In the last few weeks with the zigzags of international situations and the horrible nightmare circus of the Trump NO Foreign Policy, I am concerned for the safety of us all and for the stability of the World.
On my last visit to Damascus back in around 2002 just before the invasion of Iraq in March 2003, I was surprise to see the large number of Iranian visitors, business people and families living in neighbourhoods of Damascus a city before the Civil War of 2 million people. The official explanation was Shia Holy Sites which brought people to visit Syria. In the Southern Suburb of Damascus is the tomb and Mosque of Sayidda Zeinab daughter of Ali and grand daughter of the Prophet Mohammed. The Mosque in Persian Style was built in the 1990’s on the site of a much older mosque. The Iranian Embassy was also the next door neighbour of the Canadian Embassy in Damascus on Fayez Mansour.
The Assad Regime in Syria is allied with Iran for various complex political and military reasons and Iran is an important supporter of Hezbollah ( the Party of God) in Lebanon and these alliances are maintained to keep a foothold in Lebanon keeping the country unstable and ensuring the on-going influence of Syria in Lebanon. Iran can also maintain pressure on Israel with the help of its proxy Hezbollah.
Since the invasion of Iraq by the USA in 2003 and the final overthrow of the Regime of Saddam Hussein, Iran has moved into Iraq on the pretext of helping the Shia majority at the expense of the Sunni minority. It also helps control politics in Iraq and prevents the USA from dominating the region and helps Russia play a large role. Something Russia has been wanting to do since the 1930’s but was unable to do because of British and American interest in the area. Britain is now gone and the USA are in a weaken position.
Enters Trump and his simpleton politics of I know it all school of thought, who decided to abandon the Kurds who counted on the USA as an ally seeking protection from Turkey, Iran and Russia. Confirming the old belief that you really cannot depend on the USA as an Ally. Russia is consolidating its position in the region, having cultivated President Erdogan of Turkey by selling him armaments despite the fact that Turkey is still a member of NATO. Russia is undermining NATO and Trump in London said that he does not feel compelled to uphold article 5 of the Alliance of mutual assistance. This sends a strong message to Russia and China who understand that they can make a move with little fear of USA intervention.
Trump then makes threats against Turkey of sanctions thinking that President Erdogan will give in, which is unlikely given his own posturing at home and new found friends in Russia and China. This point escapes Trump completely and his arrogant attitude at the NATO Anniversary in London shows how much he is out of it, we also saw how the world thinks little of him and the USA. His leaving early in a huff or calling President Macron and Prime Minister Trudeau names like a school child did little to enhance his profile.
The Civil War in Syria will come to an end with Russia and Iran as the winners, the USA will be out and the Kurds will be reduced once again to living on the margins, because they backed the USA.
What sort of Syria will we have in the future, not a democratic one, more like an enhanced dictatorship with more grinding poverty, a powerful Russia with naval bases in the port of Latakia, something Russia has been wanting for more than a century. Iran will also get access to the Mediterranean and come to dominate the region, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq. This puts even more pressure on Israel and pushes out Saudi interests in the entire region, Iran is the winner. With Trump’s ever changing reasoning and attitudes, 60 years of complicated US diplomacy is gone. It leaves little Jordan alone with Israel to fend for themselves.
With Israel at the moment in a state of turmoil as Premier Netanyahu facing criminal prosecution for corruption, no clear winner after 2 back to back election. Trump may think he can just send in the Marines to clear things up, but it no longer works that way, this is not the 1940’s. The USA is running out of options but hey The Donald can’t seem to grasp this reality.
War with Russia is not possible, because Nuclear Weapons. A conflict with Iran is also not feasible, Russia again would certainly intervene on the side of Iran. Sanctions against Turkey will not work either and only push the Turks into the Russian camp further and undermine NATO on its Southern flank.
China has been moving for the last 20 years to displace the USA commercially in Africa, South America and Asia. China is having economic problems due to Trump’s tariffs but there is a limit to such tariffs, Stock Markets reflect the unease and worry of a trade war with China. Trump knows he is limited in what he can do without damaging the USA economy. What has been lost in terms of US Foreign Policy and influence in the World will not bounce back, it is simply too late.
Looks like the whole impeachment process is far to slow and uncertain and then the 2020 election another uncertainty. No it does not look good at all.