At the foreign chiefs meeting in Geneva that took place in mid-October Russia and the United States America joined together without involving any third party to make a big step forward on the way of finding a political solution to one of the most burning international problems. It happened for the time since the end of Cold war. All other international actors, including the European partners, took it as a given fact. The very same way they accepted as an accomplished act that Russia is a leading world power, something corroborated by the results of the G20 summit and the events that followed afterwards.
Israeli newspaper Ma’ariv came out with the editorial Russia Wins New Cold War. John McCain, known as the one who spearheads the US «party of war» efforts, told the NBC’s «Meet the Press» program, that the Geneva talks, «gave Russia a position in the Middle East which they have not had since the 1970s».
Not every international issue should be viewed from the «win-lose» point of view. There are «zero result» and «win-win» games. It’s clear for any observer, who is watching the events with at least some degree of attention, that the Moscow’s adamant stance has raised its international standing, something plain for everyone to see, as well as it increased the chances for peace in the Middle East. It prevented US missile strikes against Syria for the benefit of all. Or almost all.
It is also clear that the menace of war is only put off; the option is still on the table. The menace threatens Syria for the third consecutive year. This time the battle field is not Damascus suburbs, not Aleppo or the Turkish-Syrian border, but rather information space.
That’s what is reflected by the US public opinion. Americans are watching with interest the hasty steps taken by Obama to approach Tehran after signing the framework agreement with Russia. Probably because the issue is going to be hot on the agenda of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
We witness the growing gap between the policy of extremely militarized North-American state and the leading countries of Latin America adopting a more independent stance. Or the gap between the White House, blowing hot and cold trying to achieve the goal of regime change in Damascus with the help of military force, and the US public opinion. The common denominator for all the gaps is becoming more tangible: now and for the times to come the United States has lost the power it had in the days of old, it’s not as strong anymore as it used to be. The country is just one of world poles, and these other poles are on the way of gaining strength: the Eurasian heartland, East Asia, Latin America and the ancient Persian land…
This is a really new and irreversible international trend, and the America of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln is yet to revalue a lot of things. In some ways, the revaluation process is already going on, sometimes taking abrupt turns. James Petras is a retired Professor (Emeritus) of Sociology at Binghamton University in Binghamton, New York and adjunct professor at Saint Mary's University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. According to him, «As the differences accumulate, deepen and fester, they ‘grind’ on our public. Political ‘differences’ turn into outright personal animosities, citizen disagreement is transformed into anger and even hatred of the ‘O-man’. Obama’s deceptions, the very words he mouths, are repeated and mocked. Nothing is more irritating than to have to listen to an unmasked confidence man as he still tries to bamboozle a disenchanted public. Americans are not fooled anymore». These are tough words.
There are also wide gaps in approaches to the Syrian issue in the United Nations Security Council. Real diplomatic battles are raging behind the closed doors. There is a problem of different interpretations but facts should prevail over fantasies. Moreover, there is a battle of interpretations raging over how to construe the international documents in effect or at the stage of being worked out. It applies to the Russia-US framework agreement on elimination of Syrian chemical weapons, the related report of UN inspector team led by Swedish scientist Ake Sellstrom and the draft United Nations Security Council resolution on implementation of Russia-US Geneva agreements.
This is a new turn of international events. The situation is not simple, so it is important to strengthen the hopes for peace in the Middle East. Calm and self-assured President Vladimir Putin works for this goal, stressing that Syria has possessed chemical weapons for many years, but, somehow, all of a sudden it has turned into a number one international problem.
«We have every ground to believe that it was a provocation. Of course, it was adroit and smart, but, at the same time, primitive in terms of technical performance. They took an old Soviet-made missile, which was taken out of service in the Syrian army long ago. It was most important to have ‘made in the USSR’ written on the missile», President Vladimir Putin said at the Valday discussion forum in Russia’s Novgorod Region. The chemical weapon attack must be thoroughly investigated and those behind it must be identified, he noted. «No matter how difficult it might be, but if in the end we manage to answer the question… as to who committed that crime – and that was certainly a crime – the next step will follow. Then, together with our colleagues from the United Nations Security Council we will have to define the level of responsibility of those who committed the crime», the Russian President said.