Friday, November 27, 2015

Hollande in Moscow

Hollande in Moscow

by Stephen Lendman

On November 26, French President Francois Hollande met with Vladimir Putin in Moscow - discussing joint efforts in combating ISIS and other terrorist groups.

They agreed to share intelligence, Hollande saying “France is ready to work hand in hand with Russia to achieve a common goal of fighting terror groups and Islamic State in the first place.”

Proof will be in the pudding if forthcoming. Chances are slim at best. Both leaders have polar opposite aims. France is a key NATO member/close US ally. 

Putin respects Syrian sovereignty, supporting the right of its people alone to decide who’ll lead them, foreign powers having no say - international law backing his position.

Hollande insists “Assad can play no role in the country’s future.” Speaking for himself and Washington, he wants a pro-Western puppet regime in charge, maybe hoping to recolonize Syria if Assad is removed, perhaps jointly with America.

Putin is fundamentally opposed to this outcome. Hollande saying he’s “ready to work hand-to-hand with Russia to achieve the common goal” isn’t one his counterpart shares.

France is part of the problem, not the solution, allied with Washington against sovereign Syria throughout nearly five years of Obama-launched aggression.

What Putin hopes to gain from allying with Hollande in combating terrorism will likely fall well short of his aims. He’s outspoken about creating a broad anti-terrorist coalition in combatting a common scourge. France supports what he condemns. Nothing suggests its policy differs from Washington’s.

Putin stressed the importance of Syrian ground forces, saying “it’s impossible to successfully fight the terrorists in Syria without ground operations.”

“And there’s no other force to conduct ground operations against IS…except the government army of Syria. In this regard, I think that the army of President Assad and he himself are our natural allies in the fight against terrorism.”

He’s ready to act on his own if his goal of a broad coalition against the scourge of terrorism isn’t achieved. Don’t expect it given Washington’s opposition - a key reason for downing Russia’s aircraft, wrecking chances for cooperative efforts with Western nations and rogue regional ones, notably Israel and Saudi Arabia, for regional peace and stability.

Privately, Putin understands defeating terrorism requires Russia doing the heavy lifting along with Syrian ground forces. His efforts in Syria since September 30 and public comments show he’s committed for the long haul - with or without outside help. 

It’s unlikely from nations with agendas polar opposite his - allied with Washington’s permanent war policy, fundamentally opposing peace and stability, aiming to replace all independent governments with Western-controlled stooge ones, anathema to Putin on all counts.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

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