Syrian Peace Talks Resume
by Stephen Lendman
Talks resumed on Monday, February 10. Conflict resolution prospects are virtually nil. Washington bears full responsibility.
Obama wants war, not peace. He wants Assad's government toppled. In March 2011, he launched proxy war to oust him. So far he failed.
Syrian delegates arrived on Sunday. Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem heads them.
Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mikdad said talks will focus on Geneva I communique provisions. Top priority is ending terrorism.
It's unclear who's representing the opposition. According to Assad political/media advisor Buthaina Shaaban:
"We don't know who is representing those who came by the name of opposition, how many, and what is their relation to Syria."
According to Germany's international broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW), "a number of opposition groups refus(e) to back the talks."
"On Sunday, one of the largest, the National Coordination Body for Democratic Change, and the Syrian National Council (SNC) - a coalition of Syrian opposition groups based in Istanbul - said they would not participate."
Other reports indicated SNC participation. Coalition head Ahmad Jarba's involvement is unclear.
DW quoted an unnamed UN official saying "al-Moallem was so divisive in the first round, his presence will almost certainly prevent the two sides from making progress in the second."
UN/Arab League Syrian envoy Lakhdar Brahimi is intermediary for both sides. He's no honest broker. He's Washington's man. The name of Obama's game is regime change. More on this below.
On February 7, Brahimi gave both delegations an eight-page document. He urged them to stop fighting and discuss transitional governance.
He ignored what Syrians want. He left US intentions unaddressed. He said nothing about Washington-backed death squads ravaging Syria.
Their commitment to fight alone puts peace out of reach. Achieving it depends on defeating them. It won't happen diplomatically.
Days earlier, al-Moallem said moderate opposition forces don't exist, just terrorists. No tangible results were reached so far. Expect little resolution going forward.
SNC delegates lack "maturity and seriousness," said al-Moallem. "They acted as if we had wanted to come here for one hour and hand over everything to them. It's indicative of the illusions that they are living under."
"We represent the concerns and the interests of our people. We are a country. We have our government (and) institutions. We are willing to discuss, but for that we have to know the identity of the other side. Are they Syrians or are they not?"
Halting violence and combatting terrorism matters most, Shaaban stressed. Then preserving state institutions and finding a suitable environment for political discussions.
Finally transitional governance will be addressed. Syrians alone will decide their future. Outside interference is verboten. It won't be tolerated.
Opposition delegates take orders from Washington, Shaaban said. Obama wants regime change. In contrast, Russia is principled. It respects international law and Syrian sovereignty, she said.
According to the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA):
"She affirmed that the political solution to the humanitarian file in Syria lies in the stop of the terrorist war against the Syrian people, holding those who finance, arm and support terrorism in Syria responsible for the suffering of the Syrians, adding that terrorists take the civilians as human shields, trafficking with their lives and sufferings."
She "went on to say that Turkey and Qatar were the spearhead in the terrorist war against Syria before Saudi Arabia shouldered this mission, adding that these countries work with the orders of the US and the Brotherhood Government of Erdogan has behaved with a new Ottoman mentality."
Washington's announced decision to arm terrorists isn't new, she added. It's been ongoing since conflict began. CIA and US special forces are involved.
Shaaban believes Washington "doesn't want to tell the world that its (agenda) in Syria failed, as (it's) interested in (its) image rather than reality and it tries to search for specific exits for this issue, but (its) firm convection...now is that it will not be able to impose its vision on Syria, so it turns a blind eye on Saudi Arabia which finances terrorism in Syria."
Obama's dirty game will fail, she stressed. Most Syrians support Assad. They want no outside elements dictating policy.
Previous articles suggested Obama plans war on Syria. Talks are rigged to fail. Longtime US policy calls for toppling all independent governments. Replacing them with pro-Western stooge ones is planned.
In summer 2013, Obama planned full-scale aggression on Syria. False flag deception was used as pretext. Mass public opposition alone stopped him.
Toppling Assad by force was delayed. It wasn't foiled. Plans to remain firm. War is Obama's bottom line strategy of choice.
Pretexts are needed. They're easy to invent. They're a US tradition. Odds favor a major one ahead.
Peace talks are a convenient deception. Syrian intentions are sincere. SNC stooges lack legitimacy. They represent Washington.
It bears repeating. Talks are rigged to fail. Expect Assad to be blamed. Expect malicious anti-Syrian propaganda to continue.
Expect baseless accusations to persist. Expect Assad to be blamed for US-supported death squad crimes. Allegations about him "wiping civilian residences off the map" don't wash.
Nor accusing him of "industrial scale killing." He's defending his people responsibly. They depend on whatever protection he provides. They're defenseless without him.
Washington bears full responsibility for nearly three years of mass slaughter and destruction.
Syria is being systematically ravaged and destroyed. Billions of dollars are being spent to do so. Peace in our time remains ellusive.
Expect talks resolving nothing. Former Washington National Nuclear Security Administration Defense Nuclear Non-Proliferation official William Tobey sees efforts to resolve Syria's conflict failing.
"Its outcome," he believes, will "influence the outcome of nuclear negotiations with Tehran."
"The price of failure in Syria could be a doomed nuclear deal with Iran," he said.
Claiming it ignores Iranian intentions. Tehran wants long denied resolution. It wants its sovereign rights respected. It wants Syria's conflict ended. It wants Washington meddling stopped.
The road to conflict resolution is paved with US ill-intentions. Neocons infest Washington. They're prominent think tank members. They prioritize force. They abhor diplomacy.
Michael Doran is Brookings Saban Center for Middle East Policy senior fellow. He's a former Defense Department and National Security Council official.
"Pursue regime change in Syria," he urges. He said Obama's decision against direct US intervention "deeply disappointed the Syrian opposition and its major external backers."
He added that Assad's "goal of waging total war against the rebels remains unchanged." It bears repeating. He's protecting his people responsibly.
Peace depends on freeing Syria of US-backed death squads. Their leaders want war. They abhor peace. They're not participating in talks.
Doran called US policy "fickle, risk-averse and unreliable..." He claims without "more active (US) leadership (aka direct intervention), Syria will become a failed state."
He turned reality on its head saying so. He wants Assad toppled forcefully. He wants America in the lead doing so. He wants "a regime" installed "more representative of the Syrian population as a whole."
He ignores Assad's overwhelming popularity. He knows removing him politically is impossible. Direct US intervention alone can do it.
He claims "Iran has exploited the Syria conflict to expand its influence throughout the region." He wants America to be "the dominant voice in all Syria discussions."
He urges a "robust US strategy aimed at regime change...to achieve our goals in the Middle East."
He stopped short of explaining them. They involve achieving US imperial dominance. Longstanding plans call for creating an arc of violence and instability.
Washington wants it extended throughout much of the region. It calls for redrawing the Eurasian map.
It includes balkanizing Iran, Syria, Libya, Iraq, Lebanon, Afghanistan and other Middle East states.
Divide and conquer is longstanding US policy. Former Yugoslavia is Exhibit A.
Strategy calls for exploiting valued resources. It wants neo-serfs replacing free people. It wants unchallenged militarized control. It wants war when other strategic methods fail.
Doran represents the worst of neocon extremism. Obama administration hardliners are likeminded. The road to Tehran runs through Damascus.
If past is prologue, expect direct US intervention ahead. When remains to be seen. Launching it is one false flag deception away. It could come any time.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.