As the US mainstream media obsessed last week about Russia's supposed “hacking” of the US elections and President Obama’s final round of Russia sanctions in response, something very important was taking place under the media radar. As a result of a meeting between foreign ministers of Russia, Iran, and Turkey last month, a ceasefire in Syria has been worked out and is being implemented. So far it appears to be holding, and after nearly six years of horrible warfare the people of Syria are finally facing the possibility of rebuilding their lives.
What is so important about this particular ceasefire? It was planned, agreed to, and implemented without the participation of the United States Government.
In fact it was frustration with Washington’s refusal to separate its “moderates” from terrorist groups and its continued insistence on regime change for the Syrian government that led the three countries to pursue a solution on their own for Syria. They also included the Syrian government and much of the opposition in the agreement, which the US government has been unwilling to do.
We have been told all along by the neocons and “humanitarian interventionists” that the United States must take a central role in every world crisis or nothing will ever be solved. We are the “indispensable nation,” they say, and without our involvement the world will collapse. Our credibility is on the line, they claim, and if we don’t step up no one will. All this is untrue, as we have seen last week.
The fact is, it is often US involvement in “solving” these crises that actually perpetuates them. Consider the 60-plus year state of war between North and South Korea. Has US intervention done anything to solve the problem? How about our decades of meddling in the Israel-Palestine dispute? Are we any closer to peace between the Israelis and Palestinians despite the billions we have spent bribing and interfering?
So why all the media attention on unproven accusations of Russian hacking and President Obama’s predictable, yet meaningless response? The mainstream media does the bidding of Washington’s interventionists and they are desperate to divert attention from what may prove to be the beginning of the end of Syria’s long nightmare. They don’t want Americans to know that the rest of the world can solve its own problems without the US global policemen in the center of the action. When it is finally understood that we don’t need to be involved for crises to be solved overseas, the neocons will lose. Let’s hope that happens soon!
The agreements between Russia, Turkey and Iran on the Syrian settlement will not result in the division of Syria, said Turkish political analyst and diplomat Aydin Sezer.
In late-December, Reuters reported citing sources that Syria would be divided into informal zones of regional power influence and Bashar Assad would remain president for at least a few years under a deal between Moscow, Ankara and Tehran.
The updated concept of Russia’s foreign policy unveiled in early-December read that Russia stands for the peaceful settlement of the Syrian conflict, the country's territorial integrity, independence and unity.
The latest agreements on Syria were unveiled by Russian President Vladimir Putin on December 29. The three deals, brokered by Russia, Turkey and Iran, include a ceasefire agreement signed by the Syrian government and the armed opposition. The second document includes measures aimed at monitoring the truce, while the third states that signatories are ready to launch peace negotiations on resolving the years-long war.
Sezer underscored that the current ceasefire cannot be comprehensive since it involves only the so-called moderate opposition. There are various radical forces across Syria who did not join the deal.
"However, the ceasefire is a correct step. It is very important that Ankara and Moscow reaches an agreement on concrete steps on the Syrian settlement," he added.
The analyst underscored that Russia and Turkey managed to work out a compromised approach to armed groups operating across Syria.
A drone fitted with a video camera sailing through the skies over Mount Hebron crashed in a forest on Mount Hebron this week, prompting the residents of Moshav Ma’on to pick it up and take it to the Regavim organization, an NGO known in English as the Movement for Preservation of State Lands.
Regavim posted some of the video footage online.
According to a report broadcast by Israel’s Channel 2 television news, footage retrieved from the drone revealed an extensive operation by the European Union, acting in concert with residents of local Arab communities to gather intelligence on Jewish communities.
Numerous videos revealed footage of Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria, some of which also contain IDF bases. One of the videos showed the drone flying low over the residents of Ma’on before it crashed next to a car.
“What started as illegal construction continues and now is harmful to security,” said Regavim Land Division director Oved Arad. He warned the reconnaissance mission was logical, given the government’s weak response to European Union support for, and construction of illegal Arab houses and other structures in Area C.
“For years the European Union has been involved in illegal construction in Judea and Samaria. Now it’s clear that EU officials, with the Palestinians, are even documenting Israeli settlements and sensitive locations in Judea and Samaria,” he said.
“The Foreign Ministry must respond strongly and unequivocally against this activity, which crosses a red line and is very dangerous.”