Russia and China say any decision on a transition of power in Syria should only be made by the Syrian people.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi announced the stances of their countries after a meeting on the situation in Syria at the United Nations office in Geneva on Saturday.
Syria has been experiencing unrest since mid-March 2011. Many people, including security forces, have been killed in the turmoil.
Press TV has conducted an interview with Lawrence Freeman, with the Executive Intelligence Review, from Washington, to further discuss the issue. The following is a rough transcription of the interview.
Let’s look at controlling this meeting and who was allowed to come and who was not. When the meeting itself is controlled as far as even those who would participate in it, how likely would it have been, even from the beginning, that it was actually going to accomplish something that would basically benefit the Syrian people and not a particular agenda?
We have a clash now between two opposing views. Foreign Minister Lavrov represented a very clear understanding of the role of sovereignty of Syria, for Iran and for Russia as well.
The opposite side, which is intent on eliminating sovereignty, is represented by the policy of Tony Blair and the responsibility to protect, which has now become the dominant doctrine of the Obama administration which was given to him by Tony Blair to essentially override, overrule and intervene against sovereign states throughout the world.
This is what is going on in Syria. This is what the intention is on Iran. The target is much bigger. The target of the British crown which is the much dominant imperial power, not the United States or Israel, they want to have a showdown and force a concession, a submission by Russia because Russia is their key target.
We’re going through, right now, the greatest financial collapse in history. You see it in Europe and you can see it in the United States. Under those conditions, the British financial crowd in London, the city of London, and Wall Street do not want independent nation states and therefore this confrontation is really designed to lead to a war with Russia in which they would expect Russia to back down.
The Russian government, the president, prime minister and foreign minister have been very clear that they will not allow outside forces to overthrow this government and they will not allow outside forces to determine their own sovereignty as well.
Let me just jump in here and look at what you just said because you said that the actual goal is Russia itself, and then trying to make them back down. Well, if the actual goal is Russia, why would they expect Moscow to back down when their own existence would be threatened?
Well, that’s the game. The game is to get them to submit under the fear that this could go to a nuclear war. Earlier in the week you had a report, a lying report came out that Lavrov had agreed with the British and Americans on excluding Assad, and it was completely false.
They’re trying to use all kinds of games. This is brinkmanship to force a confrontation, to bring it to the brink of a confrontation and the Russians would back down because they look at what happened in Libya. Everybody caved in on Libya.
The French, Americans and British killed Gaddafi after they overthrew his government. That became a warning signal to the rest of the world.
The same NATO crowd with Blair’s R2P (Responsibility to Protect) doctrine, they now think that they can carry this out in Syria and Iran. And they’re wrong.
By the Russians standing up to them, as they have, this is actually what’s kept the world from going into war up to this point.
Mr. Freeman, looking back again at the transitional governing body, Kofi Annan has said that he wants representation from all sides. How likely is the transitional consul to be effective if really all the entities that are fighting right now would actually be represented? Is it already represented to fail or is it something, a positive step, in your perspective?
It’s now become very difficult for people inside Syria to actually fight for their true interests. You have had involvement on the ground with British, American and other interests including military on the ground helping the so-called opposition groups, the so-called Free Army.
Therefore, the situation inside Syria is one in which the people themselves and their aspirations and their desires for a better world are not being represented by the West.
We’ve seen this throughout the whole so-called Arab Spring. People demonstrated because the economic situation, their rights were terrible and they wanted something better, and this has been used, manipulated in some cases to actually carry out a regime change as we saw with explicit purpose in Libya.
As I say, it’s being done as part of an international policy. The Israelis are not a driving force. They are a pawn in the operation. Netanyahu is a pawn in the operation.
The fact of the matter is, at the very highest levels, the desperation that the city of London feels right now, you’re seeing it played out in Europe, that they’re entire financial system is about to go bust, bankrupt. They’re looking for control, political, financial control, over the major countries of the world.
If they see Russia, China moving in a direction of scientific progress, infrastructure development, space exploration, economic development, that becomes a danger to their existence when their existence is in trouble.
The West doesn’t want to see peace in Syria. Whatever Kofi Annan wants, the Western powers don’t. Susan Rice doesn’t. They want to see more chaos. They want to see regime change and they want to see confrontation on a global scale with Russia.
The Syrian people are not being represented at all, honestly, by anyone in the West at this point, and their interests are not the interests of the West, at this point.
Mr. Freeman, Kofi Annan says that he expects to see positive changes taking place in Syria within a year. What do you make out of that comment of his?
I think Mr. Annan must be very optimistic. I think that if you look at what he’s trying to do and you look at what the Russians are saying is that we must be inclusive of all the parties involved. I think the Russians were upset that the Americans did not allow Iran to attend this meeting in Geneva today. The Russians were correct, Iranians should be there; they have a very real interest and could be helpful in this situation.
I think that the Russians and Kofi Annan would like to see everybody involved. They would like to see a withdrawing of all the military force, or pull them back.
You’re going to have to accept the fact that the Syrian government and the Syrian institutions will have to be included. If you exclude them, then you’re saying exactly what we said last year with Libya, it’s regime change.
To the extent that the Russians, Chinese and others stick to the idea that the government has to continue to be involved in finding a solution, I think that’s positive.
The other positive factor that most people are not aware of is the fact that the military, and this may seem ironic to some, but the US military, General Dempsey and a whole series of people in the military have been the most vociferous in pushing back against military intervention into Syria and Iran, if you look at public statements…of the current serving military and retired military.
Obama is a major cause of the problem, and Obama essentially should be “Watergated” as soon as possible so we can have a real democrat in leading the country against Romney who also has no good policy.