In these dark days when terrorism has become a strategic asset, to bump off a superior practitioner like Abu Bakr al Baghdadi has implications. Had he begun to serve the interests not of his original handlers but, possibly, their rivals?
What Erdogan has been offered is a poisoned chalice. This is clear as daylight in Trump’s own words. The tone is of malicious glee: “Turkey, Europe, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Russia and the Kurds will now have to figure the situation out.”
If war begins in Syria, it will be on absolutely trumped up charges about the use of poison gas by Bashar al Assad. Why would he gas his own people if he is, by all western assessments, winning the war? And how do White Helmets take perfect close-up pictures of injured children? How do they not get poisoned? Mine is a small voice but, having travelled to each one of the countries involved in the Syrian tragedy, I can say with all the conviction at my command: this war is being dragged on the basis of lies and for ulterior reasons.
The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammad bin Salman has once again given international affairs a twist which has caused a hush to descend on the world centres of power.
The mad pursuit for a New Middle East, repeatedly thwarted, keeps resurfacing, hydra-like. The driving force behind the neocon dream has metastasized into all sorts of outlandish and frightful scenarios. Has the strategic community forgotten founder of Blackwater, Eric Prince’s idea of “governing” Afghanistan exactly as the British governed India in early 20th century – under a “Viceroy”.
“In Syria” Friedman recommends, “Trump should let ISIS be Assad’s, Iran’s Hezbollah’s and Russia’s headache.” In other words, let the IS be a Western asset.