This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Doing The Right Thing

"The future of Syria must be determined by its people, but President Bashar al-Assad is standing in their way."
"For the sake of the Syrian people, the time has come for President Assad to step aside."
"[Assad must] face the reality of the complete rejection of his regime by the Syrian people and ... step aside."
U.S. President Barack Obama

"The United States and our partners are not seeking so-called regime change. No one should be forced to choose between a dictator and being plagued by terrorists."
"[Demands that Assad depart with the initiation of peace talks are a] non-starting position, obviously."
"[The focus of current talks is] not on our differences about what can or cannot be done immediately about Assad; [rather on advancing a peace process where] Syrians will be making decisions for the future of Syria."
"We [Moscow and Washington] see Syria fundamentally very similarly, we want the same outcomes, we see the same dangers, we understand the same challenges."
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry
Quite the exculpatory statement, that. Bashar al-Assad is not only a dictator. He is a vicious mass-executioner. He has been assiduous in his commitment to slaughter his own citizens who are not of his religious sect, but Sunni Syrians. He has succeeded to an astonishing extent; about 180,000 Syrians have perished in his onslaughts. The 'terrorists' have managed to kill a mere fraction of that total.

Washington, Secretary of State Kerry stated at an earlier date, was still committed to see al-Assad leave, but perhaps, given complications that have arisen, at some future time. In the meantime, for the sake of 'stability', he should remain in place, because this is what America's new allies, Russia and Iran would far prefer. Stability being consonant with half of the population of Syria homeless, and over four million refugees fleeing not merely persecution, but death.

As for the lofty ideal expressed that it is not up to the international community, after all, to interfere in a nation's wishes as to who should preside over them, but up to Syrians themselves to democratically express their preference. Given the fact that the majority of Syrians are Sunni who find their Alawite Shiite Baathist government despicably beyond the pale of tolerance, the 'people of Syria' whom Mr. Kerry refers to so piously, would be the minority Shiites, a fraction of the population.

Washington's decision throughout the years of looking in from afar on the state-sponsored atrocities visited upon rebellious Syrian Sunnis has been to abdicate all responsibility toward remaining the referee between tyranny and freedoms in the Middle East. Not that those who have been busy doing most of the slaughter haven't received warning that they would be punished; that's what 'red lines' were all about. Who knew a sandstorm would obliterate the red lines?

But as it happened, Russian President Vladimir Putin has answers to just about all the questions that bedevil Washington, and he has kindly shared them with President Obama who has grasped them with alacrity, repeating them dutifully and with conviction. So that the Assad-must-go mantra was seamlessly transformed into the Assad-should-stay formula, and it doesn't even sting when it's uttered, sweetened by vapid disinterest in honour and commitment.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, shakes hands with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry during their meeting in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia...
Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, shakes hands with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry during their meeting in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015.  (Sergei Karpukhin/Pool Photo via AP)

The opposition continuing to fight the Syrian president? How likely is it they will agree to any kind of 'peace' proposal mounted by the international community? And in light of the fact of the diminishing number of Syrians of Sunni disposition remaining in Syria who exactly will cast ballots? A strange kind of democracy has been perpetrated on the Syrian people, battered and hopeless; those upon whom they depended for support evaporated, they are now on the endangered list close to extinction.

Total capitulation, not the least bit of shame, a failure to lead yet capriciously asserting it is leading -- from behind, of course. So in fact, is Vladimir Putin wrong when he attributes arse-licking to the wrong source?  Quoting Vladimir Putin: "If somebody in the Turkish leadership decided to lick the Americans in one place... I don’t know, if they did the right thing."

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