Shaky Russia/US Syria Ceasefire Agreement
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
US agreements aren’t worth the paper they’re written on. Its sordid history shows how often they’re breached – at times straightaway, other times months or years later.
Relations with Russia are implacably hostile. Putin’s meeting with Trump in Hamburg, Germany changed nothing.
Earlier US agreed on ceasefires in Syria were observed only by its military, allied forces and Russia. Washington and its terrorist foot soldiers flagrantly breached them.
Sergey Lavrov saying “(t)he United States has made a commitment that all the groups present (in southern Syria – Daraa, Quneitra and Sweida) will observe the ceasefire” ignored how often America’s word isn’t its bond.
The deal is separate from the Russian-drafted agreement on de-escalation zones, details being finalized by Moscow, Iran and Turkey, the Trump administration not part of the deal.
In her Tuesday press briefing, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert equivocated on the Russia/US Syria ceasefire deal, saying:
“Mr. Lavrov likes to talk a lot and get out ahead…of some of the negotiations that are underway. That is all still being worked out. We are a little over two days into the ceasefire in that part of Syria.”
“In terms of who is doing what, when, where, how, some of those details are still being worked out.”
Tillerson and Trump “talked about our difficulties in our relationship with Russia that we remain at a low point but we’re looking for areas of agreement.”
Nauert’s comments weren’t reassuring. Chances for Washington observing what Trump agreed to are virtually nil. A convenient pretext will likely be arranged to breach the deal.
On July 7, the date Putin and Trump agreed on a southern Syria ceasefire, Defense One reported the following:
“At the Pentagon, US Defense Secretary James Mattis and UK Defense Secretary Michael Fallon talked about ways NATO could improve its combat power and deter Russia aggression in Eastern Europe” – knowing none exists, not now, earlier or any evidence suggesting it’s planned.
“We…reviewed this morning Russian aggression, where we alongside the United States are providing essential reassurance on the eastern flank of NATO to our Eastern European allies,” said Fallon.
“The meetings show that even as the White House seeks to improve relations with Moscow, US and UK defense leaders still view Russia as a severe military threat,” Defense One explained.
According to Fallon, “Russia could have ended…civil war (in Syria)…if it had chosen to do so.”
Fact: Syria was invaded by US-supported death squads, terrorists recruited from scores of countries. No civil war exists, one of many Big Lies about years of America’s war on the country.
Fallon: “We don’t think it can be business as usual between the West and Putin until the Minsk agreements are properly respected and until we see the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine restored.”
Fact: Russia is the leading force behind fully implementing Minsk ceasefire terms. Washington, Britain, Ukraine, and their rogue allies consistently undermine them.
Fact: No Russian violations of Ukrainian sovereignty occurred. There’s nothing to restore.
Following their meeting in Hamburg, Germany, Vladimir Putin said both leaders agreed to “create a working group and work together on how to jointly monitor security in cyberspace.”
The notion created a bipartisan anti-Russia firestorm in Washington, causing Trump to backtrack on tweeting “it is time to move forward in working constructively with Russia.”
A follow-up tweet said he and Putin discussing cybersecurity cooperation “doesn’t mean…it can happen.”
Given anti-Russia rage in Washington, it’s virtually impossible. So is improving bilateral relations, now at a post-Cold War low.
Putin’s good faith actions and intentions aren’t enough to even nudge relations in the right direction. They remain irreconcilably apart.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
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