On "Chuck" Todd's morning newsie today he interviewed Zbig and Andrea Mitchell about US policy in Syria. Todd and Mitchell are widely seen as virtual mouthpieces of AIPAC and Bibi's government. They seemed to want to use this segment as a springboard for yet more logrolling for aggressive US action against the Syrian government.
After wringing their hands over Russian "obstructionism" in the UN to their desires, they got down to business in trying to devise some way in which Russia could be forced economically or politically to abandon the Syrian government. This babble did not reflect the simple truth that the rebels are losing on the ground and that there was never any chance that Russia would abandon Syria.
The United States has NO levers of influence or power that it can successfully employ against Russia, China or Iran. Russia is still a major power. It is heavily armed with nuclear weapons and has a lot of petroleum with which to fund its policy. China is a major rival of the United States and possessed of the second largest economy in the world. Iran has been bled white economically by sanctions but does not yield.
All that being the case, what on earth has the Obama Administration thought it would accomplish by demanding Syrian surrender to the rebels? That was the basis of he Geneva talks. What were we thinking? Did we imagine that this would be a school board or PTA meeting? What were we thinking?
Zbig was finally allowed to say a few words. He stressed the need to settle the issues between Russia and the US on some viable basis and started to suggest what sounded like an appeal to modify the "regime change" theme so pervasive among the R2P/neocon crowd (including Obama). Todd then cut him off.
US policy should change. US policy should become a process of reconciling the existing government with what is left of the Syrian National Council and the Free Syria Army. This should include amnesty for "ralliers' to the government, a cease fire against the nationalist secularist rebels, and a complete opening up of the country to international relief efforts wherever the jihadis do not rule and control. Once that is accomplished the re-united Syrian patriot forces should collaborate in exterministing the jihadis. The jihadis came to Syria to die for their faith. They should be assisted in that ambition.
Saudi Arabia? Israel? Ignore them. pl