republic, not to mention a blatant form of state-sponsored terrorism (Timber Sycamore being one case in point), and an attempt to destabilize the Syrian state.  As such, it stands as fair game already.  So, imagine what could happen if the US decides to target Syria and its allies openly and systematically on Syrian soil!”

US withdrawal from Iran nuclear deal

Asked about the factors that prodded Trump in the direction of pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal framework signed about three years ago, Dr. Alloush made it clear that domestic US political considerations, the weight of the Jewish-Zionist lobby in the US political system and the US administration’s tactless policy to extract more concessions from Iran are the main factors.

“There are several factors which prodded Donald Trump in the direction of pulling out of the deal. Some of those factors, in fact, pertain to domestic US political considerations more than they do to our region per se.  First of all, this has been part of an ongoing effort on the part of Trump to undermine Obama’s legacy, not just his policies.  There is an element of political vendetta there against Obama in particular and the Democrats in general. 

Secondly, no matter how one looks at it, there is no denying the weight of the Jewish-Zionist lobby in the US political system.  Without getting enmeshed in the throes of the theoretical debate over who controls whom, Zionism or imperialism, it is obvious that one cannot possibly understand the policies of the US in our region without taking into account the influence, be it overwhelming or not, of the Jewish/Zionist lobby in the US political system.  This is a lobby, I might add, which is by no means restricted to AIPAC in Washington.  Trump, more than any other US president perhaps, has succumbed to the influence of that lobby in ways which have evidently made him more Zionist than many Zionists outside the extreme right-wing in the Zionist entity.  He talks like a Zionist, and walks like a Zionist, and has surrounded himself with a bunch of Zionist ducks.  So pulling out of the nuclear deal framework with Iran can only be seen in conjunction with his proclamations on Jerusalem [al-Quds] being the “capital of Israel”, and his decision to move the US embassy in occupied Palestine to Jerusalem. 

Thirdly, Trump, being a tactless bully believes he can extract more concessions from Iran on its ballistic missile program, its stances towards the Zionist entity and Arab regimes in the Gulf, as well as its nuclear program itself much more than the Obama Administration and European Union officials involved in that deal did.  Trump has adopted protectionist and anti-globalist policies in international economic relations overall.  So he must have watched with disdain as European-Iranian economic relations evolved after July 14, 2015, which is a development contributing to weakening the status of the US as a superpower, and contributing to strengthening the status of Iran as a regional superpower.  And that is not something that imperialist and Zionist circles can tolerate.  So, it’s not that Trump is merely oblivious to the economic woos of  the Europeans in pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal and re-instating sanctions against companies involved in trade and investment with Iran.  He intentionally seeks to weaken the Europeans by pulling out of the deal, not just weaken Iran.

Conflict between US and EU

Dr. Alloush stressed that the conflict between the Trump administration and the EU is in part a reflection of the conflict within the US itself with the Democrats, and with supporters of globalization, so it’s not totally about European economic relations with Iran, since Trump has been targeting the precepts of the globalist system laid down painstakingly in previous decades.

“However, setting this conflict aside, the bureaucracy of the European Union should not be viewed as “innocent lambs” in this context, since they viewed the Nuclear deal with Iran as part of a “soft power” onslaught to destabilize the Iranian regime to begin with.  They will hence try to pressure Iran to make certain concessions on the issues Trump has raised in order to save the deal,” he said.

The political intellectual concluded by saying: “Iranian policy-makers are not amateurs, and will not allow their sovereignty to become a bargaining chip between the Americans and the Europeans, and will probably approach this issue differently, with an emphasis on preserving their sovereignty and national security, and with a view towards increasing the rift between Europe and the US, just like China played its cards in Europe in the face of Trump’s measures to impose tariff and non-tariff barriers to international trade and investment.”

Interviewed by: Basma Qaddour

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