During his visit to Moscow, Secretary of State John Kerry talked at length with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and came out of those talks with a shocking declaration that “the United States and its partners are not seeking regime change in Syria.”
The declaration is not only bizarre, in that many of America’s “partners” in Syria are rebel factions formed explicitly to oust the government, but because Kerry himself, as well as other high-ranking US officials, have been openly demanding unconditional regime change for several years now.
Kerry went into his Moscow visit saying Assad’s future would be a topic of discussion with Russian officials, which itself raised eyebrows since US officials have long insisted Assad has no future. Kerry doubled down on this, however, insisting that the US and Russia see Syria’s future fundamentally the same way.
Russian officials have been much more forthcoming about their specific view of Syria’s future than the US previously has, offering proposals for a settlement between Assad and secular rebels leading to the drafting of a new constitution and free elections. The US had previously been seen objecting to that plan on the grounds that it didn’t rule out Assad and other key government officials participating in future elections, with Russia has long maintained they don’t want to dictate who is allowed to run.
The US has previously had officials hint that their stance on Syria could change, but this is the first time such a high-profile official has openly renounced regime change. That it was Kerry is particularly noteworthy since Kerry led the failed 2013 effort to get Congress to approve of a US invasion to impose regime change there, repeatedly likening Assad to Hitler during the effort
29 thoughts on “Kerry: US Not Seeking Regime Change in Syria”
Putin pointing out Russia's ability to target ISIS rebels from Russian submarine circling the harbor would have been a wake up call for Kerry. US should pack up its marbles and take the blood thirsty ISIS rebels with them and leave.
Wonder if Kerry had to sign a SOFA like Bush did when he realized his Iraq war was over without Iran firing a single shot
I believe that our nation is technically and perhaps even legally at war with the nation of Syria. We are bombing its territory without its approval. Russia is on the firm ground of international laws on warfare because it has been invited by the still legal government of Syria to come to its succor. Kerry knows that if it would ever come to a "Nuremberg" on Syria, he, Obama, and Clinton will be in the dock of the accused. The Assad regime has not threatened us with "weapons of mass destruction" or in any other way. Self-defense, which might be a defense in the case of ISIL, is not for Assad.
Even assuming that any submarine could hit a target as small as a group of individuals, I just wonder why it needs to circle! This sounds like yet another of the fictitious wonder weapons constantly being attributed to Putin's forces.
This certainly would be a step in the right direction to be sure!
Bush was forced to sign SOFA-Iraq 2008 because the UN clearly signaled that it would not prolong its "international" cover for the US occupation of Iraq. Bush could have ignored the UN but that might have destroyed his "coalition of the willing" which was actually developing then into a "coalition of the quitting". Bush sought an agreement without end date but was forced by the Iraqis to accept four years. Bush knew that the renewal would become an issue for his successor hence he accepted.
President Obama sought a renewal of SOFA-Iraq 2008 during 2011 but failed. He too could have ignored that fact but that would have resumed a state of war between the US and Iraq in which case an Iraqi soldier had the right to kill US soldiers and their aides which would not have been a war crime. Obama pulled our armed forces out of Iraq.
I am sure that you know this. I am writing because even on aw.com there are occasionally commentators who mangle this issue. I hope that they will read this.
Of course the Republican candidates are always lying about the roles of Bush and Obama in this drama.
Diarrhea of the mouth constipation of the ideas.
My question to Kerry would be:
What grade are you smoking?
Maybe the Obama administration is finally waking up to the reality that its entire Syrian policy has failed. And that failure is now totally exposed and being examined by the entire world forcing Obama to finally change course and end the madness of the Syrian proxy war.
Unless I missed something, there's no indication in the article that Obama agrees, or even knew ahead of time, that Kerry was going to make that statement especially since it's a polar opposite to what Obama (and Kerry and Power) has been saying for a long time.
Agreed lately there ave been mixed messages from Obama and his team with comments concerning U.S. Syria policy. However that policy as been such an obvious failure for so long at some point Obama must confront reality or else see the position of the U.S. deteriorate further.
If this is a serious change in policy, then it's a step in the right direction.
If it's an attempt at putting a pacifier in Russia's mouth to buy time, then I doubt it will work.
Time is on Putin's side – other than the rebels, no one is likely to confront him in Syria, not the United States, not the United Kingdom, not France, the Saudis would find it difficult to confront a mouse, so that leaves Turkey and I suspect Erdogan is OK with the odd ambush but not a full scale confrontation.
Kerry's statement about regime change is him recognizing that Putin actually has created a new reality in Syria not the propaganda/lies/BS version created about by the Washington Borg.
Blowback, I agree. Excellent comment, hits nail right on the head.
Time isn't on Putin's side. Time bogs him down in an unwinnable war. Any "new reality" he creates in Syria, i.e a colonial-style protectorate, ruled by a puppet who has to be propped up, just bogs him down for ever more. Thus, even if Putin "wins" in Syria, he loses!
Who runs the State Dept? Its sure as Hell not Kerry. I think that Jerusalem tolerates the big fool only because he tends to confuse everyone, and if there is anything that Netanyahou always wants is confusion as to what the real goals are.
This is simply admitting defeat of their policies in Syria. They been losing grounds since Russian started bombing the hell out of ISIS where as result the Syrian government gaining ground everywhere. The only obstacle left to solve the Syrian and Iraqi present situation is the the Turkish Erdogan regime and his affiliated mafia gang of all kind of terrorists turkey Erdogan regime supporting while stealing peoples oil from terrorism.
I'm old enough to remember when "bombing the hell" out of the Vietcong was the surefire way to win that war. If Putin were fool enough to attack Turkey, that would be absolutely wonderful. He would trigger Article V of the NATO Treaty and the Turks would close the Straits to Russian shipping. The nearest accessible port from which to supply its forces in Syria would then be … Murmansk!
"The nearest accessible port from which to supply its forces in Syria would then be … Murmansk!"
Wrong. Iran and Iraq both clearly support Assad. In the event that Turkey closed the strait, Putin would just run aid through Olya and across the Caspian for ground transport to the theater of operations.
If they only could have figured that out 4 years ago….I guess better late then never.
“United States and its partners are not seeking regime change in Syria.”
Another lie by the corrupt powers in Washington DC on AIPAC's bankroll.
Well, Kerry obviously got an earful from Putin! What could have he said to Kerry to make him 'change' his mind? Erdogan must be playing with the idea of closing the Bosporous to Russian shipping. But if goes through it, is an entirely different matter: then everything will go pop.
Its more like this ISRAEL has finally realised that without Assad there ISIS and AL Nusra will look down upon Israel and come to the realisation that Jerusalem is but 60 miles away and the plains of Armageddon are but in a straight line half way between!
Glad to hear. Now stop hiring, financing, and supporting those who topple Assad and offer your unconditional support to the Syrian government.
Essentially, by abandoning the idea of regime change, the US has wrongfooted Putin. What the US is seeking at the moment is to bog Putin down in Syria and use that as leverage to force him out of Ukraine. Dangling Assad's survival under Putin's nose gives him bogged down indefinitely. Sincethe chances that Assad would win a free and fair election are quite slight, Kerry is probably counting on the idea that neither Putin or Assad will ever agree in practice to an election Assad can't win or can't rig. Thus, the US becomes the defender of democracy in Syria and Putin becomes the obstructer.
The U.S. becomes the defender of democracy? Come on Michael Kenny get real. The U..S. has a long history of doing just the opposite. Defender of Israel. Defender of the lucrative U.S. oil interests is more accurate.
Personally, I think I'll wait at least a few days to see who comes forth and states that no, regime change IS definitely the plan (sorta). Having the entire administration completely on board on the same sheet of music would be a first for this group.
So he's basically saying they have spent 4 years sending billions of dollars worth of aid and weapons to jihadi anti Assad groups for no particular reason ?.
As he been on the Russian Vodka ? if it wasn't so tragic it would be lol funny.
The guy might as well have said "we don't want regime change…..but we do want the regime to change at some point"
Dec 15, 2015 Russia: Putin meets Kerry to discuss Syria and Ukraine conflicts
Russian President Vladimir Putin met with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Moscow, Tuesday, to discuss the ongoing conflicts in Syria and Ukraine. The pair were also joined by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov who earlier in the day had discussed a possible peace plan with Kerry over Syria and agreed they could find common ground on the issue.
My magic 8 ball is more truthful than what comes out of Kerry's mouth.
It's about damn time. When you're wrong about something, it's better to change course than keep doing the same thing that has failed over and over again.
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