An extraordinary and remarkable meeting between the Russian and American heads of state, Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama, should have sufficed to redefine the Syrian conflict, which has been complicated by Western Machiavellianism. The West has manipulated the situation in Syria without succeeding in deposing Bashar Assad. However, Assad’s involvement is now inevitable if there is to be a political solution to the conflict, something that the Russian president has forced his American counterpart to acknowledge.
Since the beginning of the conflict in 2011, the West has at no point attempted to understand its origins. It has focused on the Syrian president and demanded his departure, while taking the Syrian rebels in hand. Thus, Assad has been made a monster — an atypical dictator no more or less beyond the pale than his peers — where he is merely a reflection of the Syrian Baathist regime.
In fact, Assad is nothing without his army, partisans and courtiers. In any case, demanding his departure out of the blue makes no sense if, in fact, you want to contribute to finding a way out of a very complex situation. On the other hand, only the Syrian people are legally able to get rid of their president, if need be. Vladimir Putin did not fail to raise this in front of his American counterpart, assuring him that “I relate to my colleagues the American and French presidents with great respect, but they aren’t citizens of Syria and so should not be involved in choosing the leadership of another country.”
Four years have been wasted thanks to the political maneuverings behind the backs of the Syrian people, who have been sacrificed on the altar of the, at the very least, criminal ambitions of powerful nations. When they should be finding a way to control the fire smoldering in Syria, they are preoccupied with the head of the Syrian president. Justifying the American position on Syria, President Barack Obama asserted that Assad is a “tyrant.” However, Assad is just the sort of leader that the West likes and whose faults are even encouraged, which is in their interests. Mr. Obama’s concern is in any case suspect, since he says nothing when his principal Saudi ally is about to behead a man for his beliefs.
In fact, it was the United States that formed Saddam Hussein. Great American leaders, like G.W. Bush’s former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, all made the trip to Baghdad and incited him to declare war on Iran — a war which resulted in the death of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and Iranians. And it was the Americans who, when he became useless, deposed the same Saddam Hussein and paved the way for a new form of terrorism: Islamist terrorism.
The U.S. has repeated the offense in Syria, once again attempting to impose its diktat, refusing to read the ins and outs of the conflict correctly, and even exacerbating it by trying to impose a puppet coalition, which only represents itself. In any case, the Americans have ended up realizing that they have put money on the wrong horse, which is hardly credible. And it is also America that trains the rebels to “fight” the Islamic State group; rebels who, in the end, make common cause with the jihadi group al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaida. Moreover, on Saturday, the Pentagon realized that was a fiasco. So, as far as Syria is concerned, the U.S. has done everything wrong in continuing to prioritize an exclusivist analysis of events.
After the meeting between Obama and Putin, an American official explained: “I think the Russians certainly understood the importance of there being a process that pursues a political resolution,” and immediately highlighted the fact that the two men were “in profound disagreement on the role that the Syrian president would play in the resolution of the civil war.”* There seems to be a misunderstanding. The Americans find it difficult to understand the Syrian conflict, blaming others for their own inability to accept this fact: The solution can only be a political one, and this cannot be achieved without the participation of the current Syrian leader — which Washington disputes, opposing any role that Assad may have in the search for a political solution. However, they have just conceded the fact that a calendar for Assad’s departure could be negotiated. In fact, the Americans, who wanted to impose their own solution on Syria, now admit that Russia, and even Iran, could make a valuable contribution to ending the war in Syria.
When the U.N. invited 60 or so countries, four-fifths of which had nothing to do with the situation in Syria, to the so-called “Geneva 2” conference, Iran was not included due to Washington’s veto. It is this spiteful selectivity that has aggravated the Syrian conflict and caused tens of thousands of deaths. The West bears a grave responsibility for it.
*Editor’s note: This quotation, accurately translated, could not be verified.