Washington’s ‘Plan B’ in Syria: Renewed Military Intervention to Oust Assad?
- Washington’s ‘Plan B’ in Syria: Renewed Military Intervention to Oust Assad?
by Finian Cunningham, https://www.rt.com/ , 16 Dec 2015
US top diplomat John Kerry appeared to offer cooperation during lengthy talks in Moscow this week with President Vladimir Putin. Kerry said that US policy was not trying to isolate Russia, neither was it seeking regime change in Syria.
Rhetoric aside, Kerry’s expressions of goodwill simply do not cut it.
During a walkabout in Moscow, the US Secretary of State chanced on a little Christmas shopping, with Kerry buying a Babushka stacking doll among other souvenirs. The iconic Russian doll containing six shelled figurines could serve as a metaphor for Washington’s elusive rhetoric.
Following his three-hour discussion with Putin, Kerry said: “While we don’t see eye to eye on every aspect of Syria, we see Syria fundamentally similarly.”
US government-owned media outlet Voice of America added: “He [Kerry] said the US and Russia identify the same challenges and dangers, and want the same outcomes [in Syria].”
That, to put it bluntly, is simply not true. Washington and Moscow do not see Syria fundamentally similarly nor want the same outcomes. Washington wants regime change, no matter what Kerry may declare. From the outset of the conflict in Syria in March 2011, the Obama administration has been demanding that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad “must go”.
Indeed, it is well documented that Washington and its NATO partners have been seeking regime change against Russia’s long-time Syria ally going back to 2007 during the George W Bush presidency. The whole foreign-backed war in the Arab country – resulting in 250,000 deaths and millions of refugees over the past five years – has been orchestrated for the precise purpose of destabilizing Syria.
Certainly, Kerry’s latest visit to Moscow marked a softening of the “Assad must go” line. Washington is now saying that the Syrian president may remain in office until a political transition is negotiated. But at the end of the so-called transition, the US still wants Assad gone, as Kerry again noted. That is regime change no matter how you slice it.
Like Kerry’s coy claim that the US is not trying “to isolate Russia as a matter of policy,” the bottom line is that Washington has imposed unilateral economic sanctions on Russia as a result of provable US regime change in Ukraine in February 2014, and cajoled its European allies to follow suit. Withdrawing unilaterally from arms control treaties and expanding NATO forces on Russian territory are hardly the actions of a party “not seeking isolation” of Moscow.
Washington sure wants regime change in Syria, just as former US General Wesley Clark disclosed back in 2007 – a policy that the American military-industrial complex formulated in 2001 following the 9/11 terror events. There is no reason whatsoever to believe that the same US hegemonic ambitions for the Middle East and beyond have changed under Obama.
The Saudi-sponsored opposition that Washington is trying to line up against the Syrian government are braying for Assad’s immediate departure. John Kerry may say belatedly that US policy has shifted to permit Assad to remain in power for the duration of a transition, but it should be obvious that Washington is setting up a framework under the guise of a peace process in which Assad’s departure is put on the agenda.
US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter welcomed the new alliance. And the Saudis said that troops from the 34-nation coalition could be sent into Syria and Iraq to “combat” the IS network. Washington also endorsed that, saying that it wanted more regional “boots on the ground” to help fight terrorism.
What that suggests is that if the political track does not go well for ousting Assad, then the US and its allies are giving themselves the license to openly intervene in Syria – ostensibly to fight terror groups, which they have covertly fomented. Such a renewed military intervention can be seen as Plan B, where Plan A – the covert use of terror groups – has failed.