Dead-on Arrival US/Russia Negotiated Cessation of Hostilities in Syria

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February 23, 2016
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February 23, 2016
Dead-on-Arrival US/Russia Negotiated Cessation of Hostilities in Syria
by Stephen Lendman
Russia’s all-out efforts for cessation of hostilities and peace in Syria are forthright and honest. Putin, Sergey Lavrov and other officials involved deserve high praise. 
America’s imperial agenda undermines taking an important step toward transforming a region devastated by endless wars, violence and chaos into sea of tranquility – pure fantasy to believe otherwise.
The Russian/American bilateral agreement announced Monday was dead-on-arrival, much as Syrians and anti-war supporters wish otherwise.
The US-led Western supported Riyadh-based so-called High Negotiations Committee (HNC) comprised of anti-Syrian terrorist groups threw a spanner in the works straightaway – consenting to ceasefire terms with unacceptable preconditions, including:
  • halting Russian/Syrian bombing, falsely claiming it targets nonexistent moderate rebels, civilians and nonmilitary targets;
  • releasing prisoners responsible for gruesome atrocities;
  • ending the blockade of areas held by terrorists, reopening their supply lines to Turkey if agreed to; 
  • Syrian forces to halt advancing into territories held by terrorist groups agreeing to ceasefire terms; and
  • delivering humanitarian aid – ISIS and other terrorist groups steal it for their own use or sale to desperate people at unaffordable prices.
Demanding these conditions constitutes an automatic deal-breaker before it’s officially announced by all warring parties.
Expect Moscow and Damascus to be wrongfully blamed when things break down – when proposed terms are flagrantly breached by US supported terrorists. 
Chances for resolving Syria’s conflict diplomatically are virtually nil. Putin and Assad have no peace partners in Washington, London, Paris, Ankara, Riyadh, Doha, Tel Aviv or other rogue state capitals.
Russia and America jointly proposed a February 27 ceasefire date, effective midnight Damascus time – “applied to those parties to the Syrian conflict that have indicated their commitment” to observe it.
ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra and other Security Council designated terrorist organizations are excluded.
Moscow and Washington agreed to “exchange pertinent information,” distinguishing territories held by ISIS and other terrorist groups from others agreeing to accept ceasefire terms.
A so-called International Syria Support Group (ISSG) ceasefire task force will be established under US-controlled UN auspices – a sham arrangement, letting America have final say on who’s in-or-out-of-compliance, using the world body to do its finger-pointing.
Assad supported ceasefire long before the current initiative. At the same time, he vows unrelenting resistance against terrorist invaders until their scourge is eliminated.
So does Russia, knowing foreign-supported terrorist groups must be defeated to have any chance for a durable peace.
Sergey Lavrov and his diplomatic team worked tirelessly for conflict resolution since at least 2012. Washington undermined their best efforts.
Is this time different? Do rogue state hegemons ever reinvent themselves as peacemakers? 
It bears repeating. Chances for resolving things in Syria diplomatically are virtually nil.
Peace and stability defeat America’s agenda. Endless wars serve it.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com
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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.