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Throughout the US occupation of Iraq from 2003-2011, the US regularly blamed Iran every time the war was going poorly, even though both they and Iran were backing the same Shi’ite-dominated government. In the early going of the ISIS war in Iraq, the US has often complained about Iran’s involvement, even though again, they are on the same side.
So while he may be stating the fairly obvious, Secretary of State John Kerry made some very controversial statements today when he said that Iran was “helpful” in the war against ISIS, and acknowledged that they and the US have “a common interest” in ISIS’ defeat.
Secretary of State John Kerry met Tuesday morning with several of the State Department “diplomats” who drafted an internal dissent memo calling for the US to launch air strikes against the Syrian government, supposedly as a means of bringing an end to the five-year-old war that has claimed well over a quarter of a million lives and driven over half the Syrian population from their homes.
The New York Times reported that Kerry and 10 of 51 mid-level operatives who signed the memo “engaged in a surprisingly cordial conversation” over the memo, which was leaked to the media virtually before the ink on it was dry.
H/t reader squodgy:
“Another piece of the jigsaw leading up to WW3…..”
As President Obama nears the end of his second term, his administration’s patience over the Syrian state of affairs is running out: indeed, a five-year war has not resulted in ousting Syria’s legitimate president Bashar al-Assad.
On Wednesday US Secretary of State John Kerry “warned” Damascus and Moscow that Washington’s “patience was not infinite,” while commenting on ceasefire violations in Syria.
“Russia needs to understand that our patience is not infinite, in fact it is very limited with whether or not Assad is going to be held accountable,” Kerry told reporters after meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in Oslo, Norway.
Here is further proof that US foreign policy fact is stranger than fiction: one day after the Orlando shooting where some 50 patrons of a homosexual bar were gunned down, US Secretary of State John Kerry sat down to dinner with with Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Washington, D.C. and, according to the State Department, “discussed this weekend’s shooting in Orlando and expressed their shared commitment to continue their cooperation in combatting the spread of violent extremism, both regionally and internationally.”
State Department is making noises about willingness to abandon regime change and settle for a ‘mere’ partition of Syria, but Russia is having none of it
It wasn’t so long ago that London was accusing Russia of plotting to partition Syria. The context of the allegation was that supposedly Russia has begun to see it will not be able to win in Syria and had now settled for carving out an Alawite mini state for Assad.
Yet three weeks later and one Turkey-rebel supply route less and it’s Washington which is talking up partition instead. And furthermore doing so from a position of weakness that UK’s Philip Hammond had been earlier deluding himself that the Russians were working from.
Russia wants to sell some bonds and President Obama isn’t happy about it.
Moscow is looking to issue “at least” $3 billion of foreign bonds in what amounts to the country’s first international issuance since the West imposed sanctions on The Kremlin in 2014 after the annexation of Crimea and Russia’s alleged role in “destabilizing” Ukraine (because it was very “stable” before).
Since the sanctions were imposed, relations between Moscow and Washington have only gotten more contentious and when Russia began flying combat missions from Latakia on September 30, it was trotted out as evidence that Vladimir Putin is indeed determined to reassert Russian influence by sheer force.
On Tuesday, Secretary of State John Kerry met with a group of Hollywood’s top executives to discuss the ISIS narrative. As reported by Variety, the 90-minute meeting included a conversation about creating a counter-narrative to Islamic extremist propaganda, as well as the international marketing of such a narrative.
Kerry himself tweeted about the meeting, using the term ‘Daesh’ to refer to the Islamic State.
Tomorrow, John Kerry will meet Sergei Lavrov and several of his other counterparts from Europe and the Mid-East in Munich in a last ditch effort to revive Syrian peace talks, which fell apart amid an intense Russian air assault on rebel positions in Aleppo.
For all intents and purposes, the rebels are surrounded. Initially, it appeared that the “moderate” opposition might be able to persist and bog down the Russians and the Iranians with the help of supplies from the US, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia. Those hopes faded over the past two weeks when Hezbollah advanced on Aleppo and ultimately encircled the city, cutting the rebels off from key supply lines and triggering a mass civilian exodus.
“Russian and Syrian forces intensified their campaign on rebel-held areas around Aleppo that are still home to around 350,000 people and aid workers have said the city – Syria’s largest before the war – could soon fall.”
Can you spot what’s wrong with that quote, from a Reuters piece out today? Here’s the problem: “could soon fall” implies that Aleppo is on the verge of succumbing to enemy forces. It’s not. It’s already in enemy hands and has been for quite some time. What Reuters should have said is this: “…could soon be liberated.”