Earlier today, I published a new piece over at Medium, on how both wings of the bellophilic Washington “blob” are still working to punish and isolate the Syrian government, rather than providing real support to the peace/reform negotiations that have been (creakingly) underway in Geneva since October 30. (By “both wings”, I mean leaderships of both parties.)
I urge you all to go read that article. And if you haven’t read my earlier piece on the tradeoffs between peacemaking and prosecutions in re Syria, I urge you to do that, too.
The latest piece is more about the tradeoff between peacemaking and sanctions as such– most specifically the “Caesar Act” sanctions enacted by the senate earlier this week. But it’s all really the same ball of wax. This latest round of sanctions are explicitly linked to Syria enacting some form of “accountability” for war crimes etc. These sanctions will, obviously, significantly hinder the Syrian government in its extremely urgent task of rebuilding the country’s infrastructure.
As this late-November UN news release reported,
James Jeffrey, the United States Special Representative for Syria, underlined the need for a ceasefire. He also called for countries to pressure the Assad regime.
“The United States maintains its position that there can be no reconstruction assistance to Damascus in the areas that it controls until there is a credible and irreversible political process in line with (Security Resolution) 2254,” he said.
I should have noted Jeffrey’s role in the Medium piece. It is almost mind-boggling that he, like the two co-chairs of the Congressionally-mandated “Syria Study Group” that presented its final report in September, are all closely associated with the AIPAC-linked “Washington Institute for Near East Policy.” Let me underline again what I wrote at Medium: The SSG had two co-chairs, one named to the position by the Republicans and the other by the Democrats. Both were from WINEP, an ideologically Zionist outfit that is also, always, extremely bellophilic.
Another thing to note: The SSG was actually organized and run out of the (federally funded) “U.S. Institute of Peace”, an organization that long ago strayed far from its initial, Jimmy Carter-era focus on finding nonviolent alternatives to war. Indeed, since the beginning of Syria’s current civil conflict, USIP has consistently and harshly called for regime change in Syria.
Our tax dollars at work…