Obama Team Continues Confrontation with Russia over Syria

Barack Obama’s extended outburst against Russia during his press conference with French President Hollande last week was the trigger of a serious escalation of the threat of global war.

On Feb. 16 Secretary of State Kerry, visiting Jakarta, took a break from fraudulently lecturing Indonesia about climate change long enough to blame the Russians, again, as the primary cause of the breakdown of the Geneva II negotiations, because of their “enabling” of Syrian President Assad. The Obama White House is, at the same time, enabling the “rebel” forces in Syria to plan to escalate the war by escalating its flow of weapons to them, combined with the Saudi announcement it would provide them anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles.

An unnamed “senior Administration official” was even quoted in the Feb. 16 Washington Post saying that Russia should not be able to “enjoy a nice, bright Olympics” while carnage continued in Syria which it, Russia, was supporting. This statement was essentially incitement to terrorism against Russia, moderated only by the fact that it was anonymous.

Russia, meanwhile, is responding against the “next steps” Obama signaled in his meetings with Holland and Jordan’s King Abdullah: “humanitarian corridors” enforced by air power and authorized by a UN Security Council resolution. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, speaking Feb. 17, warned against use of humanitarian convoys to deliver arms to Syria. “The intention to include in the UN Security Councils resolution the right for humanitarian convoys to enter the country without notifying the authorities will not go” [at the UN], he said.

Moves by the rebel leaders themselves show the intended escalation. At a meeting of the Free Syrian Army over the weekend, General Idriss was fired as its head and replaced by Brig. Gen. Abdul-Ilah Bashir Al-Noeimi, a rebel field commander in southern Syria, according to a statement by the Supreme Military Council. “Because of the [setbacks] that the General Staff has suffered over the past few months, and due to the difficult circumstances facing the Syrian revolution, and to restore the hierarchy of the leadership, the Supreme Military Council has unanimously decided… to remove Salim Idriss in his role as Chief of Staff,” the statement said.

And the rebels’ Geneva negotiators themselves left the talks before they were to end, to go to various “battle fronts” in Syria and assure fighters that plenty of new weapons and money would be coming soon.

Steinmeier Joins Kerry in Blaming Assad for Geneva Failure

The limitations posed to German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier’s foreign policy which in spite of certain pro-Russian moves still remains in the dubious trans-Atlantic value system, are shown by remarks he made yesterday, blaming Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for the failure of the Geneva II talks and calling for an UN Security Council resolution to allow humanitarian aid to be brought into Syria. Not one word of criticism of the extremists among the rebels.

“The latest round of Syria talks also ended without reaching any results, showing us once again that Assad and his folks are not interested in serious negotiations but only want to secure their power,” Steinmeier said yesterday. “The sufferings of the Syrians and the future of the country apparently plays no role in the process.” Prompt action by the UN Security Council was now required, he added: “It is more urgent than ever for the UN Security Council to act and approve now a resolution on the humanitarian situation in Syria, which would put an end to the humanitarian war crimes.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov however said at a press conference in Moscow this morning that there was no way for an UNSC mandate for humanitarian aid sent into Syria in by-passing the Assad government. And instead of putting constant pressure on Russia to change Assad’s views, i.e. telling him what the Americans expected him to do (stepping down rights away…), the United States should finally begin establishing its own direct contact to Assad, he said. Russia is expected to present a proposal of its own on how to act after the failure of Geneva II, at the upcoming UNSC session.

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