The brazen hypocrisy of United States foreign policy has reached epic proportions with U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter’s recent denunciation of Russian airstrikes against ISIS takfiri militants in Syria as “pouring gasoline on the fire“. Carter also declared that fighting Daesh aka ISIS “without pursuing a political transition only risks a civil war”, as if civil war hasn’t been ravaging the nation of Syria since 2012! Furthermore, he called Russia’s strategy in Syria one of “contradiction” as Secretary of State John Kerry, blindsided by Russian President Vladimir Putin, calls for “de-confliction” talks with Russia.
So what’s with the sudden about-face when it comes to fighting ISIL? After all, for more than a year we’ve been told that it is necessary for the United States to bomb the living daylights out of Syria in order to rid the world and the ‘Middle East’ of Daesh, all while forming a coalition with the very same state actors – Saudi Arabia and Turkey among others – who’ve been providing the funding and training necessary for the terrorist group to capture territory the size of Great Britain in the first place. As if this weren’t contradictory enough, far from achieving the goal of “destroying and degrading” ISIL, the US-led coalition has so far been an utter failure when it comes to fighting the group, demonstrated most visibly by the fact that it has grown three-fold since U.S. airstrikes in Syria began. Certainly part of the reason the U.S. has been such an abysmal failure in this regard is because ISIS has never been the main target of U.S. activity in the region to begin with. The main target has always been and continues to be the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad and the Syrian Arab Army. ISIS is just one of several self-proclaimed jihadist groups whose stated goal is to topple the Syrian Arab Republic, the most prominent of which has always been Jahbat al-Nusra, an al-Qaeda affiliate which has been the main opposition to Assad since the fighting began four years ago. The so-called ‘Free Syrian Army’ which the U.S. champions as its proxy has always been at most a weak force and at times appeared to be practicably non-existent. U.S.-trained fighters and U.S.-provided weapons regularly end up firmly in the ISIS or al-Nusra camps. The “moderate” opposition the U.S. claims to support is for all intents and purposes an illusion.
So here we have, on the one hand, the U.S., which condemns Russia for bombing ISIS and al-Nusra militants all the while claiming it has been doing the same thing for the past year (with nothing but chaos to show for it). What the U.S. has been doing can without a doubt be called an assault on a sovereign nation – Syria – which wasn’t even consulted before U.S. airstrikes began. On the other hand there’s Russia, whose intervention I might add was actually called for by the legitimate government of Syria. Russia has taken the fight directly to the takfiri militants and is being condemned by the Americans because of it. Which country is it really then that is actively “pouring gasoline on the fire” and is not only “threatening civil war”, but has time and again fueled it?! Russia, with its direct involvement in the Syrian war, has exposed U.S. foreign policy for the sham it is. President Obama recently stated that “the reason Assad is still in power is because Russia and Iran have supported him.” Perhaps he’s right. Perhaps Russia and Iran, having looked around and seen the absolute state of chaos left in the wake of U.S. interventions in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, want to prevent the same thing becoming of Syria.