With US markets closed for the holiday, we can turn our attention to other developing matter this morning:
We have a somewhat speculative, but possible answer to one of the big question facing America right now: “Was the administration’s decision to rope congress (belatedly) into the Syria debate, done with clean hands, or had something already happened which might indicate the Syrians have already deployed some high-tech Russian missiles and any first-strike could turn the region into a real powder keg?”
We get some hints in this direction from the (Google Translate) version of a report from the www.southlebanon.org site. In it, the group alleges the possible shoot-down of an American F-22 Raptor along with four Tomahawk missiles. A key point in the translation: “The paper loss of U.S. forces to aircraft F-22 advanced north of Jordan, which hosts on its territory five F-22, was the main reason to postpone the process of aggression against Syria…”
Although the period leading up to any outbreak of hostilities is certainly a window where a lot of Tokyo Rose type misinformation is expected, I noted in my (unusual) Saturday update, the president’s remarks were delayed 41-minutes from the announced time. So the window is there for a quick “Oh-oh, shoot down – let’s kick it to Congress and tell them about this on background since it means Russian missile air defenses are in place and operational…” decision to have been made.
As of this morning, SecState John Kerry is gearing up his information campaign as the Obama administration seeks authorization to ask from Congress; a move which the Wall St. Journal’s online eds figure will be a defining task for the history books.
While we’re warming up the popcorn and beer, and adjusting CSPAN for the upcoming debate, we wonder whether the F-22 Raptor – sold as the current “best of class” weapons system – can be shot down – as this will be key in any conflict..
Unfortunately, as was reported back in 2007 here, the F-22 may be stealthy, alright, but dog fighting is still an art and lesser planes (with better pilots) can take out Raptors with real ‘surprise and overwhelm’ tactics. Sure, computers are great, but stick and rudder is what dog fights are about.
Now let’s zoom out a ways: We can sketch in the set-up for president Obama’s meeting day after tomorrow with Russia’s Vladimir Putin. Russia may have become pseudo-democratic, but they haven’t axed their war making plans and, more to the point, with the backing of Russian oil oligarchs, they appear to have plans to dominate global energy Leverage, leverage. How to do it? Raw military power sold to friends… and new high tech arms. A sampling on their latest:
- The Russians have a new ground defense missile system which is said in some respects to be superior to the US Patriot missile system. It’s called “Vityaz” and it’s part of their new S-350E series.
- Aviation Week has details on the system over here, as well, in its MAKS Notebook section.
While both the US and Russia will be busy the next couple of days tuning up their pose and posture for the Wednesday meeting, we see a number of other developments going on which will feed in to the conference.
One is the claim by a Syrian minister that a US strike on Syria would benefit al Qaeda. Which, considering the whole WOT (war on terror) is based on demonizing that group just doesn’t make sense. Except that the conflict is in the lands where ‘’The enemy of my enemy is my friend…’ so things get seriously twisted up in policy-making.
If you’re looking for logic, notice the position of the key power-player in the Arab world, the Saudis who are supportive of a strike on Syria.
So Why War, Why Now?
My hunch is that it’s all about Leviathan, or had you forgotten? Remember that huge gas find announced in 2010 off Israel, Greece and Cyprus?
If you’re not aware of Leviathan, as most American’s aren’t, the Syrians wouldn’t seem to have any major natural resources worth fighting over, It could be dismissed as a kind of “so what?” country as the world plays out my 30+ year end-game Manufacturer’s Resource Wars scenario, which is now well underway.
If we postulate that there’s usually an economic motivation behind warfare, since America doesn’t need more rocks and sand dunes,, we can see some very curious developments showing around the Leviathan gas fields off the coasts of Cyprus, Israel, Greece (and Lebanon).
“Lebanon initially argued that the field extends into Lebanese waters. Lebanon’s Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri stated that Israel is “ignoring the fact that according to the maps the deposit extends into Lebanese waters,” Agence France-Presse reported on June 9. Israeli Minister of National Infrastructures Uzi Landau responded “We will not hesitate to use our force and strength to protect not only the rule of law but the international maritime law,” in an interview. Robbie Sable, a professor of international law at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University, has stated that the claim may be complex due to Lebanon’s border with Israel being indented, making it harder to establish where Israel’s sea boundary ends and Lebanese waters begin.
In August 2010, Lebanon submitted to the United Nations its official view regarding the maritime border, indicating that it considered the Tamar and Leviathan gas fields to be outside Lebanese territory (though it indicated other prospective fields in the region may be within Lebanese territory). The US expressed support for the Lebanon proposal.
Informed speculation would be that the Leviathan fields could extend even further north than presently mapped, and this would put resource off the Syrian coast, which is where the Russians have a sizeable naval installation, (Tartus) granted them by the Assad government. So, naturally, they will defend the potential new gas fields to the west because Syria would no doubt like a piece.
The tripartite agreement on Leviathan – doesn’t mention Syria is a pisser because why?