Podcast: Assessing the Moscow Meeting Over Syria

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As US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has high-level meetings in Moscow, seeking to detach the Russians from Syria’s President Assad, I talk to BBC Radio Wales about the politics and the prospects.

There’s also chat about White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s disastrous comparison of Assad and Hitler, in which the latter “never used chemical weapons”.

See Syria Daily, April 12: Will Russia Separate Itself from Assad?
TrumpWatch, Day 82: Spicer’s Hitler-Assad Gaffe
Podcast: A “World War III” Between the US and Russia Over Syria?

Listen to Discussion

TOP PHOTO: US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with Russian Foreign Secretary Sergei Lavrov (File)

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17 COMMENTS

  1. Tillerson’s remark to Russia (paraphrasing): You’re either with the US or you’re with Iran, shows that he knows little about foreign affairs. The US is a secondary power in this conflict. Nikki Haley is also an embarrassment. This is what happens when you put people who are not career diplomats in these positions.

  2. i would not be shocked if Assad has an “unforturnate” accident or medical crisis. It makes sense and solves a lot of problems.

  3. Hi Mikey,

    Historically, the removal of Nasserist regimes has resulted in the destruction of not only the regime itself, but the military and all other state civil institutions that are necessary for running the country. We saw this in Iraq and Libya. The regime is the state itself. Once the regime implodes, everything else implodes with it; and then you have to build something new from the ground up. I don’t know what the West has in mind. Perhaps a consociational democratic model like the model used in Lebanon? Proportional representation (PR) is usually a core component of that model, to create a fair and moderate political environment.

    • lets the syrian choose thier own destiny..if they want islam to be thier way of life..lets it be..the west is mind about thier omn interest only…actually they know nothing about the majority of syrian wanted..

    • Dave,
      Just a thought, Germany and Japan were almost totally destroyed but they rebuilt their countries from scratch and now they are free democratic prosperous countries. It can happen if the people want it.

      • Germany & Japan didn’t have strong ethnic, religious and tribal fault lines destabilizing their very foundation. They were unified, developed countries with a strong sense of national identity. Whatever happens in a scenario of an Assadist implosion, it definitely won’t resemble anything like post-war Axis countries.
        ­
        Look at Afghanistan. US has been pouring immense amount of money and blood into that place for over 15 years, and all it has to show for it is a kleptocratic regime that maintains control over just half the country, and which would fall apart the moment US boots stepped out of it. There’s no Germany-in-the-making to be found there. None in Syria either. There’s no analogy to be made with post-war Europe.

        • Tundra, you hit the nail on the head. Until these people realize that religion is the root cause of their misery the killing and suffering will continue. I support Trump’s Muslim ban from these countries, we don’t need um here.

        • The solution in afghanistan is partition. The Pashtuns merit their own country. Will the Pakistans go for it, NO. They will suffer until it happens. AGAIN, muticulturalism ALWAYS ends badly. Progressive almost always come from areas of racially homogeneity, never having to confront different kinds of people and traditions. They are consumed with their narcisistic quilt. We are ALL Racist/Xenophobic to different degrees. If you are not, you are taking way too many meds.
          As for Germans and Japanese, they are apex humans/preditors. When the current generation of snow flakes die out, their natural dominating nature will re- emerge.

          • As a Balkanite, I know all about the failure of multicultural states.
            In principle I agree, but in practice it’s simply unrealistic. I don’t see a way to implement a partition in the middle of ongoing conflict without all sorts of complications and setbacks.

    • Dave, I agree. The Baathists are needed, at least for the foreseeable future. Not Assad and his closest inner circle. Many Alawites, Kurds, Druze, and Christians are not happy with him either, just that they are terrified of the possibility of zealots taking control. There are many Sunni’s who still support the Baathist party. They tend to be the most educated and trained folks. There are very few Syrians who want Sharia Law institutionalized. It fits with US, EU, Russian, Jordanian, Egyptian, Israeli and Turkish strategic concerns. The Saudis/Gulf Arabs may be “satisfied”. The only true losers would be Iran and Hezbollah. It’s probably the best solution.

  4. Hi Bill,

    Good point. Civil society was restored, and West Germany and Japan grew to become economic powerhouses. If I recall correctly, the US authored Japan’s constitution. The US also occupied Japan for six years. There were four powers occupying the two Germanys. That begs the question: Is the international community willing to commit themselves to that degree?

  5. MIT Professor , Theodor Postol, a former science adviser to U.S. Navy command and missile expert, has analyzed the “evidence” the White House presented. Postol finds nothing in the White House assessment that lets him believe the incident was from an air attack. He finds signs that the incident that was launched on the ground by intentional exploding the container of 122mm ammunition with some other explosives.

    He calls the White House assessment amateurish and not properly vetted by competent intelligence analysts who, Postol says, would not have signed off on it in is current form.

    The question of whether the attack was done with Sarin remains in doubt. Some symptoms expected with Sarin, for example heavy cramps, spontaneous defecation, are not visible in any of the videos or pictures.
    https://www.scribd.com/document/344995943/Report-by-White-House-Alleging-Proof-of-Syria-as-the-Perpetrator-of-the-Nerve-Agent-Attack-in-Khan-Shaykhun-on-April-4-2017

    • This would be same guy who misrepresented evidence to suggest that the regime didn’t carry out the Ghouta attack.
      .
      No surprise he’s decided Assad didn’t do this one either.
      .
      I wonder how much he gets paid for this shilling? The Russians must have him on retainer at this stage.

      • Partisan Girl a “person” who should be locked up in a mental health istitution. I am suprised people just even take a second of their lives to read the insane x-files look alike theories she vomits every hour. A pathetic person with clearly mental health issues. Lock her up and throw the key in the toilet.

        • Lol true
          Can this ‘mit’ guy break down for us how a bomb blast left enough of a highly volatile substance to kill so many
          A volitile substance with precursors u couldnt smoke a cigarette around withoit causing a fireball
          The russian lie goes against basic chemistry!!!

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