Night Watch

Syria-Russia: Moscow is not considering altering its stance on Syria and any attempt to pressure Moscow to do so is inappropriate, a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin said 30 May. The spokesman said Russia's stance would not change during Putin's visit to France and Germany starting 1 June.

Russia also opposes the convening of a new UN Security Council (UNSC) meeting on Syria in the near future, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said on 30 May. The UNSC statement made after the Security Council's 27 May emergency meeting on Syria is a sufficient response to recent events in the country, Gatilov said.

Comment: Many commentators have attempted to explain the Russian stance in economic and other terms. Syria has no money, but Russia stands with it. It has no international clout but Russia stands by it. Syria is an issue Russian President Putin can use to blunt US dominance, some commentators opine.

Actually, the Russian position might have more depth than that for which it is given credit. Russia did not support the NATO operations against Libya because of uncontrollable repercussions as well as losses on investment.

Russian actions at the UN on Syria indicate that the Putin and Medvedev governments both concluded that it is not in Russia's economic or strategic interests that Syria becomes a repeat of Libya, which has produced a new terrorist base in Mali.

Iran -Saudi Arabia: Haaretz reported today, "Former senior US diplomat Dennis Ross confirmed for the first time on Tuesday night that Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah has explicitly warned the U.S. that if Iran obtains nuclear weapons, Saudi Arabia will seek to do so as well.

'If they get nuclear weapons, we will get nuclear weapons,' Abdullah told Ross during a meeting between the two in April 2009. Ross said he responded to the King's assertion with a lengthy appeal against nuclear proliferation, but after hearing him out, the king responded by repeating the same line: 'If they get nuclear weapons, we will get nuclear weapons.'"

Comment: Ross made the confirmation while promoting a new book in a public appearance in New York with his co-author. However, rumors of Saudi possession of or readiness to acquire nuclear weapons and delivery systems date to the first Gulf War. None have been confirmed.

Ross is the first authoritative source to disclose the Saudi strategic decision to meet Shiite Persian nukes with Sunni Arab nukes.

The confirmation also is significant because it puts new light on the Iranian nuclear program and the fighting in Syria that has not been reported in main stream media. The main stream media usually report about a potential conflict between Israel and Iran and the struggle for democracy in Syria. Both narratives are far from accurate.

The Ross confirmation signifies that the actual existential strategic threat is a nuclear war between Sunni and Shia Islam. The Sunni champion is Saudi Arabia. Iran champions the Shii. This is the conflict that must be prevented. Israel is a powerful player on the side of the Saudis against Iran, but it is not the strategic target. The Sunni imams consistently describe the Shiite heresy as a worse offense against Allah than the Jews.

This strategic struggle explains how the Syrian opposition, which holds no territory and has no bases, continues to receive sufficient ammunition and supplies to sustain the proxy war against the Syrian armed forces. The Saudis apparently are the financiers of the opposition. The only channels for support run through Lebanon.

Nothing in Syria is as it is reported in mainstream media, including most of the images of destruction from fighting. There are few images of actual fighting by either side.

The opposition struggle in Syria is not about establishing democracy or human rights; it is about establishing Sharia in the Sunni interpretation. The Asad government, in fact, protects minorities far better than a Sunni regime would, as illustrated by the harassment of Iraqi Christians and Egyptian Copts.

The consistent US support for the Sunni opposition in Syria implies that the US supports the Saudi vision of the Middle East, which includes no role for democracy and slight respect for human rights.

Similarly, the Iranian nuclear weapons issue has more to do with stopping the proliferation of nuclear weapons and delivery systems in Saudi Arabia and other Sunni Arab states than it does with the security of Israel. King Abdallah was not bluffing.

The commitment of the Saudis to reversing the spread of the Shiite heresy is a dimension of the strategic struggle in the Middle East that receives no coverage in mainstream US media. It portends a future struggle in Iraq to remove the pro-Iranian government.

End of NightWatch.

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Night Watch

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