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What is going on in Syria? On the one hand, there was a temporary «ceasefire» to mark Eid al-Fitr and the end of Ramadan. John Kerry, the US Secretary of State, said there were discussions underway to extend it. Since the United States did not support the previous February ceasefire, one has to suppose that Kerry’s comments were just American jive. On the other hand, I put the word ceasefire in quotation marks because there appears to be heavy fighting underway just about everywhere in Syria. A Russian helicopter, for example, was shot down last Saturday by jihadists near Palmyra. Were they using American MANPADS?

In February the Russian and US governments agreed to cooperate in starting peace negotiations while continuing to fight Daesh and its al-Qaeda affiliates. That agreement had no value whatsoever. At the time Syrian commentators were dismissive. No one should be surprised because the American side never intended to respect its commitments to Moscow. US policy is still to support what it calls the «moderate» opposition to overthrow the Syrian government in Damascus. The so-called moderates, backed by the United States, are not moderates at all and are «embedded» in al-Qaeda forces. The Russian government, playing along, asked its US «partners» to extract their «moderates» from the jihadist al-Nusra front.

«Impossible, we can’t», the Americans replied, we need more time, say, two or three months. Therefore, please don’t bomb al-Qaeda.

«Don’t bomb al-Qaeda?» the Russians asked incredulously: «What do you mean?»

Well, it means that the Obama administration seeks to protect al-Qaeda, or the al-Nusra front, sheltered by imbedded «moderates», and that it is playing the Russian government for a fool. It means that the Obama administration is a part of the problem and not part of the solution. How many generals with a free hand would accept this sort of sorry, dishonest pleading? The United States and its vassals are in fact allied with al-Qaeda and Daesh either directly or indirectly.