Tillerson: Russia Should Decide Assad's Fate

And so, three months after the US State Department famously flip-flopped, when first at the end of March Rex Tillerson said at a news conference that “the longer term status of President Assad will be decided by the Syrian people" adding that "our priority is no longer to sit and focus on getting Assad out" only to follow one week later with Tillerson's warning to Russia that "coalition steps are underway to remove Assad" which in turn segued into the first US attack on Syrian soil with the launch of no less than 59 cruise missiles, the US has done it again and according to Foreign Policy, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has once again told the U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres that the fate of Syrian leader Bashar Al-Assad now lies in the hands of Russia, and that the Trump administration’s priority is limited to defeating the Islamic State.

The striking reversal was announced during a private State Department meeting last week, according to three diplomatic sources cited by FP.

And, as FP adds, "the remarks offer the latest stop on a bumpy U.S. policy ride that has left international observers with a case of diplomatic whiplash as they try to figure out whether the Trump administration will insist that Assad step down from power. Nearly three months ago, Tillerson had insisted that Assad would have to leave office because of his alleged use of chemical weapons."

The news, which will again be met with an angry response by neocons like John McCain - as happened in March - signaled the Trump administration’s increasing willingness to let Russia take the driver’s seat in Syria. Tillerson also signaled that U.S. military action against Assad’s forces in recent months is intended to achieve only limited tactical goals–deterring future chemical weapons attacks and protecting U.S. backed-forces fighting the Islamic State in Syria–not weakening the Assad government or strengthening the opposition’s negotiating leverage.

And a startling admission by the website owned by the Slate Group:

Tillerson’s position reflects a recognition that Syria’s government, backed by Russia and Iran, is emerging as the likely political victor in the country’s six year long civil war. It also marks a further retreat from the 2012 U.N.-brokered Geneva Communique — signed by Russia, the United States, and other key powers — which called for the establishment of a transitional government with members of the regime and the opposition. The Geneva pact, according to the Obama administration and other Western allies, was to result in Assad’s departure from power. 

When asked for a comment, a State Department official insisted that the U.S. remains “committed to the Geneva process” and supports a “credible political process that can resolve the question of Syria’s future. Ultimately, this process, in our view, will lead to a resolution of Assad’s status.” He added that "The Syrian people should determine their country’s political future through a political process."

Some more details:

The decision to cede ground to Russia on the question of Assad’s future comes on the eve of President Donald Trump’s first face-to-face meeting next week with President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany.  It also comes at a time when the Trump administration is seeking to repair relations with the Kremlin despite a series of scandals that have plagued the White House since Trump’s election.


Tillerson said earlier this month that Trump tasked him with repairing the broken U.S.-Russia relationship. The secretary of state has also cautioned Congress that new sanctions against Russia for its alleged role in interfering in the U.S. election could undercut efforts to cooperate with Moscow on Syria.

And this is the part the neocons will hate the most:

Tillerson made clear to Guterres that the U.S. was once again shifting gears. “What happens to Assad is Russia’s issue, not the U.S. government’s,” one source said Tillerson told the U.N. chief in last week’s meeting. Tillerson’s message, the official added, was that “the U.S. government will respond to the terrorist threat,” but that it is largely agnostic about “whether Assad goes or stays.”


Tillerson’s retreat suggests the State Department is willing to skirt the ethical morass of what to do about the Assad regime as it navigates the dense thicket of conflicting alliances fighting in Syria.


“The reason the United States is involved in Syria is to take out ISIS,” State Department Spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters Wednesday. “That’s why we care and that’s why we are there.” Fred Hof, former State Department special advisor for transition in Syria, called the Trump administration’s stance on Russia in Syria “confusing.”


He pinned the blame on Trump’s lack of a coherent, overarching national security strategy. “There’s no hymnal that’s supposed to guide how everybody sings,” he said. “The fact that there are multiple voices and stances coming out on this doesn’t surprise me.”


On ceding Assad’s fate to Russia: “It is one thing to walk away from the problem and say let the Russians take care of it,” he said. “It’s another thing to assume you can actually get somewhere policy-wise by relying on the Russians to deliver good results.”

FP observes the anger already building following the latest pivot, mostly among legacy staffers from the Obama administration:

Former senior U.S. officials are vexed by how the Trump administration is ceding political ground on Syria to the Kremlin for almost nothing in return. “The things we’re hearing coming out of the administration have mainly to do with what the U.S. might offer Russia, and not the other way around,” said Evelyn Farkas, former deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia.


Moscow stands to benefit the most from a slew of contradictory Syria messages coming out of Washington, according to Farkas. Without a clear agenda going into the meeting next week with Putin at the G20, she said, “there’s a danger the president will get outfoxed.”

The latest pivot by the Trump administration back to its stance to before the US president launched missiles at a Syrian airfield for allegedly using chemical weapons on rebels means that it is only a matter of time before yet another staged "chemical attack" is widely publicized by the press, greenlighting yet another escalation of hostilities against the Assad regime, and so on, because to those in the deep state hell bent on preserving the new cold war between the US and Russia, there is no such thing as a discredited narrative.


Mango327 All Risk No Reward Mon, 07/03/2017 - 23:51 Permalink

Everybody wants to cling to the old narratives. Problem is, none of them have any validity whatsoever anymore. Using your brain to figure out a unique and complex situation? Nah. Blame one or all of the following: RUSSIA, JEWS, TRUMP, SOROS, FED, BIS, ILLUMINATI, CHINA, JEWS, REPUBLICANS, DEMOCRATS, TRANNIES, JEWS, GAYS, RUSSIA, JEWS, TRUMP, THE MEDIA, SOROS, LIBTARDS, FREEMASONS, JEWS, RINSE AND FUCKING REPEAT UNTIL THE RAPTURE...WHY TRUMP ISN'T STARTING WW3 - #FreeKurdistan #WhoAreTheMediahttps://youtu.be/FQE0ncqPPy0

In reply to by All Risk No Reward

All Risk No Reward Mango327 Tue, 07/04/2017 - 18:05 Permalink

Mango, you actually listed all the mindless false narratives put out by the Big Bad.

The real Big Bad consists of the Debt-Money Monopolists.

Notice how accurate and concise my description is.

"The beginning of wisdom is to to a thing by its proper name."

Your view is myopic.

Trump already bombed Syria once - and based on the same type fake intel that Obama used to do the same... continuity of Bankster agenda...

Apparently, he's trying to get in there again - on behalf of his central banking overlords who want to overthrow the country to set up a debt-money central bank, just as they did in Libya.

Trump isn't dealing with the private control of a societal asset strip debt-money monetary system, which, all by itself, will implode the average American to abject poverty.

Trump isn't fixing the Rockefeller Medicine sick management cartel that charges at least 400% more due to their monopolistic abilities.

BTW, those monopolistic abilities are criminal - they break the black letter law of the land, BUT TRUMP WON'T ENFORCE THEM.

Don't worry, though, Rand Paul is trying to legalize their already criminal behavior...

"Provides an exemption from Federal antitrust laws for health care professionals engaged in negotiations with a health plan regarding the terms of a contract under which the professionals provide health care items or services."


Oh, you didn't know? You ought to research more (using your brain on something other than invalid ad hominem attacks) instead of posing on Zerohedge.

BTW, that's basically a BLATANT ADMISSION that Trump is slobbering the Bankster Sick Care Cartel to the point of red knees... by ensuring they can financially r*pe ordinary people through their criminal - literally - behavior.

You probably thought BanksterCare was gonna be repealed, right?

Because believing lying politicians is such a new narrative that applies now.

You probably think Hillary will be prosecuted for her blatant crimes, right? The FBI head even outlined all her criminal activity in public... though I'm not sure he mentioned she obstructed justice by removing about 25,000 e-mails she called "personal."

Has Trump made sure the American public saw those e-mails?

The gullibility of the American people is a key ROOT CAUSE as to why the Debt-Money Monopolist Mega-Corporate Fascist Empire is able to rule over us so easily.

Do you want to know why they put Trump in office?

Because they are going to IMPLODE THE DEBT-MONEY BUBBLE ON TRUMP AND HE'S THEIR CHOSEN FALL GUY. Oh, he knows, too. He'll eat the narrative because he thinks it is a badge of honor punking anyone that is... what's the word... mentally unevolved... to be fooled by such sophistic rhetoric.

Here's a nice video for you...

FULL: Donald Trump Roasts Hillary Clinton At 2016 Al Smith Dinner - FNN

Gotta love Goldman Sachs in Treasury, right?

Or when Trump said how great the debt-money banks were in his first debate...

BTW, the Banksters pretended to be against the Federal Reserve Act, too. Would you have fallen for that lie, too?

Meanwhile, Spotted Together At A Southampton Party...

Episode 314 – How Trump Filled the Swamp

"Full spectrum dominance" has a meaning.

In reply to by Mango327

el buitre Jim Sampson (not verified) Mon, 07/03/2017 - 12:59 Permalink

Russia, Iran, and Assad have won on the ground in Syria.  It's over - the Fat Lady has done sung.  The only thing the USSA including the fuckwits at State, CIA and NSA can do about it is to turn over their checkers board (chess pieces on the other side)  and start a thermonuclear war with Russia and China.  So far, Trump would rather not do that.  This is promising for the future of all humanity.  BTW, this was not a fucking six year "civil war,"  FT fuckwads.  It was a fucking invasion using psychopathic headchopper mercenaries as a proxy army trained by USIS and paid by the Salafist Gulf States as part of the Petrodollar deal.  Putin's most important secondary strategy is to make sure that the bones of the 5000 odd Chechens fighting for USIS leave their bones on the Syrian desert.  That USIS Chechens should continue to breath is non-negotiable for Putin.  I am going short Toyota white Tacoma's and Nike foot ware.

In reply to by Jim Sampson (not verified)

not dead yet el buitre Mon, 07/03/2017 - 17:55 Permalink

To cover it's terrorist supporting asses the US, Saudi, and the Gulf States have set up Qatar as the fall guy to take the blame for the mess in Syria and the ME. This way the US can claim the high ground as it pulls it's troops out of Syria with the narrative that without Qatar support ISIS is a dead man walking. The last gasp of US troop involvement was not being able to stop the Syrians and Iraqi's from linking up and controlling major parts of the Iraqi Syrian border. Also the fact that no matter the bluster of the US the Russians are not backing down. The choice for the US is to withdraw or escalate and have the American public pissed off at the sight of hundreds of body bags filled with US troops and the reality of more on the way.

In reply to by el buitre

veritas semper… Jim Sampson (not verified) Mon, 07/03/2017 - 14:06 Permalink

    "No way...  I don't believe any of this shit.  There's no way the CIA stops funding terrorism, there's no way they allow Russia to keep Syria and their pipelines.  This would also be a win for Iran...  NO WAY!  If yes, wonderful but no fucking way"   It might happen if there is nobody left to be armed bc they are all dead thanks to the brilliant strategy of Russia,Iran,Syria and Hezbollah.

In reply to by Jim Sampson (not verified)

swmnguy Chupacabra-322 Mon, 07/03/2017 - 13:23 Permalink

I'd hold off for a day or two before celebrating the revival of Diplomacy.  At least a couple of news cycles and Tweet-cycles.  How many times in how short a timeframe will Tillerson be completely undercut and depantsed by his boss in public?  I don't expect him to quit for a while, though.  There is still a lot of advantage he can gain for ExxonMobil through his position, a lot of deals he can midwife, before his self-esteem is more valuable than what's left on the table.

In reply to by Chupacabra-322

swmnguy Got The Wrong No Mon, 07/03/2017 - 13:19 Permalink

You don't remember "yomutti", without a numeral?A Latvian troll, I believe.  Some kind of Eastern European whose hatred of Russia may very well be honestly earned, but which really doesn't tend toward America's best interests.The "member since" data on this site isn't as meaningful as many seem to think.  Many posters from the beginning have used numerous screen names over the years.

In reply to by Got The Wrong No

Sir Edge froze25 (not verified) Mon, 07/03/2017 - 12:32 Permalink

 Wow...How many times have WE been down this road before... Assad Can Stay... Assad Can Stay... and thenLater in the day or two days later... it will be... Assad Must Go... Assad Must Go... When the USA is no longer committing War Crimes in Syria (& MEast) and withdraws its military and logistics from there... Then and ONLY then will I believe what Tillerson and Co have to say...otherwise... !This is another War Strategy Ploy by the USA/Israel/Saudi front... before another false flag... or unfortunate shoot down of a Syrian Asset or an accidental bombing of Syria happens again by the USA/Israel army.Very Tiresome... Just as it is planned to be... Strategically Designed to be.Edgey... 

In reply to by froze25 (not verified)

Blankone Sir Edge Mon, 07/03/2017 - 15:02 Permalink

But it works so well. Even the Putin fans posting here claim victory each time. Then when the next attack happens claims Putin does not respond out of "playing chess".

I remember how the US gave increasing assurances the build up of troops was no indication that Iraq would be invaded or attacked. And then overnight, it was.

Between Qatar, Saudi arms, re-badging ISIS as "coalition forces" etc. if feels that something larger is underway.

In reply to by Sir Edge

not dead yet Blankone Mon, 07/03/2017 - 18:14 Permalink

Americans may be stupid but the lessons of Iraq and and the ongoing disaster that's Afghanistan are clear in their minds. No way the public will stand for a major escalation in Syria no matter the propaganda fed them. Obama was set to bomb Syria over the rebel gas attack in Damascus, and blamed on Assad, and was stopped by the collective no from the American public. So Obama tossed the hot potato to Congress which said no too. In all the time of your predicting Russian failure the Russians and Syrians have taken back most of the country from the headchoppers and have them on the run. The headchoppers have lost too much ground making it long past time for US intervention to achieve any success with little cost to itself. Body bags filled with American soldiers don't garner many votes especially in a land where the American public thinks we should not be there. A case in point where the American media reports little of what goes on in Afghanistan so as to not arouse the publics anger.

In reply to by Blankone

The Wizard PrayingMantis Mon, 07/03/2017 - 12:18 Permalink

the fate of Syrian leader Bashar Al-Assad now lies in the hands of Russia, and that the Trump administration’s priority is limited to defeating the Islamic State.Isn't dealing a blow to the fanatical Muslims the goal of Russia and Assad? Does this mean the Deep State should get out of the way and quit meddling in the affairs of others?Not wanting to play the controlled central bank game has plenty to do with it.

In reply to by PrayingMantis

earleflorida Vilfredo Pareto Mon, 07/03/2017 - 12:33 Permalink

so what we have here is a reconfiguration of a region every couple of decades to suit 'OUR' gepolitical calculus...give me a fucking brake!this is the same shit Lenin, Trotsky, and Stain did...[!]Quote  (author was Russia during Bol's Civil War) and the 'Peasant (Revolution) War' 1921-22   ::     "Man cannot be transformed quite so easily: human nature moves moar slowly than ruling ideologies or society!" 

In reply to by Vilfredo Pareto