Syrian Opposition Regime Change Plan
by Stephen Lendman
Earlier articles explained. So-called Syrian National Coalition (SNC) delegates lack legitimacy. They’re US stooges.
They’re self-serving. They represent US interests. They’re mindless of Syrian suffering. Assad must go, they demand.
They want Syrians having no say on who’ll lead them. Day three of round two talks achieved nothing. SNC delegates presented a plan designed to be rejected. More on it below.
On February 12, Assad political/media advisor Bouthina Shaaban said talks so far resolved nothing. Opposition delegates want transitional governance.
Key is combating terrorism and ending violence. Dozens, at times hundreds, of Syrians die daily. What’s more important than saving lives!
“We said that we will discuss all points of the Geneva 1 Communique, but in order and according to the interests of the Syrian people,” said Shaaban.
“Undoubtedly the top priority for the Syrian people is stopping terrorism, and we want with the other side to put this as a primary objective and unfortunately, so far, we have not succeeded.”
Steps and measures in Geneva I’s communique included:
- ending armed conflict;
- implementing Kofi Annan’s peace plan;
- observing provisions of Security Council Resolutions 2042 and 2043: they relate to monitoring agreed on ceasefire terms;
- releasing detainees;
- ensuring “freedom of movement throughout the country for journalists on a non-discriminatory visa policy for them;”
- respecting freedom of association and right to demonstrate peacefully;
- respect for and cooperation with UNSMIS (UN Supervision Mission in Syria) observers and securing their safety and security;
- allowing immediate and full humanitarian access to areas needing help;
- evacuating the wounded and civilians wishing to leave war-torn areas; and
- adhering fully with international law provisions.
Political transition guidelines and principles included:
- Syrian led transition representing everyone in the country;
- establishing clear steps and a firm time frame toward realizing stated goals;
- ensuring safety, stability and calm to assure doing so; and
- avoiding further bloodshed and violence.
Transitional governance must be “genuinely democratic and pluralistic.”
It must conform with “international standards on human rights.” It must include an independent judiciary respecting rule of law principles, and must offer “equal opportunities and chances for all.”
Ending conflict depends on establishing “a transitional governing body” with “full executive powers. It could include members of the present government and the opposition and other groups and shall be formed on the basis of mutual consent.”
Syrians must “determine the future of the country.” All groups and segments of society must be able “to participate in a National Dialogue” process. Outcomes achieved “must be implemented.”
“The result of the constitutional drafting would be subject to popular approval.”
Once established, “free and fair multi-party elections” must be held. Women must be “represented in all aspects of the transition.”
Note: Geneva I’s communique said Syrians alone will decide their future. Outside interference is prohibited.
Nothing suggested Assad must go. Syrians alone will decide. Assad said numerous times he’ll respect the will of the people.
If they want him, he’ll stay. If not, he’ll go. If an election was held today, he’d win overwhelmingly. Independent polls show he’s too popular to defeat.
Syrians will choose one way or another. They’ll do so in independently monitored free, fair, and open elections. Syrian sovereign independence must be preserved.
Washington wants regime change. Obama wants to decide who’ll govern. He wants Syrians having no say. SNC stooges represent him.
Ongoing talks aren’t for peace. They’re for regime change. They’re for what Syrians reject. Round one accomplished nothing.
Nor round two so far. A previous article called them duplicitous diplomacy. War rages out-of-control. Violence and bloodshed are unabated.
No end of conflict looms. Talks remain deadlocked. On February 12, Reuters headlined “Exclusive: Opposition plan for post-war Syria ignores Assad,” saying:
A document “seen by Reuters lays out a vision of post-conflict Syria with all ethnic groups participating in a transition aimed at restoring peace and stability.”
It “deliberately (excludes) Assad…” He’s not mentioned by name. It doesn’t matter. SNC delegates insist he must go. They falsely claim excluding him conforms to Geneva I communique provisions.
False! Geneva I says Syrians alone will decide their future. Outside interference is prohibited.
SNC’s document states: Transitional authority would be “the only legitimate body that represents the sovereignty and independence of the Syrian state and is the only one that represents the Syrian state internationally.”
Syrian delegates reject prioritizing transitional governance. Ending terrorism and violence matter most.
An unnamed State Department official endorsed SNC’s document. Washington wrote it. SNC stooges presented it.
It has no legitimacy whatever. It calls for a transitional body to “prepare and oversee a total ceasefire by taking immediate measures to stop military violence, protect civilians and stabilize the country in the presence of UN observers.”
US-supported death squad invaders bear full responsibility for mass killing and destruction. They abhor peace. They’re not represented in Geneva.
Stopping violence requires halting all forms of support. It demands all anti-Syrian countries comply. It involves what’s nowhere in sight.
Obama didn’t wage war to quit. He wants regime change. He wants his will imposed. Peace talks are fake. They’re smoke and mirrors deception.
Reuters cited Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad saying Damascus supports efforts to evict foreign fighters. So do Syrians.
At the same time, they reject outside elements deciding their future. International law supports them.
Mekdad accused opposition delegates of (misus(ing)” Wednesday’s meeting. They diverted attention from the need to address terrorism, he stressed.
Doing so is top priority. He called focusing on transitional governance “a delusional proposal.” It’s “a recipe to kill the Geneva talks.”
Syrian delegates presented their own document. It covers killings and atrocities committed by insurgent fighters.
Assad is wrongfully blamed. Mekdad said the material submitted responds to “the lies of the coalition.”
Russian State Duma (lower house) international affairs committee head Alexei Pushkov called Obama obsessed. He wants Assad ousted.
He “reserves the right to a military operation in Syria,” said Pushkov. “Being possessed by the idea to overthrow Assad, the US did not change its mind about a military invasion,” he added.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said Moscow will veto a one-sided Western Security Council resolution on Syria.
“The way (it’s) drawn up, it is unacceptable to us and there is no doubt we will block it,” he said.
Russia will present its own imminently, he stressed. It “will above all urge everyone to take the necessary steps and to pool efforts in the deterrence of the terrorist threat coming from the territory of Syria,” he explained.
“I think that if our colleagues at the Security Council share our concerns about the danger of terrorism and, in my opinion, they increasingly come to the conclusion that this threat really exists and if they sincerely want to fight it, then it will make sense to pool our efforts in this field.”
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow’s proposed resolution was submitted late Wednesday.
“We have drafted our own resolution that we expect to be discussed in the UN Security Council,” he said.
“It is not mere amendments to the document submitted by Luxembourg, Australia and Jordan, but is essentially our take on the role that the Security Council can play in the settlement, if we mean it, and not just seek to provoke one or the other party.”
The resolution is based on UN Charter principles, Lavrov added. It conforms to international law and standards. It seeks responsible conflict resolution.
Alexei Zaitsev is Moscow’s UN press attache. He said submitting it counters the unacceptable Western proposal. He left details unexplained.
Whether both sides can agree on acceptable language remains to be seen. Russia’s top priority is preventing Libya 2.0.
Talks continued on Thursday. Resolution remains elusive. It bears repeating. Syria wants responsible conflict resolution. It’s going all-out to achieve it.
SNC stooges represent Washington. Peace talks are fake. Obama wants regime change. He launched war. US-supported death squad proxies wage it. No end of conflict looms.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.