American Dissembling Over Syrian Peace Talks in Moscow / Sputnik International

http://sputniknews.com/columnists/20150128/1017448594.html

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WASHINGTON, January 28 (Sputnik) — Such policy makes Secretary Kerry’s support for Russia-sponsored negotiations between Syrian government and the opposition that are being held in Moscow these days particularly cynical.

As the Syrian Civil War enters its fourth year, diplomatic efforts continue in an effort to stop the fighting which has resulted in the deaths of over 200,000 Syrians. The announcement of American military training came just prior to new efforts by Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov’s call for a meeting in Moscow to try to resolve the crisis in a peaceful diplomatic manner.

The war in Syria traces its roots back to the Arab Spring protests of 2011, when opposition groups backed by American intelligence sought to overthrow governments throughout the Middle East.

Governments in Egypt, Libya, Yemen, and Tunisia were felled and regimes more friendly to American intervention and occupation were installed. Syria resisted this pressure, as the Assad government responded to the initial increasingly violent protests with military force.

Aggressive militarism was formally rejected by House of Commons, and Congressional opposition in America led President Obama to instruct Secretary Kerry to work with the Russians to pursue a diplomatic solution.

Diplomatic efforts in September 2013 achieved a quick victory as the Syrian government joined the Chemical Weapons Convention and destroyed their chemical weapons.

If there was progress at the end of 2013, it disappeared with the emergence of the militant Islamic army, IS.

Like the parties of the Arab Spring, IS is also allegedly receiving funds from Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

It is these two nations which were visited the weekend of January 17 by Senator John McCain, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee and the International Republican Institute, that are training opposition parties throughout the Middle East, but not in Saudi Arabia or Qatar.

Senator McCain is not visiting Saudi Arabia and Qatar to discuss stemming the flow of funds and weapons to ISIS, but rather to discuss the arming and training of another side in the Syrian Civil War.

According to Pentagon Spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby, the new Saudi and Qatari-funded opposition forces will battle the old Saudi and Qatari-funded ISIS forces before turning their guns “to work toward a political solution to the Syrian civil war.”

In December, Syrian National Coalition senior advisor Oubai Shahbandar said the equipment and training program “must prioritize equipping Syrian freedom fighters to take on Assad’s terrorist militias as well as Daesh,” suggesting a different ordering of enemies than Mr. Kirby provided.

Despite similar failures to train armies Iraqand Afghanistan and the obviously deadly effects of introducing more armed combatants into an already deadly Civil War, American diplomats, led by Secretary Kerry, are still claiming to want a peaceful solution in Syria.

After a Geneva meeting with UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura, Secretary Kerry reiterated his support for regime change in Syria as a precondition for any talks.

Secretary Kerry also suggests that by refusing to abdicate, President Assad’s presence is directly leading to an increase of terrorism.

Future talks, whether based in Geneva or Moscow, must include the quelling of the flow of arms and fighters into Syria. As the United States begins to actively train an army for the explicit purpose of military action against Assad with the support of the two gulf nations previously implicated in arming extremist fighters to overthrow the Syrian government, Kerry’s calls for peace appear hollow and deliberately designed to provide cover for America’s role in extending the conflict.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not reflect the official position of Sputnik.

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