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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 9/21/15

Twisting the Facts

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On Friday, the headline in the New York Times read, "U.S. Begins Military Talks With Russia on Syria."[1]

The writer Michael R. Gordon put it, "the Obama administration reached out to Moscow" over Syria giving one the distinct impression the White House initiated the idea of military talks with Russia when in reality it was Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov who made the proposal to US Secretary of State John Kerry over the phone last Tuesday.

One could say it's a trivial matter over which country initiated such a proposal, that it's the effect of the military talks that matter. But Gordon's article is twisting the facts to make the reader believe the US-the good guys-reached out to Russia-the bad guys-when it was the other way around.

Unfortunately, twisting the facts has become a mainstay in the US corporate MSM and demonizing Russia and President Vladimir Putin has become standard operating procedure. So in no way can Russia be seen as initiating a sane proposal regarding the Syrian crisis-or anywhere else for that matter-it must be presented as the US initiating the proposal.

Think about Ukraine, the coup of President Viktor Yanukovych in February 2014 was never presented as such in US media. The overthrow was merely Yanukovych abdicating when there was a popular uprising against him. When in reality it was US Undersecretary of State for Europe and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland working behind the scenes orchestrating and supporting neo-Nazi Right Sector and Svoboda rebels that violently overthrew Yanyukovych.

The popular referendum held by the people in Crimea to join the Russian Federation was a result of the Russian speaking Ukrainian's there believing the post coup government in Kiev would not represent them as well as the regime openly rejecting Russian as an accepted language in Ukraine. In the western media this popular referendum was portrayed as Russia illegally annexing Crimea rather than the people exercising their right of free expression to live under a government of their choice.

As for the conflict in Syria Russia has been a long time ally of the Syrian government under President Bashar Assad-and his father Hafez Assad-has a naval base at Tartus on the Mediterranean Sea since 1971 and has used an airfield south of Latakia to supply military aide-war planes, anti-aircraft systems, tanks, armored personnel carriers-to Assad in his fight against the Islamic State, the al Nusra Front and other al Qaeda militias.

Recently, Russia was reported to have supplied four new generation jet fighters-unconfirmed as far as I can tell- anti-aircraft systems, drones and other military hardware to Assad causing "consternation" within the Obama administration where it's an accepted article of faith only the US or its surrogate NATO have the right to intervene in war zones, even in the case of Russia legally supplying military assistance, under contract, to the Syrian government.

Getting back to Lavrov and his proposal to Kerry, he must have reasoned this new Russian military assistance to Assad could be interpreted by the US as Russia strictly upping the ante to keep Assad in power. But with him offering direct military talks between Russia and the US, a new coordinated effort mounted against the Islamist State made sense.

So Friday the Obama administration took Lavrov's offer and agreed to hold direct military to military talks between US and Russian military representatives.

Yet it's the extracurricular conflict within the US government that stands out glaringly with the State Department neo-cons pushing for regime change and Assad must go juxtaposed to the US and Russia beginning to conduct closer military coordination working to end the conflict in Syria.

The problems as I see it, the US bombing campaign against the Islamist State has been an utter failure, from thinning out its ranks. The training and arming of indigenous Syrian anti-government rebel fighters taking on the fight to Assad not only has also been an utter failure but the equipment and arms often fall into the hands of IS fighters compounding the failure. The often contradictory effort of supporting allies such as the Kurds effectiveness against IS now has Turkey, a supposed ally now bombs the Kurds in Turkey, Syria and Iraq- which the US turns a blind eye to- after the US got an agreement with Turkish President Recip Erdogan to allow US jet fighters to use Incirlik Air Base in Turkey to fly into Syria to attack IS positions.

Such is the failure of the US campaign in Syria there appears to be a realization help may be needed from Russia and Iran-the latter uttered in hushed tones-to defeat the crazed band of radical Sunni beheaders, the leaders of which are former officers in Saddam Hussein's Iraqi army that was disbanded by Bush's viceroy Paul Bremer shortly after Bush invaded the country in March, 2003.

What's really crazy is one would be hard put to make this stuff up-except of course the time Putin pulled Obama's chestnuts out of the fire in Syria getting Assad to agree to give up his chemical weapons so Obama wouldn't make good on his promise to bomb the country back to the stone age.

So it seems it's those bad ole "ruskies" coming to Obama's rescue again.

[1] "U.S. Begins Military Talks With Russia on Syria", by Michael R. Gordon, "The New York Times", September 18, 2015

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