Syria Readers’ Forum

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PHOTO: A UN aid convoy burns after an attack by pro-Assad warplanes in western Aleppo Province on Monday


Because of a technical issue, it is not possible to post Comments on today’s Syria Daily. So here is your space, readers, to bring in news and ideas of interest.

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Scott Lucas is Professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham and editor-in-chief of EA WorldView. He is a specialist in US and British foreign policy and international relations, especially the Middle East and Iran. Formerly he worked as a journalist in the US, writing for newspapers including the Guardian and The Independent and was an essayist for The New Statesman before he founded EA WorldView in November 2008.

9 COMMENTS

    • I am sure he knows what he’s doing but I don’t think Kerry supports the Obama policy on Syria. I believe he argued early on for strikes against Assad and for increased aid to the opposition, but he is playing the loyal servant for Obama.

      Obama is the man personally responsible for the absolutely disastrous foreign policy of the US, and for allowing chemical weapons use to become a new international norm, among other legacies of his weakness in the face of radical evil.

    • I don’t think they know what they’re doing. Their Syria policy has been incoherent at best. Kerry should resign after the predictably disastrous “ceasefire” with the untrustworthy Russians. His comments have been repeatedly delusional. This administration doesn’t have a damn clue what they are doing in Syria. I don’t think they have the spine to do what needs to be done to make the genocidal regime truly negotiate.

      • Their current Syria policy seems to be geared towards appeasing Russia. Although they accidentally took out some Assad mercs, the strike in Deir Ez-Zor indicates that US policy is now so morally bankrupt that they are running air support for Assad against ISIS.
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        I firmly believe that Syria was sold to the Iranians in order to get the nuclear deal some time ago.

      • I agree it’s incoherent, but I don’t think that necessarily points to the admin being clueless. Rather I’d attribute it to the conflicting imperatives guiding US policy. On one hand, it is vital that the US deny IS & AQ breathing space. For this, it needs at least a partly functional Syrian state. On the other, it cannot engage in outright propping up of a mass-murdering president – who’s also a major recruitment tool for Salafi-Jihadists – as it stands against fundamental principles it claims to uphold, as well as its own demands that Assad must go. Stuck in this disastrous quandary, the Obama administration is losing patience and rushing towards a resolution. Assad isn’t budging an inch on compromise, and hasn’t even at his lowest point in the war. Bringing him down through the use of military force is out of the question. That forces the rebellion to be the one that makes major concessions, which inevitably means giving up the core objective of their revolution. This requires the dimming of the rebels’ military prospects.
        ­
        While it may be misguided and, as Ben notes, to us a morally bankrupt policy, it’s not entirely without reason. Escalating against Assad at this point brings much more severe repercussions than September 2013. Way I see it, the American Syria policy stepped on the gas with the Chemical weapons deal, drove off a cliff somewhere in 2014, and has been in free-fall since. Steer the wheel to the left, or steer it to the right. Both inevitably lead to a crash.
        Each decision has its own set of disasters ready to swamp policy-makers with. The only tangible difference is emphasis on the short-term and medium-term as opposed to the long-term.

  1. Russians Used to Love Putin. Now? Meh.
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    https://www.yahoo.com/news/m/0f42c146-e2e8-3561-8fb5-3bd4d40f1c18/russians-used-to-love-putin..html
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    According to the Central Election Commission, the turnout reached 47.8 percent compared with 60.2 percent at the last election. In Moscow and St. Petersburg, which officially account for 11.8 percent of the total population, the turnout was lower still — less than 30 percent….This is an important change. In 2011, widespread ballot-stuffing and fake absentee voting gave rise to major protests in Moscow: The capital’s middle class had skin in the game and did not take kindly to being swindled.

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