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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 9/11/16

US Wants Respite, Not Ceasefire in Syria

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Reprinted from Sputnik

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Tough negotiations between America and Russia's top diplomats have managed to produce a tentative ceasefire plan for Syria. But Washington doesn't really want a ceasefire. More likely, a respite for its regime-change proxies.

After more than 13 hours of intense discussions in Geneva this weekend, on top of months of back-and-forth talks, US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov emerged in a joint press conference to announce that a cessation in fighting would begin this week.

A previous attempt at implementing a truce back in February failed within days of that initiative because anti-government insurgents affiliated with the al-Qaeda terrorist network refused to abide by that earlier agreement.

There is no reason why this second ceasefire attempt should otherwise succeed in holding. There may well be a temporary lull in violence simply because opposition militia will avail of the opportunity to regroup and repair. But the core of the insurgents are dominated by terrorist groups like Jabhat Fatah al Sham (formerly al-Nusra Front) and Daesh and numerous other affiliates.

These proscribed terror groups have no interest in negotiating a political transition in Syria with the incumbent government of President Bashar Assad. Their whole purpose is to overthrow the state and turn it into a so-called caliphate ruled by fear.

This gets to the kernel of why the ceasefire deal worked out by Kerry and Lavrov is fatally flawed.

Arguably, the Russian side is negotiating in good faith with the genuine intention of achieving a peaceful resolution to the nearly six-year-old conflict, which has resulted in 400,000 dead and millions displaced from their homes. But not so the American side.

We must always keep firmly in mind that the conflict in Syria was instigated in the first place by the US and other foreign powers for the objective of regime change against the Assad government -- a long-time ally of Russia and Iran. Recall that former French Foreign Minister Roland Dumas revealed in 2013 that the foreign conspiracy for regime change in Syria was hatched at least two years before the violence erupted in March 2011.

This US-led criminal agenda for regime change has not changed. When John Kerry talks about getting Russia to sign up to a "political transition" he means a process which will culminate in the ouster of the Assad government.

At the Geneva press conference this weekend, the US diplomat clearly said that he was coordinating his efforts with those of the exiled opposition group called the High Negotiations Committee. Days before, the Saudi-backed HNC unveiled yet another "vision" demanding "transition" and Assad's departure.

On the Geneva meeting this weekend, the Washington Post reported: "Kerry acknowledged the truth of the Russian charge that some opposition groups are fighting in tandem with the [al-Nusra] Front and said it was incumbent on them to now make a choice." The paper also noted: "Both Kerry and Lavrov emphasized that outside supporters of all non-terrorist [sic] belligerents would have to bring their allies in line."

Without this putative separation of "moderates" and "terrorists" then there can be no feasible premise for a substantive cessation of violence. The proposal for US and Russian forces to subsequently cooperate in carrying out air strikes against terror groups is therefore a non-starter.

The confidence for this assertion is because, as Kerry half-acknowledged, there is no distinction between "moderate rebels" and "terrorists." They are all part of the same regime-change proxy army that the US and its NATO and regional allies orchestrated from the outset of this reprehensible conflict.

Expecting these proxies to somehow sort themselves into "good guys" and "bad guys" is a ludicrous conception of how and why the war was instigated and prosecuted.

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Author and journalist. Finian Cunningham has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages. He is a Master's graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the Royal (more...)

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