Posted by Curt on 17 February, 2014 at 8:28 am. 2 comments already!


Ed Morrissey:

Talks in Geneva between the combatants in Syria’s civil war broke down earlier today. US Secretary of State John Kerry marched to a podium to express his dismay over the situation, and put the blame on three forces that are enabling Bashar al-Assad to remain in power and “double down” on a military solution to the conflict. To the surprise of exactly no one, those forces are Hezbollah, Iran, and Russia:


“Right now, Bashar Assad has not engaged in the discussions along the promised and required standard that both Russia spoke up for and the regime spoke up for,” Kerry said during a press conference in Jakarta.

He said the Syrian leader’s team “refused to open up one moment of discussion” of a transitional government to replace Assad’s regime. “It is very clear that Bashar Assad is trying to win this on the battlefield instead of coming to the negotiating table in good faith,” Kerry added.

Kerry also had harsh words for Assad’s allies in Moscow, saying Russia needs to be a part of the solution, rather than contributing aid and weapons to him which, “are in fact enabling Assad to double down.”

Russia has told the U.S. it was committed to helping create a transitional government, Kerry said, but has not delivered “the kind of effort to create the kind of dynamic by which that could be achieved.”

And this surprises … whom, exactly? Let’s start with Iran. We’re currently negotiating with Tehran on an end to their nuclear-weapons program, while Hezbollah is intervening on behalf of Assad in Syria, whom we oppose. In what world, diplomatic or otherwise, does this make any sense at all? Iran and Hezbollah need Assad in their camp in order to leverage Syria against the West and Israel. The only reason we’re not sold on an outright intervention to blow Assad out of Syria is because the alternative is worse, with al-Qaeda controlling ground in Iraq and Syria now thanks to American retreats in the former country.

Russia, meanwhile, wants to keep up its arms sales, prevent the West from creating anotherfailed state on the Mediterranean, and to stick his thumb in the eye of NATO.

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