This contribution is a commentary on our translation of “Intentional ‘mistakes’ of the United States in Syria,” an analysis of the “mistakes” in Syria designed to enable the US to achieve its true mission of sowing chaos and raining down death in Syria in order to perpetuate its presence there. As long as the US public swallows the absurd story that the frequent killing of warriors sincerely engaged in killing terrorists is done only “by mistake,” this integral part of US policy will be accepted and perpetuated. Peace in Syria, and in the long run, peace on earth, depends on your challenging it. The writer is Russian politician and intellectual Nikolai Starikov. (Linked here is a video of a speech of Starikov’s explaining the fundamental differences between the Russian and US mentalities).
In this article, Starikov mentions repeated US “mistakes” made at Deir Ezzor in numerous instances. I remember reading back in 2016 about a “mistaken” US air strike near Deir Ezzor that killed an estimated 60 Syrian service men in the Obama administration (NYT Report here). Later, the US built a military base at Deir Ezzor, and still later, similar “mistakes” also happened there, as discussed below, with more legitimate anti-terrorist warriors killed. After the 2016 attack, I decided to see what was special about Deir Ezzor. It turns out to be the site of the Omar field, the richest oil deposit in Syria.
But not mentioned by Starikov is the attack on Russian mercenaries and Syria troops near Deir Ezzor that was not claimed as a mistake. According to reports by eye witnesses, this was an actual battle against Syrians, the actual owners of the land, along with their hired mercenaries thought to be from the well-known Wagner group. The US reportedly killed several hundred Russians and presumably Syrian fighters to protect the illegal base the US had built there. What Westerners need to understand is that just because the US at the moment has greater forces, it does not have the right to squat on other people’s land, and Russia will not close its eyes to this flagrant violation forever. The Russians did not make a major issue of this battle because the Russian mercenaries did not officially belong to their military. But the mercenaries were fighting terrorists, the very ones that the US was protecting, and the Syrian people had given them permission to fight alongside their troops. Thus from the standpoint of international law, they were in fact legitimately in Syria. It was reported as a scandal for the Russians, but the real scandal was the fact that the US repeatedly kills people who fight terror – an old habit of theirs. So, just to set the record straight, it was murder. When the US commanders saw the Syrians and their allies coming their way, the only legally permissible, and sensible, thing to do was to simply leave, the same way they got there. But their actions, and the fact that they decided to build a base near Deir Ezzor, clearly shows that their underlying mission was to protect ISIS, even though they occasionally kill ISIS fighters when they get in the way of US – and Saudi Arabian – plans. The author below further confirms this by listing all the instances of US “accidental” killings of fighters actually engaged in combatting terror.
And now, we need to remind the reader of a brutal truth. Many Americans voted for Trump because he had promised to pull out of Syria. He tried to establish that he was different from Obama in this and other ways, but in fact, his foreign policies illustrate perfectly that the White House is incapable of making and executing decisions on behalf of the electorate. Putin was once asked during the 2016 US electoral campaigns, which candidate he favoured, and he said it didn’t matter who won because America is ruled by the “men in dark suits” (quote is at 3:04 here), meaning bureaucrats, not by the people elected by the people.Perhaps next election, a significant percentage of Americans will remember Putin’s immortal words and how perfectly Trump’s behaviour bore them out.
But most likely, the average US voter will continue thinking along the same disastrous lines as it always has. The “conservative” bloc is led largely by religious leaders based on Old Testament prophecy and narrative. While liberals often complain about conservatives taking the Bible too literally, we have shown here that what passes for “Christianity” in the US is based on skewed scriptural interpretations that depart radically from the actual text of the Bible and has been reduced to the kind of pedantic legalism that Christ spent most of his lifetime opposing. US pastors are nothing more than carbon copies of the very Pharisees who crucified Jesus.
It is interesting to note that while run-of-the mill Evangelicals would have no second thoughts about hiring an architect with a sound technical background – but with no theological credentials – to design a house, or a surgeon with a solid medical education and training – even if it were an atheist – to perform an operation on him/her or their child, they insist that when it comes to foreign and military policy, which arguably requires considerably more skill and knowledge than any other profession because of the myriad ever-changing variables involved – these same Evangelicals do not require a US candidate for higher office, especially the presidency, to have any special skill or knowledge of foreign affairs at all or any knowledge of foreign affairs or cultures to aid in making intelligent decisions, but only some imagined connection to God (even if, like Trump, the candidate was never known to be a believer, or again, like Trump, had highly questionable morality issues in his past). Once the candidate or politician has passed the religious test (every candidate perceived as conservative passes, though sometimes with a big shove, ie, lots of rationalization), the Evangelical leadership, imagining itself to be influential, tries to reshape the politician in question by rationalization (making excuses for him) or by pressuring him somewhat once he is elected. Trump’s slavish acquiescence to the Israeli warlike policies and his tolerance for the inhuman treatment of Palestinians has found favour with most Evangelicals. His moving the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem made him a veritable saint in the eyes of many of them and cleared the way for Israel to continue the slaughter of unarmed protesters in Palestine, the killing of warriors fighting terror in Syria (as the Israeli leadership admitted here) and the unprecedented introduction of an apartheid system that mimics South Africa at the zenith of its racist polices.
Thus, I have received from a conservative group individual emails postulating that Trump was, variously, a “type” of this or that prophet or Old Testament figure. The first theory I learned of was that Trump was “a Nebuchadnezzar” (which made some sense because the Babylonian king was originally not a believer in the Jewish God but underwent subsequent changes in theology and eventually accepted Jehovah and became a wishy-washy worshipper of Judaism). The second theory I have heard is that Trump is “a Joshua,” which would lend legitimacy to his unwillingness to pull the military out of Syria and his warlike statements, for example, referencing Iran. Evangelicals eschew the idea of peace on earth good will to men. The third theory came from a pro-life Evangelical politician who firmly believed Trump to be a “type” of Cyrus, who also was not Hebrew but was the Persian king who liberated the Judeans following their captivity in Babylon. Trump’s fawning over Netanyahu makes this the favourite theory so far. But the point is, now that Trump has accepted the theological tenets of “Christian” Zionism, he really can do no wrong, and there is less pressure on him to hold to his campaign promises or to do anything consistent or rational – as long as he makes strong enough statements (actions are irrelevant) about illegal immigration. For instance, if he leads his trusting followers into a war with Iran, he will meet precious little resistance from his Evangelical acolytes.
The point is that while we naturally would choose a physician or an architect based on the candidate’s technical knowledge and skill, there is an assumption among an alarming percentage of US citizens that no technical or mental skills or knowledge at all are needed to shape foreign and military policy as long as the one making the policy is in touch with popular Old Testament beliefs, particularly those based on the Scofield Reference Bible. Yet the most dangerous and obviously erroneous teaching in that commentary is the teaching that Russia will some day attack Israel. It is important to recall that Scofield’s first edition was written in or before 1909, long before the Third Reich and the Holocaust. Thus, commenting about Ezekiel’s prophecy of Gog and (or “of”) Magog, a world power that would attack Israel in some unknown future period, Scofield’s comments reflected the popular theology at that time when Russia was thought of as a generally anti-Semitic nation, he wrote, in a footnote referencing the anti-Semitic warlike Gog of Magog mentioned in Ezekiel 38
“That the primary reference is to the northern (European) powers, headed up by Russia, all agree. (!)… He explains a few lines later: “The reference to Meshech and Tubal (Moscow and Tobolsk) is a clear mark of identification. Russia and the northern powers have been the latest persecutors of dispersed Israel [Scofield was a devout Zionist], and it is congruous both with divine justice and with the covenants … that destruction should fall at the climax of the last mad attempt to exterminate the remnant of Israel in Jerusalem…”
Firstly, if God had wanted readers of prophecy to know that He was referencing Russia, he would not have chosen Tubal – supposedly Tobolsk – as a marker because no one has ever thought of the politically insignificant Tobolsk as representative of Russia, and further, the word Meshech is in no way reminiscent of the word Moscow or the Russian Moskva. Scofield was clearly tweaking the Bible to make it say what he believed.
Secondly, the most anti-Semitic European country of all time was not Russia but Spain, which ordered all of its practicing Jews expelled in 1492. And if Scofield had written his footnote after WW II, he would not have been able so glibly to claim that Russia – whose army liberated Auschwitz – was among the worst “persecutors” of the Jews. Most of the Bolsheviks and notably the tsar’s murderers were Jews. Further, Assyrian court documents, discovered more recently, show that Magog was in fact a place in what is now Turkey. It was pure fantasy based on the anti-Russian sentiment that had existed for centuries in Europe, particularly England, where Russia bashing has never gone out of fashion.
If Americans chose other professionals primarily along religious guidelines, as they choose the authorities responsible for their foreign policy, the bridges would collapse shortly after they were constructed and patients, even those with minor disorders not deemed life-threatening would typically die on the operating tables, whereupon the doctors would proclaim that the death was God’s will. The main reason utter incompetents are entrusted with Western foreign policy is based almost exclusively on their support for popular misreadings of the Bible and their undisguised hatred of Russia (Trump the candidate was somewhat of an exception), the one world power that turned the near defeat of the Syrian nation around and won back territory for the Syrian people. Not for Assad, for the Syrians. To say that Putin is supporting Assad is to miss the point.
And look at America today: nothing but endless senseless wars against people that are not enemies of the US people, and a debt that can only be serviced – barely at that – by printing dollars. Meanwhile, Russia’s war against terror is real and genuine, aimed at actually defeating terrorists, not flirting with them. And its defence is real, not a constant windfall for arms manufacturers whose lobbies funnel money to candidates for higher office in hopes of gaining profits for themselves.
What I am discussing here is one of the key elements in Western thinking – the firm belief that all foreign policy must be theological in nature, ie, Israel-centred and America-centred, at the expense of technical considerations and of attention to the culture and history of the nations with which diplomatic relations are managed. And that theology may not be Christian. Not one word of it may be related to anything that Jesus said. It must be based on obscure and opaque Old Testament prophecies and grossly erroneous interpretations thereof by American theologians who assume that every word of prophecy was about a godly USA teamed up with a disobedient and secular but somehow God-blessed nation called Israel, at war with heretical foreigners who refuse to obey and worship them. You become aware of the importance of the actual technical considerations in foreign policy when you read or hear an analysis written by adults, eg, by Russian specialists like Nikolai Starikov, foreign minister Sergey Lavrov or President Putin. And if you think it through, you come to the realization that there is a fundamental and irreconcilable difference between Western (notably US) thinking and Eastern (notably Russian) thinking. One is doomed to failure and the other is the world’s only hope for the future.