Upcoming Geneva II Talks are an Attack on the Edifice of International Law
Reprinted from The Worker, newspaper of the Workers Party, USA, January 19, 2014
In the so-called “post-Bush era” and in the face of the overwhelming opposition of the American people, U.S. President Barack Obama refuses to normalize trade relations with and recognize the sovereign equality of Syria.
Instead, the U.S. is attempting to assert its domination over Syria by participating in “Geneva II” with the declared aim of independently establishing a transition government “with full executive authority.”
The Geneva II talks, scheduled to begin on January 22, are being advertised by Obama and company as “multilateral” but in reality they are anything but that. According to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, only countries which agree to the premise of the talks will be invited.
For example, while explaining the likely absence of Iran from the talks, Kerry said during a recent interview in Jerusalem, “Well, Iran could participate very easily if they would simply accept publicly the Geneva I premise on which Geneva II is based. We are not going to Geneva to just have a discussion. We are going with the purpose of implementing Geneva I. That was the premise originally that Foreign Minister Lavrov and I announced in Moscow. That has been the premise of organizing this. That will be the premise of the invitation that is sent out by the secretary general of the United Nations. We are going to implement Geneva I, which calls for a transition government by mutual consent with full executive authority; and if Iran doesn’t support that, it’s very difficult to see how they’re going to be ‘a ministerial partner’ in the process.”
President Obama once claimed to be an opponent of the so-called “Bush program” but he is ruthlessly implementing that very same program as depicted in the Syrian Accountability Act (H.R. 1828). Of course this was always the bi-partisan program of the Democrats and the Republicans who passed the bill by a vote of 89-4 in the Senate and 389-4 in the House before turning it over to George W. Bush who signed it into law on December 12, 2003.
H.R. 1828 calls for economic and diplomatic sanctions against Syria with the aim of pressuring it to accept U.S. dictate. It bans the export of weapons to Syria and allows the U.S. President to impose a number of other sanctions, including banning all U.S. exports except food and medicine, freezing Syrian assets in the U.S., banning all U.S. investments, restricting the movement of Syrian diplomats in the U.S., and forbidding Syrian-owned planes from entering U.S. airspace.
Obama has also signed a number of executive orders which tighten sanctions against Syria. So too, the CIA has admittedly been funding and arming the Syrian insurgency. The brutal character of the movement which has been funded by the CIA can only be accounted for by its anti-people aims. In the last 122 days alone, according to information from the Syrian Arab News Agency, the insurgents have carried out over 370 bombings tied to the death and displacement of hundreds and hundreds of people and the destruction of extensive portions of the country's social and industrial infrastructure.
The Syrian foreign ministry continues to demand that all States guilty of supporting terrorism inside of Syria withdraw their support immediately. So too, the people of Syria continue to organize demonstrations and other mass actions to demand the liberation of the areas occupied by the insurgents.
The Geneva II talks organized by U.S. imperialism and the Russian Federation are nothing but a last ditch attempt to cover over the crimes of imperialism and to lend legitimacy to the Syrian insurgency. This must not be allowed to pass.
For our part, the American people must demand an end to the anti-Syrian plots and sabotage being carried out from our shores, and oppose U.S. imperialism’s anti-Syria policy of interference, aggression, and terror. We must insist that the U.S. government recognize the sovereign and inviolable right of Syria to determine its own affairs free of outside intervention and pressure.