Opinion

Tlas.. The Godfather of the American Bargain

Abu Al Qasim Al Souri

The diplomatic scene that surrounds the Syrian crisis has witnesses a rapid motion in the last days, which predicts a bargain in the making within the corridors of the international cuisine, and the USA is the godfather of this bargain in harmony and compatibility with Russia, even if the output mode of the bargains scenario is still under negotiations between the two, it can be inferred by reading the determinants of the U.S. position from the Syrian crisis as follows:

  • The U.S will not take any step towards a military interference in Syria, and this is a final decision due to the U.S conviction that its interference in each of Iraq and Afghanistan has caused it more harm than it has benefited it.
  • The calculation of American interests outweighs maintaining America’s appearance of freedom and democracy.
  • Not allowing the Syrian crisis to be solved militarily, especially by gaining the Free Syrian Army the upper hand, because a full triumph of the Free Syrian Army over the regime will re-arrange the structure of the regional system and that is a matter the U.S will not accept.
  • Any support provided to the Free Army is limited and is aimed to pressure the Regime towards negotiations only.
  • The solution in Syria should be the result of an American-Russian agreement.
  • The Syrian file is interdependent and intertwined with the rest of the regions files, especially the Arab-Israeli conflict file, extremism file, and Iran’s nuclear program. The result of solving the Syrian file will definitely affect the rest of the files and that is why this solution must be set accurately.
  • The way to reaching a solution is by a dialogue between moderates from both sides of the crisis, and I think that Al Khatib’s initiative came to meet pure U.S demands.
  • A solution which can achieve international interests will only be by preserving an important part of the current Regime structure, especially the army.
  • The U.S still prefers to deal with military institutions in the Middle East rather than democratic institutions, and perhaps the Egyptian model is a good example of this.

As a result to these determinants, the U.S finds that any solution to the Syrian crisis must include a proper transition of power from Bashar Al Assad who is considered to be a person that cannot be reliable anymore because his permanence means the continuation of the crisis in Syria, to a figure from the military institution that the opposition approves of, with the condition of keeping a substantial part of the current Syrian army, because keeping the states army is considered to be the most important card that gathers the Russian-American interests in Syria, and I think that the most nominated personality to play this role is Manaf Tlas. By this, Tlas is the Joker’s card Washington is looking for and Tlas’s direct visit to Moscow after meeting with Lavrov and Kerry does not depart from this context, especially when this meeting was followed by a phone conversation between Botin and Obama regarding the Syrian file. I believe that the announcement of this call has the intention of sending a message to both parties of the Syrian crisis with the content of Russia and America reaching a phase of ending negotiations regarding Syria, the only obstacle facing this bargain might be finding a way out for Bashar Al Assad that he can be convinced of and for Russia to accept, and here comes the importance of the Russian role in which the U.S is relying upon to convince Al Assad. Tlas pointed to this in Moscow when he expressed his hope in a Russian-American agreement to settle the situation in Syria, referring to Russia’s capability in pressuring the regime to pass the crisis. From here, we can understand the great pressure performed by the U.S over the National Coalition to prevent the formation of a transitional government, as it finds a similar step to cause provocation to the Russians who the U.S is betting on in reaching an understanding with them to start any negotiations of a possible political solution, the Russians think that forming a transitional government cuts the road to negotiations and strengthens the position of opposition coalition. The alternative that Russia and America might agree on instead of a transitional government is a government of national unity consisting of the Regime and the opposition, the last question remains.. will forces of the revolution accept this political solution in case it didn’t meet their demands?? I think the answer is no, and that is why forces of the revolution in both its political and military parts must be on a high degree of awareness in order to benefit from the current political moment in achieving their demands without falling in traps that might be destructive to the revolution.

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