A little over a month ago, a strange thing happened in Washington. On July 14th, Secretary of State John Kerry got on a plane, flew to the Kremlin in Moscow, and met with Vladimir Putin to discuss cooperation and coordination between US and Russian military forces in Syria. The meeting lasted three to four hours and until 1 o’clock in the morning. On the 15th, Kerry met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, most likely going over the finer points and details of military cooperation. This offer concluded a slow, forced shift in US policy, over the course of a few years, that originally demanded the removal of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, a.k.a. “regime change.” This initial policy changed to allowing Assad to stay in power until stepping down on a later date. Then, after a meeting in December of last year, US policy again changed to allowing Assad to compete in future elections and abandoning any timetables calling for his resignation. The July meetings between Kerry, Putin and Lavrov signaled that the original mission of regime change had quietly been abandoned.
But this shift would not remain quiet, and suspicion among the media and political commentators would grow after press secretaries/mouthpieces could not elaborate on Sec. Kerry’s meeting. The White House Press Secretary could not even confirm if the White House had or had not approved the meeting. In fact, the State Department spokesperson refused to even comment or characterize the meeting. When confronted with the accusations of a shift in US policy, the State Department simply avoided, dissembled, and played semantic word games until the press gave up on the question. These weird, embarrassing interactions have been linked below:
Fast forward to today and cooperation with the Russians is treated as a no-brainer, nothing to see here. The fact that the US has been pressured into changing its foreign policy has gone unrecognized. The administration is now publicly announcing Kerry’s cooperation with Lavrov in what could be construed as an unofficial abandonment of the regime change goal.
Russia also said that the two ministers had talked about the need to separate “Washington-oriented” Syrian opposition groups from the “terrorist groups” that are not covered by a regularly broken ceasefire.
This detail may seem somewhat minor or mundane, but it’s actually quite important. As the US has refused to identify exactly which “moderate” terrorist groups they are backing against Assad, the Russians couldn’t target them to remove the West’s influence in Syria. If Kerry is forced to share this information with Lavrov, expect to see a rapid degradation of the West’s power in Syria, and for Assad to remain in power. Such a result would be yet another failure by Western leadership, who have also been contending with a myriad of issues including the Brexit, the EU immigration crisis, Chinese expansionism, and a petulant Erdogan in Turkey. Time and time again, the Globalists are finding themselves between a rock and a hard place by refusing to yield to silly things like national sovereignty or self-determination.
Knowing this, the adversaries of the West have begun to play off of this inflexibility, and Erdogan has given the US and the EU offers that they can’t help but refuse. By publicly promising to reinstate the death penalty, Erdogan has disqualified his country from EU membership, yet he is still demanding the advancement of Turkey’s application process into the EU. If the EU, doesn’t give in to his demands, Erdogan has threatened to unleash a wave of up to 2 million refugees into Europe. Either choice is a losing situation for the EU. Erdogan also gave the US an ultimatum, demanding the extradition of alleged Turkey coup plotter Fethullah Gulen. This creates a rather serious ethical/political dilemma as the US must weigh the geopolitical importance of good relations with Turkey against sending a man (and reportedly a Clinton asset) to his death. The fact that Erdogan is able to make these ultimatums suggests that Turkey represents a vital component in the West’s geopolitical ambitions against Russia, but I suggest that Erdogan has no intention to mend fences with the West. Instead, he has turned to the East.