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'The US disables diplomacy to escalate Syrian civil war, degrade Assad regime'

Published time: March 19, 2014 10:07
The closed Syrian embassy is pictured in Washington on March 18, 2014. (AFP Photo / Jewel Samad)

The US could quickly find a path to peace in Syria, but instead it’s prolonging a bloody civil war that is devastating the Syrian people in order to overthrow Assad’s regime, Eugene Puryear, foreign affairs analyst from the ANSWER coalition told RT.

Washington closed the Syrian embassy and two of its consulates on Tuesday, and has told all Syrian diplomats that they must leave the country. Last week Damascus decided to call back its mission.

RT: Do you have any idea why the move comes now and not earlier?

Eugene Puryear: It’s a result of the fact that the war effort, the US attempting to foment civil war and regime change in Syria, has not been going in their favor and that’s what we are seeing. The Syrian government has gained more control, and reconciliation efforts started gaining traction. So this offers an opportunity for the US government to get back in the media; these embassies were only low level consulates and it gave them a chance to justify their failed strategy with the Assad regime in a such way that they will be able to at least gain the support of the American people for continuing to pour in money to keep this civil war going to attempt to overthrow the Assad regime.

RT: Washington has closed the embassy and expelled Syrian diplomats, but it claims that doesn't mean the suspension of diplomatic relations. Isn't there a contradiction?

EP: I think it’s an extreme contradiction. If you can't have any diplomats inside of the country, if your counselor offices around the nation are not allowed to offer the basic consular services, which is one of the most important things that diplomatic officials in other countries do, it’s a de-facto ending of diplomatic relations. But their attempt to not call it that is perhaps to keep the door open for future peace talks and the things of that nature. But I think quite certainly this is in essence an ending or breaking of diplomatic relations, even if they are not calling it that.

People gather around a burning vehicle following reported shelling by government forces on Bustan al-Qasr neighbourhood on February 26, 2014 in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo. (AFP Photo / Aleppo Media Centre / Mohammed Wesam)

RT: The US once again has put the blame for violence on Assad, stating that was one of the reasons behind the move to close embassies - but if that's the case, why is Washington fine with supporting the rebels, given that there have been many confirmed reports of war crimes carried out by them?

EP: It’s completely hypocritical of the US to put the onus for the violence on the Syrian government. I mean quite certainly the US and its proxies and the Gulf states and the EU, having poured in so many weapons, so much money, logistical, military - all these different efforts - to keep the civil war going , it’s their efforts that have turned this into a bloody stalemate that in fact has empowered forces that are aligned with Al-Qaeda. So quite certainly the US is funding and supporting, in either a direct or indirect way, very violent forces that have had a significant role in this war and have really devastated the nation of Syria. I think it’s absolutely unbelievable and really hypocritical for the US to be going ahead and claiming that all the violence is to blame on the Assad regime. Certainly the rebels have committed their share of war crimes and atrocities and the US is complicit and responsible for that.

RT: The Geneva conference has ended with little results. Does that mean that this conflict may only be ended by military victory?

EP: If the US continues its own orientation, I think that is certainly the case. We know that the Assad regime is pursuing aggressively its own reconciliation attempts and its own attempts to build peace from the ground up. But quite certainly the US, the EU and others have set up red lines in their diplomatic negotiations that make it almost impossible for the Assad regime to agree, since it would really result in their own liquidation in order for there to be a peaceful agreement on terms that the US will allow.

And certainly the Western powers have indicated that they will continue to fund the rebels until the Assad government meets their terms… and so the war continues to grind on. The US are setting up the situation so that diplomacy cannot work in the hopes that by drawing out this desperate bloody civil war devastating the Syrian people they can eventually degrade the Assad regime enough for it to fall. They are willing to have tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of people die, suffer, and starve in pursuit of their goal, which is overthrowing Bashar Assad and his government.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

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