James Jeffrey... Tell a Lie after a Lie, Perhaps All will Quarrel with All!
«Inter-state strategic competition, not terrorism, is now the primary concern in U.S. national security…». This is what US National Defense Strategy (2018) has admitted – according to the document which was published days ago on the U.S. Department of Defense website, and signed by Jim Matiss.
The Strategy also puts: «The central challenge to U.S. prosperity and security is the reemergence of long-term, strategic competition by what the National Security Strategy classifies as revisionist powers»: Powers such as «China and Russia» attempting to re-emerge on the scene of power and influence.
It is really helpful that your enemy is rude to the point where he openly expresses what directs and guides his various policies. The lie of «War on Terror» – which was the United States' slogan in its pre-emptive war on the rise of China and Russia, and on the new international balance of powers, that was still embryonic at the beginning of the millennium – is no longer useful, especially with the active involvement of the Russians in the concrete results-yielding fight against terrorism, and with the increasing manifestations of the European and Turkish rebellion, It is now required [by USA] to mobilize the «allied/dependent» forces in the various methods available, especially bullying: by military, security, economic and diplomatic ways, as elaborated in the US «Strategy».
In the context, too, the US audacity in defending «Israel's right to defend itself» during the recent aggression by the Zionist entity on Gaza, in addition to the declared strategy mentioned above, may lead to whipping of the insolent faces of the Arab normalizers and some Syrians Who are «playing politics», relying on the hope in the Americans and in US «strong return» to the Syrian file... although we do not consider a value of those, nor do we address them, because we are convinced that they are distributed between a fool and a traitor, but never mind, between now and then, of slapping the traitors on the face in front of the public.
In the light of the «Strategy», and in light of RAND's reports, which constitute the concrete application of the general strategy in the Syrian situation, we can understand the frantic activity of the new US envoy to Syria, James F. Jeffrey. In particular, we can understand the series of lies and contradictions that have filled his declarations during the brief period since his assumption of his mission.
Firstly: About Idlib
It has been promoted over the past period that the Sochi agreement on Idlib talks about a cease-fire for a year. There is no basis of such a claim. But the mission of «Al-Nusra Front» according to RAND's goals will not be achieved even with a one-year cease-fire. What they are in need of, then, is to preserve Al-Nusra Front as long as possible, and that's why Jeffrey claimed, in the day before yesterday in a press meeting, that one of the outcomes of the Four-party summit [on Syria] in Istanbul, is Putin's agreeing to «a lasting cease-fire in Idlib», which was repeatedly denied by the Russians and Turks, stressing that the agreement on Idleb is temporary not permanent.
What Jeffrey has deliberately dropped from his own reading of the final statement of the Quadrilateral Summit, and what it is, in deed, included about a comprehensive cease-fire is the following:
«a lasting ceasefire, while underlining the necessity to continue fight against terrorism…», and «reaffirmed their determination to fight against terrorism in Syria in order to ultimately eliminate DAESH/ISIL, Al-Nusra Front and all other individuals, groups, undertakings, and entities associated with Al Qaeda or DAESH/ISIL, and other terrorist groups, as designated by the UN Security Council».
In other words, the cease-fire sought by Jeffrey, in the case of Idlib, is exactly a perpetual ceasefire towards Al-Nusra Front.
Secondly: On the Constitutional Committee
Jeffrey lied too, when he claimed that the Russians agreed at the Quadrilateral Summit to form the Constitutional Committee before the end of the year, and that they also agreed to de Mistura appointing the third third. As for the first lie, its refutation is evident in what is stated in the section on the formation of the constitutional committee in the final Joint Statement of the Quadrilateral Summit, which Jeffrey wanted to drop from it the words «considering the circumstances», which the statement did mentioned them with regard to the formation of the constitutional committee before the end of the year. In addition, several Russian officials said there is no basis to «artificially create some timeframes» for «the launch of a Syrian constitutional committee». This has been repeated many times in similar wordings by Nebenzia, Bogdanov and Lavrov. «We see no reasons to rush this process and artificially create some timeframes. Quality is everything in this case», stressing that UN's «attempts to rush things often led to a failure in achieving the desired goals», like what often happened in the majority of other conflicts. (Lavrov, 10/10/2018).
The second lie, which concerns Russia's approval of de Mistura's «right» to appoint the third third [of the Constitutional Committee], is also refutable through Putin's statements at the press conference that followed the Quadrilateral Summit, as well as several statements by Lavrov, where both confirmed that choosing the Third Third members should be «acceptable to all Syrian parties».
However, Jeffery goes far beyond: In addition to praising de Mistura and his work, and claiming that the latter has the authority to convoke the Constitutional Committee to convoke before the end of the year, and to say that the United States, and other countries, encouraged him to do so – i.e. the unilateral declaration of formation of the Constitutional Committee by the Small Group, through the United Nations, and without agreement of Astana's Troika – in addition to all that, Jeffery goes too far in his escalation and «bullying» to the extent of saying that his country will hold Russia accountable for the delay in launching the Constitutional Committee! As if the United States was the one who convened the Sochi Conference and pushed for the formation of the Constitutional Committee…
Anyway, an important statement in this regard was made by Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov a few days ago, published by RIA Novosti, in which he invited Geir Pedersen to visit Russia as soon as possible: «He can come (to Moscow) even now, we are not formalists. The sooner he arrives in Moscow, the easier it will be for him to get to know what our approaches are…», said Bogdanov, pointing that «the question here is when Staffan de Mistura will hand over the case. Now they say it could be a few more days into the December. Pedersen will take the position only at the end December, therefore, from the beginning to the end of December there will be a transitional period of transfer of cases…».
What this statement does not say directly, but can be implicitly and clearly understood, as we believe, is the following:
«We are ready to deal with Pedersen from now, because the role of de Mistura is over, despite extending his mission for another month until the end of the year, it is just a procedural matter for transferring the cases to the new envoy. De Mistura has completed his mission and any new behavior of him is no longer acceptable, including, in particular, with regard to the Constitutional Commission».
Thirdly: On Daesh
We do not know specifically who formulated the term «enduring defeat» of Daesh. But the term, and its extensive interpretations that have appeared in the sayings of Jeffrey and many US think tanks, as well as in the reviews of Washington Post and others, means obviously the following:
«Daesh will be reborn again and again, maybe for many decades to come, therefore our war against it will continue for many decades, and ending it permanently requires not only our military presence, but also the redrawing of the whole map of the region according to our interests, using various means: security, military, diplomatic, economic...etc.».
This Interpretation can be deeper understood in light of the main objective of the US strategy referred to above:
«Inter-state strategic competition, not terrorism, is now the primary concern in U.S. national security».
That is, the United States is pushing things towards a new major escalation, with its clear declaration that it is «Lasting and Expanding»; the former slogan can be truly said in the case of the United States of America or Daesh, because both are one.
It is not unlikely that Daesh have next missions closer than to be pushed towards Europe. The tensions that Washington is feeding in the Arab region suggest that more than one Arab country could be a near theater for Daesh action, including countries historically allied to the United States… In other words, the US purpose from preservation and expansion of Daesh and similar organizations, is to make the crisis endemic in the region so that it is difficult to get out of it for several decades to come...
In connection with Daesh file, Jeffrey moves among the representatives of the «Self-Management» and present to them a specific project, along with his moves between them and Turkey to present another project to the latter, and he also moves among the group of the Syrian Negotiation Committee, and says to them words different from what he has said to the first and second parties mentioned above. On the one hand, Jeffrey makes promises of basic representation of Self-Management within the political solution, based on the idea of «local administrations» and «democratic decentralization» in their fragmentation sense contained in RAND reports and the non-papers of Tillerson and Pompeo... In front of the Turks he comes with a paper in his hand announcing a financial reward to be offered for anyone who provides information on three of the most important leaders of the PKK. In addition, he provided promises about Manbij, and alluded to some promises about Raqqa. When he meets the Syrian Negotiation Committee, he stresses the Committee's monopolistic and exclusive representation of the Syrian opposition, transgressing his promises to the Self-Management... and so on, in a semi-open manipulation of all parties...
All this comes as a «tactic» within a comprehensive strategy. The word «tactic», in the US custom, means: lying. It is also a kind of «tactic», i.e. lying, when talking about the existence of a «new» US strategy with regard to Syria, Iran, the region in general, or the entire world. In this, the US Fascism finds Goebbels helpful: «Tell a lie after a lie, perhaps something will stick in minds of the public», with further development of it to be: «…perhaps all will quarrel with all!», that is, perhaps the inter-war will continue indefinitely draining strategic adversaries, preventing them from breaking unipolarity forever, because the main challenge to the prosperity and security of the United States is not «terrorism», but «the reemergence of long-term, strategic competition by what the National Security Strategy classifies as revisionist powers».
Fifthly: Iran, Daesh, and Reconstruction
We see also the declaration of Jeffrey that Iran is seeking to create a new «Daesh». There is no pretext better than such a pretext to emphasize the necessity of «enduring defeat» of Daesh, and one component of this is to remove Iran, not militarily, but through a deal with the Syrian government, in which the latter is encouraged to ask the Iranians to leave, in return for promises of reconstruction and facilitating the return of refugees. If this deal is added to the group of statements that Jeffrey made about Assad's fate, and that there is no problem for the United States «with persons», appear clear the attempts to mislead the Syrian government by saying that the United States may recognize the legitimacy of the Syrian government, deal with it, and facilitate for it the issues of reconstruction and refugees returning, In return for taking out the Iranians from Syria!
The overall serpentine movements of Jeffrey, and US policy, reaffirm the strategic objectives, general and partial, of US policy in Syria and the Middle East, which have not been changed at all, and can be read in RAND report. They are in summary:
1 - Sustaining the conflict and attrition up to the fragmentation.
2. Creating and perpetuating the status of the «failed state» in Syria by preventing any change in the regime and keeping it within certain limits, and draining the state and the society as a whole through the hotbeds of Al-Nusra and Daesh, and by feeding the separatist tendencies of some Kurdish leaders.
3 - In parallel with the above, and to achieve it, attempts should be made to sabotage the Russian-Turkish relationship, mainly through Idlib file, and other files, leading even to blow up Astana and Sochi if possible.
4 - The destruction of Astana and Sochi, is the way to blow up 2254, because the entry into the implementation of UNSCR 2254 under the control of extremists on both sides, which is appropriate for the United States of course, is an impossible thing, so what should be done in the file of the Constitutional Committee, is either to completely prevent its formation – and this looks difficult because the option of forming it away from the dictates of the Small Group is no longer far away – or to preemptively form a clinically dead Committee, similar to the format of Geneva's combination controlled by extremists, which will push, they believe, to the ultimate blowing up of 2254 and return to point zero, where there is no reference to the solution, with the inherent possibilities for a new comprehensive military escalation, accompanied by reviving the spirit in Daesh and similar organizations.
*Secretary of People's Will Party
[Translated from the Arabic original by Kassioun.org]