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US: Assad does not have to leave “tomorrow or the next day”

SyriaBillboard
“They stayed truthful to their promises”: A billboard in Syria showing Assad flanked by Putin and Hezbollah’s Nasrallah.

RT reports:

Syrian President Bashar Assad “does not have to leave tomorrow or the next day,” the US State Department has stated. Washington allows that Assad may take part in transitional process, but can’t be part of Syria’s next government.

At the same time, the Obama administration continues to insist that President Assad cannot be a part of transitional government, once the country gets to that point.

“He cannot be part of that transitional government, however it ends,” State Department spokesman Mark Toner said.“He – for his many crimes against his people, for his brutality, cannot be a part of that ultimate transitional government. So – but we’ve not said that he has to leave tomorrow, that he has to be – that he can’t be part of the transitional process.”

Washington has been insisting that Syria’s president must be replaced with a new leader and an inclusive government for years, while accusing Assad of committing “many crimes against his people” including “dropping barrel bombs.”

“And I think it’s not – this isn’t the US dictating this. This is the feeling of many governments around the world, and frankly, the majority of the Syrian people,” Toner said.

When asked to clarify “how long” the State Department thinks the transition process could take, Toner failed to give an exact time period.

“I can’t put a timeframe on it. I can’t say two weeks, two months, six months,” he said, adding that the US is looking for “a political resolution to the conflict.”

However, Toner appeared to be confused when asked if the political transition had started.

“No, no, not – I mean, no, that’s – no,” Toner replied, explaining that this is what the Secretary has been working on.

Toner then admitted that the US is still in the “process to start the process,” stressing that this was “an urgent issue” that “has gone on too long.”

According to the US State Department, Russia is to blame for the delay because it “continues to shore up Assad to strengthen him.” […]


12 Comments

  1. Marc Krizack says

    2 thoughts:

    US is trying to save face. Let it.
    Although I am not familiar with all of what Assad has supposedly done “to his own people,” the only things that ever gets cited are chemical weapons and barrel bombs. They no longer talk about chemical weapons, so that must have turned out not to be true, and the barrel bombs, if used, were used only after the civil war had started. So, my question is “What did Assad do to justify trying to overthrow him in the first place?” I am relatively well informed and I don’t know the answer to that question. Seems like it’s just an excuse a la WMD in Iraq – Not true or only a grain of truth and nothing more.




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    • Tomgram: Rebecca Gordon, How the U.S. Created Middle East Mayhem
      Posted by Rebecca Gordon at 8:14am, October 20, 2015.




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    • As middle eastern regimes go, let’s just say that Israel, Saudi, Turkey, Kuwait, Jordan, UAE and Bahrain are a damn sight worse and have a far worse record of atrocities committed against their people than Syria and even Iraq (asside from that monstrous attack against the Kurds in the north in 2001 which should have led to immediate sanctions by an outraged world, but strangely didn’t) It’s no picnic living in any of the monarchies around there, Iran on the other hand, since it got rid of the US monster installed shares it’s wealth among the people.




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    • Roger says

      Mostly Assad agreed with Iraq, Iran, and Libya on eliminating the petrodollar as means to be paid for oil. Indeed this is the main reason for the elimination of Saddam Hussein and Ghaddafi. Also he disagrees with Israel about their continuing to hold the Golan heights, Syrian territory seized in the ‘six day war’, which should have been given back (see Un resolution 497).
      As elected leader of a secular, tolerant, multi-ethnic and multi-religious state he has been disobediant to the rules as expressed by the US, and therefore must be eliminated! Barrel-bombs my foot!




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  2. Why should the US dictate what the Syrian people can have? Because they are morally superior? Because they understand democracy? Because they can employ some more terrorists if they don’t get what they want? How about this for a solution. Why don’t we let the Syrian people decide who THEY want as their leader. After all, the US claims that the Syrians don’t want Assad even though 20 million people support him, so what’s the problem? If 20 million people or whatever’s left of the population vote for Assad in a democratic election what are the US going to use as their next excuse for getting rid of him? The barrel bombs they purchased from Turkey along with the chemical warfare weapons are not exactly an incentive for Syrians to vote for the US proposed pro Washington candidate are they? The murder for hire assassins they paid for aren’t going to legitimize their candidate too much either, are they? So if Putin’s got any sense he will tell the US that he intends to let the Syrian people decide – what’s the US going to do? Tell the Syrians they don’t know what’s good for them? I think they do by now.




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    • zvezdicaslo says

      Why don’t we let the Syrian people decide who THEY want as their leader.

      Indeed.

      To my best knowledge, there has been only one recent poll conducted across Syria (see below). The pollsters say that the poll is representative of the people of Syria. A similar poll was also conducted in Iraq. Both polls were conducted in June-July 2015:

      82% of Syrians agree that ISIS was foreign-created by the US (17% disagree).

      85% of Iraqis agree that ISIS was foreign-created by the US (10% disagree).


      Among the warring sides in Syria, Assad has the highest (!) support – 47% of Syrians think he has a POSITIVE influence (50% negative) .

      Compare to the groups which the US ‘coalition’ and the Anglo-Americans media claim we should all support:

      Free Syrian Army – 35% positive, 63% negative

      Syrian Opposition Coalition – 26% positive, 72% negative

      Considering the polling results, anyone claiming that Assad should be removed is working AGAINST half of the Syrians. Putin is right – Assad has to be included in any solution to the war. Else, there will immediately a rebellion of half of Syrians against FOREIGN powers toppling Assad.

      Assad will not come to the negotiating table without Putin.

      Besides, it is clear that for Syrians (and Iraqis), the truly BAD guys are the Americans.

      PUBLIC OPINION IN SYRIA

      Fieldwork: June 10 to July 2

      Respondents: 1,365 Syrians from all 14 governorates of the country

      Thinking about the persons and the groups which are working now in Syria, Generally, do you think that their influence is negative or positive on the matters in Syria

      Positive … Negative

      47% … 50% … Bashar al-Asad
      43% … 55% … Iran
      37% … 55% … Arab Gulf Countries
      35% … 63% … Nusra Front
      35% … 63% … Free Syrian Army
      26% … 72% … Syrian Opposition Coalition

      21% … 76% … Islamic State

      There are many reasons around to explain the presence of ISIL in Iraq/Syria, please tell me if strongly agree, somewhat agree, somewhat disagree, or a strongly disagree for the reason that explains the presence of ISIL?

      Agree … Disagree

      82% … 17% … ISIL is foreign made by the US

      59% … 40% … As a result of widespread sectarian politics in the Arab countries and in Turkey

      55% … 44% …ISIL is made by some Arab regimes

      50% … 48% … ISIL is created by foreign countries to find a balance with Iran

      44% … 55% … Wrong policies pursued by the Syrian government

      42% … 56% … Syrian regime made ISIL for marking the opposition to terrorism

      39% … 57% … Iran is supporting this organization to weaken Iraq and take it under its control

      22% … 76% … Sectarian congestion that has arisen in Syria

      Do you support or oppose the international coalition airstrikes in Syria?

      Support … Oppose

      47% … 50%

      According to your view, which of the following represent the best solution for the crisis which Syria is in today?

      51% … Political solution

      37% … Military solution


      Note: The poll has a margin of error of +/-3 percentage points.

      Sources:

      ORB/IIACSS poll in Iraq and Syria gives rare insight into public opinion (article on ORB’s website)

      Full polling reports by the British ORB International (affiliate of WIN/Gallup International):

      Syria http://www.opinion.co.uk/perch/resources/syriadata.pdf
      Iraq http://www.opinion.co.uk/perch/resources/iraqdata.pdf




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      • Well the Syrian people did decide who they wanted as their leader in presidential elections held in June 2014. 73% of eligible voters in Syria turned up at polling stations and 88% of those who did voted for Bashar al Assad to return as President out of a choice of three candidates.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syrian_presidential_election,_2014

        Where they could, Syrians living overseas flocked to Syrian embassies to try to vote though in a number of countries (including the US and some western European countries) they were prevented from voting.

        The Syrian elections were endorsed by a team of North American observers who held a press conference at the UN on the elections.
        https://syria360.wordpress.com/2014/06/18/un-press-conference-bashar-jaafari-and-us-observers-on-the-syrian-presidential-elections/




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      • Why should Assad come to the negotiating table in the 1st place. Negotiate with whom for what? Who would plan such a meeting anyway. Murkan MT talk.




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        • zvezdicaslo says

          Why should Assad come to the negotiating table in the 1st place.

          Because it is not possible to go from a civil war (no matter how it happened) to peace without some talks.

          Negotiate with whom for what? Who would plan such a meeting anyway.

          Assad can call for talks, but he has to do that in some credible way, maybe with involvement of the UN (which would be probably difficult because the US has a permanent seat and a veto right at the UN SC).

          To start with, Syria’s sovereignty has to be properly restored. Foreign countries which are operating in Syria illegally have to leave. This has to be put on paper.

          The future of Syria should also be discussed. For example, what about the Kurds (and not just in Syria)? Maybe it is time for the international community to think about establishing independent Kurdistan.

          When this devastating war ends, the only chance that Syria has is to have some rather ‘firm fist’ rule it for some time (and it can be Assad with some elements of opposition if they actually exist as Syrians and not CIA boys). Then when the wounds heal a little, the regime can be gradually relaxed.

          And there is also a problem about dealing with war crimes etc.

          It is not possible to go from massacring each other to loving democracy in one step. Building democracy is a process. Democracy / a fair society Middle-Eastern-style whatever it is cannot materialise just like that via a decree after a war. So it would be good to have some plan about the future of Syria.

          Another problem is re-building of Syria’s destroyed parts. This too has to be decided about. International community (and ideally in particular those countries that illegally operate in Syria) should provide financial and other assistance.

          I do not understand enough about Syria’s complex internal situation to be able to draw a detailed plan for peace. But there will have to be some talks/negotiations.

          I am from Slovenia / ex Yugoslavia. I grew up in Yugoslavia (and I am really grateful for that because Yugoslavia was such a wonderfully diverse place) so I a sort of understand the multi-national/ethnic relationships in our region (and know some history and have personal experience with contacts with people of other nations etc.). But even for ex Yugoslavia I find it difficult to understand some issues. It seems to me that Syria is similarly internally complex as Yugoslavia, so only insiders (= the Syrians themselves) can really sort out the present mess. In my opinion, removing Assad would only add to chaos and total devastation.

          It seems to me that post-war Syria will have a similarly difficult task as Yugoslavia post-WWII. During WWII, several foreign countries occupied Yugoslavia, and apart from fighting the occupiers there was also in-fighting among and within Yugoslav nations, collaboration with the occupiers in many forms etc. Total bloody chaos. And the country was largely destroyed, in ruins. But there was a regime change (pre-war dictatorship kingdom with a king was replaced by a post-war socialist system with the president Tito). Tito had a statesman’s vision and charisma which eventually united Yugoslavia, but he used very brutal methods right after the war. I am not sure whether Assad would be able to bring Syria together again or how he would do that (but there seems to be no other candidate to at least have a go).

          Perhaps I should also say that Yugoslavia was Non-Aligned, so it had quite good relationships with both the west and the east and in particular with the ‘third world’ (where many countries were emerging from the colonial rule). I was brought up with the concept of brotherhood, equality and unity of nations (both within Yugoslavia and around the world) which I still fully support. I remember back in those days that I only heard about Yugoslav companies building (!) things in Libya and Iraq (quite many Slovenes temporarily worked on various building projects in the Middle East and North Africa), people from ‘third world’ countries were coming to Slovenia to study (with costs covered by Yugoslavia) etc. So I am now watching with dismay (with Slovenia in Nato since 2004 and all) the events in the last decade. I always thought that countries should help people in other states by building things (and establishing long-term partnerships), not by bombing and destroying them.




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