Obama not willing to negotiate on Syria

Kam Zarrabi

Editor’s note: A frequent contributor to Veterans News Now and My Catbird Seat, Kam Zarrabi an Iranian-American intellectual and commentator based in America, offers his brief insight on the current Middle East crisis particularly in Syria and United States place in it. He says: The United States is caught between a rock, actually several rocks, and a hard place in the Middle East. The “hard place” is, of course, Israel and its Zionist agencies such as AIPAC. The “rocks” are many: In Egypt we have an ongoing struggle between the moderate Islamic Brotherhood, more radical anti West hardliners, pro West elitist secularists, and the military that vacillates between nationalism and pro West submissiveness.

Syria is being torn apart by zealous Islamic opportunists funded by OUR allies, the Saudis et al, and by terrorist organizations, again receiving money and arms by some of OUR allies, and by honest dissenters who don’t know who will be supporting their plight, as well as by the regime that is struggling to retain Syria’s territorial integrity. Iran is also involved, and so are Israel and Turkey, quite directly, although for different reasons.

In the middle of this chaos, the United Sates could not possibly remain simply as an observer and play the wait and see game while the European powers have already taken the precedence. The most prudent action, in my opinion, was to express support for an entity that everyone knows is truly a non-entity and will not be playing much of a role in the Syrian struggle. This will give the State Department time to mull things over while appearing to be “leading” the charge for the regime change in Syria.

Meantime, Russia and Iran will have a lot to say about the turn of events.


Obama not willing to negotiate on Syria


Former US policy analyst says Obama not willing to negotiate on Syria, but willing to allow chemical weapons to fall into Jihadist hands is unstable and worrying.


Press TV has interviewed Mr. James Jatras, former US Senate foreign policy analyst, Washington about this issue.
In the background of this Syria says it will not under any circumstances use chemical weapons against its own people and has said this to the United Nations. It is chemical weapons supplied by US-backed enemies of Syria that poses the most concern. A video report shows foreign extremist militants testing chemical weapons on animals and threatening to use the weapons against the pro-Assad Alawite population. The potential set up of false flag events to create a false pretext for NATO intervention has the US intensifying its psychological and media warfare by saying there are signs that Damascus wants to use chemical weapons against insurgents.

Former US policy analyst says Obama not willing to negotiate on Syria, but willing to allow chemical weapons to fall into jihadist hands is unstable and worrying.



What follows is an approximate transcript of the interview.

Press TV: How much are we going to see an Iraqi-style scenario in Syria with regards to these chemical weapons?

Jatras: It’s hard to know where to draw the line between what may be a genuine concern about chemical weapons and what is an Iraqi-style accusation of WMD’s (weapons of mass destruction) that will be used as a pretext for intervention.

I think the truly scary thing here is the prospect of these weapons fallings into the hands of some of the rebels – the people we know are affiliated with radical Sunni Jihad groups.

One column here in the media today likened the training of rebels who go and see these weapons as has been reported, to knowing there is a pile of dynamite in your backyard so let’s set off some fireworks nearby and see what happens.

Press TV: The US and its Western allies in the region are seeking, there main idea is to have regime change in Syria. What kind of cost benefit analysis have they made in terms of what happens if Assad goes?

Jatras: I don’t know that they’ve made a cost benefit analysis. You point our correctly, yes, regime change remains the order of the day.

They have rejected any kind of a normal concept of a negotiated settlement between the various sides of the civil war and also among the great powers, particularly between Washington and Moscow to find a negotiated solution that would result in a far lesser loss of life.

They have instead said, ‘no no, regime change, that’s the a priori non negotiable demand; everything must stem from that as the result.’

What it produces afterward and what kind of frankly unstable dangerous elements will come to power as we saw in Libya, I don’t know that they have thought this out in a meaningful way.


‘Washington’s anti-Syria policies, cynical, naive’


This Bolshevik Manichaeism that we project on other countries is simply wrong and I think that it is important as much as possible that opposition be mobilized in the United States, because if that is done, this whole agenda can not go forward.


Turkey-Syria conflict!


According to a July 31 report by the NBC News, nearly two dozen missiles have been delivered to the insurgents in Syria by Turkey. The report, however, did not provide details on the exact type of the missiles, also known as MANPADs (man-portable air-defense systems).

The anti-Syria Western regimes have been calling for the Syrian president to step down, but Russia and China remain strongly opposed to the Western drive to oust Assad.

On July 28, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said, “Our Western partners… together with some of Syria’s neighbors are essentially encouraging, supporting and directing an armed struggle against [the Syrian government].”

Press TV has talked with former US Senate foreign policy analyst James Jatras from Washington to further discuss the issue.

The program also offers the opinions of two additional Guests: Ken Stone, with the Hamilton Coalition to Stop the War from Toronto, Canada and Lawrence Freeman, the editor of the Executive Intelligence Review from Baltimore.

[Ed.note:  If the video doesn't work using your browser, please click on the title above, to watch this (must watch) compelling interview on the Press TV page.  Unlike RT, Press TV does not make it convenient to disseminate their material by providing proper embed codes and nobody has bothered to upload the interview to youtube as yet]


What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview.

Press TV: James Jatras, It was said that the battle for Aleppo, which the militants have lost now, would be a turning point.

Even the Syrian President said ‘it would determine the fate of Syria’. Do you see it that way?

Jatras: No, not yet, I think it was touted by many observers as a kind of a pitched battle that would set the tone one way or another if it had gone against the government, certainly the Western governments with their Saudi and Turkish and the Persian Gulf allies would be claiming that, now that it appears that that is not the case it is back to the drawing board.

There still is a very long menu of staged atrocities, of incursion across the Turkish border; possible indictments to be brought against the Syrian officials for real or imagined war crimes.

There are many other things that would be brought to bear to try to increase the pressure on the Syrian government and to trigger, one way or another, a NATO military intervention without which, I think it is unlikely that the rebels can prevail.

Press TV: Ok when you say drawing board, where is that drawing board going to be? Where are the directives going to be coming from?

Jatras: Oh, I think primarily from Washington in concert with the Saudis, with the Turks and he Persian Gulf states, it is quite clear that the United States has committed itself to what I would call “a radical Sunni axis” which includes not only those states that I mentioned but also the Muslim Brotherhood and even elements of al-Qaeda, as was mentioned during the set up for this discussion.

This continues a very long, unfortunate tradition of American policy ever since the Afghan war against the Soviet Union, being in bed with these radical Saudi-supported Sunni elements reaching through not only the Balkan wars in Kosovo and in Bosnia, but Libya and now we see in Syria as well.

Press TV: Well, James Jatras in terms of what has occurred in Aleppo and we talked about that drawing board; obviously the flow of arms are going to continue, I would think. Do you agree with that?

And I like to get your reflection on the arming of these militants, where the Russian foreign minister, a few weeks back, said it is clear as day that the event in terms of opposition to be armed to the teeth, that that is not going to defeat the Syrian army and that there will simply be slaughter and mutual destruction for long, long years.

Jatras: Well, absolutely, it is not going to defeat the Syrian army and frankly it is not designed to, it is designed as the previous speaker said, to replicate what we see in previous instances where, NATO, Let us be honest about this, is committing illegal aggression against the sovereign state by supporting take your pick insurgents or terrorists on the territory of that state.

For example, when we gave weapons to the so-called Kosovo Liberation Army, we did not expect them to defeat the Yugoslav forces, we expected them to provoke a response from Yugoslav forces defending against terrorist actions and then to fault the government for that response, accuse them of war crimes and atrocities and use that as a pretext then for intervention.

The so-called rancak massacre was the incident in that case, we have already had our trials run here with Houla, with Tremsa which you did not pan out, Aleppo has not gone the way it was supposed to go, but as I say there are other things that can be done.

NATO does have the advantage of having a border, land border, with a NATO country, Turkey, which is the cat’s paw, I agree with that characterization in this incident.

I think that if we were dealing with reasonable people, the defeat of the scenario in Aleppo would be grounds to hit the reset and rethink this and we think this, unfortunately I do not think that we are dealing with reasonable people.

We are dealing with people who engage in a kind of magical thinking that since they have decided what the outcome must be, and that is the regime change; that is the only possible, acceptable outcome and the only question is how to get from A to B.

What trick do we have to pull out of our hat, to get to that predetermined result.

Press TV: So basically, James Jatras, do you agree with this scenario [what previous guest of the show suggested]? Is that what the US wants? To have a perpetual state of war to actually be ongoing if they are looking at a war on Iran, which obviously is not going to be a walk in the park, given what we are seeing happening, not only in Syria but prior to that with the report on Libya which was not that shining in terms of how things transpired there.

Jatras: No, I would not say exactly that way. I would say that what we want is we want what we want.

We want to be able to point to that regime and say it goes. We want to point to that regime it goes because we have so decided.

Is Obama being henpecked into war ?

I think that the people who author these policies are both cynical on one hand and naïve on the other.

They are cynical about the means that they are willing to employ to accomplish their goals, I think they are not naïve about what the outcome of that will be.

I think that some of them genuinely believe that it will let democracy, meaning our designated actors within a given country come to power, that they will bring forth the values that we share, supposedly.

I think that they make this mistake for example with the idea of the Muslim Brotherhood coming to power in Egypt.

I think people in Washington would be terribly, terribly disappointed about what that produces in terms of the United States’ influence on the region as a whole.

Let me clarify by the way, that when we say the United States we do mean Susan Rice, Hillary Clinton, Samantha Power, people like that.

We mean the people on the neo-conservative side, particularly in the republican party, but there are lots and lots of Americans to right,left and center of all political persuasions who for various reasons understand that we need to stay the hell out of this thing and the idea that we are going to come in with both feet and designate these Sunni radicals as ‘the Syrian people’ and everybody else in Syria, the Shiites, the Alewites, the Christians the Darouzis as the non-people, the people who must be destroyed.

This Bolshevik Manichaeism that we project on other countries is simply wrong and I think that it is important as much as possible that opposition be mobilized in the United States, because if that is done, this whole agenda can not go forward.


Source:  PRESS TV

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Posted by on Dec 12 2012, With 0 Reads, Filed under Americas, Asia, Bahrain, China, Editors' Picks, Egypt, Europe, Expert Opinions ME, Global, Iran, Israel, Middle East, Middle East Conflicts, News From the Region, Oceana, Oman, Palestine, Syria, United Kingdom, War, Yemen. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


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