U.S. Policy Toward Assad Changing Away from Regime Change
March 31, 2017 (EIRNS)—The Trump Administration today took a big step toward fulfilling Trump’s campaign promise that the United States will wage no more regime-change wars, when White House spokesman Sean Spicer clearly indicated that the Administration is not seeking Syrian President Bashar al Assad’s removal. At the White House briefing today, according to news reports, a reporter asked Spicer if the Administration considered Assad the legitimate president of Syria.
Spicer said. "We need to focus on now defeating ISIS," he went on.
Spicer’s comments today were foreshadowed by remarks made yesterday by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley.
"I think the ... longer-term status of President Assad will be decided by the Syrian people," Tillerson said in Ankara yesterday, during a joint appearance with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu. Then, later in the day, Ambassador Haley issued a statement backing Tillerson’s remarks:
she said. "Do we think he’s a hindrance? Yes. Are we going to sit there and focus on getting him out? No," she said. "What we are going to focus on is putting the pressure in there so that we can start to make a change in Syria." A senior Trump administration official explained to Reuters that Haley’s remarks reflected
Not surprisingly, various U.S "allies" and the Saudi-sponsored Syrian opposition are having fits about the Tillerson and Haley statements. Syrian opposition member Farah al-Attasi tried to argue that the State Department and the White House were sending contradictory messages on Syria, and should start leading and not focus exclusively on fighting Islamic State. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), whom Lyndon LaRouche famously characterized in 2013 as having "lost his marbles," fumed that Tillerson’s statement
by Assad’s military, Russia’s air force, and Iranian-backed militias. Therefore, in McCain’s view, it’s up to the United States to practice regime-change in Syria and remove Assad from power.