This article came from Mr. G.B., and it was one of those "no-sooner-said-than-done" affairs. So allow me to explain. Just two days ago, on my weekly News and Views from the Nefarium video, I referred to a quiet meeting between the French, Russian, and German foreign ministers (Laurent Fabius, Sergei Lavrov, and Frank-Walter Steinmeir) in Berlin. The reason? Germany had green-lighted Russia's military intervention in Syria (not that the Russians needed it), and the foreign ministers of the European Big Three were doubtless meeting to "coordinate".
Other than this, the silence of the western media concerning this event, held in Berlin last weekend, has been deafening. One can understand why, for in my opinion it represents nothing less than a major geopolitical earthquake - a quiet one to be sure, but an earthquake nonetheless - for it represents a major rebuke of American foreign policy in the Middle East, and its effects on Europe with the growing refugee crisis. And though I did not state it explicity in that News and Views, it also represents an earthquake of a very different kind: a cultural earthquake. The Russian foreign minister, Lavrov, has reportedly said that "Europe is committing suicide." And perhaps at some level the governments of the major European powers have finally realized this. As the old adage goes, better late than never. The cultural implications will be with us for some time, but our focus remains on the geopolitical one for the present.
In that News and Views, I suggested that we'll know that there is a growing and concerted effort to rebuke American policy in the region if China becomes involved in the Syrian situation. In that light, ponder this one from Zero Hedge:
Before you ponder the Chinese implications though, consider those opening paragraphs and the hidden players that are implicated:
On Wednesday evening, we suggested that Vladimir Putin’s explicit promise to go ahead with airstrikes against terrorist targets in Syria with or without the help of the US effectively marks the end of Washington’s years-old effort to destabilize and ultimately remove the Assad regime.
The Kremlin's pronouncement came just a day after the mainstream media began reporting that Moscow and Tehran are coordinating their efforts on the ground (something which should come as no surprise to anyone) meaning any Sunni extremists and/or CIA-trained “freedom fighters” intent on seizing control of the country will now need to go through Russia and Iran, with the latter now seemingly willing to make the badly kept secret of its military support for Assad no secret at all.
Who are the hidden players? Well, as I suggested, they are Israel and Saudi Arabia, the latter being - it is no secret - a sponsor of some radical Islamicist groups. The failure of American policy in Syria, and the failure to overthrow Assad, means very definitely that the kingdom's position is now precarious, a conclusion highlighted by the fact that Riyadh has recently made significant overtures to... Russia, a very open admission that it perhaps sees the consequences of dwindling US influence and effectiveness in the region. A sign, too, perhaps, that it realizes it had better "make nice" or "be on the menu."
But what of China? As the article notes, the Chinese position in the UN Security Council on the Syrian position has been consistent and clear, and there is one thing to note about their position:
Mr. Wang Min(China) (spoke in Chinese): For over three years, the escalation of the conflict in Syria has inflicted deep suffering on the Syrian people and posed a serious challenge to the countries of the region and the international community. China has always maintained that all parties in Syria should respect human rights and international humanitarian law and prevent innocent people from being harmed during the conflict. China is firmly opposed to all violations of international humanitarian law or serious violations of human rights committed by all parties to the conflict in Syria. However, with regard to draft resolution S/2014/348, on which the Council voted earlier, China has some serious reservations.First, China believes that any action to seek recourse to the International Criminal Court (ICC) to prosecute the perpetrators of serious violations should be conducted on the basis of respect for State judicialsovereignty and the principle of complementarity. China is not a State party to the Rome Statute. China always has reservations concerning the referral by the Security Council of particular country situations to the ICC. This is our principled position. (My emphasis added)
Yes, "regrettably China's approach has not been taken on board" and so, more than a year later that approach might have just shifted to a strategy that involves direct military intervention on behalf of Assad.
For now, this is still in the realm of speculation as the story cited above certainly falls short of providing anything in the way of conclusive evidence for a claim that the Chinese military is set to intervene directly. That said, the last several weeks have proven that the situation in Syria is remarkably fluid and what seems far-fetched one day has the potential to become reality the next, which is why we contend that Xi Jinping very well may decide that Raqqa is as good a place as any to test out some of the equipment that was on full display in Beijing earlier this month.
Will China intervene? My personal guess is that at present, it will not do so. Chinese intervention would tip the scales so preponderantly against the West that it may bust the emerging "state consensus" building between Russia, France, and Germany over the matter, and hence be self-defeating in a sense. But that could change very rapidly, if China suddenly experiences fallout from the crisis in the form of growing Islamicist terrorism. But this assessment also comes with the implicit assumption that the Chinese government is not sufficiently "upset" over the policy bungling by Washington in the region. They know as well as anyone else that yesterday's Syrian "freedom fighters" are today's ISIS, a monster created by flows of money from Washington and from "elsewhere."
But non-intervention does not mean non-participation. China, as is evident from the quotations above, is definitely watching from the sidelines as an interested observer, and that puts pressure on Moscow, Berlin, and Paris to make good on their discussions. To put it country simple: a "caliphate" is of no benefit to anyone, least of all China.
And for those who doubtless are looking at all this from the standpoint of "the fulfillment of prophecy," a reminder: those interpretations themselves are the recent creations of moneyed interests and elements of "big oil", and are not the historical interpretations of mainstream denominations. So my traditional warning is again applicable: "the fulfillment is the deception."
See you on the flip side...