Fake US-Russia “Peace Diplomacy”. The Syrian Conflict Deepens…War between False Friends and Misaligned Enemies

Monday, February 15, 2016
By Paul Martin

By Binoy Kampmark
Global Research
February 15, 2016

Peace discussions tend to contain within them the seeds of the next conflict. Treaties, agreements and pacts to end war are made to reassure combating parties that they will, at some point, have annother crack at each other. Even as they take place, participating sides look for gains, seek to edge others into corners, and gain merciful advantages.

That was the nature of talks between Russia and the US held on Friday. Secretary of State John Kerry claimed that the sides had “agreed to implement a nationwide cessation of hostilities in a week’s time.” Not only did Kerry concede this to be “ambitious,” the very fact that ISIS and the Nusra Front played no part in such arrangements rendered such discussions idiosyncratic at best.

The Syrian conflict has become the transforming conflict of Middle Eastern politics, with peace talks a mere pretext for more background fighting between false friends and misaligned enemies. Traditional powers, split by sectarian fault lines and ideological differences, promote the idea that the diplomatic round table is becoming more significant by the day. This charade has become even more colourful, with Kerry doing at the Munich Security Conference what he does best for his country: moralise.

The Russian campaign in Syria, he argues, merely serves to embolden ISIS. “To date,” claimed Kerry on Saturday, “the vast majority, in our opinion, of Russia’s attacks have been against legitimate opposition groups and to adhere to the agreement it made, we think it is critical that Russia’s targeting change.” That Kerry is still able to identify legitimate moderation amongst any of Syria’s groups shows the accepted lack of wisdom in the White House.

Furthermore, the Russians are said to be rather unclean about it all. (US smart weapons tend to be, goes the suggestion, more hygienic and discriminating in killing, capable of understanding good militants from bad.) The criticisms, coming from Amnesty International, are one thing. Packaged for the righteousness of Coalition consumption, on the other hand, poses another problem.

Instead of adopting the sanctimonious cant that tends to come out in US State Department briefings, the language of elimination in the Russian military argot is unmistakable. All militants against the Assad regime are to be deemed questionable and fair game, terrorists being terrorists and all that. They are in for a win, bolstering the Assad regime and securing their base in Syria.

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