HAVING failed to overthrow President Assad of Syria by force of arms, the imperialist powers are now turning to Russia, and are seeking the support of President Putin for a diplomatic deal to force Assad out of office.
Assad is to be replaced by what is being termed a ‘transitional regime’ that will run the country until the Syrian ‘opposition’ feel that they will be able to win an election, a process that could take decades.
Putin is taking some persuading to play the role allotted to him by the US, after his Libyan experience.
This was where Russia and China failed to veto a motion for UN intervention into Libya, allowing it to pass, only to see the intervention hijacked by NATO, which bombed and destroyed Libya’s infrastructure, organised the murder of Colonel Gadaffi, and brought an Islamist pro-imperialist regime to power.
Attempts to duplicate this operation in Syria have, up till now, dismally failed. Russia and Iran appreciate that the removal of Assad will see the US pressing ahead to attack Iran and Hezbollah openly, while Russia faces being driven out of the Gulf and the Middle East.
UN peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi has been sent in to try and make the deal. On Thursday he called for a ‘real’ change in Syria and the installation of a transitional government with full powers until elections can be held.
Meanwhile, a Syrian government delegation, led by Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Muqdad, on Thursday held talks at the Russian Foreign Ministry, while Moscow denied the existence of a joint plan with the United States to end the crisis in the country.
It was not immediately clear who was present at the closed-door meeting but the ITAR-TASS news agency on Wednesday said Muqdad’s visit would include talks with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Lukashevich said the talks with Brahimi would be ‘directed at ending the violence and launching a national dialogue in the country between the authorities and the opposition’.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohammed Amr was also due in Moscow later on Thursday for a visit that will include talks and a news conference with Lavrov today. Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood president, Mursi, is an open supporter of the US war to overthrow Assad.
Lukashevich vehemently continues to deny the existence of any such plan to try to force Assad out.
‘There was not and is not such a plan and it is not being discussed,’ he said. However, Putin has always stated that he will not prop up Assad’s regime and that while Russia cannot accept the resignation of Assad as a precondition for talks, such a conclusion could result out of unconditional talks between Assad and the Syrian opposition.
Brahimi is also due in Moscow today and has said he also expects to have a third joint meeting with US and Russian officials soon.
Meanwhile, there has been a secret meeting between Israeli leader Netanyahu and Jordan’s King Abdullah to discuss the ‘risk’ of Syria’s chemical weapons falling into the hands of Islamist militants, and to discuss their own plans for intervention into Syria on that pretext.
The News Line is opposed to any Russian, Libyan-type about-turn to betray Assad to the imperialist powers in return for some minor concession or promises of concessions elsewhere.
The overthrow of Assad by imperialism will open up the door for new imperialist wars throughout the Middle East and the Gulf.
We urge the Arab people to rise up and to come to the aid of the Syrian people by overthrowing the US agent regimes in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain, and the pro-US Mursi regime in Egypt.
We urge the UK trade unions to tell the government that they will call strike action in the event of any UK troops being withdrawn from Afghanistan to fight in Syria. The workers of the world and the peoples of the oppressed nations must take action to defend Syria and defeat imperialism, Zionism and Arab reaction in the Middle East.