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Obama and Kerry double down on failed U.S. policy towards Syria

President Barack Obama is greeted by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (L) during the State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol on January 28, 2014 in Washington, DC.
President Barack Obama is greeted by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (L) during the State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in the House Chamber at the U.S. Capitol on January 28, 2014 in Washington, DC.
Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

The recent meetings in Geneva on Syria collapsed with no positive results. The UN mediator Lakhdar Brahimi in fact apologized to the Syrian people for the lack of progress.

Following the meetings, Secretary of State John Kerry blamed President Assad of Syria for "stonewalling" the talks and for trying to "win on the battlefield." The latter accusation is really curious. Did he expect President Assad not to try to win on the battlefield?

In response, Syria's foreign minister, Walid al-Moallem, blamed the US for the failure of the negotiations, saying the US tried to "create a very negative climate for dialogue in Geneva".

John Kerry also had harsh words for Russia. He said, "Russia needs to be a part of the solution and not be contributing so many more weapons and so much more aid that they are in fact enabling Assad to double down."

Well, the Russian foreign ministry issued the following response, "The [Syrian] opposition is divided. It was an unspoken arrangement that the US would try to bring the opposition to the table. What do we get instead? Before the talks, the Syrian National Coalition (SNC) loses its backbone, the Syrian National Council, and the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood. So these are two major parties, plus all the ones that were never in the coalition.”

More recently, we have learned that the Free Syrian Army has fired its military chief General Selim Idriss. So, the opposition is in total chaos. Yet, President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry still are trying to pretend that there is a viable alternative to President Assad. In particular, Kerry apparently told a group of congressmen in Germany that President Obama has asked for a "new strategy" on Syria since the current strategy is failing.

Recently, President Obama stated, "we don’t think there’s a military solution per se to the [Syrian] problem." Yet, according to Washington Post, there was a two-day strategy meeting last week of intelligence officials from the U.S., Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, Jordan and other key regional powers in Washington, DC. So, clearly, President Obama is merely planning new tactics. But, the overall goal in Syria seems to be the same: Overthrow of the leader of another country by force.

It is not clear when U.S. presidents and politicians will understand that it is not the business of the United States who is the leader of another independent country. Currently, there is no viable alternative to President Assad in Syria. Despite all his faults, if he is deposed there will be total chaos in Syria. Presumably, the disasters in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Egypt were not enough for the politicians in Washington.