By MARK LANGFAN
When you boil Syria down to its principal players, there are only three: Russia, the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran. With Assad’s chemical attack, people have been misdirected from the reality by blaming the powerless Assad. But Assad doesn’t move without direct Iranian permission. So, the real question is why did Iran launch a chemical weapons attack?
The answer is simple: Iran desperately needs Russia and the United States to get into a hot war in Syria so as to enable Iran to pick up the shattered pieces. In contrast, the United States and Russia desperately need each other to defeat Iran’s waxing neo-Safavidic Empire from stretching from Iran to the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.
In order to see why Iran is attempting to foment a Russia/US battle, one has to boil the Syrian theater into the child’s hand-against-hand game of ROCK/PAPER/SCISSORS-shoot. When one child flashes PAPER against the other child’s ROCK, the “paper” envelops and beats the rock. When one child flashes PAPER against the other child’s SCISSORS, the scissors cuts and beats the paper. When one child flashes SCISSORS against the other child’s ROCK the rock smashes and beats the scissors.
Russia is the “rock,” Iran is the “paper,” and the United States is the “scissors.”
Iran’s strategy is to envelope Syria like a piece of paper, topologically combining Iran’s Iraqi “paper,” along with Iran’s Hezbollah/Lebanon “paper” to form a patchwork-quilt Shiite Empire spanning from Iran/Persia through Iraq, and Syria, and Lebanon into the Mediterranean Sea. As an example of this, Iran just announced it was to build a trans-Iran/Iraq/Syria/Lebanon railroad.
Russia is the “rock” trying to bash the Sunni opposition to pieces in order to carve-out its eastern Mediterranean naval outpost and military enclave.
The United States, through Secretary of Defense Mattis, under the strategic cover of defeating Daesh in Eastern Syria is the “scissors” against Iran’s “paper” Shiite Empire. The United States with its indigenous allies is trying to efficiently occupy eastern Syria from the Kurds in the north to Jordan in the south. By topologically “cutting” off Iran’s patchwork piece of paper, Iraq, from Iran’s patchwork piece of paper, Syria, the United States is attempting to defeat Iran’s waxing paper Shiite Imamate.
Before Iran’s chemical attack in the name of Assad, the western Syrian rock strategy of Russia, and the eastern scissors strategy of the United States were avoiding each other, complementing each other, and together quietly weakening the whole Syrian paper envelopment strategy of Iran. This was great for Russia and the US, but bad for Iran. Iran saw the United States’ cutting its patchwork-quilt in two in eastern Syria as an existential threat to the grand strategic arc of its contiguous Mesopotamian/Levantian/Mediterranean swatch of Empire. Therefore, Iran had to do something to instigate a hot war between the United States and Russia. And presto, Iran bombs civilians with Sarin using Assad’s planes, Assad takes the fall, and Russia and the United States are escalating against each other.
Russia and the United States urgently need each other to thwart Iran’s scheme to control the Middle East. It is in both Russia’s and United States’ worst strategic interests to allow Iran to become the colossus of the Middle East.
Syria is big enough for Russia and the United States to find a modus vivendi and live with each other, allowing each to achieve strategic goals. Russia and the United States have a mutually exact goal if both aim to defeat the ISIS Sunni Caliphate and the Iranian Shiite Imamate. To defeat both Islamic radical terror threats requires Russia and the United States to work together, and not fight each other. In the current war against both Sunni and Shiite radical Islamic terror, the United States and Russia are critically necessary for one another as allies, not inimical enemies.
(Mark Langfan is the chairman of Americans for a Safe Israel (AFSI) and specializes in security issues. He has created an original educational 3-D topographical map of Israel.)