The Geneva 3 conference is seen by many observers as a ploy to keep Assad in power.
Politico Magazine Europe this week said that the credibility of the Obama administration is crumbling among Syrian opposition leaders, many of whom increasingly doubt the U.S. is serious about ending Assad’s rule.
The long-simmering tensions, boiling over just ahead of the U.N-led peace talks, are damaging already low prospects for success. If the talks peter out or collapse, that will further undermine President Barack Obama’s foreign policy legacy, which already has been tarnished by the endless bloodshed in Syria.
John Kerry blackmails the Syrian Opposition:
In the past few days, Secretary of State John Kerry flew to Riyadh, engaged in a flurry of phone calls, and issued public statements in a bid to persuade opposition leaders to show up at Geneva. But opposition leaders, through their own public statements and leaks to the press, suggest they worry the United States is caving to the demands of Assad’s two main patrons, Russia and Iran.
Bloomberg reported on Monday that Kerry told Syrian opposition leaders they risked losing their funding if they did not attend peace. Using traditional and social media they effectively accused him of blackmail on behalf of Tehran and Moscow.
Syrians opposed to the Assad’s regime believe Geneva 3 is a plot to legitimize Assad, split the opposition, and impose a solution favouring the regime. The US seems to have succumbed to the wishes of Moscow and Tehran. Even before Russia intervened militarily in the conflict last autumn the Obama administration had already abandoned taking any action against Assad. According to Washington sources Obama was afraid any moves against the regime would alienate Iran and derail the nuclear talks. He was listening too much to Tehran-funded lobbyists in Washington and pro-Iran advisors in the White House.
Obama failed to enforce his demands in August 2011 that Assad must step down. He failed on his red-lines over the Assad’s regime use of chemical weapons against civilians. Obama failed on all counts.
His impotence opened the doors for the Russian military intervention to bolster Assad and protect the regime. The Russian claim that its mission was to target ISIS/Daesh proved a lie.
The Kremlin has directed as much as 90% of its bombing at rebel-held areas That has allowed both the regime and ISIS to make gains from the Western, Turkish, and Arab-backed rebel forces.
ISIS’s mission explained:
ISIS has been defined as a joint Tehran-Damascus project to divert attention from Assad’s crimes, tarnish the image of the opposition, and keep the Assad’s regime in power.
We now know that Raqqa and Palmyra were abandoned by the Assad regime forces which allowed ISIS to take them over. In 2014 a Syrian government adviser admitted to the New York Times that the Assad regime doesn’t attack ISIS position as it was a deliberate policy designed to “tar” the broader opposition and “frame [the] choice” as either Assad or the extremists.
In a further twist that implicates the Assad regime in collusion with ISIS, on 6th February last year the US Embassy in Syria accused the regime of supporting ISIS advance on Syria’s largest city, Aleppo. The Embassy tweeted:
“Reports indicate that the regime is making air-strikes in support of ISIL’s advance on Aleppo, aiding extremists against Syrian population,”
Misconception about ISIS/Daesh:
Most people in the West think that ISIS is the enemy of Shi’ite Iran and of the Assad regime. In Syria ISIS has forced the West to choose between the regime of Bashar al-Assad or a terrorist outfit. Given that choice, it was assumed the West would back Assad, as did the Russians and the Chinese.
Cynically Iran is exploiting the Western fear of terrorism to make common cause with the West against ISIS. But ample evidence exists to prove Iran’s collusion with Al Qaeda. The US 9/11 Commission Report, had already established that Iran “facilitated the transit of Al-Qaeda members into and out of Afghanistan before 9/11, including future hijackers. Iran, according to the report, wished to conceal any past evidence of its cooperation with Sunni terrorists’ association with Al-Qaeda,” but these connections continued.
At ISIL’s headquarters in rural western Aleppo in March 2014 opposition forces discovered official documents, passports and SIM cards issued by the Iranian authorities to fighters from Chechnya and Kazakhstan. ISIS suddenly emerged in Syria, at a time when the collapse of Assad’s regime seemed imminent. The emergence of ISIS saved the Syrian regime by threatening the world that an alternative terrorist regime would replace Assad’s.
ISIS has been criticized for its attacks on civilians and rival opposition groups. It has rarely targeted the Assad’s regime and not a single barrel bomb has been dropped by the regime on ISIS.
Iran actually has a lot to gain from keeping ISIS alive. As long as the group survives, Iran can claim that their allies in Syria and Iraq are preventing a jihadist takeover — an argument that raises Tehran’s prestige and ensures it a degree of international support for their allies in both countries.
Being part of the Assad-Iran alliance, Moscow is by extension colluding with ISIS. In recent weeks activists in Syria revealed that the targets which the Russian fighter jets are bombing are routinely selected and approved by the Damascus regime.
The Syrian tragedy has exposed the impotence of the USA, the EU, and NATO. NATO decided almost four years ago not to do anything to deter Assad. In May 2012 the NATO Chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen repeated that “NATO has no intention to intervene in Syria”. Translated into Arabic it reads: “Look Mr. Bashar Al-Assad you have a free hand to kill more and more Syrian people and nothing will happen to you and to your regime”.
Mr. Rasmussen said the same thing several times. He spoke a day after G8 nations said a “political transition” was needed to end the crisis in Syria. At that time monitors said more than 12,000 people have died in a government crackdown since March 2011. There were hardly any refugees at the time. By allowing one man to stay in power the world has forced four million Syrians to become refugees and hundreds of thousands of them are already here in Europe.