12 September 2013, 17:32

Obama’s Nobel Prize to be switched to Putin?

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Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama

Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama

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Barack Obama's aggressive stance regarding military intervention in Syria has caused many people to wonder whether the US President deserves his Nobel peace prize. At the same time, a few experts have already raised the suggestion that Vladimir Putin’s peace initiative on Syria should earn the Russian President a Nobel peace prize. The Voice of Russia discussed these possibilities with Pepe Escobar, a roving correspondent for the Asia Times, who has extensively covered Central Asia and the wider Middle East since 9/11. He has recently published a book ‘Obama Does Globalistan’.


What did you make of Putin's article? Do you agree with his warnings?

Well, thanks for having me, first of all. And that's the voice of reason. Mr. Putin is playing political chess at the highest level. And Mr. Obama at the moment is playing checkers with himself and losing. So that's more or less what's going on. It's very important to have Mr. Putin addressing American public opinion via New York Times, as since 2003 at least the journalistic standards are absolutely appalling, because there's always a war that they like anywhere in the world as far as US military is involved.

But Mr. Putin is developing his arguments for over 2,5 years now. There's no possible solution for the Syria apart from a diplomatic process, which of course Russia has been encouraging for months, for over a year, in fact. And lately via the Geneva II Conference between Mr. Lavrov and Mr. Kerry it was being discussed and then it has been postponed for 3 months and it's going to be postponed forever, because the opposition doesn't want a diplomatic process.

They want a bombing. So considering now that Mr. Putin basically checkmate Mr. Obama – that's absolutely sure even for impartial American observers, there are not many, but they do exist, at least in mainstream media – the next step would be discussing the details of how to supervise the chemical weapons transfer from Syria to the organization for the protection of chemical weapons.

The only people capable on the whole planet to take care of nuclear weapons and destroy them are the Russian military and the American military. So this is ultimately a discussion between Moscow and Washington. This could go on for weeks, if not months. At least the crazy possibility of Damascus bombing is postponed, but now the ball is strictly between Moscow and Washington.

And this could take years, in fact. We wonder, what's going to happen, because the powers that are financing this adventure of Syria, they are not going to give up so easily.

Kerry and Lavrov are meeting in Geneva. Is it possible a peace deal could be signed or designed today? Or how long will that take?

It's a very good question. I'd say the roadmap is possible. And, as I said, it's an extremely complex and long-term process. Considering that Mr. Lavrov and Mr. Kerry had been discussing that over three months now, they have a good understanding.

Mr. Lavrov is one of the top diplomats in the world. He's teaching diplomacy to Mr. Kerry. But at least a roadmap is possible and maybe they will advance the concrete possibility of having the Geneva II Conference maybe next month or maybe before November.

That's the only possible roadmap, otherwise we're going to have the Obama administration and the hawks around Washington pushing for war on 24/7 as they have been doing for the past few months.

Putin calls for piece, Obama maintains a strike is still possible. Who looks stronger? What are the obstacles still in place between Russia and the 'opposing force' to a military intervention - and the US and the striking force?

The problem is - when you look at the overall thinking around the US, of course, Russia and Mr. Putin are viewed as sort of new evil in the mentality of Cold War. The problem is now it is Cold War against Russia - and China! And they still haven't decided who they want to attack first. And there are BRICS countries as well. And there is a strategic partnership between Russia and China. And now they're closing the strategic partnership with India and Brazil as well.

So the vote of the BRICS against the war in Saint Petersburg summit was absolutely graphic, showing that the era of the Bush administration, for instance, where they can simply bypass everybody and launch an illegal war - it's over. And obviously the Obama administration and even the humanitarian imperialists in it got the message. And, on top of it, Obama was saved from himself, from the red line that he drew recklessly a year ago by Mr. Putin! Otherwise, he was on the brink of launching an unprovoked attack totally illegal in terms of American law, international law with no legitimacy, no public opinion, no support for it even inside the US - he would implode his presidency and he owes the non-imposing to Mr. Putin. So obviously they have to sit down, discuss a solution.

The problem is - in the UN Security Council if they go on with the idea of passing a resolution signed to Chapter 7 which is basically a passport to war once again, it's not going to work, because Russia and China will veto it. So Mr. Lavrov and Mr. Kerry they have to start discussing a framework involving the organization for the protection of chemical weapons. This doesn't have to go through the UN. The UN doesn't know how to do this. There's the only organization that does that. So if Syria signs the protocol to adhere to the treaty about nuclear weapons and hands over to this organization how to control the dismantling which is probably going to be a Russian-American joint operation, then we have the roadmap to deal with this particular problem.

But we still have the larger picture which is regime-change in Syria. Don't forget that this is also an Obama red line. For 2.5 years now Obama has said, "Assad must go." So he already lost his credibility on the first red line, in fact. So they will continue to try to push for a regime change. At the UN it's not going to happen. They were even thinking about bypassing NATO to give you an idea of how completely isolated the Americans, the British and the French are. The Germans were against it and some of the other NATO countries were against it as well.

Syria's opposition finds it very irritating that the US have put off plans for a strike. What does that say to you?

"They are absolutely furious, especially because of what has been happening over the past 2,5 months. Before that most of the Free Syrian Army gangs were controlled by Qatar and Qatar basically wanted the Muslim Brotherhood post-Assad environment in Syria.

Saudi Arabia was more or less in the background, but then they got really-really angered that this wasn't going anywhere. King Abdullah appointed Bandar bin Sultan, Director of National Intelligence. And everything changed. Bandar convinced everybody in Washington that he was in charge and now he is in charge, like he was in charge of most of the jihad against the Soviets in 1980s in Afghanistan. He's extremely devious, cunning, well-connected and with unlimited pockets. So he devised the strategy that has been applied for the past two or three months in Syria, which is "take no prisoners", "everything goes", including a false-flag operation.

In one of my pieces I outlined the possibility that this was made with kitchen sarin gas that came from Iraq and some of these weapons were apprehended by the Iraqi Defense Ministry. Under interrogation they confessed that they had transferred some of it to Damascus, so this was the kitchen sarin that was used in the attack.

It makes a perfect sense in terms of organization a false-flag operation. And this can be tied practically directly to Bandar bin Sultan. He wants a war, because it's a blow against Iran, it's a blow against Hezbollah simultaneously and if they have regime change they can have sort of puppet in Damascus.

It has been suggested Obama's Nobel Peace Prize should be given to Putin or Lavrov. What do you think?

I'd love a public opinion referendum all over the world on this particular notion. I'm sure Mr. Putin will win hands down, to say the least.

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