Closed-door comments by US Secretary of State John Kerry reveal much about US involvement in Syrian crisis, Dr. Jamal Wakeem, professor of history and international relations at Lebanese University in Beirut, told RT.
The New York Times acquired the taped conversation between the US Secretary of State and two dozen Syrian civilians from education, rescue, and medical groups working in rebel-held areas, during a meeting on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.
The leaked recording reveals how angry John Kerry really is about being unable to topple President Bashar Assad by military means.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry reacts in the United Nations Security Counci © Lucas Jackson / Reuters
“I’ve argued for use of force. I stood up. I’m the guy who stood up and announced we’re going to attack Assad because of the weapons, and then you know things evolved into a different process,” the Secretary of State said in the tape.
He told the civilians that “you have nobody more frustrated than we are (the US)” that the Syrian issue is now being solved diplomatically.
Kerry also warned the Syrians, who sounded clearly unhappy with Washington’s contribution, that attempts to intervene militarily or provide more support to the rebels by the US may have a reverse effect.
“The problem is that, you know, you get, quote, ‘enforcers’ in there and then everybody ups the ante, right? Russia puts in more, Iran puts in more; Hezbollah is there more and Nusra is more; and Saudi Arabia and Turkey put all their surrogate money in, and you all are destroyed,” the diplomat explained.
RT: What do you think this conversation shows?
Jamal Wakeem: I believe that this proves that the US was involved in the Syrian crisis since its onset and that it was collaborating with the so-called insurgents in order to topple the Syrian regime. In addition, it proves also that the Syrian crisis had its regional and international dimension since the beginning and it wasn’t a revolution against an illegitimate regime, as the West claimed at one point.
In addition, I believe that it also proves that the Obama administration didn’t give priority to peaceful and political solution for the Syrian crisis. But it used this as an alternative to its inability to use force when it was confronted by a steadfast position by Russia who refused to be dragged into another trick by the US similar to what happened in Libya and topple the Syrian regime. I believe that the Russians are aware of the fact that the war in Syria is a war by proxy directed against them and against their ally China. It is part of a bigger plan by the US to block Eurasia from having access to the maritime trade roots. In addition, I believe there was a mentioning of the presence of the representatives of the NGOs operating in insurgent territories. And this proves also that the US was using these NGOs as a tool of soft power in order to topple the Syrian regime.
RT: The conversation happened a few days after the US-Russia-brokered ceasefire in Syria ended. How possible is it to pursue diplomacy when one side doesn’t seem to believe in it?
JW: I believe that the faction that was trying to strike a political deal with Russians over Syria was a minority in the Obama administration. It was hindered by the hawks in the US, mainly the Pentagon and the military. I didn’t believe that there would be a political breakthrough during the Obama administration, because this administration is already expired. We need to wait for the next president of the US to take over power. And the hawks in the US and also in Saudi Arabia and Turkey believe that the next president will be more hawkish than Obama and will take more confrontational steps with Russians and that is why they hindered any attempt by John Kerry to strike a deal or impose a truce in Aleppo. Maybe they wanted for the truce to be like a breathing space for the opposition or for the insurgents, but they didn’t want it to be a first step towards a political solution. And I believe that in order to talk about the political solution we need to wait for at least another year.
RT: Separately, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson told The Sun newspaper that, following Moscow’s policy in Syria “people now believe that Russia is in danger of becoming a pariah nation”. Who are those people he’s referring to, do you think?
JW: He is talking about himself, about the American administration, about the military industrial complex in the US. And about the oligarchy that is trying to impose a world order that would work for its own benefits. We need to admit that the essence of the war in Syria, in Ukraine, in Yemen, in the South China Sea is a part of a global American strategy to block Eurasia from having access to the maritime trade roots. And this was mentioned not only during the Obama administration but also it was mentioned by former scholars. It is part of the consistent strategy since the late 19th century to block any land power from having access to maritime trade roots, and this explains the policy of containment during the Cold War and later on the strategy of Zbigniew Brzezinski, the former national security advisor for Jimmy Carter, and other geopolitical thinkers of the US. So, when Boris Johnson says this he is admitting that the essence of confrontation is not between the West and Syria, or between insurgents or Assad regime, but it is between the West and Eurasia.