International relations quite frequently go through such days. Mostly, at this time of increased systemic mobility, explained by analysts by either the decline of American power, either the exponential growth of China, either by the explosion of informational era (the second industrial revolution). But also, because of special acceleration of the evolution of events, while also considering their immediate communication ‘urbi et orbi’.
There are days, at this stage of the system, when time is compressed to the most and events register at a speed that, previously, at the time of the first industrial revolution, required years and perhaps decades to occur.
One such day of the new era is Monday, September 28, 2015, of this week. At the UNO General Assembly, the traditional annual assembly, honoured this time by the celebration of 70 years since the foundation of the international institution, some of the leaders expected to offer speeches were those of the USA, China and Russia. An understandable nervousness was noticeable mostly while awaiting to see what Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin had to say. The positions they adopted would grant a certain level of accuracy to the rumours (circulated even by sophisticated analyses, conducted by well-known names), regarding a major deal between the two leaders, Obama and Putin, on the Syrian file. A file that was inaugurated in 2011, when, in Syria, in the circumstances of the Arab Spring the popular riots met the violent repression of the Bashar Assad regime. From that point on, the two former Superpowers of the Cold War placed themselves on irreconcilable opposed positions: Russia supported the Assad regime, both due to Russia’s decade- long traditional position towards the regime’s orientation and due to particular ingredients added by the passing of time: maintaining Russia’s sole military base at the Mediterranean Sea, at Tartus, in Latakia region, a feud of the Alawite regime; Moscow repositioning itself as unavoidable player in the volatile region of the Middle East, therefore recovering the position it once lost as USSR crashed; avoiding the contagion in Russia (that has a considerable Muslim minority) of the militant Islamism that has found fertile soil now, in a Syria devastated by civil war.
On the other hand, the USA, loyal to its commitment and responsibility to protect the population enslaved by a merciless regime of physical extermination, is determined to remove the Assad regime and to assure an inclusive ruling to Syria, free of multiple terrorist forces that have taken advantage of the internal war in this country to multiply massively, expanding to Iraq and also to the countries millions of Syrians have sought refuge in (Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt), and even, perhaps, in the waves of emigrants to Europe that have arrived these days. When, in August 2013, based on an amplification of the Assad regime’s tendency to commit massacres, USA were prepared to intervene with terrestrial forces, Russia negotiated the disarming of Governmental Syria of mass destruction chemical weapons, which saved the Assad regime. The appearance of IS, the so-called Islamic caliphate, next year, exponentially increased the heat in the Middle East. The situation got all the more complicated due to the cautious positions adopted both by Turkey and Saudi Arabia, adversaries of the Assad regime, powerfully supported by Tehran and Hezbollah militias in Lebanon sponsored by Tehran, as well, but also by the massacre policy of IS. By the end of the year 2014, almost half of Syria’s population, about ten million people, were either refugees in their own country, either abroad (almost five million people), in Turkey (two million), Lebanon (1.4 million at a population of almost five million), Jordan or Egypt. Since the spring of 2015, these masses of immigrants headed to Europe, and therefore, one wave of immigrants followed the other in August and September, sinking the entire European Union into the most devastating crisis ever, yet unfinished. A solution must be sought, IS must be attacked and destroyed, the coalition created by the USA becomes active, UK forces start aerial bombing in Syria, targeting terrorist camps, French forces join them. In the meantime, Russia had sunk into a complete isolation by the Western countries, who punished it this way for the annexation of Crimea and the aggressions in Eastern Ukraine, with economical sanctions that instantly showed their effects upon Russia’s economy and the living standards of the population.
Ceasing these sanctions had become an emergency, just like breaking the isolation practiced by the West (the USA and the EU). Another thing to cause Moscow serious concern was the Jihadist activism in Caucasus, where IS had proclaimed a component region. The fear of those who had joined IS and could spread at any time between the Ural Mountains and the Atlantic became common to both the West and Russia. In this context of events, the Ukrainian crisis entered a stage of stabilization and exited the radar of public opinion, while crushing IS became everyone’s common objective. It is the time ・in the first decade of September 2015, when Russia sent their own military forces (hunting aircrafts, bombs and approximately 2,000 soldiers) in Syria, thus joining the West in the battle against IS. With the enormous difference that Moscow was fighting besides Assad, and the West, besides internal Syrian forces and the IS (while decimating IS by aerial bombing, though), struggling against Assad’s official Damask. It was a conundrum that could not last. Rumours in the last few days have grown in persistance, especially connected to a meeting between Obama and Putin, in New York. But before this meeting, Monday occurred, and both leaders held their speeches and then met face to face, for a long awaited moment, with results that cannot stop being questioned. What were their messages?
Here are a few notices selected on Twitter of the most important phrases and messages contained in the speeches of the two leaders directly involved in the Syrian file: “US ready to use force unilaterally when necessary: @BarackObama at #UNGA2015 Multilateralism takes hit! pic.twitter.com/Uml5heGxMP „ ; “I stand before you today believing in my core that we…can not return to the days of conflict and coercion.” — Obama #UNGA2015 (tjholmes.net)”; “No matter how powerful our military, how strong our economy…the United States cannot solve the world’s problems alone.” —@POTUS #UNGA” ; “We cannot stand by when the sovereignty and territorial integrity of a nation is flagrantly violated” —@POTUS on Russia and Ukraine #UNGA” ; “No matter how powerful our military, how strong our economy…the United States cannot solve the world’s problems alone.” —@POTUS #UNG” ; Carl Bildt: “Important by Phil Gordon on Syria. Favours a policy shift, although there are numerous hurdles ahead then as well. politico.eu/article/syria-It’s time to rethink Syria:For years , I helped advise Pres Obama on Syria. It’s now clearer than ever that a new strategy is needed „ ;
“We cannot stand by when the sovereignty and territorial integrity of a nation is flagrantly violated” —@POTUS on Russia and Ukraine-@POTUS #UNG; John Kerry @JohnKerry Sep 28 John Kerry Retweeted Department of StateAs @POTUS said, we are willing to work with any nation –including #Russia & #Iran- to resolve conflict in #Syria. “ ; @JohnKerry Sep 28 Important comments from @POTUS this morning on #Iran. Nations succeed when they pursue peace within borders, work cooperatively beyond.; Ibid.: Sep 29 Eliminating ISIL will take time, but, as @POTUS said, #CVE Summit today marked emergence of movement united in degrading, destroying ISIL.;Ibid.: Sep 29 Eliminating ISIL will take time, but, as @POTUS said, #CVE Summit today marked emergence of movement united in degrading, destroying ISIL: Ibid.: If #Russia’s actions reflect a genuine commitment to defeat ISIL, we are prepared to welcome those efforts.; John Schindler Putin wants all countries to have their “own development model” and not feel pressured to conform to others. How about #Ukraine? #UNGA 9:08 AM – 28 Sep 2015 ; #UNGA Putin is being his usual Projecting Chekist self. Sadly, his critique of Obama & West on ME contains more than mere grains of truth.
9:12 AM – 28 Sep 2015;John Schindler Putin’s now going big in his appeal for a Kremlin-led “common values” coalition against ISIS. Compares it to the anti-Hitler coalition. WOW!; Ibid: Putin made his position clear: Support Russia in “fixing” Syria and Iraq or we’ll do whatever the hell we want anyway. Obama is powerless. 9:25 AM – 28 Sep 2015 ;Ibid.:, retweeted by Edward Lukas :Putin mentions Yalta….because screw you, Eastern Europe 9:03 AM – 28 Sep 2015;Ibid: Vladimir Putin Explains To The UN Why The World’s Chaos Is Not His Fault Either – Live Feed zerohedge.com/news/2015-09-2…; @DeptofDefense 29 sept.In brief .@PentagonPresSec announces following #UNGA, #SecDef directed his staff to open lines with Russia to deconflict on Syria.
It is obvious that the day of September 28, 2015 will remain very important in the history of systemic evolution. There is already an active cooperation in Syria of the two grand powers, which were presently in utter contradiction concerning other parts of the system such as Ukraine (did the Eastern war end here, as separatists had announced?). Yet, will this cooperation last? Will it be efficient? Will it lead to any solution in Syria or did Russia just over-expand? How is the Ukrainian file related to this cooperation? There are countless question on the public agenda, following September 28, 2015.