In the following interview reposted from RT, ANSWER Coalition National Coordinator Brian Becker discusses the situation in Syria and the destructive U.S. policy towards the country.
RT: According to Barack Obama, Putin's sending troops to Syria is a result of Assad's position of weakness. Has the Syrian army really failed in its fight against ISIS like President Obama is suggesting?
Brian Becker: President Obama’s speech has to be really carefully parsed and revealed; he wasn’t speaking with a script, he was clumsy and sort of falling over his words. But it was very illuminating, very revealing, he almost never mentioned ISIS. ISIS was referred to once by the President. Instead, he is mocking President Assad, he is mocking Putin, he is mocking the Russians, he is saying that their entrance is a sign of weakness. How is it possible when ISIS was dominating the country, when the Army of Conquest, when Al-Qaeda, when all of the terrorist organizations were almost at the doorstep of Damascus and have now been pushed back and towns are being liberated from these terrorists, how can you say that this is “an expression of weakness”?
I mean, that’s really an ‘Alice in Wonderland’ type of view of the world, where reality gets turned upside down. It is also revealing because it makes it clear the US doesn’t really care about what happens in Syria when it comes to ISIS. A year and a half ago President Obama said:“ISIS is an existential threat; they must be defeated, degraded.” Today he says: “Well, you know. Big parts of Syria are never going to be outside of the control of those armed groups that have it,” which of course, means ISIS. This is the height and the epitome of cynicism, turning the reality upside down. The Assad government is getting stronger not weaker; it is stronger because it has popular support, but it also has international allies like Russia’s military intervention which I believe has irreversibly changed the military dynamic.
RT: Is President Obama failing to acknowledge any of Russia's progress in fighting ISIS in Syria?
BB: I think what we are seeing right now is the relationship of forces changing within Syria. The pro-Western backed terrorist organizations are losing. And so the US that should be presumably happy because the terrorists are “an existential threat” according to what President Obama told the American people. Instead of being happy, the Americans seem to be in a sort of melancholy stage. They are upset the Russian and Syrian governments are working together and are able to actually push back the terrorists. The Obama administration says it wants a negotiated settlement, but Obama said: “In order to transition Assad out of power.” He didn’t say in order to defeat and degrade ISIS. It is very revealing. It shows the US has returned to the position that it had a year and a half ago which was not anti-ISIS primarily, but still against Assad - the secular nationalist independent government that has done the bulk of the fighting against ISIS. This of course makes the American foreign policy look downright schizophrenic.
RT: The US president also said that Assad with help from Russia has shattered Syria. The US has been supporting rebels in Syria and more recently we've heard claims that it's not really possible to distinguish which rebels are moderate and which aren't. So why is Obama placing the blame only on Assad and Russia?
BB: This is an expression of shameless demagoguery on the part of the Washington government and President Obama himself. The fact of the matter is that the protests that quickly went into armed uprising against the Assad government with the help of US and NATO-backed Libyan fighters who migrated from the Libyan battlefield after NATO succeeded in destroying the secular nationalist independent government of Gaddafi in 2011 that is what has caused Syria to fragment. If it wasn’t for foreign intervention, if it wasn’t for NATO, the CIA, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar funneling arms and weapons into Syria, the Syrian government would have easily taken care of the armed terrorist organizations. Of course, there is popular discontent from some within Syria, but this did not have to fragment Syria. That is the responsibility of the Western powers and principally I would say the US and the Obama administration and John Kerry who again say they want peace now but it was their policies that fragmented Syria, they fragmented Libya before that, and of course, the [George W.] Bush administration with the support of Hillary Clinton did the same in Iraq. It is shameless demagoguery and failure to take responsibility on the part of President Obama.