Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov hasn’t become the world’s most respected diplomat without cause. His statement today, carried by Russian news agency ITAR-TASS, leaves open the avenue for a face-saving statement by the U.S. after the bombshell BBC report that it cut a deal with ISIS fighters in Raqqa, allowing them to leave unmolested.
Lavrov understands this is the essence of diplomacy and how to salvage a bad situation.
“I cannot speak about any collusion. We use facts. We have no evidence of any collusion but the fact is that that the actual picture that emerged after such exodus of militants safe and sound has already impacted the situation on the ground, and it is evident,” he said.
“Anyway, be it a collusion or not, it needs to be probed into and we have issued a relevant inquiry to Washington,” Lavrov stressed.
Lavrov went on to say that he is confused by the U.S.’s seeming contradiction with its own stated goals in Syria – to oust ISIS from the country. But, now that we’ve reached “mission accomplished” we intend to stay behind with thousands of troops in as many as thirteen bases littering eastern Syria to oversee the political process.
Now Lavrov is not stupid. He’s being droll. Since he’s already termed groups like ISIS “wards of the U.S.”
And it is this near infinite patience of both Lavrov and Russian President Vladimir Putin that is helping to create the exact post-war framework in Syria that the U.S., Israel and Saudi Arabia do not want.
As I said in my article from earlier in the week:
Without them as the bogeyman how can the McCain-wing of the U.S. Deep State and the Pentagon continue to justify our presence there? And the reason why we are there is to keep Iran and Russia from running the table.
But, newsflash, they already have. So, leaving our troops there is, at this point, sour grapes with no upside for anyone.
Remember, we are there illegally. Our original allies in this operation, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Turkey are all operating there illegally as well.
This is pure gun-barrel diplomacy. But, like Hillary Clinton within Democratic circles, everyone in the region is tired of the duplicity of the U.S. political leadership and is making plans with complete disregard for our wishes.
That is exactly what this weekend’s summit in Sochi is for. It will build on the Astana peace talks and the agreements brokered there. These agreements, if you remember, the U.S. was not a party to and have not only held because of Turkey’s involvement but have lowered the level of violence in Syria.
But, no matter what Lavrov and the Russians will continue to throw bones to the U.S., Saudi Arabia and Israel if it means the eventual withdrawal of U.S. forces from the region.
The U.S. Deep State and Israel want what cannot be achieved at this point without starting a World War – the removal of all Iranian influence from Syria. President Bashar al-Assad is not a bargaining chip in the upcoming political talks, but yet, U.S. and Israeli policy-makers are still holding out hope.
That’s why U.S. troops are going to stay in Syria, why Israel will continue to bomb Damascus and Saudi Arabia will try to destabilize Lebanon.
But, these are all moves that Putin, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Turkish President Erdogan see coming from miles away. They see them because the military failure to oust Assad in Syria and the collapse of Kurdish Independence in Iraq leave no other viable options.
The question is at this point whether those running the show in D.C. see this as well. I think Trump and Tillerson do. But, everyone else is still deluding themselves that there is a path to victory defined as Syria’s government being run by U.S./Israeli puppets.
Diplomacy allowed Putin to give Obama the opportunity to save face in 2013 over the Ghouta chemical weapons false flag which was supposed to be the casus belli for a full-scale NATO invasion of Syria. When the British Parliament heroically told then-PM David Cameron “No” the U.S. was alone and it set us on the path to this moment in time.
Obama eventually backed down, allowed Putin to broker a deal which saw Assad give up his chemical weapons stores, and the invasion averted.
Putin and his diplomatic corps are doing the same thing now. They are working the problem at multiple levels with a dozen ‘partners’ to craft a deal that allows the U.S. to save face, declare victory and leave.
A lot rides on what gets decided this weekend in Sochi. If the Syrian Kurds in both cantons agree to work with the central government, there will be nothing of note to discuss in Geneva other than the U.S./Israel/Saudi coalition rubber-stamping the end to a very ugly chapter in human history.