A Syria/Berliner ensemble: Escobar
BERLIN–Oh I love the sound of a Su-24 bombing “Caliphate” goons in the morning. Smells like…victory. Well, not really. Because we, the Masters of the Universe, are not doing the bombing.
I’m waiting for my man with twenty-six devalued euros in my hand right beside the embassy of the Empire of Chaos, which looks sideways at the Brandenburg Gate. All around, major preparations for the “festivities” celebrating the 25th anniversary of German reunification.
Autumn breeze, gorgeous sunny day, a long walk by the Spree and across Tiergarten. Ich bin ein Berliner. Well, my generation’s always been, since JFK immortalized it. All those crossings to the “evil” side. You are leaving the American sector. Fear and loathing – and Dadaist dementia – in the DDR. Traversing Kreuzberg in 1977 with a pre-Raphaelite valkyrie while Bowie was composing Low and Heroes – from Always Crashing in the Same Car to The Secret Life of Arabia — but we were too stoned to figure out where the flat he shared with Iggy Pop was.
And then we were all, always, crashing in the same conceptual car, as virtually every single key concept of the past 200 years was invented in Germany. And we owe as much to Hegel as to Schopenhauer, as much to Novalis as to Heine, as much to Holderlin as to Kant, as much to Bettina von Arnim as to Kraftwerk, not to mention that ultimate romantic joint suicide pact at lake Wansee, Kleist and Henriette Vogel. Sorry Foucault, Barthes, Lacan, Derrida, and even Deleuze, but without Nietzsche you would all be…bartenders?
And yet as I sipped a memory and desire martini at the Hotel Adlon I couldn’t get Syria out of my head. This was developing like a bad case of being (pleasantly) stuck inside of Berlin with the Syria blues again.
My man, a crack financial journalist, shows up with his delightful Made in Istanbul girlfriend brimming with Rabelaisian stories from Masters of the Universe financing of Nazism to the (private) secrets of the Fed and prime deep state revolving door material – over 200 pages of sources – for his forthcoming (summer of 2016) book. We stop for coffee at the Einstein, where the lovely waitress, oh so Berliner, instantly engages in a detailed discussion of Twin Peaks – damn good coffee! – as we’re joined by a crack film maker whose latest documentary on Franco-German Arte examines Saint Ronnie Reagan’s “secret” war on the USSR.
Then it’s off to the Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW), which within the framework of a fabulous long-term project, 100 Years from Now (investigating “the conditions that produce the temporal regimes of global capitalism today) has kindly invited me to talk about something Asia Times readers are quite familiar with: the New Great Game in Eurasia – with its accompanying New Silk Roads (listen to the podcast here; and don’t miss Margarita Tsomou’s devastating analysis of Greece as the “star” of inner-European colonialism.)
The “dreaming collective”
So many fabulous discussions at the HKW. How Germany “invented” adolescence – from Goethe’s Werther and Wagner’s Siegfried to 1960s California counterculture (echoes of the Lizard King: Die young, stay pretty, leave a beautiful corpse.) And the inevitable eternal recurrence of that tragic angel — Walter Benjamin, who conceptualized the “dreaming collective”; bourgeois culture from which history is totally absent. And when history evaporates what’s left is the (unregulated) madness of the commodity world; our world. Thus an abundance of projected collective dreams which fit right into the history of political terror.
Inevitably “dreaming collective” – and political terror – had to bring me back, once again, to Syria, where Russia, in roughly 48 hours, did more to smash the Wahhabi/Salafi-jihadi terror matrix than the coalition of dodgy opportunists in over a year and 6,000-plus “sorties.” So many wonders you can operate with a couple of Su-24s, decent sat intel, decent ground intel, and political will.
And then the bigger bang, not a whimper; the larger-than-life ridicule enveloping that tentacular industrial-military-security-intel complex that wastes 1.3 trillion a year.
Thus Full Spectrum Outrage; from neocons to neoliberalcons to “humanitarian” imperialists, everyone is absolutely fuming. It goes from “Putin plunges into a cauldron to save Assad” — no, dummies, the cauldrons will be laid out by Russia as traps for ISIS/ISIL/Daesh — to the new Russian “strategic blunder” (their new Afghanistan!) and the Pentagon weighing the use of “force” to “protect US-backed Syria rebels targeted by Russia.”
How dare the Russkies target “our” oh so “moderate” rebels? Our clean-cut al-Qaeda guys?
Instantly forgotten is that notorious August 2012 Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) paper that spelled out how the NATOGCC combo and Turkey were facilitating the emergence of a Salafi-jihadi “Caliphate” to speed up the “Assad must go” regime change operation.
And instantly forgotten is how Gen. Michael Flynn, who headed the DIA at the time, went on the record stating this was a “willful decision” by the Obama administration.
And then there’s CIA top honcho John Brennan recently testifying that the CIA was “alert” to the emergence of the fake “Caliphate” — and had “correctly” assessed its power by 2012. Good job! And yet by early 2014 – when ISIS/ISIL/Daesh had already captured Fallujah and parts of Ramadi — Obama was still deriding them as “a junior varsity of al-Qaeda.”
So neither the CIA nor Obama nor any node in the acronym soup of US intel really gave a damn about ISIS/ISIL/Daesh. Willful decision. Let them wreak havoc. Thus the long convoy of gleaming white Toyotas crossing “Syraq” to take Mosul undetected by the most sophisticated satellite surveillance system ever.
Everyone who knows anything about the “Syraq” theatre knows there are no “moderate rebels.” And now Moscow is showing how you fight the whole Wahhabi/Salafi-jihadi matrix; a mix of drones, sigint aircraft, and on the ground intel (of which the coalition of dodgy opportunists is sorely deprived.) It’s progressive — starting near the urban areas in the east and moving to the western desert. And it will be relentless, to include direct ground support to the Syrian Arab Army when the “recapturing of territory” phase picks up, side-by-side with aerial support. You are leaving the American sector.
Expect the information war, from now on, to be absolutely vicious. The neocon, neoliberalcon, “humanitarian” imperialist galaxy will be madly trying to sell global public onion a monster “dreaming collective”; as in Russia is “evil” because they bomb “our” rebels and — horror of horrors — kill civilians! We would never commit such unspeakable acts!
And then there’s the prime slapstick effect to coronate the farce; Saudi foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir – in the role of proverbial Empire of Chaos lackey — adamant that the House of Saud petrodollar hacienda would never accept the Russian effort to keep Assad in power. And if there’s no political solution, there will be further weaponizing of the non-existent “moderate” rebels.
Now that’s a flick to watch: the fearful/paranoid House of Saud picking a fight with the Russian Air Force. But leave that to kindergarten — and let’s see why the Empire of Chaos itself is even more paranoid than usual.
Lubitsch to the rescue
This Friday the “Normandy 4” format is back discussing that bankrupt IMF colony, Ukraine. Normandy 4 is France and Germany plus Russia and Ukraine. At stake is the EU possibly relaxing sanctions on Russia in early 2016.
The Empire of Chaos simply cannot allow the EU to support Russia in Syria – no matter the seriousness of the refugee crisis in Europe (precipitated, by the way, by Turkey, which released its “holding camps” en masse). The EU now wants – and needs – a Syria solution. The Obama administration still dreams of regime change; ISIS/ISIL/Daesh + refugees remain just a pesky detail.
Now imagine the EU eventually supporting Russia in Syria – if there is clear, substantial progress on the ground – and on top of it relaxing or ending those painfully counterproductive Ukraine-related sanctions; cue to inter-galactic fear and loathing trespassing the neocon, neoliberal, “humanitarian” imperialist combo.
But enough of this fake “dreaming collective.” So much to do. The Botticelli expo at the Gemaldegalerie. Revisiting the spectacular Asian collection of the Pergamon. A long stint at the Lubitsch café, under the sign of the cigar-smoking master and his doppelganger. Lubitsch said that a good film is “a mysterious film, with unsaid things.” If only we had a neo-Lubitsch to chronicle what’s left unsaid in all those regime change dreams. Heaven can’t wait.
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