Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Russia/US Accord Offers no easy resolution

While I may be feeling unwell, I just can't pull myself away from the situation in Syria
A fairly decent ,, though still lacking, article from BBC?
Who would have thought?

That sets one of the parameters that are essential for successful movement towards a settlement of the Syrian conflict, which has embroiled many outside players
Arresting and reversing that process of disintegration is a massive task

Lakhdar Brahimi, stressed that, vital and hopeful as the apparent US-Russian understanding is, it is only a first step. 

In practice, sufficient ambiguities were left open in the Geneva statement for the bickering to start almost before the ink had dried.(and it did)
In particular, there was no understanding on the future role of President Bashar al-Assad and his inner circle.
(And there still isn't)

-Now Washington seems to have softened its position to the extent of leaving Mr Assad's future up to the outcome of negotiations and whatever the Syrians themselves decide, which has long been the Russian position. 
- The alternative is a scenario which does not serve the interests of either of the big powers, and it is hard to see how it serves anybody else's.

Which is not to say that it will not happen.
-Democrats in the US Congress have introduced "Syrian stabilisation" legislation that would empower the administration to provide lethal aid to the Syrian opposition - weaponry that could tilt the balance on the ground, which would be the purpose. (The Israel first crowd? Or Plan B)
But Mr Kerry made it clear that that scenario would become irrelevant if there is a serious settlement process.

If the US Congress is continuing on in this fashion. I come away with the impression the US is being disingenuous  with this negotiations.

The US Strategy:
-Its strategy was to tilt the battlefield sufficiently that the government - or the Alawite leadership - came under enough pressure to jettison the ruling circle and agree to regime change through an orderly transition

And all the noise about defections was as I had surmised, much ado about nothing. The Syrian government remained intact.

 -But that was not happening, and the risk attendant on beefing up support for the rebels and prolonging the conflict is that it could lead to an uncontrolled regime collapse and chaos, with all kinds of radical groups possibly moving in.

Which is exactly what the US had hoped for, but, it did not happen

The past few months have seen reflected on the ground the fact that Russia, Iran and the latter's Lebanese allies, Hezbollah, are determined not to allow the Syrian government to be brought down by force.
With government forces making increasing headway against rebels in many areas, the US would have had to put huge resources - and perhaps direct involvement - into redressing the balance and tilting it the other way, risking embroilment in a deepening proxy war that could go badly wrong, and would actually stand little chance of going right.


That prospect was clearly not attractive for the Russians either. 

The 30 June Geneva statement is destined to provide the starting point for the conference the two big powers propose to convene in the coming weeks.
                          Map showing Syria and surrounding countries 
This time, they seem genuinely committed to working together to bring their allies to the table for a constructive negotiation, rather than agreeing a lowest common denominator text that would get torn to shreds immediately by unresolved disputes.
But it will not be easy, on either side of the equation.
A successful negotiation is normally based on translating an established balance of power on the ground into political reality, and obviously depends on the parties involved being able to deliver their side of the deal.

This  time the US is seeming to be committed. The Russian position has been consistent all along

-On the government side, the picture is fairly cohesive, though any negotiation would need the opposition to agree to sit down, or deal indirectly, with the powers that be.
On the opposition side, the situation is far less clear.

-The umbrella Syrian National Coalition has signally failed to establish itself as a coherent, unified and focused force to be reckoned with.

-After months of internal wrangling it has not even been able to produce the transitional or provisional government that the Western powers were hoping would provide a credible vehicle for regime change.
But the coalition has received limited international recognition as the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people, which it may try to invoke in arguing that it alone should take part in negotiations, to the exclusion, for example, of government-tolerated internal opposition groups.
Whoever talks for the opposition, there is also the issue of whether they can deliver.
The coalition is largely based on opposition figures living abroad. 

-The fighting forces on the ground are desperately fragmented, in some cases very localised, in others, involving radical Islamist jihadis from outside the country.
-The al-Nusra Front, a jihadist group, has gained support in rebel-held areas
-Who is going to deliver - or force - compliance by the al-Qaeda-related al-Nusra Front, which has made the running in many rebel-held areas? (Cut their paycheques)
A negotiation requires both sides to concede that they have not won and that a compromise is needed to save the country. (A negotiation requires the NATO backed terrorists and foreign opposition to concede they have not won, not Assad. Weird BBC spin)
The opposition would be implicitly admitting that, if they agree to talks without President Assad stepping down.

There is more at the link, you can read if you wish


  1. Penny

    Sorry you are not feeling well, hope that passes soon.

    Nice analysis of that article. Doubtful the Americans will follow through on Kerry's words. It's one of those zionist "well, plan a fizzled, so we need to buy some time while we get plan b going" things. To a zionist, that's what negotiation means, a method to stall or distract while they continue seeking dominance through devious means. As long as Israel exists and zionists hold their dominant positions in the west, Syrians will be in the same grave danger they are now.

    вот так

    1. thanks bot tak..
      It will pass soon, sadly, today is not that day

  2. Was Benghazi (9*11) that is blowing up running interference for the Sudan and Yemen deployments? The head of Yemen embassy security killed 30 days after the raid by sniper.

    Yemen, Egypt (Sep)

    Sudan rejects US marines (Sep)

    Sudan Coup attempt (Nov)

    Bashir term just extended


    US deploys marines to Yemen

    Tank deployments to Yemen

    Yemen Security Official killed

    "Motorcycle attacks are currently al Qaeda's main tactic," a senior Interior Ministry official said, adding that such attacks "are easier for terrorists to coordinate and plan for."


    While some Interior Ministry officials at first said Aqlan was overseeing the investigation into an attack last month on the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa, others later told CNN he was not.

  3. Russia following the trust but verify path: U.S. Is Warned Russia Plans Syria Arms Sale WSJ

    1. Saw that news, but, is it true or is it Israeli spin?
      Looked into it and all reports emanate with Israeli intelligence
      so, it could be true and it could not be

  4. Have you heard anything about IDF troops massacring people in Jenin?

  5. Either ZATO has backed down, or it is a trick/tactic. As their insurgent army has been defeated, a ceasefire is not of much use. It doesn't matter what the various insurgent armies want, as they are the ultimate in cannon fodder.

    By the way, I disagree with your implication about the US Congress. It doesn't matter what Congress wants, just as it doesn't matter what the US public want. Similarly, one shouldn't be very concerned with the internal theater that so many get obsessed with in the US. There is a huge mental bubble in the DC area that is a kind of insanity. The forces of power in the US are above mere Senators. Those forces are dealing with other forces, such as Putin. And we will never know what went on where the deals are cut.


    1. Paul: And we will never know what went on where the deals are cut.

      True enough....which is why government should just be ignored..

  6. Penny, I really don't wish to be contrary, but-

    Time to turn words into deeds in Syria: Russian FM

    "Lavrov said after talks with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry that Moscow and Washington "have always been in favor of a political solution, the inadmissibility of Syria's break-up ... This was fixed in Geneva"

    so far so good, Russia has consistently pushed the 'Geneva Communique';
    but then

    "We believe that full implementation of the Geneva Communique pre-supposes the establishment of a transitional governing agency. We proceed from the assumption that the agency will exercise full executive power," Lavrov said, adding "we are confident that will be the best and shortest way to settle the Syrian crisis."

    Hmm, looks to me that Assad and his government have just been pushed under a bus. I hope I'm wrong.

    Curiously, according to my web search this is only being published in the Chinese press.

    1. Hey Freethinker

      No worries about being contrary, we will all know soon enough...