Lavrov Calls Kerry's Bluff
Lavrov Calls Kerry's Bluff
by Stephen Lendman
Russian Foreign Sergei Lavrov wants peace. He's going all out against war on Syria. He's doing it responsibly.
Important world leaders back him. So does overwhelming global anti-war sentiment.
On Monday, Lavrov met with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem. He did so in Moscow.
"We are calling on the Syrian authorities not only agree on putting chemical weapons storages under international control, but also for its further destruction and then joining the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons," he said.
"We have passed our offer to Muallem and hope to receive a fast and positive answer."
Al-Moallem pledged "full cooperation with Russia to remove any pretext for aggression." Lavrov promised Moscow's support.
He's trying to broker a diplomatic solution. In return, he wants Obama to cancel attack plans.
He cited John Kerry saying Assad "could turn over every single bit of his chemical weapons to the international community in the next week."
"Turn it over, all of it without delay and allow (a) full and total accounting, but he isn't about to do it and it can't be done."
Doing it would avoid military intervention, Kerry said. Damage control followed his statement. State Department spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki reinterpreted his comments.
He "was making a rhetorical argument about the impossibility and unlikelihood of Assad turning over chemical weapons," she said.
"His point was that this brutal dictator with a history of playing fast and loose with the facts cannot be trusted to turn over chemical weapons, otherwise he would have done so long ago. That's why the world faces this moment."
Reinterpreting Kerry's statement shows Obama's true intention. Falsely blaming Assad for using chemical weapons is cover for long planned regime change.
War is Obama's option of choice. Lavrov's best efforts may fall short. He forthrightly pursued them throughout months of conflict. He's not about to stop now.
He faces long odds. Obama didn't wage war on Syria to quit. He won't do so no matter what Lavrov, Moallem, Assad or other Syrian officials pledge. Rogues states operate that way. America's by far the worst.
Moallem's doing his best anyway. So is Lavrov. From Moscow, he said:
"We have agreed on practical steps to be taken bilaterally and in cooperation with other states for giving the political settlement a chance."
"No matter how serious the current situation may be, our Syrian partners and we are confident that possibilities remain for a political settlement."
"Russia has been staying in touch with all (Syrian) opposition groups without an exception in the recent years and we will carry on our efforts to try to convince them that there is no alternative to an international conference."
"If our contacts express that this (conference) may help, then we do not rule out the possibility of an invitation to Moscow of all who are interested in peace and a political settlement in Syria and reject the military scenario."
"What are the real interests of the US behind launching this aggression," he asked?
"Obama is not listening to Americans, Europeans, and UK Parliament. We thank American people for standing against striking Syria."
"We admire the American people who voice their protest against military intervention," added Muallem.
"What are the real interests of the United States behind launching this aggression? Why does US want to help those who are behind 9/11?
Washington "will be wrong to destroy (Syria's) army and help Al Qaeda. We're confident Russian efforts on peace talks will stop strikes."
Lavrov replied, saying:
"UN inspectors should return to Syria to investigate alleged use of chemical weapons."
"The alleged chemical attack on August 21 was orchestrated." Anti-Assad elements bear full responsibility.
"We must consolidate government and rebels to evict terrorists. We are taking active moves to prevent devastating strike. Every report on chemical arms use must be closely studied."
"Syria is open to Geneva-2 peace talks with no pre-conditions. We call on US colleagues to focus on talks, not on strikes."
"Syria strike will only enable terrorism. Russia believes no group should monopolize peace talks."
"Dialogue is necessary among all Syrians. It's the only solution. UN inspectors must go back to Syria, but some powers are obstructing."
He left no doubt which ones he means. They're headquartered in Washington. Obama's a warmaker. He deplores peace. He's going all out to prevent it. He plans war to do so.
"Russia is well-supported in the view that military action in Syria will provoke rampant terrorism," said Lavrov.
Moallem said his government is ready for Geneva II with no preconditions. "We are still ready to do that. But I do not know what may happen after an act of aggression by the United States. Probably a missile will fly over and thwart this.
America sides with terrorists, he added. It plans to be Al Qaeda's air force.
"But if such aggression against Syria aims, as we suspect, to considerably weaken the military potential of the Syrian army in the interest of al-Qaeda and various affiliated groups, then we will raise our objections," he stressed.
"Then we have the right to ask a question about the genuine interests of the United States that wishes to unleash an attack on the behalf of Jabhat al-Nusra and similar groups."
"We've come here just as the US is sounding war drums. Our feeling is that Russia plays an important role of staving off aggression."
"That is where Russia's moral ground lies, since a peacekeeper is always stronger than a warmonger."
"Mr. Assad has sent his regards and said he was grateful to Mr. Putin for his stand on Syria both before and after the G20 summit."
"Russia plays an important role in preventing aggression."
Lavrov added that Russia's "stand on Syria is unwavering and does not permit a military solution of the Syrian conflict, especially foreign intervention."
"The position of Russia is well-known. It is immune to change and varying circumstances."
"This position says there is no alternative to peaceful, diplomatic settlement of the Syrian conflict, especially not a military solution employing foreign intervention."
"On the background of the unfolding campaign calling to use force against Damascus, Russia is taking steps to prevent a pernicious situation in the Middle East."
"There cannot be any deals behind backs of the Syrian people from the Russian side in what refers to the policies Russia is following."
He added that force against Syria would cause a wave of regional terrorism. Perhaps that's precisely what Obama intends.
He needs pretexts to intervene. Peace and stability defeat his agenda. It requires violence and destabilization. He plans lots more ahead.
He faces stiff world opposition. On September 9, Reuters headlined "Analysis: Obama growing isolated on Syria as support wanes".
"White House efforts to convince the US Congress to back military action against Syria are not only failing, they seem to be stiffening the opposition."
He's making more enemies than friends. He's doing so at home and abroad. Skeptics way outnumber supporters.
Hindsight may show he shot himself in the foot. Peace activists hope so. He'll give it another go Tuesday night. He'll try enlisting support for what most people reject.
They're tired of being lied to. They want peace, stability, and jobs. They want America's resources directed toward creating them.
They want leadership representing everyone equitably. Obama's polar opposite. He supports wealth, power and privilege alone. He spurns popular interests.
He chooses war over peace. He's less able to sell what most people reject. Odds favor he'll attack Syria anyway.
Pretexts are easy to fabricate. They're longstanding US policy. Expect another major one if Ghouta's Big Lie falls flat. It's likely planned ready to be implemented if needed.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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