Press TV has talked with Webster Griffin Tarpley, author and historian from Washington, to discuss the latest state of affairs on the battle ground in Syria.
What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview.
Press TV: Webster Griffin Tarpley, let us first talk about army’s advancements. The Yabrud win closing supply routes for insurgents from Lebanon and of course the army killing recently, many of the insurgents.
It seems like the insurgents are being defeated and of course they are retreating. Is this the endgame for them?
Tarpley: Well, it may be. It may be certainly that it is going to be the military end of the rebellion some time this year, perhaps some time in 2014; that cannot be excluded.
If we look at Yabrud, this is roughly comparable to the liberation of Qusayr last June. So it is a very heavy blow to the logistics and the various infiltration pathways of these rebels coming in from Lebanon. It also frees that critical Damascus to Homs highway, which I have been up and down a number of times and this was a position that allowed that to be blocked.
There was also some talk in the newspapers here of a spring offensive by the rebels but that has apparently not come about and instead it is all going the other way.
If we look at that military front we will see that the moves by the United States and indeed by the Israelis are taken from a position of weakness. The closing of the embassy and the consulate here in the United States, I think is a pathetic, impotent gesture. Everybody knows that the goal was regime change the whole time; that is not news and then at the same time you have also got the Israelis coming out and once again showing that they are in effect, the al-Qaeda air force bombing some installations of the Syrian army.
So it also has got to do with the Crimean crisis. About ten days ago here the Washington Post headline was that Assad is benefiting from the clash over the Crimea in the sense that Assad now is an absolutely indispensable ally of Russia and he feels unhampered, unfettered to do everything that is militarily necessary, everything that is militarily advantageous and he does not have to worry about, perhaps, offending some factions in the Russian foreign ministry; because whatever those problems ever were, I do not think they were ever that significant, that is all over now.
The fronts have hardened and Russia needs Assad significantly more and he of course needs Russia. So on the whole it is a very grim perspective for the rebels and we can add in there that the Saudis are feuding with Qatar, there is a big fight over Aljazeera and you have even got the Nusra brigades in northern Syria ousting the Islamic Emirate of Iraq and Sham (the Levant). So there is a tremendous disarray in the logistical pipeline of the rebels and we can even add in that the Turkish government is more and more reluctant to let the terrorist logistics go through Turkey. So on the whole, the spring campaigning season of 2014 starts very grim for the rebels.
Press TV: Well, let us talk about some of the points that you made Webster Griffin Tarpley; there are a few of them.
First of all you talked about Saudi Arabia, now we know that when the Saudi Interior Minister Muhammad Bin Nayef went to Washington, he talked to Obama. There is lots of analysis made on that visit in terms of how, first of all, obviously the Syrian file taken away from Bandar, given to Nayef.
But what I found interesting was one analysis that says that actually, the United States and Saudi Arabia are now closer together regarding Syria; that they are actually are going to coordinate themselves when it comes to the Islamic Front, spearheaded by Saudi Arabia, these groups under this umbrella group by the Islamic Front; and they are going to start, if they have not already, many say they have; giving them the game changer weapons.
But the problem is, this analysis came out on February 23 and now we are looking at March and things have changed on the ground. Is there any chance that Saudi Arabia and the US are going… well, not chance but are they still under the impression that this war can be won militarily when by all other accounts it is a war that should be won on the political side?
Tarpley: I think that what we see here is, first of all from the point of view of military reality in terms of the actual relations of forces, it is kind of, late in the day to think that you can come in with secret weapons or wonder weapons and somehow transform the situation.
I do not think that is realistic, but naturally the ruling elite of the United States…, and unfortunately we have this Secretary of State John Forbes Kerry who comes from this infamous Skull and Bones secret society and Yale University in New Haven, which has caused so much destruction and so many disasters for the United States over the last 100 years with their mismanagement.
My view is that these people are, actually, collectively insane, that Kerry marks a step down from somebody like Condoleezza Rice. Condoleezza Rice of course was a liar, she was a blatant barefaced liar but I think that she generally knew that she was lying.
In the case of Kerry I do not know if he realizes that he is actually lying and when he says things like: Russia attacked Georgia or when he says that all casualties, everybody who is killed in Syria, is automatically a victim of Assad, when we know that there are terrorist death squads who have engaged in cannibalism and so forth.
We can see that this is a group of people, who have lost connection to reality, right? There is a debate about that, who is living in reality and who is not…
In terms of the specifics of shutting down the embassy, the US pretext in the past six months was, we are concerned about chemical attacks on civilians.
Well, if that were true, you would want to keep a Syrian embassy here in Washington functioning so that you could coordinate the details of eliminating these chemical weapons and the fact that you, in a fit of rage, because things are going poorly from Crimea to other points of the world, you simply say well are going to punish you by shutting those all down; inadvertently that does reveal, as the Russians say, that the question of chemical weapons is purely a pretext and I would sent everybody to read Seymour Herch’s article which is, somebody who is not a friend of Syria, I do not think; but Seymour Herch has written about how when Kerry and Obama made that charge back in august and September they knew that this was a lie, they knew that there was no way that Assad could have given that order because apparently the NSA phone taps and other surveillance on Assad was so seamless that any such order would have been detected and they knew that that had not been done.
The mentality of the Saudis I guess is also rather unstable; this feud that they have with Qatar, this argues for a very unrealistic and perhaps somewhat apocalyptic frame of mind.
Press TV: Well, I would imagine, Webster griffin Tarpley, that this is very difficult fallout between Russia and the west and the US regarding this situation in Ukraine.
So I am going to turn our focus into the other player that is involved here and see whether this would be a possibility and how Iran could perhaps became more of a player, given the fact that you have this fallout with Russia and the US and the West.
Tarpley: Well, certainly the events in Syria, that the Syrian army has benefited from certainly, advisors and other forms of assistance coming from Iran, which is perfectly understandable that Iran would want to help a friendly and neighboring country.
It seems to me right now, that the entire ideological situation has turned over; in other words it has been transformed now in the past week or two primarily by the action of Putin in arranging the ingathering of Crimea, as the Russians would put it that Crimea has now returned to the Russian Federation, I would stress that that is a defensive move, that that was a response to a fascist coup d’état in a country which has been a traditional avenue of invasion of Russia from the days of Napoleon and Hitler. So it seems to me now that the Russian foreign ministry has to look at the world and say: Well, who is going to be with us and who is going to be against us? And certainly Syria and Iran would be two countries in the Middle East that would potentially be on the side of Russia.
I believe we have recent news of perhaps two new contracts for nuclear reactors, which are going to be built with Russian assistance in Iran.
I think that the fundamental absurdity is that Russia participates in the economic sanctions against Iran and I remember when I heard that for the first time I could not believe it, I could not imagine that kind of folly and that was back in the days of Medvedev; perhaps that was the reason, but I do not see how Russia is going to maintain itself in an international sanctions regime against Iran at the same time that you have got the West, the United States and the European Union engaging in these very destructive and really futile economic sanctions against Russia.
So I think that the anti-Imperialist front, if you will, is going to become more solid and some of those contradictions are going to be pushed aside.
Press TV: Webster Griffin Tarpley in one minute or less your reaction to George Lambrakis, in closing.
Tarpley: Frist of all, the notion of Imperialism, if you do not know anything about the historiography of the 19th century, 20th century, you cannot analyze anything unless you realize that there is such a thing as imperialism and this is not the monopoly of the communists and I am certainly not a communist.
The notion of a political settlement, this may be flawed now, especially after what has happened in the past week. If we want to look at the American Civil War, there was no political solution, there was a military solution and that came about because the foreign supporters of the confederacy Britain and France, were deterred by Russia from intervening on the side of the south.
In the Russian civil war, it was the entante powers, mainly Britain and France, but they were prevented from intervening because they were afraid of mass strikes and upheavals at home.