An Exasperated John Kerry Throws In Towel On Syria: "What Do You Want Me To Do, Go To War With The Russians?!"

Tyler Durden's picture

“Russian and Syrian forces intensified their campaign on rebel-held areas around Aleppo that are still home to around 350,000 people and aid workers have said the city - Syria's largest before the war - could soon fall.”

Can you spot what’s wrong with that quote, from a Reuters piece out today? Here’s the problem: “could soon fall” implies that Aleppo is on the verge of succumbing to enemy forces. It’s not. It’s already in enemy hands and has been for quite some time. What Reuters should have said is this: “...could soon be liberated.”

While we’ll be the first to admit that Bashar al-Assad isn’t exactly the most benevolent leader in the history of statecraft, you can bet most Syrians wish this war had never started and if you were to ask those stranded in Aleppo what their quality of life is like now, versus what it was like in 2009, we’re fairly certain you’ll discover that residents aren’t particularly enamored with life under the mishmash of rebels that now control the city.

In any event, Russia and Iran have encircled Aleppo and once it “falls” (to quote Reuters) that’s pretty much it for the opposition. Or at least for the “moderate” opposition. And the Saudis and Turks know it.

So does John Kerry, who is desperate to restart stalled peace negotiations in Geneva. The problem for the US and its regional allies is simple: if Russia and Iran wipe out the opposition on the battlefield, there’s no need for peace talks. The Assad government will have been restored and that will be that. ISIS will still be operating in the east, but that’s a problem Moscow and Tehran will solve in short order once the country’s major urban centers are secured.

As we noted on Saturday, Riyadh and Ankara are extremely concerned that the five-year-old effort to oust Assad is about to collapse and indeed, the ground troop trial balloons have already been floated both in Saudi Arabia and in Turkey. For their part, the Russians and the Iranians have indicated their willingness to discuss a ceasefire but according to John Kerry himself, the opposition is now unwilling to come to the table.

Don’t blame me – go and blame your opposition,’” an exasperated Kerry told aid workers on the sidelines of the Syria donor conference in London this week.  

America’s top diplomat also said that the country should expect another three months of bombing that would “decimate” the opposition, according to Middle East Eye who also says that Kerry left the aid workers with "the distinct impression" that the US is abandoning efforts to support rebel fighters.

In other words, Washington has come to terms with the fact that there's only one way out of this now. It's either go to war with Russia and Iran or admit that this particular effort to bring about regime change in the Mid-East simply isn't salvageable. 

"He said that basically, it was the opposition that didn’t want to negotiate and didn’t want a ceasefire, and they walked away,” a second aid worker told MEE. 

“‘What do you want me to do? Go to war with Russia? Is that what you want?’” the aid worker said Kerry told her.

MEE also says the US has completely abandoned the idea that Assad should step down. Now, apparently, Washington just wants Assad to stop using barrel bombs so the US can "sell the story to the public." "A third source who claims to have served as a liaison between the Syrian and American governments over the past six months said Kerry had passed the message on to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in October that the US did not want him to be removed," MEE says. "The source claimed that Kerry said if Assad stopped the barrel bombs, Kerry could 'sell the story' to the public, the source said."

Of course Kerry won't be able to "sell" that story to the Saudis and the Turks, or to Qatar all of whom are now weighing their oppositions as the US throws in the towel. "Kerry’s mixed messages after the collapse of the Geneva process have put more pressure on Turkey and Saudi Arabia," MEE concludes. "Both feel extreme unease at the potential collapse of the opposition US-recognised Free Syrian Army."

And so, as we said earlier this week, it's do or die time for Riyadh, Ankara, and Doha. Either this proxy war morphs into a real world war in the next two weeks, or Aleppo "falls" to Assad marking a truly humiliating defeat for US foreign policy and, more importantly, for the Saudis' goal of establishing Sunni hegemony in the Arabian Peninsula.

The only other option is for John Kerry to face the Russians in battle. As is evident from the sources quoted above, Washington clearly does not have the nerve for that. 

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Father Thyme's picture

I'm going to get those bomb doors open if it harelips everybody in Bear Creek!

Looney's picture

I ain’t no doctor, but I think Kerry’s mouth is infected with Toe Fungus. Must be his choice of ketchup.  ;-)


Money Counterfeiter's picture

Fuck the Zionist.  Go to hell MF's.

Latina Lover's picture

The USSA should go to war with Russia. Start by drafting the neocon/neoliberals children and all the chickenhawks screaming for war!

iinthesky's picture

Yep.. Right to the front with them!

Looney's picture

Ain’t it interesting - any time WE instigate bloodshed in a far-away-country, no one (including the UN) cares about civilian casualties, humanitarian aid, negotiations, finding political solutions?

It’s only when our (or our allies’) ass is getting kicked, we suddenly want to negotiate!

The Russians and their allies should “kick the Geneva can” for a very long time, while closing Syria’s border with Turkey, a.k.a. “the 98-km zone”.

Without that supply corridor nothing and nobody will get in or out of Syria, making the defeat of ISIS much easier.


Latina Lover's picture

This is exactly what Russia is doing.  They will continue to bomb ISIS and AlQuaCIA into Muslim heaven, sending them off to their 72 virgin boys.


If the Amerikans could kick Russia out of Syria, they would have done it already.  Instead, we now see the truth, that the USSA giant, when facing a real opponent, has feet of clay.

Winston Churchill's picture

Paper tiger's burn.

Might wan't to stop aggravating around the Spratleys as well.

This is the US's very own Suez.

TahoeBilly2012's picture

I know where we could shove those Idaho spud...Nudelman...

nope-1004's picture

US foreign affairs politicians, of whom most are of distiguished families, appear to all be born with a silver foot in their mouth.  The spoon was upgraded via easy credit years ago.

They stand above the crowd in so many ways:  priveledged, arrogant, assuming, forceful, and totally useless.


strannick's picture

A failure of Amercian war mongering "state craft" thank God.

The picture however shows that Kerry's "clown craft" was a roaring success. I'm sure his word bubble says something about "Ketchup, hahahaha".

Now that cat juggling is has a role in statecraft , perhaps Will Ferrell should be considered for Sec. of State.

KesselRunin12Parsecs's picture

"What Do You Want Me To Do, Go To War With The Russians?!"


"What do you want me to do? Go to War with the SEE EYE... YAY!?" (there, fixed it)


They SHOOT horses, don't they?

Bumpo's picture

If Saudi Arabia or Turkey takes one step into Syria, better be prepared for blowback and regime change back home. Russia attacking Ankara or Riyadh in response might just shut those barking dogs up.

knukles's picture

And all over a pipeline.  Poking bears in the eyes with sharp sticks is unadvisable.
Bammy said he was going to change America.  Vicory lap!

           Must Read:

chumbawamba's picture

"While we’ll be the first to admit that Bashar al-Assad isn’t exactly the most benevolent leader in the history of statecraft..."

Another author who admits he knows nothing about Syria and has only been following the story since Russia started bombing.  Before then he couldn't care less.

Pure horse shit.

I am Chumbawamba.

Theosebes Goodfellow's picture

Well, you could never accuse Kerry of claiming to be the smartest guy in the room. Or second..., or third....

Saddam Miser's picture

I'd rather have Kerry in the room, instead of Hillary.  That being said, I'd rather neither one be in the room.

0b1knob's picture

Why the long face Kerry?  Did we back the wrong HORSE?  Is the boat sinking swiftly?  On the wrong side of the red line?

Jtrillian's picture

Saudi Arabia and Turkey appear to be ready to take the baton from the US.  With Turkey being a NATO ally and Saudi Arabia being a strong ally of the criminal establishment in Washington (see the 28 pages) it wouldn't take much to pull the US into a larger war to assist them.  The US may not have the political will (or the backing of the people) to take on a war with Russia, but if their so called "allies" get involved , we may not have a any choice but to follow suite (see NATO's mutual defense agreement). 

And that seems to be the plan for now.  The proxy army that they funded and armed backfired and the world wised up to the fact that "moderates" really meant al-Nusra, and ISIS.

If the US was was on the right path, it would have released the 28 pages long ago and held Saudi Arabia accountable for not only the attack on 9/11 but also spreading the form of radical Islamic extremism in the region.  They would hold Turkey responsible for it's fascist regime, via persecution of journalists, academics, for funding ISIS, for violating the national sovereignty of Iraq and Syria and it's human rights violations against the curds,

Actions speak louder than words.  And our actions dictate that we are more concerned with getting our way in Syria... even if that means a larger war with Russia.

What else would you expect from a bunch of schisters and war mongers. 

Manthong's picture

Well, you could call him Jengis Kahn and throw some service ribbons at him..

mkhs's picture


     It is not Jengis Kahn, but Jengis Cohn.  You know, Irish John Cohn.

BarkingCat's picture

Key word is DEFENSIVE.. If Turkey is the one that goes into Syria there they are not defending.

Maybe expect a false flag of some sort but I sure as hell hope we do not go against Russia because Turkey and or Saudi Arabia decided to start a war with them.

Jtrillian's picture

What history has shown us is that there will be some sort of "border issue" that pulls Turkey into Syria.  It will be sold to the American public and Europe that it is a defensive action when in fact it will be an all out invasion. 

lincolnsteffens's picture

"While we’ll be the first to admit that Barak Obama (take your pick of GHW Bush, Wm. J Clinton, GW Bush, etc. for a substitue) isn’t exactly the most benevolent leader in the history of statecraft..."

There Chumba, I fixed it for us.

jeff montanye's picture

boy is that ever true.

and that "letter" linked by knukles continues the myth that obama is some kind of rabble rouser for the poor and enemy of the rich.

where the fuck is the evidence of this?  is jamie dimon in jail?  is corzine?  did any of the qe money go to the poor?   was his ridiculous health care plan even as poor friendly as lbj's medicare done fifty years ago by a warmonger?

answer to all:  hell no.

Keyser's picture

The only way to describe US foreign policy these days is flacid... 


Theosebes Goodfellow's picture

~"The only way to describe US foreign policy these days is flacid... "~

I wish I could say I have a hard time with that statement, Keyser, but sadly... I can't. :-)

Umh's picture

More like a stiffy looking for a sucker.

August's picture

Ankara is reasonably safe from the Russians.  Riyadh not so much.

You kill the chicken in front of the monkey.

CuttingEdge's picture

I love the smell of burning hubris in the morning.

Smells like...smells like humilation.

SuperRay's picture

Btw, I'm offering a lifetime membership to ZH to anyone who goes to a Hillary rally anks asks her why a progressive throats CFR dicks

Xibalba's picture

All Yale Bonesmen.  Set your clocks 5 min ahead...


Imagine there's no Islam: BOYCOTT HALAL
Rhett72's picture

Without Islam, you would not have Plato, Aristotle and the other Greek philosopghers, which were burned as heresy by the Church in Europe but preserved in Islamic Spain.  Without Islam, Judaism would have been wiped of the face of the earth by Christian pogroms that caused Jews to flee to the Islamic world for refuge.  Without Islam you wouldn't have algebra or astronomy.  Without Islam, you would not have property and inheritance rights for women (granted by Islamic law, prohibited by the Bible).  Without Islam, you wouldn't have the guitar, invented in Islamic Spain.  Without Islam, you wouldn't have incredible works of art and architecture such as the Taj Mahal and the Dome of the Rock.  Without Islam, you wouldnt have Rumi, the most popular poet in the West today.  Without Islam, you wouldn't have the First Amendment to the US constitution, guaranteeing religious freedom, which was inspired by the success of the Ottoman millet system and had no precedence in Christian Europe.  Without Islam, you would all be speaking Mongolian, as it was the Muslim Mamluk army that defeated the Mongol invasion for the first time at the Battle of Ayn Jalut in 1260.


The list goes on and on.  WIthout Islam, we would all be living in stone huts today.

MarsInScorpio's picture


1) What uninterrupted propaganda. I'm on my smartphone so I can't write a lie by lie rebuttal, however, your post is trash.

2) Islam was never what you portray; it is, and always will be, nothing but an endless bloodbath. Tell CAIR to GFY.

Arnold's picture

Hey, this is BLACK history month.

August's picture

>>>WIthout Islam, we would all be living in stone huts today.

I have Muslim friends (Shia only), and am NOT on board the anti-Islam War-Wagon. However, to be concise, your claims are idiotic.

To elaborate just a wee bit, not every event (for good or ill) that happened in the MENA region between 630 and 1300 happened "because of Islam".  Islam's greatest achievement was political - creating what was essentially a free trade area from the Spain to India.  Times were pretty good, and prosperity followed, and the cultural benefits of prosperity. Most of the intellectual richness of that era stems from Greek, Hebrew, Chaldean and other non-Islamic, and certainly non-Arab, sources.

Obviously, political Islam played a major role in history, but ever since the collapse of a functioning Caliphate centuries ago, Islam has lapsed into a stagnant, repressive retrograde movement. Today, these societies would be hard pressed just to re-invent shoe laces.

Welder's picture

You might be right. However, the muslim invasion of European lands is genocide and unacceptable. Certainly the rape-fugees are no algebra professors. The Jewish role in promoting, financing and forcing it on us should be documented and dealt with. Their grip on European traitorous governments should be revealed. At this moment I'm not sure if revolts (which will certainly happen this spring) wasn't their goal all along. 

Umh's picture

Do a search on these terms and you get a funnier story. To cut to the chase search for ...pedophile off hook clinton hillary... This case has amused me for years, Clinton has the guy take a polygraph and of course she is a better lie detector than the polygraph and knows that he has to be guilty.

Loose Caboose's picture

His type do not register "humiliation".  They go more for bloody indignation and disdain. 



CuttingEdge's picture

Tbh, I was aiming rather more at the neocons (Noodles etc) pulling the regime-change strings than an old nag like Kerry...

Squid Viscous's picture

amazing lack of Zio media coverage of Syria after Putin told US to fuck off, I'll handle this...

exact opposite of the false flag Sarin attack, which was the lead story for several days on PMSNBCNNFAUX as I recall

it's almost like it's not

valjoux7750's picture

Agreed, hasnt been much news ar all.  glad to hear russia is handling the situation and that the US is bowing out. Great news!!

Paveway IV's picture

"...and that the US is bowing out."

One would almost think so, right valjoux? Aside from the talking horse's remarks, here's the OTHER scheming that Team Chaos has been up to:

1. AUMF: Obama has been pushing for an Authorization For Use Of Military Force (AUMF) for the last year. Congress can't agree on the conditions and restrictions, and doesn't want to vote on it anyway. Obama is waging his war on ISIL under the 2001 AUMF, but he's afraid that it looks TOO unconstitutional after this long and wants a new one. In order to claim they're doing somethign, Mitch McConnel tossed out a AUMF bill without any conditions or restrictions. Sort of a blanket exception to the Constitution where Obama (or his successor, Hillary) can do anything anywhere without approval if it's somehow related to 'fighting ISIL'. It's so f'king unconstitutional that he doesn''t figure the White House would back it, thus it will never be submitted for a vote or passed. It is intended to shut up critics of Congress while daring Obama to ask for such insane authorization. Nobody has movd on it yet.

2. False Flag: leading to suprise vote for The Mother of all Unconstitutional AUMFs proposed in #1. No idea what it is, but it's coming. Congress will use the excuse that they had to approve somehting right away and didn't have time to debate the merits of #1. White House will plead ignorance and say that Congress did it, not them. This is the obvious plan, though. That's how they do these things in Washington.

3. Troops on the ground today: 4800+ in Iraq training the Iraqi Army. 50 SF guys in Syria assissting (calling in air strikes) for the Kurds and FSA Arabs in northeast Syria. 200 SF guys in some kind of assassination/kidnapping squad aimed at ISIL leadership in Iraq and Syria. Untold number of Blackwater/Xe/Academi psychos doing all kinds of illegal things in Iraq and Syria.

4. Troops on the ground tomorrow: Despite the lack of a remotely plausable AUMF, Obama's little water-boy Ash Carter announced 1,800 more boots-on-the-ground in Iraq to 'train and advise' Peshmerga and the Iraqi Army to take back Mosul from ISIL, then most likely jump across the border into Syria and help the SDF/FSA take back Raqqa. Those troops are from HQ and the 2nd Brigade Combat Team of the 101st Airborne Division. The same division that had to take Mosul a decade ago and the same division that sent soldiers back in aluminum boxes from retaking the city. I'm sure their sacrifice will be 'worth it' this time, too. Maybe even next time, who knows? You can never retake a foreign city too many times at too high a cost. Besides, the 101st guys volunteered to join the army - they shouldn't mind dying for Israel... er, Iraq... er, freedom and democracy. 

5. NATO AWACS: Last week, the U.S. asked fellow members of Team Chaos (ZATO) to send some of its 18 AWACS to Turkey for the fight against. ISIL. Problem is that ISIL doesn't have an air force. Turkey already owns four very modern and powerful AWACS. Seems like an awful lot of Airborn Warning and Command capability for Turkey, who is not at war with any other nation with an air force. The only obvious and credible candidate is Russia, who has no plans to attack Turkey. What is the U.S. gearing up the Turks for?

6. JARABULUS De-mining: The Turks were digging up thier land mines in the border strip between Turkey and Syria near Jarabulus. That's the Syrian city that Turkey won't 'allow' the Syrian Kurds to retake from ISIS and part of the 'Kurds are not allowed to cross the Euphrates' red line from Erdogan. Turkey is afraid of the Kurds closing the ISIS escape route/Turkish supply routes between Azaz and Jarabulus. Azaz will fall to the Kurds in a couple of days. The Turks most likely plan on taking Jarabulus themselves. I'll leave it to the armor guys to explain why a nation suddenly decides to demine a little strip of their border in the middle of a war. 

One would think NATO isn't so stupid to back Turkey when they cross into Syria, but they will. Russian will blow the crap out of the Turkish armor, and you know what comes next.

Rigger's picture

I sincerely hope you are wrong...

Winston Churchill's picture

Psychopaths don't give up this easily,so he's probably spot on.

The timetable on WWIII has been moved up.

August's picture

The Saker has an excellent summary on the details of Russian-Turkish conflict, should the Turkish military "invade Syria".

As one might expect, a lot depends on the territorial depth of any incursion or occupation by Turkey.  Still, the Saker (rightly) regards Erdogan as a loose cannon, and the Syrian situation as perilous.



btw Winston Churchill, I forget the details but it appears you were correct about financial SHTF in January 2016. Well done!