Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Stephen Cohen: Trump, Syria & Russia’s Red Lines

We are sorely in need of sane voices f which there are few. One of these is Prof. Stephen F Cohen. I concur with the Saker’s words cmpletely

Professor Stephen Cohen – the last voice of reason in a world gone mad?

Professor Stephen Cohen is, in my opinion, the best Russia specialist in the USA. He is also a wise, decent, honest and courageous man. A friend send me this video of him this morning (he begins at 1:38) and I can only agree with him. We are, once again, looking at the very real possibility, or even probability, of a hot war between Russia and the USA. As I write these words I ask myself whether I am exaggerating or not, and I come to the extremely depressing conclusion that no, I am not. Things are really that bad. Professor Cohen seems to have some hopes left for todays Tillerson visit to Moscow. I sure hope that he is right. The future of mankind might depend on the outcome of this visit and, alas, I have to say that I am not hopeful at all. My best hope is that somebody in the Kremlin can convince Tillerson that Russia will fight. That is all I personally can hope for even though I realize that even if Lavrov and/or Putin convince Tillerson, Tillerson might not be able to convince the crazies in DC. God help us all!

The Saker

Tales of the New Cold War: Trump, Syria & Russia’s Red Lines.
 Stephen F. Cohen @nyu @princeton

Tales of the New Cold War: Trump, Syria & Russia’s Red Lines. Stephen F. Cohen @nyu @princeton

Claiming that Assad’s rule “is coming to an end,” Tillerson previewed his message to Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

We hope that the Russian government concludes that they have aligned themselves with an unreliable partner in Bashar al-Assad,” he said.

In what was in effect an ultimatum, he said Moscow must calculate the costs of remaining an ally of Assad, the Iranians and Lebanon’s Shiite militia Hezbollah.

Is that a long-term alliance that serves Russia’s interests?” he told reporters. “Or would Russia prefer to realign with the United States, with other Western countries and Middle East countries that are seeking to resolve the Syrian crisis?”

[U.S.-Russia rifts were already widening before missile strike]

Russia has maintained that a Syrian government airstrike last week hit a factory where Syrian rebels were manufacturing chemical weapons in the northern Idlib province. After the U.S. missile strike, Peskov asserted that the Syrian government “has no chemical arms stockpiles. ”

Moscow says it fulfilled its part of a 2013 agreement mandating that Russia oversee the destruction of Assad’s chemical-weapons arsenal. On Monday, Russia’s general staff said two sites where chemical weapons might remain are in territory controlled by Syrian rebels.

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