Mission accomplished in Syria? ‘Everybody knows Assad is going to stay’

Syria's President Bashar Assad. © SANA
If Hillary Clinton had been elected, maybe they could forcefully intervene in Syria to affect the regime change, which is the undisguised goal of the Obama administration, but the fact is this is meaningless now, Jim Jatras, former US diplomat, told RT.

Samantha Power's remarks were in stark contrast to the views of Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. 

In an interview, he said the conflict in Syria can only be resolved by the Syrian people themselves. 

RT: Samantha Power accused Russia of blocking access to civilians in eastern Aleppo, and said there are "tools" that can be used to pressure Moscow. What tools do you think she was referring to; she didn’t get specific on that. 

Jim Jatras: Well, she didn’t get specific because there are no such tools. She referred to the General Assembly. It is amazing how many years that Ambassador Power has been there and evidently doesn’t have the elementary understanding of how the UN system works. That is the reason the founders of the UN put the responsibility for peace and security under Article Seven of the UN charter with the Security Council. So that none of the permanent five nuclear members can feel backed into a corner and maybe trigger a war because its vital interests are at stake. The US repeatedly casts our veto on behalf of Israel. We would not give that up. Why do we expect the Russians to give that up if they feel that their vital interests are at stake in Syria? That is what the UN system was designed to do. Evidently Ms. Power doesn’t understand that. 

RT: What objectives do you think the Obama administration is pursuing in Syria as it enters its final month. We know that Trump takes office on January 20. Does Washington have any means of influencing in Russia at this late stage?

JJ: No, of course not. And this is really a pathetic attempt at face-saving by the outgoing administration: the lame duck President Mr. Obama, lame duck Ambassador, Ambassador Power. The fact is if Hillary Clinton had been elected, maybe they could keep the ball rolling until she got in, and forcefully intervened in Syria to affect the regime change, which is the undisguised goal of the Obama administration, and of our British and French satellites, who take the same position in the Security Council. 

But the fact is this is meaningless now. Everybody knows Assad is going to stay. Everybody knows that the only way to stop this war would be for some kind of a common position against the terrorists, like Al-Qaeda, which controls East Aleppo, and which American media conveniently omit referencing. For some reason the Obama administration and Ambassador Power are unwilling to accept reality.    

RT: Do you expect a dramatic shift in US policy on Syria after Donald Trump takes office? 

JJ: Yes, I do. Mr. Trump was very clear during the campaign, and especially one of the debates, where he said that the Russians, the Syrian government, and the Iranians - for whom he generally does not have kind words - are in fact fighting terrorists in Syria, and that we need to work together with Moscow in a common anti-terrorist operation. This should be clear to everybody.

Mr. Trump reputedly faulted the Obama administration and Hillary Clinton for not even using the phrase: “radical Islamic terrorists.” Who do they think the Syrian army and the Russian air force are fighting in Aleppo? It is Al-Nusra, which is part of Al-Qaeda, and it is a various satellites like Ahrar al-Sham, [Harakat Nour al-Din] al-Zenki, which share the same ideology and the same terrorist methodology.

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