Germany And France Just Broke The US Boycott Of Syria
There weren’t exactly any breakthroughs at the four-way summit involving France, Germany, Russia, and host Turkey in Istanbul on Saturday, but the event itself was a significant victory for one side in terms of optics.
Says Syria expert Joshua Landis: „The real importance of France and Germany going to Turkey to meet Putin and Erdogan is that they are effectively hiving off from the US by joining the Astana process.“ Ultimately, according Professor Landis:
They are breaking the boycott of Syria, while preserving the „need for elections“ talking point.
Alas, as the photo op of summit participants suggests, the United States has indeed effectively been cut out of the Russia and UN-brokered Astana process to bring Syria’s war to a close — which has both set the terms for the current shaky Idlib ceasefire agreement, and brought Turkey and Russia into an orbit of cooperation to seek long-term peace and stability. Notably Germany’s Merkel and France’s Macron now see the Russia-Turkey deal on Idlib as the only workable track that could stave off another mass refugee and jihadi influx into Europe, already reeling from a years-long migrant crisis.
And President Putin, sitting beside his European counterparts, still affirmed that Russia is in the driver’s seat since its 2015 intervention in the war at the request of Damascus. Putin vowed during the summit: „Should radicals… launch armed provocations from the Idlib zone, Russia reserves the right to give active assistance to the Syrian government in liquidating this source of terrorist threat.“
Image via Global Look Press
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But after years of calling for and at times directly assisting the West’s regime change efforts in Syria, what is the real importance of France and Germany going to Turkey for talks?
The below is authored by Professor Joshua Landis of Syria Comment
The real importance of France and Germany going to Turkey to meet Putin and Erdogan is that they are effectively hiving off from the US by joining the Astana process. They are breaking boycott of Syria, while preserving the „need for elections“ talking point.
We may safely conclude that Assad will not permit any „political process“ or constitutional committee to dislodge him or bring members of the opposition to power in Damascus. He has won the war.
Europe is frightened for its security. It does not want the refugee situation nor the Jihadi situation in Europe to be made worse by an Idlib invasion. This is why Europe is in Istanbul. As Macron said, the Idlib deal my be sustained.
Russia has reiterated that the Idlib deal is temporary. The jihadists must be killed or arrested. But Russia wants the EU to engage and commit to reconstruction aid for Syria, which can help refugees return.
Europe is angry at the U.S. for unilaterally scuttling the Iran deal and possibly crushing the Iranian economy, which could further destabilize the region and lead to an even greater refugee flow toward Europe. The US policy is very bad for Europe.
Turkey, Syria, Iran and Russia want to drive the US out of North Syria and end its alliance with the YPG.
There are many competing agendas among the different sides in Istanbul, but this is an important step forward, breaking with America’s stated goal of boycotting Syria so long as Assad remains in power.
It is a logical step forward after many Gulf countries, such as Bahrain and Kuwait, took measures to recognize the present reality of the Assad victory and work toward the normalization of relations between their countries.
It is a logical step forward after many Gulf countries, such as Bahrain and Kuwait, took measures to recognize the present reality of the Assad victory and work toward the normalization of relations between their countries. pic.twitter.com/6vXjT4wt8Z
— Joshua Landis (@joshua_landis) October 27, 2018
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Below is a quick summary of agreed upon points issued in a communique by Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Russia’s Vladimir Putin, France’s Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the conclusion of this weekend’s Istanbul summit, via RT News:
Only political solution for Syria: The leaders have “expressed their support for an inclusive, Syrian-led and Syrian-owned political process that is facilitated by the United Nations.”
Need to start work on constitution in Geneva: A committee tasked with drafting a new constitution for Syria should begin its work as soon as possible, preferably before the end of this year.
No to division of Syria: Syria must continue to exist within its pre-war borders. Any separatist movements or desires of foreign powers to occupy parts of the country are therefore firmly rejected.
Keep ceasefire & defeat terrorists: The four countries have expressed their support for the Idlib ceasefire deal, brokered earlier by Russia and Turkey. At the same time, they emphasized the importance of fighting terrorism and condemned the use of chemical weapons.
Boost humanitarian aid: The United Nations and other international organizations should bolster aid deliveries to the war-torn country. “Swift, safe and unhindered” flow of humanitarian aid will provide much-needed relief to the sufferings of the Syrian people.
Help return of refugees: The four leaders stressed the importance of “safe and voluntary” return of refugees to Syria. To facilitate the process, appropriate housing and social care facilities must be constructed in the country.
Internationally observed elections: The ultimate goal of the political settlement process is holding transparent, internationally observed elections, the statement reads. All Syrians, including those who had to flee the country, must be able to participate.
Martin Zeis 17.04.2018 17:10
Caitlin Johnstone dismantles the false flag in Douma – Dust no Gas – Weakening Narrative – Consent Required.
Syrian ‘Chemical Victims’ Suffered from Dust Inhalation, Reports Say
April 16, 2018
A report by the Independent’s veteran Middle East correspondent Robert Fisk quotes doctors in Douma saying victims suffered from dust inhalation and that a member of the White Helmets caused panic by falsely shouting, “Gas!” in a triage center. The White Helmets were then bused out with other jihadists, as Caitlin Johnstone explains.
By Caitlin Johnstone
We are now being told (and I assure you I am not making this up) that if the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons doesn’t find evidence that the Syrian government conducted a chemical weapons attack in Douma last week, it’s because Russia hid the evidence.
“It is our understanding the Russians may have visited the attack site,” reports U.S. Ambassador Kenneth Ward. “It is our concern that they may have tampered with it with the intent of thwarting the efforts of the OPCW Fact-Finding Mission to conduct an effective investigation.”
I guess the idea is that this international top-level investigative team on which tremendous credibility has been placed by the western world can be thwarted by Russians showing up with a Hoover and spraying some Febreze in the air like a teenage stoner when mom comes home? I’m not sure, but given the immense dearth of evidence we’ve been seeing in support of the establishment Douma narrative and the mounting pile of evidence contradicting it, it sure does sound fishy.
Now that the jihadist-occupied suburb of Douma has been retaken by the Syrian government, western journalists have been allowed in to poke around and start asking questions, and so far it isn’t looking great for the propaganda machine
Dust Not Gas
The Independent‘s Robert Fisk has published a report which affirms the story so many westerners have been dismissing as Kremlin propaganda for days now after interviewing a doctor from the hospital of the area where the Douma attack was supposed to have occurred. Dr Assim Rahaibani told Fisk that what was in actuality an outbreak of respiratory distress among occupants of a dusty oxygen-deprived tunnel was made to look like the aftereffects of a chemical weapons attack when a member of the White Helmets started shouting about a gas attack in front of a bunch of video cameras. Everyone panicked and started hosing themselves down, but in the video, according to Rahaibani, “what you see are people suffering from hypoxia—not gas poisoning.”
This report was independently backed up by a reporter from One America News Network named Pearson Sharp, who gave a detailed account of his interviews with officials, doctors, as well as many civilians on the street Sharp says he deliberately selected at random in order to avoid accusations of bias. Many people hadn’t even heard that a chemical weapons attack had taken place, and the ones who had said it was staged by Jaysh al-Islam. The staff at the hospital, including a medic-in-training who was an eyewitness to the incident, gave the same story as the account in Fisk’s report. (Fisk also reported that the White Helmets in Duma had joined jihadists on Syrian government buses on the way to Idlib province.)
The increasing confidence with which these unapproved narratives are being voiced and the increasing discomfort being exhibited by empire loyalists like Ambassador Ward indicate a weakening narrative in the greater propaganda campaign against the Assad government and its allies, but don’t hold your breath for the part where Fox News and the BBC turn around and start asking critical questions of the governments that they are meant to be holding to account.
The journalists who have been advancing the establishment narrative on Syria aren’t about to start reporting that they’ve gotten the entire yria story backward and have been promoting a version of events manufactured for the benefit of CIA-MI6-Mossad agendas. You’re not about to see CNN, who last year staged a fake scripted interview with a seven year-old Syrian girl to manufacture support for escalations against Assad, suddenly turn around and start asking if we’re being told the full story about what’s happening Syria.
Watch them closely. Watch how they steadfastly ignore the growing mountain of evidence and keep promoting the Syrian regime change agenda that the western empire has been working toward for decades. Watch them dismiss all evidence they can’t ignore as Kremlin propaganda and shift the narrative whenever things start to look bad for them. Those riding the crest of the wave of establishment media are too far gone into the blob to ever admit error and change. The least among us aren’t about to stop constructing a public reality tunnel which depicts them as heroes of truth, tear it all down, and start advancing a narrative which makes them look like fools at best and villains at worst. It will not happen.
Luckily for us, it doesn’t need to. Internet censorship is still far from closing the door on our ability to network and share information, and we’ve been very effective at sowing skepticism among the masses. The war propagandists are not nearly as good at their jobs as they want to believe, and we can beat them.
They work so hard to manufacture support for war because they require that consent. If the oligarchs try to launch a war against a disobedient nation amidst very clear opposition from the public, they will shatter the illusion of freedom and democracy that their entire empire is built upon, and then they’re exposed. Corporatist oligarchy has succeeded in weaving its web of dominance because its oppression has thus far remained hidden and its depravity disguised as humanitarianism. They cannot expose themselves by transgressing a loud NO from the public or else the masses will realize that everything they used to believe about their country, their government and their world is a lie.
They won’t risk that. We can force them into retreating from open war by circulating facts and information and keeping a healthy level of skepticism circulating among the public. Watch them squirm, move goalposts and shift narratives, and point and yell about it whenever it happens. We can win the media war against the propagandists. We have truth on our side.
Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper who publishes regularly at Medium. Follow her work on Facebook, Twitter, or her website. She has a podcast and a new book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. This article was re-published with permission.
Die Übersetzung ins Deutsche besorgten die Nachdenkseiten:
WESTERN CORPORATE MEDIA VIRTUALLY IGNORES IT
Two days ago, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), supported by Russian air power, finally took control of Albu Kamal – the last Daesh base in the Syria/Iraq border.
One week ago, the Iraqi Army and the PMUs reconquered al-Qaim, on their side of the border. Abu Mahdi al-Mohandes, the legendary PMU commander, previously had told a small group of us in Baghdad that would happen “in a matter of days”.
It ended up being four – to be exact.
The Syrian forces will now be redeployed northwest, towards Idlib, the last “moderate rebel” stronghold of that thing called Syrian Conquest Front, a.k.a. Nusra Front, a.k.a. al-Qaeda in Syria.
The key point is that Syrian and Iraqi forces have met at the border – with defeated Daesh jihadis scurrying around or turned into roadkill.
This is History in the making.
And right on cue, VIRTUALLY NOTHING about this REAL ON THE GROUND VICTORY OF A REAL WAR ON TERROR is being covered by Western corporate media.
No wonder. Because this was the work of Damascus, Russia, Hezbollah, Iran advisers, Baghdad and the PMUs – actually the “4+1” – and not the US-led “coalition” that includes Wahhabi mongrels House of Saud and UAE – that totally smashes to bits the monochord Washington narrative.
So History in the making must be silenced.
Of course Project Daesh of balkanizing “Syraq” is not dead.
The jihadi diaspora – across the desert, towards other fronts (Afghanistan, Philippines, the Caucasus) – is in effect.
The usual suspects – and their proxies/lackeys – simply won’t give up.
The SAKER Most of you must by now have heard various reports about the rapidly deteriorating situation in the Ukraine. Many, however, might have dismissed them because, let’s be honest here, we
Martin Zeis, 02.12.2016
US-Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard was recently re-elected to serve a third term in the US House of Representatives, where she represents Hawaiʻi’s 2nd Congressional District. She has been a leading progressive advocate for ending US-led regime change wars of intervention, and has introduced legislation to end the counterproductive regime change war in Syria. (quoted from The Nation)
It is doubtful that president-elect* Trump will list her as Secretary of State at the recommendation of Robert Parry (see: Robert PARRY: Is Trump Setting up an Eathquake in US Foreign Policy With Tulsi Gabbard? – Tulsi Gabbard would certainly be the right person for it: URL: https://consortiumnews.com/2016/11/21/trumps-tulsi-gabbard-factor ).
* provided that 270 Electors are voting him on Dec 19, 2016.
The Nation, 30.11.2016 — https://www.thenation.com/article/giving-voice-to-millions-of-americans-end-us-wars-of-intervention
Giving Voice to Millions of Americans: End US Wars of Intervention
I felt it was critical to meet with Donald Trump now, before warmongering neocons convince him to escalate the Syrian conflict.
By Tulsi Gabbard
I recently met with President-elect Donald Trump to give voice to the millions of Americans, including my fellow veterans, who desperately want to end our country’s illegal, counterproductive war to overthrow the Syrian government. We had an hour-long, meaningful, back-and-forth discussion about the problems with current US policy in Syria and where to go from here.
I felt it critical to meet with him now, before warmongering neocons convince him to escalate this war that has already taken more than 400,000 lives and left millions of Syrians homeless and in search of safety for themselves and their families.
I conveyed to the president-elect how the post-9/11 neocon agenda of interventionism and regime change has left US foreign policy absurdly disconnected from our actual security interests. Our actions to overthrow secular dictators in Iraq and Libya, and attempts now to do the same in Syria, have resulted in tremendous loss of life, failed nations, and even worse humanitarian crises while strengthening the very terrorist organizations that have declared war on America.
Since 2011, the United States—working with Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, and Turkey—has been providing support to “rebel groups” fighting to overthrow the government and take over Syria. A recent New York Times article reported that these “rebel groups” supported by the United States “have entered into battlefield alliances with the affiliate of Al Qaeda in Syria, formerly known as Al Nusra.” How the United States can work hand-in-hand with the very terrorist organization that is responsible for the killing of 3,000 Americans on 9/11 boggles my mind and curdles my blood.
This absurd alliance has allowed terrorist groups like Al Qaeda to establish strongholds throughout Syria, including in Aleppo, where they are now using the civilian population as human shields and their deaths as propaganda tools.
Additionally, escalating this regime-change war by implementing a “no-fly/safe zone” in Syria would not only be ineffective, it would put the United States in direct military confrontation with nuclear-power Russia, require tens of thousands of ground troops and a massive US air presence, and commit us to yet another endless war in the Middle East that does not serve American or Syrian interests.
In short, even if the US-Saudi alliance were successful in overthrowing the Syrian government, we would be saddled with the responsibility of building a new nation in Syria. Trillions of US taxpayer dollars, and who knows how many American lives, will be lost, and there will be little to show for it. As was true in Iraq and Libya, the United States has no credible government or leader able to bring order, security, and freedom to the people of Syria if Assad is overthrown. To maintain order after Assad’s fall would require at least 500,000 troops in a never-ending occupation.
The most likely outcome of this regime-change war is that it will open the door for ISIS, Al Qaeda, and other terrorist groups who are the most powerful fighting forces on the ground, to take over all of Syria, amass powerful weapons (many of which will have been provided to them by the United States), and pose a far worse threat to the Syrian people, religious minorities, and to the world.
The crux of my advice to President-elect Trump was this: We must end this ill-conceived, counterproductive regime-change war immediately. We must focus our precious resources on investing in and rebuilding our own country and on defeating Al Qaeda, ISIS, and other terrorist groups that pose a threat to the American people.
Christiane Reymann im Gespräch mit Tim Anderson Die Öffentlichkeit ist entsetzt über den Krieg in Syrien. Die Lage scheint unkontrollierbar geworden zu sein.