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This article, written by Finian Cunningham, journalist for international affairs, editor and writer in the major news media organisations for over 20 years, originally is appeared the first time the 4 of February 2016 on the ‘American Herald Tribune’.

We submit this editorial to your attention simply because it expresses perfectly, in a linear, clearly and in a few words, what is the feeling and the thought of all of us in the newsroom…and not only in this newsroom, but also among the majority of you all.

(SFP-WP editor)

US Regime Change Talks on Syria hit blind alley

By Finian Cunningham‘American Herald Tribune’, 4 February 2016

And so the wheels of the Geneva talks came off in spectacular fashion, with all parties blaming each other for the breakdown in the so-called Syrian peace process.

The negotiations in the Swiss city were only into their second day –having opened on Monday, and that after a week-long delay –when UN special envoy Staffan de Mistura announced that the talks would be adjourned until February 25. Take it as read: it’s over.

Washington and Paris immediately sought to blame the Syrian government and its Russian and Iranian allies for “torpedoing”the Geneva talks. US Secretary of State John Kerry accused Syria and its allies of seeking a military solution to the five-year-old conflict. With this background of ongoing air and ground assaults, the Geneva negotiations foundered, according to the US and its partners.

Kerry and his French counterpart, Laurent Fabius, are engaging in reality-inversion, ably assisted by the Western mainstream news media.

The fact is the Geneva talks failed because Washington and its terrorist surrogates fighting for regime change in Syria could not affect a semblance of diplomacy.

Yes, Syrian Arab Army military advances are proceeding apace with the support of Russian air power and ground forces from Iran and Hezbollah. The game-changer was Russian intervention nearly four months ago, which has enabled the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad to recover huge swathes of territory occupied by foreign-backed mercenaries.

The latest military gains this week in northwest Syria have put the Syrian Arab Army within reach of taking back the city of Aleppo, the country’s largest urban centre, second to the capital Damascus.

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said this week that Russian operations in Syria will continue until all “terror groups”are destroyed. Lavrov mentioned Al Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front and Daesh (also known as ISIL), but Russia’s scope also extends to a myriad of other militants groups who are integrated with the more well-known terrorist organizations.


These militants are falsely and risibly divided into “moderates”and “extremists”by Western governments and their dutiful corporate-controlled news media. What is moderate about chopping heads of civilians considered to be “infidels”? And this barbarity has been routinely practiced by the so-called moderate rebels of the “Free Syrian Army”. Notably, we don’t hear much about the much-lionized FSA these days. That’s because in reality they don’t exist.

Syrian state forces have every right to extirpate all illegally armed groups on the sovereign territory of Syria. While the Geneva negotiations were in process, the main foreign conduits of military supply to the mercenaries –Turkey and Saudi Arabia –had not desisted from their illegal interference in Syria. That was in flagrant violation of the United Nations Security Council resolutions in November and December calling for a global clampdown on terrorist organizations.

Not only were Turkey and Saudi Arabia continuing to supply illegally armed groups inside Syria, these two Western allies had included terrorist organizations into the so-called “opposition”at the Geneva talks. The grandly named High Negotiating Committee demanded it would only continue participating on the condition that the Assad government eventually stands down. That’s the real, proximate reason for breakdown,  no matter what John Kerry might say.

Can you believe it? A bunch of foreign-backed and exiled-based terrorists dictating terms to the elected government of Syria. Their foot-soldiers are getting wiped out on the ground –after five years of inflicting destruction on Syria –and yet these impostors are attempting to write the “peace terms”.

Syria and Russia are having none of it. Both are determined to crush an existential threat to Syria from foreign-backed terror groups. And Assad and Vladimir Putin are not going to hand over a victory of regime change at the negotiating table either.


That’s why Kerry is in a fluster. The peace process charade has been upended. Washington and its partners expected Syria and Russia to call off the military pressure in order to give their mercenary proxies some breathing space so that they could relaunch their terror war at a more opportune time, while also issuing ultimatums in Geneva for de facto regime change.

Washington and its allies were never serious about finding a genuine peaceful settlement. Now that the wheels have come off this snake-oil bandwagon, the US and its partners are obliged to find some “explanation”to sell to world opinion.

Hence, blame the Syrian government and its Russian ally for blasting the Geneva talks. But the world is not fooled by such reality-inversion. The Western powers’plans for regime change in Syria just rolled into another blind alley.

The real danger, however, is that Washington and its allies might now attempt a direct military intervention in Syria out of desperation.



Finian Cunningham (born 1963) has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages. For over 20 years, he worked as an editor and writer in major news media organisations, including The Mirror, Irish Times and Independent.

American Herald Tribune

by Finian Cunnigham, 4/2/2016

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