Saudi-Hosted “Opposition Talks” Fiasco
December 14, 2015 "Information
Clearing House" - "Counterpunch"
- A Saudi-led
plan to draw “moderate” Syrian opposition groups into a unified
political front collapsed on Wednesday when a powerful Islamic
militia refused to participate in the meetings after their demands
were rejected. Ahrar al-Sham, a hardcore amalgam of Wahhabi
extremists and fanatical jihadis, withdrew from the anti-Assad
confab because, according to the Washington Post: “some of its
comments and recommendations have been disregarded at the meeting.”
Not surprisingly, the Post failed to
explain exactly what those “comments and recommendations” were. The
reason for this is easy to understand. The media doesn’t want the
American people to know that the so called “moderate” militias
their government is backing are actually homicidal maniacs who are
determined to topple a secular government and replace it with an
Islamic Caliphate. Here are a few of the group’s demands which have
not appeared in any of the western media:
1 All Iranian and Russian military personnel
must leave Syria.
2 The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) should be
disbanded, along with their paramilitary units.
3 Syria will become an Islamic state.
4 No negotiations with the Syrian Government.
5 Fighting ISIS is secondary because rebels
have lost family members because of the war with the Syrian
6 A secular Syria will only empower ISIS
Rebel Group Calls for an Islamic State in Syria“,
Ahrar al-Sham is anything but moderate. According
to the Telegraph, “the group was established by Islamists and
originally included internationally known jihadists with
long-standing ties to al-Qaeda.” The group receives significant
financial support from Saudi Arabia which is a country that is
vehemently opposed to democratic government, which has a long
history of support for terrorist organizations, and where citizens
convicted of sorcery can face beheading. The whole idea of holding
these phony negotiations in the terrorist capital of the planet is
According to the New York Times: “All
parties signed a final statement that called for maintaining the
unity of Syria and building a civil, representative government that
would take charge after a transitional period, at the start of which
Mr. Assad and his associates would step down.” (“Syrian
rebels form bloc for new round of peace talks“, New York Times)
That sounds impressive, but what the Times fails
to mention is that all of these conditions were inserted into
previous agreements (Geneva) and insisted upon by Russia and Iran.
If democracy prevails in Syria, it will be because the Russian’s and
Iranians refused to accept anything less.
Here’s more from the New
In two days of meetings hosted by the Saudi
government that ended Thursday, more than 100 opposition leaders
created a new high commission to oversee negotiations with the
government….The high commission contains 33 members, about
one-third representing armed factions. It will select a
negotiating team of 15 people to face the Assad government at
talks that could begin in January….
Mohammed Baerakdar, a representative of the
Islam Army, one of the armed brigades, said that foreign
military support had not been enough to ensure victory so the
group had to pursue a political solution.
“We did not take up arms to spill blood,” he
said. “We took up arms to spare blood.” (New York Times)
The ” high commission” is not going to have any
impact on future negotiations because its leaders don’t represent
the most powerful groups of fighters on the ground. The most
powerful groups are the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), Jahbat al Nusra (and
other al Qaida-linked militias), ISIS and the Kurdish People’s
Protection Units or YPG. None of these groups participated in the
Saudi talks even though their delegates will eventually play a big
role in determining the country’s future.
As for Baerakdar’s claim that, “We did not take up
arms to spill blood. We took up arms to spare blood.” That is
transparently false. In fact, most of the fighters active in Syria
today, are foreigners that are funded, armed, and trained by Saudi
Arabia, Turkey and the US. Their job is to tear the country to
shreds in order to topple Assad, replace him with a compliant
stooge, and divide the state in a way that best serves the
commercial and strategic interests of the three main perpetrators.
The idea that prominent western media like the New
York Times and the Washington Post would take these Saudi-led
meetings seriously is simply mindboggling. Does anyone need to be
reminded that 15 of the 19 hijackers on 9-11 were from Saudi Arabia,
or that Saudi royals have been arming and funding terrorist
organizations for the last 30 years or that Riyadh is presently
backing many of the Sunni militants now prosecuting the proxy war in
The Saudis are up to their eyeballs in terror, in
fact, it seems to be the national pastime much like soccer in Brazil
or baseball in the US. The problem is that– this time around– their
terror tactics aren’t working, in fact, their jihadi militias are
getting beaten quite badly the by the Russian-led coalition, which
is why they’ve moved on to Plan B, a political strategy for uniting
the anti-Assad opposition to improve their chances for success in
the next round of negotiations in Vienna.
But how do the Saudis measure success?
Here’s a clip from the Washington Post which
spells it out in black and white:
Speaking at a news conference earlier on
Thursday, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said Assad has
two choices, “either to leave through negotiations” or be
forcibly removed from power.
opposition groups set framework for proposed talks“,
So nothing has changed, right? This whole fiasco
about convening “talks” between opposition leaders is just a
smokescreen to conceal the real objective which is regime change.
But does anyone really think the Russians and
Iranians are going to be fooled by this “opposition
Not on your life. They’re not going to let any of
these foreign-born whackos from Chechnya, Libya or Saudi
Arabia decide Syria’s future. That has to be decided by the Syrian
people themselves, which is what the Geneva Communique was all
about: Self determination, sovereignty and free elections. Those are
the foundation blocks that are needed to rebuild the Syrian state,
but they can’t be put in place until the foreign meddling stops and
there’s an honest dialogue between the various stakeholders about
the way forward.