Check or Checkmate?

I have continually proclaimed that Vladimir Putin plays Chess while all others play Checkers. Many seem confused by that statement. Most try to bring the discussion down to how bad Putin and Assad are for their countries, the region and the world at large.

This is not a discussion about anyone’s morality, ethics or honesty since living in a glass house we must be very careful.

This a discussion of what Syria is truly all about and the games being played at the expense of hundreds of thousands killed and millions displaced because truly at the end of the day


Millions of words have been written and uttered to discuss the serious situation. This missive will take us even further and try to simplify it to a level that all can grasp without getting mired in the minutae.

Remember I am a Chess player and predicted the moves that Putin would make in my latest book “44th A Presidential Conspiracy”. So let’s begin.

For several years the top supplier of natural gas to Europe has been Russia. It has meant billions (IAAM) and is the chief cornerstone of the Russian economy.

Qatar, Saudi Arabia and its ally (?), the United States, would like to replace the Russian pipeline with their own. The chief obstacle standing in the way is Bashar Assad, President of Syria. As an ally and recipient of Putin’s largesse, Assad has no interest in changing pipelines regardless of the Western money offered. So what to do? It is obvious he must be deposed, thus the Civil War.

The Syrian Civil War much like Egypt, Libya and dozens of other countries, finds its roots born in Langley, Virginia, home of the CIA. The so-called Freedom Fighters, patriots and democracy loving rebels are armed and trained by clandestine operatives of the West using locals as the front. This (MO) has been successful for decades. The US had no other super power to contest this recipe for turmoil until now. This time Russia has a vested interest, its pipeline. (IAAM) As the plot to arm, supply and otherwise encourage the rebellion and Civil War found itself floundering, due to Russia’s resupplying of the Syrian army, a new tactic had to be taken. The strategy remained the same, the removal of Assad. The tactic, however, was now the direct and open involvement of the US into the Syrian Civil War.

This became dangerous, however, since air strikes or boots on the ground could lead to the beginning of WWIII. So how do you openly attack the man you want out without making it appear so? That is simple; you create another enemy that happens to be conveniently occupying Assad’s territory – ISIS.

For the past few years the American public’s attention has been directed away from the Middle East. Mass bombing, mass killing, even US soldiers dying have left the front pages to be replaced by the Kardashians and Bruce Jenner’s sex change. How then do you turn the American public and even the world’s attention to a new terror and a new enemy that is a perceived threat to one’s everyday existence? You put a name and a face on terrorism (King George did it in the American Revolution, so did Hitler and now Obama) ISIS.

Again, however, you need something stunning to grab the world’s attention. Perhaps beheadings? Unfortunately, I’m sure this was discussed around the table at Langley. Saudi Arabia uses beheadings constantly so there was nothing new there. However, if the beheadings were of a Frenchman, Italian or even American and technically produced on a sound stage with lights, camera, action and perhaps a digital retake or two for the social media it might just go viral, grab the headlines and make the American public take their head out of the sand. In addition, a well placed social media campaign, to convince all that ISIS was moving to a neighborhood near them, the tactic just might work. Thus, the Liberal and more so the conservative airwaves heated up with encouragement to our President to “go get the bastards” no matter where they were located. It just so happens that they seemed to be located in a country crossed by a pipeline, ruled by a Dictator and supported by Russia. No matter. “Go get ‘em”.

In the event that an accident or two happens, meaning that government troops are killed or wounded in bombings, we extend our apologies. Assad likewise was fighting ISIS in addition to the western supported rebels. Not relevant says the US. Just stay out of our way. We are keeping ISIS out of Dayton.

If you get the sense that ISIS was simply a creation to legitimize the Western war on Syria you’d be getting closer to Putin’s position. This is where the Chess master showed his brilliance.

If ISIS is a worldwide threat that means it’s also a threat to Russia, Iran and China. So Putin declared let’s all band together and eradicate ISIS once and for all. Without waiting for the US, he immediately sent arms, planes and even men to Syria to begin the assault. An assault directed at the Western created ISIS, not the Assad supporting government troops. How does Obama, McCain and the others respond to a joint coalition agreement on terror? In the negative? If they do, the real Syrian strategy would be revealed, the pipeline. So Putin got into Syria first and has called it check. According to Obama, the terror must be eradicated wherever it is found. ISIS had a usefulness for awhile. More than likely will fade into the distance much like the “chemical weapons” that were our first excuse for intervention.

Chess can be a difficult game.
Sometimes, however, it’s made to look easy by a Master.
Check I will call. It may be premature, however, to call Checkmate.


Written by
With his passion for economics Bill Tatro has been entertaining audiences on the radio and in seminars for decades. Bill is an economist that provides weekly paid content to subscribers, and offers a free daily "lite" version as well.