Donald Trump is doing something of which very few of us will ever understand the difficulty. For people used to blurting out whatever is on their minds, damn the consequences, it becomes even rougher row to hoe. Being of a similar mold and having attempted a run for office you quickly realize that there are some truths you hold close and can never reveal as they are one of many blocks of Kryptonite. The problem arises at some point where your natural nature breaks through and you start to speak one of those truths which must not be spoken and as they start to slip your lips you recover just short of the hidden nugget within which is the real poison to your campaign, so you quickly and abruptly end your sentence as smoothly as possible. The media, the darling little devils, are a devious lot and when they smell an opening, they are like jackals on carrion tearing at the carcass of the bedeviled thought seeking that hidden nugget. When Donald Trump complained about NATO, I got the sense that his problem was not the financial costs as he maintained upon further pressure from many media types. As Trump is closer to a third party candidate where there is no Republican running, he has been pestered and hammered from both ends of the media and his rather combative nature tends to allow for more unforced, though coerced or due to carefully laid traps, misspeaks and half-speaks leading him ever further down the rabbit hole, and wonderland is the worst place for a politician to end up as there it most certainly ends with the Red Queen screaming, “Off with his head,” pointing at them. And who wants to be executed by a horde of red animated playing cards? Such has been the NATO issue and the reason is far more potentially intriguing than the answers we have been giving, not that we disagree with having those nations incapable of providing the troops required to field NATO adequately to its demands having to pay the United States for making up the difference.
Thinking of what else Donald Trump might have been told which could include NATO it became obvious when it leaked into our ears, well, before our eyes really, the answer to the riddle and it concerns one of our pet problems with the world, Kurdish independence. The plan is to make Syria a collection of autonomous cantons with the Syrian government responsible solely for those items which cross the borders such as main roadways, money, national defense and others. The first canton mentioned was for the Kurds in the north and northeast of Syria. This was leaked as part of a report by respected Turkish journalist Mahmut Borzarslan who gave information we received in one of our memos from American Center for Democracy concerning a plan being brought forward initially in Syria by the Russians. The initial laying out of the plan while receiving all-out support by the Kurdish representatives was roundly dismissed as pure fancy with no hope of acceptance by the Syrian government of Bashir al-Assad be their position less tenable than they may yet realize. What makes this all the more interesting is that the Kurds would be natural allies to the United States as they have proven extremely helpful in Iraq allowing American forces to concentrate on the bigger problems while they basically ruled and kept straight the entire northern third of Iraq and assisted with the pacification of Mosul. Further, the Syrian Kurds, with assistance from their Iraqi cousins, have had the greatest success against the Islamic State defending their own held areas while liberating other areas with some of the toughest fighting coming for control of the city of Kobanê, which they accomplished with some assists in the form of targeting Islamic State positions with bombings, and a remarkably few at that. The Russians will soon point out that if Bashir al-Assad desires to remain among the living and rule over anything he will need to realize two things, he can only hope to rule an Alawite Canton and only that with the second, Russian assistance and if he desires the second he will need to accept the first. This he will understand even if the Russians need ground their planes, silence their artillery and retreat their forces to hold only Latakia and protect their naval instillations there.
There is no means on Earth which would make this idea acceptable to President Obama as his new best friend forever and darling of the Muslim Brotherhood since the fall of Egyptian President Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood government has been Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The removal of Morsi and his gang of undesirables proved the Egyptian people more knowledgeable than the United States President and State Department, the latter not that difficult a feat as it takes minimal common sense and does not require literacy, calling on even the military to retake power as they would be a kinder and more beneficent master. The added problem is where Donald Trump and NATO come into the picture. Turkey is a member of NATO due to their geography. They hold the southern front on Russia, formerly the Soviet Union and the reason for NATO, and control the Dardanelles, the waterway and series of straights leading from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean Sea and the world and also the Russian access to a warm water access to the Atlantic Ocean (see map below). Being a NATO member, Turkey could claim and likely verify terrorist threats against her by Kurds being aided and secluded by Syrian Kurds making a case for it being an act of war. As attacking Kurdish region of Syria would place Turkish fighter aircraft in space over Russian zones and might even draw Russian assistance to the Kurdish side as the Kurdish actions have aided Russian interests, they could demand military assistance under the NATO Charter. Should the United States enter such a conflict in even the smallest of means; one could bet the Kurds would have no alternative but to request Russian assistance even simply to provide air cover to prevent bombings as the Kurds have no air forces and likely minimal if any air defenses. Remember that Turkey has already downed a Russian fighter jet under somewhat questionable conditions and Russia is not a nation to forget such and jump at an opportunity to repay in kind and then some. This could quickly get out of hand with Russian and NATO, potentially including United States, aircraft in combat against one another. Does any rational person really want to see where such could lead?
For this reason and numerous others, it will be best left until after the United States Presidential Elections and the late January inauguration before any serious negotiations on such a solution can have any hope to progress. This is where Hillary Clinton can claim that Putin would prefer Donald Trump as both she and dear Vlad know theirs would be a tumultuous relationship at best and adversarial at the very least. If there is to be any cooperation between the United States and Russia on Syria and a host of other areas, then Donald Trump need be the next United States President. Hillary Clinton has already made it clear that her foremost foreign policy objective will be to humble and force Putin to bow before her will from the very first moments of her reign. This is also one of the main unspoken fears, dare we say horrors, many foreign policy theorists and experts foresee. The guaranteed irritant on so many trouble spots and potential disasters would result from a continuation of an American shirking of international responsibilities. Should America continue leading from ever further behind soon to never even arrive, added to a focus on pressing only Russia and President Putin frustrating him while continuing to arm “rebels” in Syria, could lead to an ever greater set of conflicts. Add the blindness to Islamic pressures and subversions would bring much of the ensuing violence down initially upon Europe and soon thereafter on the United States as well. As learned, or not, from both world wars, the United States sitting on the sidelines refusing to lead the powers of democratic governance, freedom and liberty against the powers of darkness and human bondage; be it physical, mental, spiritual or otherwise; only prolongs the insufferable carnage and adds, nay, multiplies the numbers of combatants and innocent civilians slaughtered and can even place the final outcome in doubt as was the reality in World War II where had the Nazis broken through Stalingrad and connected to the Arabian oil fields the outcome may have been very different. Of course should Donald Trump become complacent concerning the possible designs Vladimir Putin may be considering for Eastern Europe and many of the former Warsaw Pact nations, that too could lead in a very threatening and dangerous direction. Oh the trials and tribulations of trying to run the world with so many other actors filling the stage. The solution in Syria will never resurrect the visions of Bashir al-Assad and he may become the sole obstruction to an agreement all the other groups agree with once the Islamic State has been vanquished, an inevitability no matter who wins the election. Such a position would make Assad a problem for Russia, and even worse, for Putin which would make Assad no longer desirable. That would be a very nasty place to be standing surrounded by Russian military and special agents and further, Bashir al-Assad is not unreplaceable with a new and compliant Alawite leader and there are likely quite a few just waiting for such an opportunity. Assad should remember the Arab Code, “Me against my brother; me and my brother against our father; my family against my cousins and the clan; the clan against the tribe; and the tribe against the world. And all of us against the infidel.”
Beyond the Cusp