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The Road to Empire Overreach Is Fraught with Calamities
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Back at the beginning of August 1914, Europe was on the cusp of collective suicide yet it failed to grasp the severity of the situation in time to prevent disaster.

In the years preceding WWI, European nations had engaged in intense coalition-building. France, along with Great Britain and Russia had forged the Triple Entente while the Central Powers (Germany, Austria and Turkey) had ended up forming their own security compact: The Triple Alliance.

Barbara Tuchman’s writings describe in great details how the intricate interlocking of opposing military alliances paved the road to Europe’s annihilation and its subsequent fading from History.

We are now at the beginning of August 2015. The NATO Alliance now stands on deck as it readies itself to increase its operations in the Middle East. This time however, and for the first time since the end of the Cold War, it is confronted by an equally formidable array of potential adversaries who are determined to protect their own respective interests in the Levant.

The recent declarations bearing on the establishing of a « Islamic State-free zone” some 25 miles into Syrian territory are constitutive of a direct violation of the UN Charter’s article 2(4) provisions: Not only the UN Security Council did not authorize this measure, such policy could hardly be deemed to fall within the ambit of the doctrine of self-defense.

Failing to fit within these two exceptions to the UN Charter’s general prohibition on the use of force, the establishing of a de facto No Fly Zone over Syria could very well stand as a prelude to a major escalation of violence which could lead to a global conflagration.

It also bears to note that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad repeatedly offered to engage NATO countries in a joint venture aimed at confronting ISIS, but these overtures have found no echoes.

It is thus without permission from Syria’s elected Head of State that NATO is readying to barge in and set-up shop in Syrian airspace.

The Humanitarian Argument is Wearing Thin

It would not be an understatement to say that the legal status of humanitarian intervention enshrined in Chapter VII of the UN Charter has failed to gather consensus since it was first put into practice during the Kosovo Air Campaign in 1999.

Indeed, Thomas M. Frank and Nigel S. Rodley, (both legal scholars writing on the Humanitarian Use of Force) once demurred that “in very few, if any, instances has the right of humanitarian intervention been asserted under circumstances that appears more humanitarian than self-interested and power-serving”. *

John Kirby, a senior US Pentagon official, recently claimed that NATO involvement over Syrian territory would be aimed at establishing “a ISIL-free zone and ensure greater security and stability along Turkey’s border in Syria”.

One can however recall how the use of No-Fly Zones helped in fact to pave the way for regime change in Iraq but also in Libya.

In Iraq, the No-Fly Zone was initially set up with the intent to protect Iraqi Kurds living in the north of the country from being targeted by Saddam Hussein’s fighter jets.

At the time, the idea made sense since the late President of Iraq had once used his aviation as a means of dispersal of chemical agents in order to “punish” those that he deemed as opposing his authority but the language of the resolution reflected the lack of a clearly-defined mandate

Over time, the No-Fly Zone over Kurdistan de facto allowed for the establishing of an autonomous region which came to supersede Iraqi central legal authority.

While it should be highlighted that this No-Fly Zone had duly been authorized by UN Security Council Resolution 688 and enjoyed some measure of public support, the humanitarian objectives of the operation underwent a resolutely stark evolution to include the creation of a de facto launching pad to be used for incursions into Baghdad-controlled airspace.

These incursions eventually helped provide the United States and its “Coalition of the Willing” some crucial intelligence pertaining to Iraq’s defenses and capability to counter airstrikes prior to the initiation of the 2003 conflict which led to the removal of the Baathist government at an enormous cost to the legal rights to live in physical security and not in fear to millions living in Iraq to this day.

In the Libyan case back in 2011, Russia and China were cajoled into abstaining from vetoing the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1973, thus allowing for a No-Fly Zone to be set-up over the eastern portion of the country, including the provincial capital of Benghazi, so as to purportedly prevent civilian protesters from being targeted by Gadhafi’s military aircrafts.

Here again, the original humanitarian impetus that had insufflated the debate leading up to the adoption of the resolution started deviating its course from genuine concerns for the protection of civilians lives until it adopted a policy of expanding the scope of sorties all the way to Tripoli, thus paving the way for former Al-Qeida Commander Abdel Hakim Belladj to later that year proclaim himself Military Governor of the city.

With the removal of the Gadhafi clan in October 2011, Libya turned into a failed state.

We are now at the beginning of August 2015.

Russia and China both feel that they are relying on solid precedent as they object to yet another manipulation of Chapter VII’s provisions which would be required to set-up a new No-Fly Zone this time over Syria.

Perhaps looking back in anger, Russia and China both question the “genuine” nature of NATO’s intentions in a region where so much of the balance of power hinges on Syria’s territorial integrity.

As Assad‘s most valuable ally, Russia has vested interest in retaining access to its only outlet to the Mediterranean.

Vladimir Putin has reassured Bashar El-Assad of his total support in fighting to rid the country of roaming armed groups, declaring last June: “Our fear is that Syria could plunge into the same situation as Libya and Iraq…”, adding: “We don’t want that … in Syria.”

As relates to China, the Middle Kingdom has traditionally always opposed any attempts aimed at interfering with what it unqualifiedly refers to as a State’s domestic affairs.

Not least among the opposing powers, Iran has probably the most to lose if it allows for the demise of its Alawite ally.

Tehran’s resulting amputation of its regional reach would be considered akin to a geostrategic disaster from which it would find it hard to ever recover as Syria has always been an integral part of Iran’s own security paradigm.

In the final analysis, it would require that a NATO fighter jet merely come under fire from Syrian air-defense batteries or suffer from an encounter with a patrolling Syrian airplane for the regional pressure cooker to reach critical mass.

Iran, Russia and China will this time around adamantly stand their grounds and collectively decide to reject the option of doing nothing.

Standing pat would indeed result in these States suffering unacceptable damage to their prestige over the long run but also witness an intolerable curtailing of their respective national security frameworks.

As pertains to NATO, the Alliance’s own mechanism of mutual assistance triggered in the event of an attack on one of its members, the redoubtable Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, could conceivably drag 28 nations into a no-holes barred, winner takes-all dogfight that could result in the opening of Pandora’s Box.

As we reflect on the fate of hundreds of thousands of civilian victims during this 70th Anniversary of the Atomic Bombing of Japan, there are serious reasons to worry that the world is once more sleepwalking towards annihilation.

Arno Develay is an international Human Rights Lawyer


*Thomas M. Frank and Nigel S. Rodley, After Bangladesh: The Law of Humanitarian Intervention by Military Force, 67 Am. J. Int’l L. 275, 290 (1973)

• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Syria, United Nations 
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  1. The best thing Russia could do is to ship the Syrians a new air-defense system, such as the S-300 or S-400. That would definitely deter Washington from using ISIS as a pretext for attacking Syria in order to foment ‘régime change’. The US would never consider launching a ground war against Syria without air-support. It would be a Stalingrad-type war, mano a mano. Tons of casualties. Nobody in Washington–or indeed, America–wants that.

    • Replies: @John Jeremiah Smith
  2. more foreign policy…meh…who cares?

    and who are these people who are obsessed with foreign policy? The stuff that is important to americans happens here in america

    • Replies: @annamaria
  3. @Seamus Padraig

    The best thing Russia could do is to ship the Syrians a new air-defense system, such as the S-300 or S-400.

    That would mean World War III. The Pentagon would shit a pile of bricks “this” high, and Netanyahu would start throwing them at Iran.

    • Replies: @Kiza
    , @annamaria
  4. Kiza says:
    @John Jeremiah Smith

    OK, so what’s the solution then?
    Let the shit-steerers continue the destruction of Syria?

    Of course, this proposal is impossible. Not because the Pentagon would excrete a pile of bricks from its behind, then because of the sophistication of S300 and S400. It would take at least six months to train a Syrian crew, whilst Syrians cannot activate even their old BUKs against Israeli jets bombing and killing them regularly. Sending Russian crews with these systems to Syria is politically totally impossible to Putin.

    Therefore, do nothing appears the only Russia+China strategy available at this time. They have to accept the mentioned loss of face on Syria and strengthen their own defenses. Thus, “The International Community” is about to get away with another Libya, another Iraq, another Ukraine, another …

    This “International Community” is the mother of all bombastic Western regime overstatements, such a beautiful name for a gang of thieves and murderers.

    • Replies: @pogohere
  5. Priss Factor [AKA "The Priss Factory"] says:

    The problem is the Jews.

    During the Cold War, there were two superpowers.

    But with the fall of the USSR, there was only one.

    Most Americans were happy the Cold War was over and wanted to mind their own business. But there was one exception.

    Which bunch of Americans were busybodies trying to mess with the New World Order?

    The Jews.


    The only two groups that ever mattered at elite level in the US were Wasps(and Wasp-ized whites) and Jews. Within American politics itself, it is evident that Wasps were not radical and power-mad. Though Wasps founded, envisioned, and built this country, they were willing to share power with non-Wasps. Sure, there were Wasps who called for something like ‘white supremacy’, but the majority of wasps were willing for some kind of compromise with other groups: Catholics, Jews, and even Negroes.
    That the Wasp elites allowed the rise of the Jewish elites and even peacefully and silently and graciously stepped aside so that Jews could become the new elites shows that Wasps were not power-crazy and supremacist, at least not for the most part.

    If Wasp-Americans were willing to share power in America with Jews — indeed, going so far as to cede supreme power to Jews —, then it stands to reason that, following the end of the Cold War, they were open to a New World Order that was multi-polar, one where US shared power with other nations. Sure, US was the lone super-power after USSR folded, but most Americans were not seeking supremacy around the world.

    Wasp-Americans were willing to accept China as a rising power, Russia rebounding to play a friendly role in Europe, and etc.
    As for black Americans, Mexican-Americans, Asian-Americans, Arab-Americans, Eskimo-Americans, Hawaiian-Americans, Puerto-Rican Americans, Swedish-Americans, Scotch-Irish Americans, and etc, they didn’t care much(if at all) about world affairs. A Greek-American might care about Greek affairs at home, and a Polish-American might think of what is happening in Poland. But they didn’t think in global-power terms.

    But Jews were different. Jews aimed to use the US-as-lone-super-power to maximize Jewish power and influence around the world. Why the Jews? For one thing, the Jewish worldwide network is truly global. There are Jews in Russia, US, France, UK, Latin America, Israel, and etc. and they are all very well-connected at ELITE levels in finance, academia, media, high-tech, and intelligence services.
    Greek-American thinks in terms of Greece and America. Polish-American thinks in terms of Poland and America. Jewish-American thinks in terms of Israel, America, and the Whole World.

    Now, why are Jews resistant to the idea of a multi-polar world and power-sharing? Why do Jews want to see a world totally dominated by US-EU power? Because a multi-polar world means the existence of other great powers that offer up a counter-models of development, governance, and power, one that may even be resistant and defiant against the ‘end of history’ model put forth by Jewish-controlled America.
    Jews promote the notion of ‘diversity is our strength’ to play divide-and-rule among goyim in the US and EU, but a nation like China is proof that homogeneity is an advantage too. And resurgence of Russian Nationalism serves up a model where white majority is led by a government that represents the identity and aspirations of white Russian-ism.

    Jews find such models as a threat to their elite power in US and EU. Jews in US and EU are minority elites who fear the white majority. They seek to undermine majority identity, pride, heritage, and unity. A multi-polar world would mean nations like Russia and China — and Iran — serve as counter-models of independence, power, and might at odds with the Jewish Narrative that dominates in the West.

    To most Americans, the rise of China and Russia means nothing special. It means China becomes the big power in Asia, and it means Russia will have regained its status as a great power(though no longer a communist threat to other nations). Most Americans are live-and-let-live and want peace with China and Russia.
    But Jews see the rise of Russia and China as counter-models of their supreme rule in the West. Jewish Power in the West is about elite minority supremacism in nations where the mantra is ‘diversity is our strength, diversity is our strength’, and etc.
    While China and Russia are diverse too, their mantra is ‘majority identity and interests are paramount’. Jews really fear this, and that is why they tried to use the homo agenda to weaken and subvert Russian heritage, identity, and power. Russia is tolerant of homos(who are free to do pretty much whatever), but Russia doesn’t celebrate and praise and glorify homosexuality, which is the case in US and EU, where the homo agenda is used a proxy of Jews who seek to promote elite minority dominance as the New Normal.

    Wasps were willing to share power with other races and ethnic groups. But once Jews took elite power, they are unwilling to share power with anyone. American power is all about Jewish supremacism, mini-me homos serving Jews, and shabbos goyim serving Jews. Jews do not share power. Jews say, “kiss my ass or die, you Nazi scum.” If you don’t kiss the Jewish ass, you’re a Nazi. If you’re don’t bend over to homos, the main allies of Jews, you are Nazi too. You deserve to be destroyed and blacklisted faster than anyone during the McCarthy Era.

    Wasps who sought to share power within the US were willing to share power in the world. Jews who will not share power within the US will NOT share power in the world.
    Jews will continue to subvert Russia, Jews will continue to ‘pivot to Asia’ to increase tensions to drive China nuts.

    Indeed, look at Neocon Jewish behavior in the GOP. Paleocons didn’t like Neocons but were willing to share power with them. Catholic Conservatives and Palecons argued and bickered with Neocons, but they didn’t call for an all-out purge of Neocons. But once Jews took power in the GOP, they went about purging everyone who disagreed with them. It’s like William Kristol gloated about how the ‘Arabists’ and ‘people like Pat Buchanan’ were purged from the Party.

    Jews hate the idea of sharing since a genuine spirit of sharing will undermine Jewish power. Jews are a small minority in all Western nations, so if Jews were into fair sharing of power, Jews should only have 2% of the power in America for example. If Jews are 2% of the population in the US, their power should be 2%. But Jews want 90% of the power or even more.
    Paradoxically, Jews maintain near-total power precisely by yammering so much about ‘fairness’ and ‘equality’ but aimed at white gentiles of course. By bitching about ‘white privilege’, Jews present themselves as defenders of non-white minority interests against ‘racist’ whites(the gentiles). So, even though Jewish power is most ‘unfair’ and ‘disproportionate’, Jews justify their power as the ‘progressive’ force working to make US more ‘fair’ for everyone.
    Generally, Jews do this by sacrificing white gentiles and giving white gentile positions to non-whites while Jews themselves lose none of their own slots of power and privilege. It’s like Elena Kagan, while at Harvard, increased the number of diversity-hiring by sacrificing white gentiles but not Jews. Nearly 50% of her appointees were Jewish in a nation where Jews are 2% of the population.
    Despite bogus Jewish rhetoric about ‘fairness’, Jews fear true fairness and sharing of power since Jewish power relies on vastly disproportionate representation in elite fields. If US were indeed to achieve equal representation, Jews would only have 2% of the wealth, have 2% representation in media, have 2% control of law firms and academia, and etc.
    As Jews are only 2% of the US population, Jewish power depends on unequal representation, i.e. Jews being vastly over-represented in most elite areas like high-tech, finance, academia, intelligence service, gambling, entertainment, etc.
    If Jews go for a ‘fair share’ approach, they won’t amount to much. Jewish must dominate US institutions and industries to have power. Otherwise, they are numerically only 2% of the US population.
    The global mentality of Jews is unsurprisingly an expanded version of Jewish mentality in the US. The idea of a multi-polar world suggests that the West should fairly share power with other big nations. But such a model/ideal might lead to people in America and Europe believing that Jews should share power fairly with gentiles. But if Jews did that, their power would plummet as they are a small minority in all nations except for Israel.

    Also, even as powerful as Jews are, they are paranoid because they are a tiny minority in the West with immense power. Jewish power in US and EU is rather like British power in India. Jewish power is not demographic. America is a case of Jewish mind controlling the goy body. As Jews are only 2% of the US population, it doesn’t constitute much of a body. So, Jews are afraid that the goy body may awaken from its slumber of being controlled by the Jewish mind and one day act in accordance to the goy-mind that is defiant of Jewish power.

    So, Jews seek to snuff out all sources of power within the West and around the world that may challenge the Jewish Narrative of elite minority rule and ‘diversity is our strength’. Nations like Sweden, Finland, Norway, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, and etc have been successful due to homogeneity. But, Jews don’t like that Narrative. So, Jews push diversity and open borders on them.
    Also, to normalize the notion of elite minority rule around the world, Jews fund and support homo agendas in all such nations and seek out ‘gay’ activists who will serve as fifth-columnist agents of Jewish globalist power. The Quisling Queerling collaborators.

    There is a reason why the agent provocateur in Ukraine were people like Victoria Nuland. There is a reason why Anne Applebaum pushes the ‘gay agenda’ in Poland.
    And consider people like George Soros and Paul Singer. The world has to be careful of this gang.

  6. annamaria says:
    @leftist conservative

    You mean that the trillions of dollars that have been drained from the US on the US-led wars in the Middle East are of no concern for the US citizenry?
    The foreign affairs could seem a boring business until Americans realize that the conflagration in the Middle East could lead to a nuclear confrontation between nuclear powers. The physics and the ecological (say, medical) consequences of the nuclear confrontation will lead to a very sickly planet sparsely inhabited by a very sick population dying out amidst the ecological destruction and societal collapse. For the plutocracy, a situation when some eager servants do not make everything orderly & clean & sparkly at once borders with absurdity. But the real absurdity is the unaccountable power of money, which buys government and legislature and thus prevents the vox populi from influencing important decisions on a state level. Hence the obvious insanity of the private decisions made by half-witz and spoiled brats-in-power, the decisions that affect hundreds of millions of people worldwide. And of course we do not hear the objective assessment of global situation on MSM owned by mega-corporations.

    • Agree: Seamus Padraig
  7. annamaria says:
    @John Jeremiah Smith

    Doubtful. The dear Israel will be too much exposed to the real armed conflict (which is very different from confronting and killing the helpless rock-throwers in the ghetto).

  8. pogohere says:

    Re: “Therefore, do nothing appears the only Russia+China strategy available at this time. ” The author’s analogy with WW1 is quite apt. The Libyan experience was a game changer for those Russians/Chinese who thought they could rely on the good offices of the Western powers via UN resolutions. The danger here is that Russia+China will feel the time has come to demonstrate to their many international partners that their commitments are more than just words and paper. Russia+China have taken decisive steps to create a new international financial order, via AIIB, BRICS banking facilities, new SWIFT type transfer systems, new credit rating systems and the inclusion of India and Pakistan–and probably in early 2016, Iran– into the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Providing Syria with S300 systems crewed by Russians would sent an unmistakable message that NATO is attempting a “bridge too far.” The neocon-led Western powers are fully aware of what the Libyan precedent means to the Russians especially. This could very well be a decisive moment when we find out if any of the parties is in a mood to blink.

  9. Seraphim says:

    The Triple Alliance was a military alliance among Germany, Austria–Hungary, and Italy and secretly Romania. It lasted from 20 May 1882 until World War I in 1914. The Ottoman Empire joined only in August 1914 and Bulgaria in October 1915. So, it became a Quadruple Alliance.
    Italy turned coat and joined the Entente in 1915 and Romania in 1916.
    The Triple Alliance was formed against Russia. It may not appear as evident, because the participation of Romania remained secret until 1914 when the Government of the day refused to act. It should be remembered that both Romania and Bulgaria were ruled by monarchs of German origin. Romania by a Hohenzollern, Bulgaria by a Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.
    The result of the first World War was that the German Empire, the Austro-Hungarian and the Ottoman disappeared, while Russia was just dented. The Second World War, which tried to finish the unfinished job of the First, resulted in crushing Germany as a major power and led to the disappearance of the British Empire. Russia recovered all what was lost in the First.
    Now a new attempt is made to finish Russia by a variant of the Central Powers. It will have the same success that the previous ones and possibly lead to the disappearance of the last Empire.

    • Replies: @annamaria
  10. annamaria says:

    “Now a new attempt is made to finish Russia by a variant of the Central Powers. It will have the same success that the previous ones and possibly lead to the disappearance of the last Empire.”

    The difference is that the last empire (and her Little Zaches of Israel) could destroy not only Europe but the whole human habitat. Considering that the Samson Option is not a joke but a valid policy of the state of Israel, the US neocons are quite prepared to demand either do their way (Iraqization of Russia) or the “highway” for the humankind.

    • Replies: @Seraphim
  11. annamaria says:

    “Russians understand that the US has not fought a war on its soil since the civil war. If new hostilities start, Russia will not let the war be a proxy war where the US supplies weapons and advisors and lets others do the “boots on the ground” combat. Russia will take the war to the US. How did we reach this critical point in such a short time?” Jack Hanick

    • Agree: Seamus Padraig
  12. Kiza says:

    When Syria accepted to give up its chemical weapons, I wrote that because Russia facilitated this affair, it had the responsibility to replace those weapons with air-defense weapons. Otherwise, Russia was just helping make Syria defenseless. Syria had chemical weapons only because Israel has chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. When Iraq gave up on its chemical weapons, we know what happened afterwards. Simply put, there is no appeasing the gang of thieves and murderers and the gang leader Israel.

    There is this laughable propaganda story all over the Western MSM now that Syria is weaponising chlorine, probably by chlorinating Damascus water supply. But a much more dangerous propaganda BS story is that the Russians have given up on Syria. When the Western morons start believing their own propaganda (the so called, propaganda feedback), then we are getting closer to an all-out war. Russia and China will really have to chose whether to fight a war at their own borders, or to stop the international gang in Syria. Not an easy decision.

    Whichever one looks, a global war is a distinct possibility, only because nobody explained to the US that they cannot remain a global hegemon forever, and nobody explained to Israelis that they cannot use US as their war tool forever.

    • Replies: @Bill Jones
  13. Barry the Kenyan is finally getting the war on the Syrian people that he was denied two years ago.

  14. Seraphim says:

    It looks like the Russians have the same option too. Who blinks first?

  15. @Kiza

    Whichever one looks, a global war is a distinct possibility,

    Primarily because war is always the easy way out for bankrupt nations like the US.

    • Agree: Seamus Padraig
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