Monday, May 15, 2017

Trump Changes Gear: Strategic Syria policy now lies with Tillerson and Lavrov by Alastair Crooke, 12 May 2017

Well, this looks more encouraging.

http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2017/05/trump-changes-gear-strategic-syria-policy-now-lies-with-tillerson-and-lavrov-by-alastair-crooke-12-m.html



In all the dust kicked up in Washington over Comey, Astana has passed largely unnoticed.  But there (Astana), the ‘gear change’ is substantive and merits close attention. In gist, Trump is willing to let Astana unfold, and to see whether it may lead to a strategic change in the Syrian situation.  Two things emerge from this: Firstly, Russia and Iran are being tested by Trump.  Ideological prejudices are being suspended for the moment, and both countries will be judged by their actions.  (I think both states will stand content with this situation). 
“The cracking of the ice on the frozen Russian-American lake can only mean a temperature change. The telephone conversation between Presidents Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin on Tuesday can be compared to ice cracking after an unusually cold and long winter. The readouts from the White House and the Kremlin both give a positive spin to the phone call. 
I understand that Washington acknowledges the importance of the Iranian role in bringing Astana to a successful conclusion (apart from providing boots on the ground, and other resources, Iran also carries considerable weight in Damascus).  It seems that the US now is prepared to judge Iran by its actions in that context and suspend its animosity pro tem.  I have been told (though unconfirmed) that the order to renew the waiver on secondary sanctions on Iran may have already been signed by the President.   
So, it seems that Trump has shifted: from projecting the narrative of ‘America the Strong’, to using that narrative for the purpose of making peace. For in Oslo, too, America’s representatives have quietly been sitting down with their North Korean counterparts to talk de-confliction. 

21 comments:

Bob said...

False flag gas attack, followed by a false flag Tomahawk attack, followed by a plan with little chance of success = changing gears?

Or do war hawks need another reason to get rid of Trump?

Penguin pop said...

Encouraging, but the skeptical part of me says it will just lead to more smoke and mirrors from Trump and no tangible action.

Kaivey said...

There's a Finley Cunningham article out there where he says Trump is a very good businessman. He's very nice to people, affable, makes them feel at home, they trust him, then be gets the best deal. What he says and what he does are two different things, says Cunningham. So he talks peace to the world leaders while building up a massive military presence on their borders. But could there be a battle going on in Washington between the isolationists and the neocons who want war? Is this a reason for the schism?

Noah Way said...

Don't look for the Deep State to back him up.

Bob said...

From the Neocon perspective, Washington should not be helping Russia in Syria or anywhere else. If Russia and Iran want to put Syria back together, it's an opportunity to bleed them dry.

From the Isolationist perspective, there's no need for an agreement other than the US to abandon their proxies. Russia and Iran would still have to pay the bill, and Syrians do most of the dying, but Washington would no longer be meddling in the region. The Saudis would also be given the heave ho.

Noah Way said...

The dying part in Syria seems to be pretty much over. Russia and Iran did - quickly and efficiently - what we were only pretending to do. The our proxy armies (the "terrorists") have moved back into Iraq.

Of course the Saudis and Israelis aren't happy and will no doubt find some way to get Uncle Sam to screw everything up again. As if we couldn't do it by ourselves.

Bob said...

The oil rich part of Syria remains to be liberated from ISIS. Turkey will insist that it be "liberated" from the Kurds as well. In Iraq, a major city is being liberated with the usual amount of collateral damage. Shiite militias are reportedly carrying out some of that collateral damage. More dying on the way...

Kaivey said...

What a world? To think I used to love Star Trek when I was a kid and I thought mankind was becoming more enlightened. No more wars, lots of reasonable people, religions that united everyone and were full of spirituality, everyone happy, kind, and considerate. And Phasors on stun only, so no one gets harmed. Now look at it? And we've got Alex Jones (at least he likes Putin).

Bob said...

I still love Star Trek and science fiction.

Bob said...

Crematoriums in Syria!
http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/syria-prisoners-crematorium-1.4115622?cmp=rss

Tom Hickey said...

Crematoriums in Syria!

Looks like they are farming the propaganda out to Madison Avenue.

Bob said...

The State Department is located on Madison Avenue?

Tom Hickey said...

The State Department is located on Madison Avenue?

Advertsing.

Bob said...

The State Department is making the accusation, not some advertising firm.

Tom Hickey said...

Bob, I was making a joke.

The reference to "crematorium" is an obvious proxy for saying "Hitler" without saying "Hitler." It's something a propaganda expert or someone in advertising would come up with.

Without evidence it is a transparent attempt to persuade rhetorically.

Bob said...

'Evidence' was presented in the form of satellite photos. They are claiming there is a literal crematorium. What non-rhetorical term would you have them use?

Title: Trump administration accuses Syria of mass executions
U.S. State Department believes 50 detainees a day are hanged at Syrian military prison

The Trump administration accused the Syrian government Monday of carrying out mass killings of thousands of prisoners and burning the bodies in a large crematorium outside the capital. It also stepped up criticism of Iran and Russia for supporting the Syrian government.

Tom Hickey said...

Like WMD labs in Iraq?

Without going in the ground there is no evidence.

Tom Hickey said...

I would think that the fake news in the US media around the election would make it more more difficult to spread propaganda about external affairs, but they seem to be doubling down on both.

Bob said...

"They" are part of the Trump administration. Or has the 'great orange one' not gotten round to cleaning out the State Department?

Tom Hickey said...

Trump is open to negotiating with Russia, while also keeping the pressure on them, on one hand, and on the other, not appearing soft on them for domestic consumption.

But this kind of "evidence" has to be coming from the intel services, whose record in such matters is abysmal, to be generous.

Bob said...

Lets see if this remains a news blip or an opportunity for Trump to look 'presidential'.