by Webster G Tarpley 25th July 2015 www.tarpley.net
During the recent days following the conclusion of the Iranian nuclear accord in Vienna, President Obama has jettisoned the sterile rhetoric of confrontation with Russia, and has repeatedly stressed the indispensable contribution made by President Putin to concluding this arms-control agreement. Taken together, Obama’s statements constitute a much needed shift in the language of US diplomacy in the direction of Moscow. This now must be followed up with the total scrapping of the anti-Iran economic sanctions and a rapid neutralization of the various points of Russo-American conflict. Once comprehensive cooperation has been reestablished, new vistas will open for joint efforts by the two powers to solve some of the world’s most intractable problems, quite possibly starting from the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.
The UN economic sanctions against Iran are in many ways already a dead letter. A German delegation has arrived in Tehran top-heavy with the biggest international companies seeking to resume the close economic ties between these two countries, which go back to the time of the Shah. As much of the world rushes to Tehran to take advantage of the economic opportunities, the earth will gape under the feet of the neocons, Republicans, and assorted warmongers who are seeking any demagogic argument to maintain the sanctions. It will be increasingly clear that that train has already left the station, and that no amount of neocon hysteria will be sufficient to bring it back.
Obama’s first conciliatory statement in regard to Russia and Putin came in an interview with the ignoramus and blowhard Thomas Friedman of the New York Times published on July 14. Here we read:
‘Asked if President Vladimir Putin of Russia was a help or a hindrance in concluding this deal, Mr. Obama said: “Russia was a help on this. I’ll be honest with you. I was not sure given the strong differences we are having with Russia right now around Ukraine, whether this would sustain itself. Putin and the Russian government compartmentalized on this in a way that surprised me, and we would have not achieved this agreement had it not been for Russia’s willingness to stick with us and the other P5-Plus members in insisting on a strong deal. “I was encouraged by the fact that Mr. Putin called me a couple of weeks ago and initiated the call to talk about Syria. I think they get a sense that the Assad regime is losing a grip over greater and greater swaths of territory inside of Syria [to Sunni jihadist militias] and that the prospects for a [Sunni jihadist] takeover or rout of the Syrian regime is not imminent but becomes a greater and greater threat by the day. That offers us an opportunity to have a serious conversation with them.”’
(New York Times, July 14, 2015, at
As the well-informed German business publication Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten points out, there is not much reason to believe Obama when he hints that Putin might be ready to sell out the Assad government in Syria. It is much more likely that Obama has realized that no US initiatives whatsoever in regard to Syria will be effective without full Russian support. His remark is an attempt to reflect that truth and to camouflage it at the same time.
(See “Deutliche Zeichen der Entspannung zwischen Obama und Putin,“http://deutsche-wirtschafts-nachrichten.de/2015/07/20/deutliche-zeichen-der-entspannung-zwischen-obama-und-putin/)
On the day after the Friedman interview was published, Josh Earnest of the White House Press Office announced that Obama had placed a call to Russian President Putin to thank him for the extraordinarily constructive role played by Russia in the Iranian nuclear negotiations just concluded in Vienna. Earnest offered the following readout, or summary, of the main points covered in the conversation:
“The President spoke by phone today with President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation to discuss the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) reached among the P5+1, the European Union, and Iran regarding Iran’s nuclear program. The President thanked President Putin for Russia’s important role in achieving this milestone, the culmination of nearly 20 months of intense negotiations. They affirmed that the JCPOA represents an historic solution that will verifiably prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon by cutting off all of the pathways to a bomb while ensuring the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program going forward. The leaders committed to remain in close coordination as the JCPOA is operationalized and also expressed a desire to work together on reducing regional tensions, particularly in Syria.”
These important signals coming from the White House has been largely suppressed by the U.S. mass media.
Perhaps reflecting a Russian-inspired gesture of confidence building, the Russian news agency TASS reported that the Defense Minister of the Donetsk People’s Republic has ordered the withdrawal of DPR light artillery (weapons of a caliber less than 100 mm) to positions at least 3 km from the front lines. Heavier artillery had already been pulled back by the Donetsk government in conformity with the Minsk accord of earlier this year. (http://tass.ru/en/developments-in-eastern-ukraine)
The United States should now immediately reciprocate this conciliatory gesture by announcing the immediate permanent withdrawal of all US military advisers, instructors, and drill sergeants from Ukraine. The dangerous and damaging calls to give the Kiev regime heavy armaments should now cease. It is also imperative that all military drills and exercises planned for Ukrainian territory be canceled. The cancellations should include three Ukrainian-American command post exercises, Fearless Guardian 2015, Sea Breeze 2015 and Saber Guardian/Rapid Trident 2015, and two Ukrainian-Polish exercises, Secure Skies 2015, and Law and Order 2015. (See Russia Insider at http://russia-insider.com/en/2015/03/16/4547) Most of these exercises are currently in progress, and should be terminated forthwith.
These exercises and drills have now become clear and present threats to international peace and security. World peace is now threatened by disgruntled warmongers who are dismayed by the Iran nuclear accord and by the irrevocable collapse of their sanctions and economic warfare machinery against Iran. Now that Obama has launched his charm offensive in regard to Moscow, the number of malcontent warmongers will surely increase exponentially. One of the classic reactions by these circles to international moves to pacify dangerous conflicts has often been recourse to false flag provocations. Much vigilance will be required to make sure this does not happen again.