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Monday, March 7, 2016

The Cease Fire in Syria suspiciously resembles the Cease Fires in Ukraine.

Although U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry put a great deal of effort and time into the crafting of the February 12 Syrian Cease Fire Agreement, he made every effort to downplay expectations.  As much as I was disgusted with Kerry's direct involvement in last year's nuclear "research" treaty between Iran and the West, there can be no doubting the man's energy or his desire to succeed.  But Kerry is a victim of his own personality.  He has repeatedly demonstrated his willingness to trust anyone who wants to sign a treaty, regardless of prior experience or suspicious motivation.  Kerry is probably a good man at heart, and wants very much to believe that one expression of trust and compromise will be met with trust and compromise.  He has staked his reputation and the long-term security of the Persian Gulf to this hope.  I see things a bit differently.  I strongly believe in giving the benefit of the doubt, until proven wrong.  Kerry and the Obama Administration seem content to ignore the never ending violations of treaties by Iran and Russia, I can only assume with the idea that THIS TIME they will be true.  Early on in the Ukraine conflict, I was prepared to agree to Cease Fires and dialougue with the Donbas separatists and their Russian masters, but after one violation after another, followed up by the annexation of the Ukrainian province of Crimea, I wouldn't have trusted Russian President Vladimir Putin to fart in the right direction, let alone follow through on diplomatic obligations.  As for the Iranians, thirty-five years of direct financial and military support to terrorist organizations around the world, not to mention the Saddamesque difficulties Iran has had following through on United Nations agreements regarding their nuclear program, should not put any U.S. Administration in the mood to trust Iran.  The real tragedy is, that everyone involved, including President Barack Obama, realize that Iran will have a nuclear weapon with five-to-seven years.  Actually, I don't think this truth has reached Secretary Kerry.  His trust in the good-nature of our enemies is disturbingly consistent and a whole lot pathetic.

Back to Syria and the February 12 Cease Fire; it appears that almost all of those who signed on to the Cease Fire have followed through with their commitment.  Then why do we continue to have a daily body count in the hundreds?  The answer is simple.  Since Russia began its little adventure rescuing Bashar al-Assad from certain doom, almost all military action has been directed at Assad's internal Syrian opposition.  True, In the beginning, Putin assured the world that Russia's only interest in Syria was to destroy the evil monster ISIS.  In truth, since boots-on-the-ground, the Russian military has worked in lockstep with Assad's regime forces to obliterate Assad's internal opposition.  By the way, that opposition includes groups that are supported by the United States and Europe.  Russian jets are bombing the hell out of forces that have been acting on our behest. Where is the outrage?  Where is the quick response?  Buried in the ground next to Ronald Reagan, I guess.  Putin is masterful at diplomatic chess, but let's face it, he hasn't had to break a sweat on this one.  Russia enters the conflict to resurrect their puppet and destroy his opposition.  A few months following Russia's entry into the fight, Putin announces his support for a "Cease Fire".  And it wasn't even Vlad's birthday.  While Merkel, Hollande and Kerry congratulate each other in public, there is some serious sweating taking place behind closed doors.  Why?  Because Russia and Assad have yet to actually follow through on the Cease Fire.  In fact, with all the other combatants (save ISIS) laying down their weapons, Russian bombing raids and Syrian regime armor attacks are ratcheting up the body count.  With another ten months to go of Secretary Kerry and the Obama Administration's ambiguous foreign policy, expect to see Assad back in control in Syria.  No doubt the Russians will eventually be obliged to confront ISIS head-on and push them out of Syria in order to allow Assad to restart with a Coup de Torchon.  No problem for ISIS; Iraq isn't going anywhere.

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