Washington tries to legitimize so-called Syrian opposition, sending them a clear signal that any act of terrorism and any act of violence is acceptable, political commentator and Iran expert Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich told RT.
RT: On Thursday, the UN Security Council will vote on a French-proposed resolution which would allow the situation in Syria to be referred to the International Criminal Court. How do you view this proposed resolution?
Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich: I think the time of this is very peculiar because here is no doubt in my mind there is a plot to disrupt the upcoming elections in Syria. And I think the French who introduced the bill along with other Western policy-makers truly fear the voice of the people, and this has been demonstrated over and over in different parts of the world. Even according to NATO’s data last year, only 10 percent of the Syrian people, who have been so overwhelmed with all of these acts of terrorism going on, support the rebel opposition. Over 70 percent support President Assad and that was as of last year. As the situation has been exasperating since no doubt more and more people do want to cast a vote for Assad. The Western decision-makers are wary of this and of course this is what they do not want to see. They want to impose the terrorists that they call opposition on the Syrian people.
Attempting to pass such a resolution at the UN Security Council is ridiculous. It must be obvious to everybody that the only intention is to stop the elections, the so-called opposition has boycotted it anyway. So it is just very unsavory games that are being played here.
RT: Russia has already promised to veto it. Why is this resolution being pursued?
SSU: I think to give an impression that Mr. Assad is perhaps not worthy of the Syrian people's voting. They want to introduce him as a criminal whereas in fact, regardless the one thing of Mr. Assad, whether you like him, support him or nor, he is the president of the country and he is fighting for the Syrian people against a bunch of armed terrorists. In a way it is intended to reverse the image of what one has of Mr. Assad, lend credibility to the military opposition or the terrorists, and it is clearly not going to go anywhere.
RT: Diplomats have reported that as a concession to the US the subjects of the ICC investigation are only the Syrian government and opposition groups. Observers say this point means the US will not be part of the investigation if it decides to intervene into Syria. How do you view this?
SSU: The US may not intervene or investigate directly but it has long arms. Even to give you some very benign organization as the Human Rights Watch, it has very deep ties and roots to very prominent American policy-makers and lawmakers and, in fact, this organization actually introduced a faulty map, putting the blame of August 21 chemical attacks on Assad, which was a reflection of the American foreign policy.
So America may not intervene directly in these investigations, but it does have a lot of lackeys who would do the work it wants them to pursue. It really does not mean much that it is not going to intervene.
RT: Soon there will be a vote on a second resolution which could allow human rights convoys to enter the country. But there could be a problem with that. Trucking in aid from Turkey without the government’s consent would risk expulsion from the country and in turn losing the ability to deliver relief. Why is this resolution being pursued then?
SSU: For somebody who has been studying the US foreign policy for a long time, which includes much of the Western policy, is nothing much seems to make sense. Yes, they cannot enter the country as the aid convoy without the official blessing of the government. At the same time we know they have been sending weapons to the rebels in the region. So there is no respect for sovereignty there when it comes to weapons, but when it comes to aid they seem to be speaking about sovereignty and seeking government permission because very often when there is an aid or aid convoy sent to any conflict zone it is the rebels, the terrorists that very often take hold of this aid and use it against the people.
I think American politicians and everyone is aware of this and this [means] they are either withholding the aid or they want somehow to put the blame of anything that may go wrong with the aid on President Assad’s government. If they do really want to help the people, [they should] stop arming rebels, stop arming people who are linked to terrorists and there will be no need for refugees or aid for refugees at that point, but they are not doing that.
RT: But even if aid is allowed in via Turkey it means it could be intercepted by various militant groups. How dangerous is that?
SSU: It is very dangerous, we have seen it over the world that when it happens, especially in Africa, very often it is the rebels that hold the aid, let the people starve, and again the starvation of the people, whatever happens to the people that are in need of that aid, the blame is pushed on the government, in this case Mr. Assad’s government.
I think we should also note that the aid is very often used to blackmail people, so it may empower the rebels. And I think that’s the whole intention of this. It is not to help the people who've become hungry, starving and desperate as the results of the American push for regime change in Syria. It is the sole intention of any aid to empower the rebels, in many ways in the same way as the small arms would. We need to make a distinction that this might be called a humanitarian convoy but there is nothing humanitarian about it.
RT: Do you think both of these votes could undermine the peace process?
SSU: I do not really see much of the peace process because the people that should be at the table are rejected by the Western powers. Russia has been very adamant and has shown admirable strength, Iran has been wanting to see a resolution to this conflict. But clearly if you arm the groups that are known to be affiliated with terrorists who are killing civilians, then you cannot possibly be wanting peace and there is no peace if there is a precondition that Mr. Assad’s government must not be a part to these peace talks. So America talks pretty, but it does not act pretty, and I do not think that they could be anymore undermining that they are already are.
RT: The US has also done a lot to try and legitimize the opposition. What effect is that having on the war?
SSU: Clearly it is exacerbating the situation. They are getting arms, they are getting support from the US and other allies and it emboldens them because in spite of everything that we have seen the so-called opposition doing killing[s], all kinds of destruction, the US is still supporting them. They are getting a clear signal that any act of terrorism, any act of violence is acceptable to the government in Washington. And of course this is going to embolden them, the things are to get worse to the point where perhaps it is hoped that the global community will rise until they stop this, whatever it takes. There is no desire here in Washington to stop the violence, not at all.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.