Friday, January 12

U.S. remains determined to unseat Assad at any cost

"In Washington last month, I was told that a main strut of U.S. Syria policy going forward would be marshalling America’s international and regional allies to isolate the Assad regime economically. America is meant to play a key leadership role in this effort, reinforcing international consensus on an economic blockade of Assad. The idea is to use economic leverage on the regime and its ally Russia, in parallel with diplomatic pressure, to push for a transition and Assad’s removal."

The quote is from Sam Heller's What an unfolding humanitarian disaster in a U.S.-protected enclave in Syria tells us about American strategy in Syria, published November 20 at War on the Rocks. But you'd have to read to the last part of the report to find the quote. At the time the U.S. was making noises about allowing Assad to stay on as head of the Syrian government. By the end of December, however, the U.S. had again showed its true face. From Heller's latest Syria analysis (January 8) for War on the Rocks (America in search of un-Geneva for Syria):
“We are confident that the fulfillment of these [Geneva] talks will produce a Syria that is free of Bashar al-Assad and his family,” wrote Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in The New York Times on Dec. 27. As I argued recently for the Century Foundation, this will not work.
In short, nothing has changed about U.S. involvement since 2011 in the attempts to remove Assad from power, and it's demonstrated a willingness to see Syria reduced to ruins in order to accomplish the goal. Yet one never hears about the U.S. attempting to remove the Baathists from power. This is curious given that much of the Syrian opposition is actually against the Baathists, who were in power long before Bashar al-Assad was installed as the figurehead leader of the party. 

So why the ongoing American focus on removing Assad? Because Assad is completely committed to Syria's government remaining secular, as are most Syrians, and Al Saud can't tolerate a genuinely secular society in the Middle East -- one that puts Sunni Islam on par with other religions and Islamic sects. To whatever extent possible the United States serves Saudi interests.
Any other American reasons for wanting Assad removed are distant seconds. All things being equal, Assad would still have to go because he stands as a bulwark against sectarian rule of Syria.


1 comment:

Col. B. Bunny said...

US arrogance is astonishing. The only interests we don't recognize are our own. We are international morons and Nikki and Rex ably demonstrate why.