Until this past week’s hot button topic of a looming government shutdown, the Syrian conflict and its “surprising developments” towards peace have dominated national and social media outlets for weeks. Nearly 3 weeks ago, a military assault on the pesky Assad regime was all but at All Systems Go until Russia devised a witty and diplomatic savvy plan to ensure peace and ensure further “atrocities against humanity” as if the 100,000+ lives taken in this conflict wasn’t atrocious enough.

Surprisingly The West jumped on the opportunity to avoid a potentially dogmatic military conflict in the tensest region in the world, teetering on socio-religious implosion. It’s a move no one really wanted to make but rhetorically compelled to ensue being bound by the “red line” standard the US and Israel established last year. Military action was warranted and had to be demonstrated on face value alone with Iran waiting in the wings with baited breath, gaging every move. And so with Russia’s last minute ditch effort for peace, all seemed well on the Western font; the US wouldn’t have to bear the brunt of bullying the Middle East, Syria would give up their chemical weapons and for Assad, he stays in power another day. Yet the biggest winner of them all is actually Russia, the puppet master of the entire play and potential benefactor for its “diplomatic sensibility” in the region. What does Russia stand to gain in all of this? Everything, plain and simple.

Russia’s call to diplomacy and common ground approach to avoid a military strike wasn’t a last minute effort for resolution, but a strategic plan in a global economic plan to control Europe. No one wants peace and for Assad to remain in power in Syria more than Putin and for good reason. Russia’s largest naval port outside of its homeland is located in Tartus, Syria. It is quite strategic to solidifying naval dominance in the region and close enough to be a viable threat to US and Israeli military interests in the area. Since the Cold War days, Tartus has served Russia as a key post for naval repair, technical posts as well as landing/lift off points in case of military conflict. But most importantly Tartus is key to ensuring uninterrupted natural gas service to the region as well as Europe, providing logistical and maintenance support. Russia accounts for around 40% of natural gas and crude oil supply to Europe with 12 pipelines and counting through various regions.  Russia has thrown its weight before, holding Europe hostage in years past, threating a complete cut off to the continent barring unfavorable intervention with its military conflict with Georgia in late 2008.

Europe subsided and Russia had its way in its military operations with its long standing foe. Little did many know, that this conflict was in actuality a political “dry run” in a sense of test of power for a rejuvenated  Kremlin as Putin both continued to solidify his dominance in Russian politics, as its first ever PM, and establishing a hard line of political respect to an awakened former super power. This maneuver gave credence to a regional agenda that would eventually have global implication, thus setting the stage for another exercise of power in the current Syrian conflict. Plain and simple, the West and its allies have been check mated in this conflict. Syria and Russia, best of friends have strategically ben able to appease the general global community all the while continuing to exterminate political enemies uninterrupted. Here in this conflict we have fact and evidence of unprovoked slaughter of over 100,000 civilians and multiple cases of use of chemical weapons on the population with the last case dispersed by fighter in which it is established that the opposition has no access to.

No repercussion for these senseless acts, only a demand to declare and no request of regime change. With these facts being known, what was the purpose of Gadhafi’s take down? Gadhafi, you might ask? Similar accusations were made against his government with no actual or documented proof just looped video of civilian fighters shooting makeshift RPGs.  There was an “establishment” of an opposition party that lobbied the West for intervention but the question is where this coalition is today? No mention of this alliance government, since, please read between the lines. The bottom line principle in this conflict is the very same today in Syria, global economic agenda. Assad knows he has a friend in Putin, who has a friend in China, two permanent members of the UN who can deadlock any resolution against its friends and allies. An exercise of power, this only leaves the West to tiptoe around the conflict with its hands tied.

German Chancellor Merkel has been occupied with her own reelection and party’s political dominance in German all while sopping the financial bleeding of the EU. With an irritated Putin and projected harsh winter coming this fall, reduction in gas supplies to an already financially strapped EU would send wounded economies in the EU block over the edge. France is fighting its own immigrant issues with regular deportation of the Roma (Gypsies) and is facing international human right discrepancies in handling of the situation therefore leaving President Hollande an open target to French democratic socialists back at home. Finally President Obama, facing a looming government shutdown, default of national debt if the debt ceiling is not raised next month as well as the threat of downgrading of the nation’s credit in its Moody’s rating leave the president hoping for a “peaceful” alternative with minimum US involvement. All of this is what you call a Scholar’s Checkmate, a four move check; Putin craftily made his moves all in about a 5 year span solidifying Russia as the resurging superpower to rival the west. We are now entering Cold War 2.0 and those caught between political rivals, the masses, can only hope to stay clear of the crossfire.