Putin Valdai Speech 2017- Will a New World Order Emerge from the Current Conflicts?

Meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club 2017

Vladimir Putin took part in the final plenary session of the 14th annual meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club titled The World of the Future: Moving Through Conflict to Cooperation.

October 19, 2017

The general topic of the Valdai Club this year is Creative Destruction: Will a New World Order Emerge from the Current Conflicts?

During the four days of the forum the participants are discussing political and social conflicts of the modern world and opportunities of society’s adaptation to the new factors and conditions. Through analysis of the current conflicts experts and political scientists predict the shape of the future world.

This year the Valdai meeting brought together over 130 participants from 33 countries.

Alongside the President of Russia the speakers at the final session included former President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai, Research Director at the Norwegian Nobel Institute Asle Toje, and Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group Jack Ma.

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President of Russia Vladimir Putin's Speech:

Thank you very much.

I am not sure how optimistic it will sound, but I am aware that you had very lively discussions over the last three days. I will try, as has now become customary, to share with you what I think about some of the issues. Please do not take it badly if I say something that has already been said as I did not follow all the discussions.

To begin with, I would like to welcome Mr Karzai, Mr Ma, Mr Toje, our colleagues and all our friends. I can see many familiar faces in the audience. Welcome everyone to the Valdai Club meeting.

By tradition, this forum focuses on discussing the most pressing global political as well as economic matters. This time, the organisers, as was just mentioned again, have come up with a fairly difficult challenge asking the participants to try to look beyond the horizon, to ponder over what the coming decades may be like for Russia and the international community.

Of course, it is impossible to foresee everything and to take into account all the opportunities and risks that we will be faced with. However, we need to understand and sense the key trends, to look for outside-the-box answers to the questions that the future is posing for us at the moment, and will surely pose more. The pace of developments is such that we must react to them constantly as well as quickly.

 The world has entered an era of rapid change. Things that were only recently referred to as fantastic or unattainable have become a reality and have become part of our daily lives.

Qualitatively new processes are simultaneously unfolding across all spheres. The fast-paced public life in various countries and the technological revolution are intertwined with changes on the international arena. The competition for a place in the global hierarchy is exacerbating. However, many past recipes for global governance, overcoming conflicts as well as natural contradictions are no longer applicable, they often fail, and new ones have not been worked out yet.

Naturally, the interests of states do not always coincide, far from it. This is normal and natural. It has always been the case. The leading powers have different geopolitical strategies and perceptions of the world. This is the immutable essence of international relations, which are built on the balance between cooperation and competition.

True, when this balance is upset, when the observance and even existence of universal rules of conduct is questioned, when interests are pushed through at any cost, then disputes become unpredictable and dangerous and lead to violent conflicts.

Not a single real international problem can be resolved in such circumstances and such a framing of the issues, and so relations between countries simply degrade. The world becomes less secure. Instead of progress and democracy, free rein is given to radical elements and extremist groups that reject civilization itself and seek to plunge it into the ancient past, into chaos and barbarism.

The history of the past few years graphically illustrates all of this. It is enough to see what has happened in the Middle East, which some players have tried to reshape and reformat to their liking and to impose on it a foreign development model through externally orchestrated coups or simply by force of arms.

Instead of working together to redress the situation and deal a real blow to terrorism rather than simulating a struggle against it, some of our colleagues are doing everything they can to make the chaos in this region permanent. Some still think that it is possible to manage this chaos.

Meanwhile, there are some positive examples in recent experience. As you have probably guessed, I am referring to the experience of Syria. It shows that there is an alternative to this kind of arrogant and destructive policy. Russia is opposing terrorists together with the legitimate Syrian Government and other states of the region, and is acting on the basis of international law. I must say that these actions and this forward progress has not come easy. There is a great deal of dissension in the region. But we have fortified ourselves with patience and, weighing our every move and word, we are working with all the participants of this process with due respect for their interests.

Our efforts, the results of which were questioned by our colleagues only recently, are now – let me put it carefully – instilling us with hope. They have proved to be very important, correct, professional and timely.

Or, take another example – the clinch around the Korean Peninsula. I am sure you covered this issue extensively today as well. Yes, we unequivocally condemn the nuclear tests conducted by the DPRK and fully comply with the UN Security Council resolutions concerning North Korea. Colleagues, I want to emphasise this so that there is no discretionary interpretation. We comply with all UN Security Council resolutions.

However, this problem can, of course, only be resolved through dialogue. We should not drive North Korea into a corner, threaten force, stoop to unabashed rudeness or invective. Whether someone likes or dislikes the North Korean regime, we must not forget that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is a sovereign state.

All disputes must be resolved in a civilised manner. Russia has always favoured such an approach. We are firmly convinced that even the most complex knots – be it the crisis in Syria or Libya, the Korean Peninsula or, say, Ukraine – must be disentangled rather than cut.

The situation in Spain clearly shows how fragile stability can be even in a prosperous and established state. Who could have expected, even just recently, that the discussion of the status of Catalonia, which has a long history, would result in an acute political crisis?

Russia's position here is known. Everything that is happening is an internal matter for Spain and must be settled based on Spanish law in accordance with democratic traditions. We are aware that the country’s leadership is taking steps towards this end.

In the case of Catalonia, we saw the European Union and a number of other states unanimously condemn the supporters of independence.

You know, in this regard, I cannot help but note that more thought should have gone into this earlier. What, no one was aware of these centuries-old disagreements in Europe? They were, were they not? Of course, they were. However, at one point they actually welcomed the disintegration of a number of states in Europe without hiding their joy.

Why were they so unthinking, driven by fleeting political considerations and their desire to please – I will put it bluntly – their big brother in Washington, in providing their unconditional support to the secession of Kosovo, thus provoking similar processes in other regions of Europe and the world?

You may remember that when Crimea also declared its independence, and then – following the referendum – its decision to become part of Russia, this was not welcomed for some reason. Now we have Catalonia. There is a similar issue in another region, Kurdistan. Perhaps this list is far from exhaustive. But we have to ask ourselves, what are we going to do? What should we think about it?

It turns out that some of our colleagues think there are ”good“ fighters for independence and freedom and there are ”separatists“ who are not entitled to defend their rights, even with the use of democratic mechanisms.

As we always say in similar cases, such double standards – and this is a vivid example of double standards – pose serious danger to the stable development of Europe and other continents, and to the advancement of integration processes across the world.

At one time the apologists for globalisation were trying to convince us that universal economic interdependence was a guarantee against conflicts and geopolitical rivalry. Alas, this did not happen. Moreover, the nature of the contradictions grew more complicated, becoming multilayer and nonlinear.

Indeed, while interconnectedness is a restraining and stabilising factor, we are also witnessing an increasing number of examples of politics crudely interfering with economic, market relations. Quite recently there were warnings that this was unacceptable, counterproductive and must be prevented. Now those who made such warnings are doing all this themselves. Some do not even conceal that they are using political pretexts to promote their strictly commercial interests. For instance, the recent package of sanctions adopted by the US Congress is openly aimed at ousting Russia from European energy markets and compelling Europe to buy more expensive US-produced LNG although the scale of its production is still too small.

Attempts are being made to create obstacles in the way of our efforts to forge new energy routes – South Stream and Nord Stream – even though diversifying logistics is economically efficient, beneficial for Europe and promotes its security.

Let me repeat: it is only natural that each state has its own political, economic and other interests. The question is the means by which they are protected and promoted.

In the modern world, it is impossible to make a strategic gain at the expense of others. Such a policy based on self-assurance, egotism and claims to exceptionalism will not bring any respect or true greatness. It will evoke natural and justified rejection and resistance. As a result, we will see the continued growth of tensions and discord instead of trying to establish together a steady and stable international order and address the technological, environmental, climate and humanitarian challenges confronting the entire human race today.


Scientific and technological progress, robotic automation and digitalisation are already leading to profound economic, social, cultural changes, and changes in values as well. We are now presented with previously inconceivable prospects and opportunities. But at the same time we will have to find answers to plenty of questions as well. What place will people occupy in the “humans–machines–nature” triangle? What actions will be taken by states that fail to provide conditions for normal life due to changes in climate and environment? How will employment be maintained in the era of automation? How will the Hippocratic oath be interpreted once doctors possess capabilities akin to all-powerful wizards? And will human intelligence finally lose the ability to control artificial intelligence? Will artificial intelligence become a separate entity, independent from us?

Previously, when assessing the role and influence of countries, we spoke about the importance of the geopolitical factor, the size of a country’s territory, its military power and natural resources. Of course, these factors still are of major importance today. But now there is also another factor – the scientific and technological factor, which, without a doubt, is of great importance as well, and its importance will only increase over time.

In fact, this factor has always been important, but now it will have game-changing potential, and very soon it will have a major impact in the areas of politics and security. Thus, the scientific and technological factor will become a factor of universal and political importance.

It is also obvious that even the very latest technology will not be able to ensure sustainable development on its own. A harmonious future is impossible without social responsibility, without freedom and justice, without respect for traditional ethical values and human dignity. Otherwise, instead of becoming a world of prosperity and new opportunities, this “brave new world” will turn into a world of totalitarianism, castes, conflicts and greater divisions.

Today growing inequality is already building up into feelings of injustice and deprivation in millions of people and whole nations. And the result is radicalisation, a desire to change things in any way possible, up to and including violence.

By the way, this has already happened in many countries, and in Russia, our country, as well. Successful technological, industrial breakthroughs were followed by dramatic upheavals and revolutionary disruptions. It all happened because the country failed to address social discord and overcome the clear anachronisms in society in time.

Revolution is always the result of an accountability deficit in both those who would like to conserve, to freeze in place the outdated order of things that clearly needs to be changed, and those who aspire to speed the changes up, resorting to civil conflict and destructive resistance.

Today, as we turn to the lessons of a century ago, namely, the Russian Revolution of 1917, we see how ambiguous its results were, how closely the negative and, we must acknowledge, the positive consequences of those events are intertwined. Let us ask ourselves: was it not possible to follow an evolutionary path rather than go through a revolution? Could we not have evolved by way of gradual and consistent forward movement rather than at a cost of destroying our statehood and the ruthless fracturing of millions of human lives.

However, the largely utopian social model and ideology, which the newly formed state tried to implement initially following the 1917 revolution, was a powerful driver of transformations across the globe (this is quite clear and must also be acknowledged), caused a major revaluation of development models, and gave rise to rivalry and competition, the benefits of which, I would say, were mostly reaped by the West.

I am referring not only to the geopolitical victories following the Cold War. Many Western achievements of the 20th century were in answer to the challenge posed by the Soviet Union. I am talking about raising living standards, forming a strong middle class, reforming the labour market and the social sphere, promoting education, guaranteeing human rights, including the rights of minorities and women, overcoming racial segregation, which, as you may recall, was a shameful practice in many countries, including the United States, a few short decades ago.

Following the radical changes that took place in our country and globally at the turn of the 1990s, a really unique chance arose to open a truly new chapter in history. I mean the period after the Soviet Union ceased to exist.

Unfortunately, after dividing up the geopolitical heritage of the Soviet Union, our Western partners became convinced of the justness of their cause and declared themselves the victors of the Cold War, as I just mentioned, and started openly interfering in the affairs of sovereign states, and exporting democracy just like the Soviet leadership had tried to export the socialist revolution to the rest of the world in its time.

We were confronted with the redistribution of spheres of influence and NATO expansion. Overconfidence invariably leads to mistakes. The outcome was unfortunate. Two and a half decades gone to waste, a lot of missed opportunities, and a heavy burden of mutual distrust. The global imbalance has only intensified as a result.

We do hear declarations about being committed to resolving global issues, but, in fact, what we see is more and more examples of selfishness. All the international institutions designed to harmonise interests and formulate a joint agenda are being eroded, and basic multilateral international treaties and critically important bilateral agreements are being devalued.

I was told, just a few hours ago, that the US President said something on social media about Russia-US cooperation in the important area of nuclear cooperation. True, this is the most important sphere of interaction between Russia and the United States, bearing in mind that Russia and the United States bear a special responsibility to the world as the two largest nuclear powers.

However, I would like to use this opportunity to speak in more detail about what happened in recent decades in this crucial area, to provide a more complete picture. It will take two minutes at most.

Several landmark bilateral agreements were signed in the 1990s. The first one, the Nunn-Lugar programme, was signed on June 17, 1992. The second one, the HEU-LEU programme, was signed on February 18, 1993. Highly enriched uranium was converted into low-enriched uranium, hence HEU-LEU.

The projects under the first agreement focused on upgrading control systems, accounting and physical protection of nuclear materials, dismantling and scrapping submarines and radioisotope thermoelectric generators. The Americans have made – and please pay attention here, this is not secret information, simply few are aware of it – 620 verification visits to Russia to check our compliance with the agreements. They visited the holiest of holies of the Russian nuclear weapons complex, namely, the enterprises engaged in developing nuclear warheads and ammunition, and weapons-grade plutonium and uranium. The United States gained access to all top-secret facilities in Russia. Also, the agreement was almost unilateral in nature.

Under the second agreement, the Americans made 170 more visits to our enrichment plants, touring their most restricted areas, such as mixing units and storage facilities. The world’s most powerful nuclear enrichment plant – the Urals Electrochemical Combine – even had a permanent American observation post. Permanent jobs were created directly at the workshops of this combine where the American specialists went to work every day. The rooms they were sitting in at these top-secret Russian facilities had American flags, as is always the case.

In addition, a list was drawn up of 100 American specialists from 10 different US organisations who were entitled to conduct additional inspections at any time and without any warning. All this lasted for 10 years. Under this agreement, 500 tonnes of weapons-grade uranium were removed from military circulation in Russia, which is equivalent to about 20,000 nuclear warheads.

The HEU-LEU programme has become one of the most effective measures of true disarmament in the history of humankind – I say this with full confidence. Each step on the Russian side was closely monitored by American specialists, at a time when the United States limited itself to much more modest reductions of its nuclear arsenal, and did so on a purely goodwill basis.

Our specialists also visited enterprises of the US nuclear arms complex but only at their invitation and under conditions set by the US side.

As you see, the Russian side demonstrated absolutely unprecedented openness and trust. Incidentally – and we will probably talk about this later – it is also common knowledge what we received from this: total neglect of our national interests, support for separatism in the Caucasus, military action that circumvented the UN Security Council, such as the bombing of Yugoslavia and Belgrade, the introduction of troops into Iraq and so on. Well, this is easy to understand: once the condition of the nuclear complex, the armed forces and the economy had been seen, international law appeared to be unnecessary.

In the 2000s our cooperation with the United States entered a new stage of truly equitable partnership. It was marked by the singing of a number of strategic treaties and agreements on peaceful uses of nuclear energy, which is known in the US as the 123 Agreement. But to all intents and purposes, the US side unilaterally halted work within its framework in 2014.

The situation around the 2000 Plutonium Management and Disposition Agreement (PMDA) of August 20 (signed in Moscow) and September 1 (in Washington) is perplexing and alarming. In accordance with the protocol to this agreement, the sides were supposed to take reciprocal steps to irreversibly convert weapons-grade plutonium into mixed oxide (MOX) fuel and burn it in nuclear plants, so that it could not be used for military purposes. Any changes in this method were only allowed by consent of the sides. This is written in the agreement and protocols to it.

What did Russia do? We developed this fuel, built a plant for mass production and, as we pledged in the agreement, built a BN-800 plant that allowed us to safely burn this fuel. I would like to emphasise that Russia fulfilled all of its commitments.

What did our American partners do? They started building a plant on the Savannah River Site. Its initial price tag was $4.86 billon but they spent almost $8 billion, brought construction to 70 percent and then froze the project. But, to our knowledge, the budget request for 2018 includes $270 million for the closure and mothballing of this facility. As usual, a question arises: where is the money? Probably stolen. Or they miscalculated something when planning its construction. Such things happen. They happen here all too often. But we are not interested in this, this is not our business. We are interested in what happens with uranium and plutonium. What about the disposal of plutonium? Dilution and geological storage of the plutonium is suggested. But this completely contradicts the spirit and letter of the agreement, and, most important, does not guarantee that the dilution is not reconverted into weapons-grade plutonium. All this is very unfortunate and bewildering.

Next. Russia ratified the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty more than 17 years ago. The USA has not done so yet.

A critical mass of problems is building up in global security. As is known, in 2002 the United States pulled out of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. And despite being initiators of the Convention on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and international security, they initiated that agreement themselves, they are failing to meet their commitments. They remain as of today the only and largest holder of this form of weapon of mass destruction. Moreover, the USA has pushed back the deadline for eliminating their chemical weapons from 2007 to as far as 2023. It does not look proper for a nation that claims to be a champion of non-proliferation and control.

In Russia, on the contrary, the process was completed on September 27 of this year. By doing so our country has made a significant contribution to enhancing international security. By the way, the western media preferred to keep quiet, not to notice it, though there was one fleeting mention somewhere in Canada, but that was it, then silence. Meanwhile, the chemical weapons arsenal stockpiled by the Soviet Union is enough to destroy life on the planet multiple times over.

I believe that it is time to abandon an obsolete agenda. I am referring to what was. Without a doubt, we should be looking forward, we have to stop looking back. I am talking about this so as to understand the origins of the current situation that is taking shape.

It is high time for a frank discussion among the global community rather than just a group of the chosen, allegedly the most worthy and advanced. Representatives of different continents, cultural and historical traditions, political and economic systems. In a changing world, we cannot afford to be inflexible, closed off, or unable to respond clearly and quickly. Responsibility for the future – this is what should unite us, especially in times like the current ones when everything is changing rapidly.

Never before has humankind possessed such power as it does now. The power over nature, space, communications, and its own existence. However, this power is diffuse: its elements are in the hands of states, corporations, public and religious associations, and even individual citizens. Clearly, harnessing all these elements in a single, effective and manageable architecture is not an easy task. It will take hard, painstaking work to achieve this. And Russia, I will note, is willing to take part in it together with any partners who are interested.

Colleagues, how do we see the future of the international order and the global governance system? For example, in 2045, when the UN will mark its centennial anniversary? Its creation has become a symbol of the fact that humanity, in spite of everything, is capable of developing common rules of conduct and following them. Whenever these rules were not followed, it inevitably resulted in crises and other negative consequences.

However, in recent decades, there have been several attempts to belittle the role of this organisation, to discredit it, or simply to assume control over it. All these attempts predictably failed, or reached a dead end. In our opinion, the UN, with its universal legitimacy, must remain the centre of the international system. Our common goal is to raise its authority and effectiveness. There is no alternative to the UN today.

With regard to the right of veto in the Security Council, which is also sometimes challenged, you may recall that this mechanism was designed and created in order to avoid direct confrontation of the most powerful states, as a guarantee against arbitrariness and recklessness, so that no single country, even the most influential country, could give the appearance of legitimacy to its aggressive actions.

Of course, let us face it, the experts are here, and they know that the UN has legitimised the actions of individual participants in international affairs after the fact. Well, at least that is something, but it will not lead to any good, either.

Reforms are needed, the UN system needs improvement, but reforms can only be gradual, evolutionary and, of course, they must be supported by the overwhelming majority of the participants in the international process within the organisation itself, by broad consensus.

The guarantee of the UN effectiveness lies in its representative nature. The absolute majority of the world’s sovereign states are represented in it. The fundamental principles of the UN should be preserved for years and decades to come, since there is no other entity that is capable of reflecting the entire gamut of international politics.

Today, new centres of influence and growth models are emerging, civilisational alliances, and political and economic associations are taking shape. This diversity does not lend itself to unification. So, we must strive to harmonise cooperation. Regional organisations in Eurasia, America, Africa, the Asia-Pacific region should act under the auspices of the United Nations and coordinate their work.

However, each association has the right to function according to its own ideas and principles that correspond to its cultural, historical and geographical specifics. It is important to combine global interdependence and openness with preserving the unique identity of each nation and each region. We must respect sovereignty as the basis underlying the entire system of international relations.

Colleagues, no matter what amazing heights technology can reach, history is, of course, made by humans. History is made by people, with all their strengths and weaknesses, great achievements and mistakes. We can have only a shared future. There can be no separate futures for us, at least, not in the modern world. So, the responsibility for ensuring that this world is conflict-free and prosperous lies with the entire international community.

As you may be aware, the 19th World Festival of Youth and Students is taking place in Sochi. Young people from dozens of countries are interacting with their peers and discussing matters that concern them. They are not hampered by cultural, national or political differences, and they are all dreaming about the future. They believe that their lives, the lives of younger generations will be better, fairer and safer. Our responsibility today is to do our best to make sure that these hopes come true.

Thank you very much for your attention.


 October 19, 2017


Erdoğan neden Anti-Emperyalist ol(a)maz?

19.10.2017 | Mehmet Ali Güller

Emperyalizm hâlâ kapitalizmin son aşamasıdır, en yüksek aşamasıdır. Küreselleşme, emperyalizmin yeni kılığıdır, yoksa geçen yüzyıldaki emperyalizm bu yüzyılda da geçerlidir.

Öte yandan çağımız hâlâ ezen-ezilen ülkeler ya da ezen-ezilen milletler çağıdır.

Dünya ise hâlâ emperyalistlerin dünyası ile mazlumların dünyası şeklindeki iki kampa ayrılmış durumdadır. Emperyalist dünyanın başını ABD çekmektedir ve onu birkaç Atlantik ülkesi izlemektedir. Mazlumlar dünyası ise geçen yüzyıldan biraz farklıdır ve iki hatta üç parçalıdır. Örneğin Çin ve Rusya, ekonomik ve askeri güçleri nedeniyle artık gelişmiş ülkelerdir fakat yerleri mazlumlar dünyasıdır.


Bu girişi şundan yaptık: ABD’yle yaşanan vize krizine paralel olarak bir de AKP hükümetinin anti-emperyalist olup olmadığı tartışması sürüyor. Erdoğanların 15 Temmuz sonrası Rusya’yla normalleşmesi, bölge ülkeleriyle yakınlaşması ve çıkarlarının özellikle Suriye’nin kuzeyinde karşı karşıya gelmesi bu tartışmayı doğurdu. Vize krizi ise bu tartışmaları yükseltti.

Peki biz ne düşünüyoruz?

Öncelikle belirtelim: Bir sosyalist ve anti-emperyalist olarak ve kimin yönettiğinden bağımsız olarak, ülkemin ABD’ye karşı konumlanmasından gurur duyarım. ABD emperyalizmine karşı duruşun hangi sınıftan geldiği kompleksine girmem. ABD’ye karşı her konumlanışı ülkem adına yararlı bulurum.

Fakat ABD’yle çıkarları çatışanları da toptan anti-emperyalist safa koymam! Çünkü ABD’yle her çıkar çatışması, anti-emperyalizm anlamına gelmemektedir!

Erdoğanların durumu ABD’yle çıkar çatışması yaşamalarından kaynaklanmaktadır, yoksa anti-emperyalist oldukları için değil!

Fakat anti-emperyalist olup olmadıklarından bağımsız olarak da ülkemi yönetenlerin ABD’yle çatışma yaşamasını ülkem adına yararlı bulur, bunu ülkemi daha iyi yönetecek sınıf ve parti adına fırsat olarak görürüm. (İktidarın bu duruşunu sürekli alkışlamaktan, o fırsatı kazanca çevirememek ise ayrı ve çok önemli bir sorundur.)


Peki Erdoğanların durumu nedir?

Öncelikle belirtelim: ABD’yle daha iyi pazarlık yapabilmek için Rusya’ya yanaşmak, kökleri Abdülhamit’in İngiliz’e karşı Almancılık yapmasına dayanan bir gelenektir. Bugün Erdoğan’ın yaptığı gibi ABD’yle daha iyi pazarlık için Rusya’ya yanaşmak, Menderes’in de, Demirel’in de yaptığı bir taktiktir. Fakat 1950 ve 1960’larda hiç kimse Menderes’i, Demirel’i anti-emperyalist ilan etme noktasına savrulmamıştır!

Emperyalizm iktisadi, politik ve askeri bir kavramdır. Dolayısıyla emperyalizme karşı olmak da iktisadi, politik ve askeri bir konumlanıştır. Örneğin iktisaden emperyalizme bağımlı olup politik olarak emperyalizme karşı olmak mümkün değildir, olsa bile laftan ibarettir.

Erdoğanlar şu dört nedenle anti-emperyalist olamazlar:


Elbette kimi İslamcılar ve İslamcı hareketler anti-emperyalist olabilir, olmuştur da. Örneğin İran İslamcılığı genel olarak anti-emperyalisttir.

Ama Erdoğanlar o türden İslamcı değildir, siyasal İslamcıdır. Bizdeki siyasal İslamcılık, emperyalizmin SSCB’yi çevreleme stratejisi kapsamında geliştirilen ve içeride komünizme karşı kullanılan bir siyasal İslamcılıktır. Yani esas olarak emperyalizmin tarafındadır! (O nedenle siyasal İslamcı liderler ABD karşıtlığı yapamadıkları için kaba bir batı karşıtlığı yaparak tabanlarının gazını almaktadır hep.)

Bu gelenekten gelenler, bu gelenekle hesaplaşmadıkça ve bu gelenekten tam olarak kopmadıkça anti-emperyalist olamazlar.


Milliyetçi (daha doğrusu millici) olmayanlar anti-emperyalist olamazlar. Emperyalizm çağı ezen milletler-ezilen milletler çağıdır. Ezilen milletlerin safında yer almayan, ezilen milletlerin milliyetçiliğini yapmayan bir anlayış anti-emperyalist olamaz!

Leninler, Stalinler, Maolar elbette sosyalistti ama aynı zamanda milliciydi, yurtseverdi.

Erdoğan ise milliyetçi değil, ümmetçidir. Millet kavramını kullandığında ise Osmanlı’daki gibi “tüm İslam toplumu” anlamında kullanmaktadır.

Nitekim Erdoğan “milliyetçiliği ayaklarımın altına alıyorum” da demiştir, daha dünkü gibi “Türkçülük yapmak bölücülüktür” de demiştir!


Serbest piyasa ekonomisi uygulayan hükümetler anti-emperyalist olamazlar, çünkü serbest piyasa ekonomisi emperyalizmin ulusal ekonomilere egemen olması için vardır.

Serbest piyasa ekonomiyi uygulayan, ülkesini emperyalist tekellere açan, o tekellerin isteği doğrultusunda üretime yasak getirerek tarımı bitiren bir hükümet anti-emperyalist olamaz!

Yurdu, yani ulusal pazarı emperyalizme sonuna kadar açan bir hükümet anti-emperyalist olamaz!


Cumhuriyeti yıkmaya çalışan, laikliği ortada kaldırmaya çalışan, eğitim müfredatından Atatürk’ü ve evrimi çıkaran, “kindar nesil” hedefi olan, bu amaçla eğitim kurumlarını imam hatipleştiren, bürokraside liyakati değil tarikatların kontenjanını esas alan, medeni hukukun yerine şeri hukuku esas almaya çalışan, yargıyı yürütmenin emrine sokan, parlamenter rejimi sınırlandırıp tek adam rejimine geçen bir anlayış anti-emperyalist olamaz!

Bizimki gibi ülkelerde anti-emperyalizm “tek adam” ve “saray” yönetiminden çoğulculuğa ve meclis yönetimine doğru olur. Yani bizimki gibi toplumlarda anti-emperyalizm monarşiden cumhuriyete doğru olur! (Emperyalizme karşı Kurtuluş Savaşı sonrası ortaya çıkan siyasal tablo, halkçılık ve en önemlisi meclisçilik bunun tipik uygulamasıdır.)


Erdoğanlar keşke anti-emperyalist olabilseler, memnun oluruz, fakat işte bu dört özellik nedeniyle anti-emperyalist olamazlar!

Kuşkusuz ABD’yle hangi gerekçeyle olursa olsun kavga etmeyi keşke sürdürebilseler. Yukarıda da belirttiğimiz gibi bu Türkiye’nin yararınadır ve cumhuriyetçi kuvvetlere, yararlanabildikleri taktirde tabi, alan açar.

Fakat esas olan AKP’ye karşı kesin ve kararlı mücadele edebilmektir. Çünkü AKP, ABD ve AB emperyalistlerinin tam desteğiyle ve onların çıkarları için iktidar yapılmış bir partidir ve bu özelliği nedeniyle de aynı zamanda ülkemizin zayıf karnıdır!

ABD’nin BOP eşbaşkanlığı yapıldığı o ilişkiler sürecinde tutulmuş dosyalar bugün sadece Erdoğanları değil, maalesef onlarla birlikte Türkiye’mizi de hedef almaktadır.

Dolayısıyla asıl anti-emperyalist mücadele, AKP’ye karşı mücadeleden geçmektedir. Çünkü ABD’ye karşı esas mücadeleyi verebilmek için, önce AKP hükümetinden kurtulmamız gerekmektedir! Zira ortada bir cumhuriyet kalmadığında, anti-emperyalistlik de kalmaz!

Atatürk bile emperyalizme karşı mücadeleyi Enverlere bırakmamışken, biz Enverlerin yanından bile geçemeyen Erdoğanlara hiç ama hiç bırakmamalıyız!

What Raqqa Liberation? Permanent War on Syria Has Only Just Begun

ISIL fighters abandoned Raqqa in a withdrawal agreed with US-backed proxy militias.

Oct 17, 2017

Reports give conflicting accounts on whether foreign fighters would also be leaving the city, where the Qaeda-linked Arab militants and US-backed Kurds have been battling under the umbrella groups of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to defeat ISIL since June.

SDF Spokesman Talal Silo says the foreign fighters would be left behind "to surrender or die", without saying when the evacuation of terrorist fighters would take place.

Last year, when the US-led aerial bombardments began on the pretext of fighting terror, the regime changers claimed they would declare victory within days or weeks, which was wishful thinking. But when the illegal campaign failed, they continued to target schools, hospitals and many other civilian structures in revenge, just to make a point in terror-held areas.

Over a year into the US-led war, however, things have changed, and expectations that the regime changers can produce a total, uncontested military victory have dimmed. That explains why they are now talking liberation. They have no choice. Still, that doesn’t mean they really mean peace and unity for Syria.

Far from it, the colonial campaign to divide and rule Syria still tops the agenda. Any doubters should ask Afghanistan and Iraq. Just like in those countries, the key policy in the so-called Raqqa liberation is to stay and entertain - not end the bloodshed and save the people. It’s just a shift in tactics for permanent occupation of Syria.

The regime changers want to attain through Raqqa what they couldn’t in the failed regime-change campaign: Occupying and dividing Syria into ethnic-sectarian lines, and stopping it from becoming a unitary state – in cooperation between Saudi, Israeli, British, and American intelligence agencies.

Far from being a one-off policy, this is also a high point in systemic collaboration between the Saudi-led and US-backed coalition members to degrade the Syrian government through a combination of international pressure and national dispute over the terms of any future “peace” accord.

This will happen through familiar patterns and amid negotiations: Continuation of Special Forces operations and drone strikes (unilateral US policy and Western counter-terrorism efforts) against Al-Qaeda and ISIL remnants, creation of a no-fly-zone over the Syrian/Iraqi border areas on the pretext of “humanitarian assistance”, adoption of UN Security Council resolutions against the allied forces of Iran, Syria, Russia and Hezbollah in the form of sanctions and arms embargo, as well as many other illegal measures to curb post ISIL-Syria politically, diplomatically, and economically.

Meaning, despite their assertions to the contrary, the occupation of Raqqa has nothing to do with supporting the legitimacy of a political process in Syria. The ultimate goal is to maintain the continuity of the bogus War on Terror in the region by actively repressing the allied forces that threaten to undo the status quo.

To this end, the warmongers will continue to build military bases in and around Raqqa, maintain the trade and arms embargo as well as the blockade against Syria. The policy indicates both their broader strategic goals, and the dangers to positive political, economic and social change they represent.

Expect no permanent ceasefire and peace, and certainly no end to all foreign military attacks and “anti-terrorism” efforts. Expect no US-backed humanitarian assistance either, including international reconstruction aid, resumption of broad national dialogue, and establishment of an inclusive national unity government in Damascus Whatever it is, because the permanent US-led war on the Resistance Front and the people of Syria has only just begun.


The aspirations of a SECULAR SOCIETY

The aspirations of a SECULAR SOCIETY could characterize a society as one which:

1- Refuses to commit itself as a whole to any supernatural views of the nature of the universe, or the role of mankind in it.

2- Is not homogeneous, but is pluralistic.

3- Is very tolerant of religious diversity. It widens the sphere of private decision-making.

4- While every society must have some common aims, which implies there must be agreed upon methods of problem-solving, and a common framework of law; in a secular society these are as limited as possible.

5- Problem solving is approached rationally, through examination of the facts. While the secular society does not set any overall aim, it helps its members realize their shared aims.

6- Is a society without any official images. Nor is there a common ideal type of behavior with universal application.


1- Respect for individuals and the small groups of which they are a part.

2- Equality of all people.

3- Each person should be free to realize their particular excellence.

4- Breaking down of the barriers of class and caste.

Turkish government's sham fight in Idlib

Turkish government's sham fight in Idlib

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Turkish Armed Forces, or TSK, announced the start of the expected operation in Syria's Idlib on October 8.

TSK listed the objectives of the operation as follows: enhancing ceasefire regime, ending violence and clashes, delivering humanitarian aid to those in need, ensuring favourable conditions for the return of those displaced by the war and for the peaceful settlement of the ongoing conflict.

According to the statements of TSK, they "have started reconnaissance activities on October 8 to establish surveillance posts."

In other words, the official statements argue that the operations of the TSK in Idlib are not part of combatant force activities, but aim to monitor ceasefire regime and guarantee the process. In the first statements, it was said that 500 Turkish soldiers would be deployed along the north-west of Idlib to monitor de-escalation, that Iran and Syria would be positioned below and Russia would be in between.

However, these statements are far from giving us a holistic picture.


Russia has been propagating the argument "The US is helping al-Qaida and Islamic State" quite courageously for a while.

Russian diplomacy used to say "The US condones al-Nusra Front to defeat [Syrian President] Assad" during the presidency of Obama, and yet now, the allegations of Russia about Islamic State and al-Qaida are quite daring.

The content of this article leaves aside Deir ez-Zor and the war against Islamic State. However, Russia's accusations against the US are connected with Deir ez-Zor.

As the Syrian army and its allies broke the siege of Deir ez-Zor and moved along the eastern bank of the River Euphrates, and the developments in the Iraq-Syria-Jordan border triangle demonstrated that Damascus and its allies were close to victory.

And yet, the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces started its onslaught in Deir ez-Zor right at that moment and attacked the Syrian Army in Deir ez-Zor and Homs with all its ammunition. In addition to the Islamic State attacks, Al Qaida (Tahrir al-Sham) and its allies started a great attack on the Syrian Army in North Hama.

Russia has given a direct address about the Hama attack for the first time: Russia said that Tahrir al-Sham and its allies had started an attack in Hama with the directives of the US intelligence to stall off the Syrian Army.

This meant the violation of ceasefire regime in Hama which was one of the four de-escalation zones defined in Astana agreements. Was the message directed at only Washington since it was not one of the guarantor countries in the Astana agreements?

The answer of Russia for the Hama attack was a fierce raid. That was quite weird considering that the expectation of Moscow from Astana agreements was the segregation of al-Qaida and the "moderate groups".

The below map shows the logistic support behind the attacks in Hama countryside. The existence of a transition road between northern countryside of Hama and the south of Idlib, and the fact that Tahrir al-Sham retrieved its forces to the south of Idlib raise doubts about Turkey's Idlib operation.


On top of all these developments, the fact that Tahrir al-Sham militants escorted Turkish army reconnaissance units into Idlib on September 8 raised more question marks about Turkey's Idlib operation.

Journalist Hassan Hassan, known close to be to the "moderate" militants, was the person who called attention to these questionable points. Hassan argued that the TSK had established three surveillance posts in Dar el Izze in western Aleppo in coordination with Tahrir al-Sham.

A senior Tahrir al-Sham leader spoke to the journalist Musa al Omar and said TSK will not be able to control "for now" any place other than these three surveillance posts.

When Musa al Omar asked Tahrir al-Sham leader whether they expect any conflict with Turkey, the leader said "No. Everything went well so far, and if Turkey does not change its position it will go well."

A commander of the Nour al-Din al-Zenki group, an ally of Tahrir al-Sham, also said Turkish forces, escorted by Tahrir al-Sham militants, moved towards Deir Semaan to the south of Afrin.

Charles Lister, a pro-opposition from the Middle East Institute, spoke to Syria Deeply and said Tahrir al-Sham and Turkey has reached an agreement to establish a buffer zone from the Idlib border village Atme through Darat Izza to Anadan to be protected by Turkey. Lister added that Turkey and Tahrir al-Sham militants had around three or four meetings so far.

In the statements by Tahrir al-Sham and its allies, "those that ally with Russia" was targeted rather than Turkey. In other words, the Euphrates Shield Operation forces, with whom Turkey acted together, were targeted by them.

The Free Syrian Army (FSA) militants of the Euphrates Shield Operation has no chance before al-Qaida without the direct intervention of Turkish army. Much to that, FSA do not show any sign of conflict with Tahrir al-Sham. Tahrir al-Sham, projected as a "front", is composed of Nour al-Din al-Zenki group (left in July), Jaysh al-Sunna, Ansar al-Din Front and Liwa al-Haqq along with al-Nusra.

Leaving aside some allegations, the positioning of TSK to the south of Afrin and west of Aleppo without any conflict raises a doubt whether TSK uses ceasefire regime in Idlib to besiege YPG in Afrin. Although Turkey deems al-Qaida and its affiliates "terrorist organizations", it seems that it does not consider Tahrir al-Sham a "threat to national security".

The position of TSK on the west of Aleppo seems favourable to prevent intrusions to the southern city Hatay in Turkey and to start a possible attack on the supply lines along Aleppo towards Afrin.

The area where TSK established surveillance posts. It is a strategic area between Dar el-Izze, Atme, Dana and Anadan. This area can serve useful for a possible operation to Afrin.

Based on this information, Tahrir al-Sham’s transfer of its forces towards the south of Idlib makes sense. al-Qaida does not expect a fierce confrontation with TSK and piles up its forces ready for order.

Tahrir al-Sham does not deny contacting with TSK. A top official of Tahrir al-Sham confirmed last month that Tahrir al-Sham had reached out to some countries, naming only Turkey specifically, “without being an agent of them”.

In addition to this, Zaman al-Wasl, an opposition newspaper, argued that a negotiation had been carried out about the surveillance posts in Idlib and yet these negotiations were not brought to successful conclusion.

Al-Rai chief international Elijah J. Magnier argued that Turkey would not take the risk of a full-scale conflict with al-Qaida in Idlib due to the military insufficiency of the forces that TSK forces are dependent on and the previous failure of TSK in the war against Islamic State. According to Maigner, Turkey expects that Tahrir al-Sham would retrieve its forces from Idlib willingly or that they would keep controlling Idlib under another capacity.

It is difficult to determine how far these arguments reflect the truth. However, they are not compatible at all with the statement of TSK: "Turkish Armed Forces carry out their duties in the region in line with the engagement rules defined by the guarantor countries in Astana agreements." Hoping that Iran, Russia and Syria would accept the presence of Tahrir al-Sham forever is the new dice Turkey rolled.


It is estimated that Tahrir al-Sham has around 30 thousand militants in the whole Syria and 20 thousand of which is thought to be in Idlib.

Tahrir al-Sham, which has been keeping the region between Jisr al-Shughur and Bab al-Hawa under its control, also managed to disperse powerful groups like Jund al-Aqsa along with the Free Syrian Army. It is impossible to drive Tahrir al-Sham away from Idlib (and Syria) by means of weak and unorganized Free Syrian Army militants, which has formed an alliance with Turkistan Islamic Party and jihadist groups like Ajnad al-Kavkaz in Idlib and Latakia.

Maybe, the expulsion of al-Qaida in the Levant region is not wanted!

Ayman al-Zawahiri, a leader of al-Qaida, also proposed a model instead of establishing an "Islamic State" emirate of al-Qaida: "The jihadist strategy in Bilad al-Sham should focus on a guerrilla war... Do not waste time in area domination."

Tahrir al-Sham, which is of al-Qaida origin in another shape, shrunk to its core after Nour al-Din al-Zenki group separated from it, Ahrar al-Sham was neither integrated in nor annihilated, and some Ahrar groups separated from it.

The hand of Qatar and Turkey in this should not be overlooked. Ahrar al-Sham has to assume a different strategy given the allegations that Turkey has been targeting al-Qaida with intelligence operations and the fact that some organizations like Ajnad al-Kavkaz has halted its operations in Syria.

Yet, there is also no unconventional force to fight against Ahrar al-Sham. Hamza bin Laden, the son of Osama bin Laden, emphasized that jihad in Syria should not be given up and called on "the jihadists" never to sign peace agreements in his audio message for the anniversary of 11th September. Hamza also called on the "opposition militants" allied with "the US, Russia and their Rafidhi allies" and demanded them to choose their side.

To drive away al-Qaida from Idlib and Syria a decisive struggle is needed. It is clear that the operation Turkey has started in Idlib does not have such an objective. Turkey is neither willing to separate the "moderates" from Ahrar al-Sham, nor to drive Ahrar al-Sham away from Idlib, its firmest stronghold in Bilad al-Sham.

Even Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency calls Ahrar al-Sham a "local group" or "opponent group", and TSK is "not expected to clash with local groups..."

12 October 2017


The Conflict In Syria Was Always Israel’s War

by Whitney Webb  | 4 Sept 2017

Because Israel has staked first its survival and ultimately its growth into a dominant regional power on the disunity of its neighboring nations, it comes as no surprise that, faced with a winding-down of the Syrian conflict, it is now moving sharply against that development.

Israeli tourists watch smoke rising near the Syrian-Israeli border as the fighting Syrian army fights to regain control of the Quneitra border crossing from rebel groups. (Atef Safadi/EPA)

After years of fomenting the Syrian conflict from the shadows, the U.S. has recently seemed to back away from its push to militarily intervene in the embattled nation, instead choosing to focus its saber-rattling and destabilization efforts on other theaters. The consequence of this has seemingly been the winding down of the long-running conflict, now entering its seventh year.
Buoyed by Russia, Iran and Lebanon, the Syrian government led by President Bashar al-Assad has managed to retake vast swaths of territory, all while surviving and growing stronger over the course of a largely foreign-funded onslaught. As a result, many of the governments that were instrumental in funding and arming the so-called “moderate” opposition have begun to extricate themselves, unwilling to further test the resilience of Assad or the Syrian people.
With some anticipating the long-awaited conclusion of the Syrian conflict, recent threats from Israel’s government to assassinate Assad by bombing his residence seemed to appear out of the blue. According to the Jerusalem Post, a senior Israeli official accompanying Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on a recent visit to Russia warned the Kremlin that if Iran continues to “extend its reach” in Syria, Israel would bomb the presidential palace in Damascus. 
Israel’s comments should come as no surprise, however, as the foreign-funded and manufactured conflict in Syria was always Israel’s war. The only real surprise is Israel’s growing isolation in pushing for the further escalation of the conflict.

WikiLeaks sheds light on the origins of the war

Though it has successfully avoided being labeled a major player in the effort to oust Assad, Israel has long been the mastermind of the plan, which stems in large part from the long-standing hostilities between the two nations as well as Israel’s own regional ambitions. State Department diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks have shown that in 2006, five years before the conflict in Syria manifested, the government of Israel had hatched a plan to overthrow the Assad government by engineering sectarian strife in the country, creating paranoia within the highest-ranks of the Syrian government, and isolating Syria from its strongest regional ally, Iran.
Israel then passed this plan along to the United States, which would then involve Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and Egypt in fomenting the “breakdown” of the Assad regime as a way of weakening both Iran and Hezbollah — with the effect of empowering both Israel and the Gulf monarchies, two seemingly disparate forces in the region that are becoming increasingly allied.
Leaked emails belonging to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton further reveal Israel’s role in covertly creating the conflict and its clear role in securing the involvement of the U.S. and other nations in executing its plan for Assad’s removal. One email, forwarded by Clinton to her advisor Jacob Sullivan, argues that Israel is convinced that Iran would lose “its only ally” in the region were Assad’s government to collapse.

See -> http://www.mintpressnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/Clinton-Israel-Syria.pdf
It further stated that “The fall of the House of Assad could well ignite a sectarian war between the Shiites and the majority Sunnis of the region drawing in Iran, which, in the view of Israeli commanders would not be a bad thing for Israel and its Western allies.” This possible sectarian war was perceived as a potential “factor in the eventual fall of the current government of Iran.”
Another Clinton email released by WikiLeaks stated”
The best way to help Israel deal with Iran’s growing nuclear capability is to help the people of Syria overthrow the regime of Bashar Assad,”
Bringing down Assad would not only be a massive boon to Israel’s security, it would also ease Israel’s understandable fear of losing its nuclear monopoly.”
The email also notes:
A successful intervention in Syria would require substantial diplomatic and military leadership from the United States” and states that “arming the Syrian rebels and using western air power to ground Syrian helicopters and airplanes is a low-cost high payoff approach.”
Read the full Wikileaks release below:
Stated plainly, the U.S.’ decision to spend over $1 billion until 2015 to arm Syria’s terrorist-linked “rebels” — and to invoke the assistance of Wahhabi terrorism exporters like Saudi Arabia and Qatar in funneling weapons and funds to these same groups — was spurred by Israel, which not only drafted the original blueprint for the Syrian conflict but guided U.S. involvement by exerting its powerful influence over the foreign policy of that country. 

Aiding the Rebels

Israel did more, however, than covertly instigate and guide the funding of opposition “rebels” — having secretly funded and aided opposition groups, including ones with overt terrorist affiliations, over the course of the six-year-long conflict.
Israeli involvement in direct funding and aiding the Syrian “rebels” was suspected for years before being officially made public by the Wall Street Journal in June of this year. The report revealed that Israel, since the beginning of the conflict, had been “supplying Syrian rebels near its border with cash as well as food, fuel, and medical supplies for years, a secret engagement in the enemy country’s civil war aimed at carving out a buffer zone populated by friendly forces.” Israel has also frequently brought wounded “rebels” into Israel for medical treatment, a policy it often touts as a “humanitarian effort.”
These “friendly” forces were armed groups that formed part of or were allied with al-Nusra Front, al-Qaeda’s Syrian branch, known for committing atrocities against thousands of Syrian civilians and slaughtering religious and ethnic minorities. Since 2013, al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist groups have dominated the “eight-square-kilometer separation zone on the Golan.” Israel has stated officially that these fighters are part of the U.S. coalition-supported Free Syrian Army (FSA). However, it has long been known that the vast majority of the groups comprising FSA have pledged allegiance to the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front, and that those who still fight under the FSA banner meet with al-Nusra on a daily basis.
Furthermore, Israel has launched attacks inside Syria “dozens and dozens of times,” according to a recent admission by Netanyahu. Earlier this year, Israel also threatened to “destroy” Syrian air defenses after the Syrian army fired missiles at Israeli warplanes striking targets within Syria.Israel’s support for terrorist groups went far beyond medical treatment, food supplies and cash. The Israeli army was also found to have been in regular communication with these terrorist groups and even helped “pay salaries of fighters and buy ammunition and weapons.” In addition, when the positions of the “rebel” groups it funded, armed and paid were in danger of being overtaken by Syrian government forces, Israel stepped in to directly bomb Syrian targets. For instance, in June, Israel attacked several Syrian military positions after claiming a stray mortar had landed within the boundaries of the Golan Heights, part of Syria that has long been occupied by Israel. However, the attack tellingly coincided with Syrian army advancements against the “rebel” groups that Israel has long cultivated as part of the so-called “buffer zone.”
Also very telling has been Israel’s position on Daesh (ISIS). In June of last year, Israel’s military intelligence chief, Major General Herzi Halevi, openly stated that Israel does not want to see Daesh defeated in Syria — expressing concern about the offensives against Daesh territory and lamenting their “most difficult” situation. Prior to Halevi’s comments, Israeli officials had regularly noted that Daesh conquering the whole of Syria would be preferable to the survival of the Assad government. These comments have been echoed by Israeli and NATO-affiliated think tanks, one of which called Daesh “a useful tool in undermining” Iran, Hezbollah, Syria and Russia — despite Daesh’s barbaric tactics, war crimes, enslavement of women and ethnic cleansing efforts. 

Israel’s larger geopolitical agenda

Though Israel’s support of Wahhabi terrorists like Daesh (ISIS) and al-Nusra may seem counter-intuitive, Israel’s overarching purpose in expelling Assad from power is based on strategic geopolitical and economic goals that Israel is determined to meet at any cost. While Israel frequently mentions Iran as the pretext for its involvement in Syria, the strongest motivators for Israel’s participation in the destruction of its northern neighbor are oil and territorial expansion.
One of Israel’s clearest reasons for being interested in the destabilization of Syria is its ability to assert further control of the Golan Heights, an area of Syria that Israel has illegally occupied since 1967 and annexed in 1981. Despite filling the area with illegal settlements and military assets, Israel has been unable to convince the international community, and even its close allies such as the U.S., to recognize its sovereignty over the territory. However, the conflict in Syria has proven beneficial to this end, allowing Israel to send even more settlers into the Golan, an estimated 100,000 over five years.

Israel is largely interested in gaining control over the Golan for economic reasons, owing to the occupied territory’s oil reserves, which are estimated to contain “billions of barrels.” Under the cover of the Syrian conflict, the Israeli branch of an American oil company — whose investors include Dick Cheney, Jacob Rothschild and Rupert Murdoch — has been drilling exploratory wells throughout the region, as the Heights’ uncertain territorial status prevents Israel from financially exploiting the resource.
Despite the prohibitions of international law, Israel is eager to tap into those reserves, as they have the potential to “make Israel energy self-sufficient.” Israel has even offered, per the Galant plan, to “rebuild” Syria with billions in U.S. taxpayer dollars in exchange for the Golan Heights — though the plan received a tepid reception from all involved parties other than Israel itself.
As its stands, Assad’s removal and replacement with a government friendly to Israeli and Western interests is Israel’s only real means of claiming the Golan Height’s energy resources for itself.

Pawns blocking Israel’s endgame

Aside from the oil and the territory it seeks to gain in the Golan Heights, Israel is also seeking to expand well beyond that territory in order to more widely exert its influence and become the region’s “superpower.” This ambition is described in the Yinon Plan, a strategy intended to ensure Israel’s regional superiority in the Middle East that chiefly involves reconfiguring the entire Arab world into smaller and weaker sectarian states. This has manifested in Israel’s support for the partition of Iraq as well as Syria, abetted by its support for the establishment of a separatist Kurdish state within these two nations.

This goal, in particular, largely explains Israel’s obsession with curbing Iranian influence in the Middle East, whether in Syria or elsewhere. Iran – more than any other nation in the region – is the most likely to threaten the “superpower” status that Israel seeks to gain for itself, as well as Israel’s loss of monopoly as the region’s only nuclear power.
Given Israel’s compound interests in seeing the removal of Assad and the partition of Syria, it is hardly surprising that Israeli political rhetoric has reached new heights of saber-rattling as Tel Aviv becomes increasingly concerned that the conflict it masterminded could backfire. Prior to the explosive comments regarding Israeli threats to bomb Assad’s residence, an anonymous Israeli government minister blamed the U.S. for backing out of Syria, a move he argued sacrificed Israeli interests:
The United States threw Israel under the bus for the second time in a row. The first time was the nuclear agreement with Iran, the second time is now that the United States ignores the fact that Iran is obtaining territorial continuity to the Mediterranean Sea and Israel’s northern border [through Syria].”
Not only that but Israel has recently vowed to “nullify” the ceasefire deal brokered between Russia and the U.S. with Syrian and Iranian support if it fails to comply with Israel’s needs — an ultimatum based on rather subjective terms given that “Israel’s needs” are hardly static. Israel’s response again shows the perception among officials in Tel Aviv that the Syrian conflict is of primary importance to Israeli geopolitical interests.
Furthermore, given that the response suggested so far by Israeli officials – on more than one occasion – has been to assassinate Syria’s democratically-elected President – the contemplated means of Israel “nullifying” the ceasefire deal will likely have explosive implications. Israel — apparently refusing to accept that the conflict it orchestrated is not going, and may not end, as planned — is now willing to escalate the situation militarily, with or without allies, resorting to dangerous brinkmanship with global implications.