This is just wild speculation from Peace and Freedom and probably wrong…. But it could be that the very carefully crafted “cessation of hostilities” in Syria, created mostly by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was nothing more than more of Vladimir Putin’s artful chicanery. Assad never agreed to lay down his weapons and the Syrian rebels, supposedly supported (albeit very timidly) by the U.S., always smelled a rat. Rebel chief negotiator Riad Hijab saw right through Putin’a ruse — even as the U.S. Secretary of State probably hoped and prayed that everything would work out for an American happy ending.
What a dreamer. Ever since President Obama set down his now famous chemical weapons “Red Line” for Assad — and then never backed it up, Putin has known that this President of the United States doesn’t have the huevos to fight and win. So Putin is now calling the tune in Syria and much of the rest of the Middle East. Kerry and Obama might be remembered by future generations as the guys that “lost” the Middle East.
And they worked very diligently to do it, too — mostly in the laborious “Iran Nuclear Deal.” The once numero uno “state sponsor of terrorism” remains the toughest terrorism force, with its Revolutionary Guard, ballistic missiles, and who knows what all. But now, as the Obama administration winds down, Iran is again suddenly a super-rich “state sponsor of terrorism” — thanks to President Obama and Secretary Kerry.
Putin still holds Crimea and a big hunk of Ukraine.
Over in Israel they are worried.
The Saudis are worried too and much the poorer due to low fuel prices. Yemen is a wreck. Libya is a Hillary Clinton catastrophe, and Iraq is about to split open at the seems. Moqtada al-Sadr unleashed his dogs today so they could storm into the Green Zone less than 48 hours after U.S. Vice President Joe Biden was there. That means to me that al-Sadr can pretty much take Baghdad any time he wants…
Plus Putin is having the time of his life buzzing U.S. warships and reconnaissance aircraft. Poland is scared, Israel needs to re-arm and most of NATO is wondering when and where the next Russian move will come.
In Asia, Xi Jinping has cracked down on virtually every freedom loving person and organization in China and Hong Kong. He’s breathing new life into his military partnership with Putin in Russia and he is building airstrips and military facilities on several South China sand piles his guys made by grinding up nature’s wonderful coral reefs. His state controlled media is starting to signal that China is no longer a follower in Asia. China is now the leader. Xi knows he can brush aside anything Vietnam or the Philippines can throw at him and if he makes any kind of military move while President Obama is still on the front 9, China can work over anyone in the way pretty hard for at least two hours before admitting it was all a terrible mistake.
The good news is China is keeping North Korea from doing anything really bad. After five nuclear tests.
My money is on China. If they give up one airstrip I’ll eat my hat. They’ve been telling us for years that the South China Sea is sovereign territory — and has been for centuries. The Chinese have always known this — it is you Americans and Filipinos that need legal papers to back up your claim. China will not be “contained” — and they’ve stated that about a thousand times over the last five years and all the while building up the sand dunes and pouring concrete.
China’s only headache is this: to make a bold move while the Obama Administration is still in place, and maybe make an even bigger mess of the U.S. election — or just hold fire until the day after inauguration day next January as the new president and his or her team is trying to find out where the bathrooms are — if we can decide by then who goes in what bathroom and how we plan to determine who is female, or male or transgender or whatever else there is.
THIS is not a big problem for China.
They’ll hit us then.
Either option: America doesn’t look very tough to them any more, I’m told.
Can you blame them?
John Francis Carey
Peace and Freedom
In Syria: “We think that unless the international community does something about it now, the whole prospect for the political solution will be in danger.”
© AFP/File | People walk amid the rubble of destroyed buildings following a reported air strike on the rebel-held neighbourhood of al-Kalasa in Aleppo, Syria on April 28, 2016
ISTANBUL (AFP) – The prospects of finding a political solution to the Syria conflict are in danger unless the international community acts fast to pressure the regime, the head of the main Syrian opposition group said Saturday, after new air strikes on rebel-held areas of Aleppo.
The assault on Syria’s divided second city by the armed forces of President Bashar al-Assad has put in jeopardy a fragile truce that had given new hope to UN-backed peace talks in Geneva.
“The regime is not really interested in a political solution and they are not really interested in hearing the cessation of the hostilities initiative,” the head of the Syrian National Coalition Anas al-Abdeh told AFP in Istanbul.
“We think that unless the international community does something about that, the whole prospect for the political solution will be in danger,” he added after a general assembly meeting of the main opposition umbrella grouping in the Turkish city.
Terrified residents fled a new wave of air strikes on rebel-held areas of Aleppo Saturday, as key regime backer Russia rejected calls to rein in its ally.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said Moscow would not ask Damascus to halt air raids on Aleppo.
“It’s clear that Russia is still supporting the regime, and it’s supporting the regime policy of aggression against the Syrian people,” said Abdeh.
Russia in March had begun withdrawing its main contingent of troops from Syria but the announcement was greeted with suspicion by some observers.
“Russia isn’t doing what it’s supposed to do, which is to put enough pressure on the regime to show the restraint and to stop targeting civilians,” he said.
Abdeh said it was up to Washington — which has engaged in intense diplomacy with Moscow to find a solution in Syria — to salvage the Geneva peace process after the latest fighting.
“I think the Americans know really well they have to do something special in order to revive the political process in Syria and to get the political negotiation back on track.
“I hope the Americans are doing that, otherwise all the good efforts of the past four months would go in vain.”
A new round of UN-backed peace talks is set to start on May 10 in Geneva.
China’s role in solving the South China Sea issue — “China now takes the leading position.” (From China State Media, April 30, 2016)