With the pro-Assad forces (in red) controlling the vast majority of Syria as shown on this map:
…and with roughly 500 United States forces being relegated to the Kurdish-controlled northeast frontier/border region with Iraq (in yellow on the preceding map) as shown on this map:
…to "keep the oil" as quoted here with thanks to Donald Trump:
"But we’re keeping the oil — remember that. I’ve always said that: “Keep the oil.” We want to keep the oil. Forty-five million dollars a month? Keep the oil. (Applause.) We’ve secured the oil."
…you might almost think that Washington has given up on Syria and its plans to rid the world of the Bashar al-Assad regime. Such is clearly not the case as you will see in this posting.
Thanks to Washington's Grants.gov website, we find the following recent "opportunities":
1.) Support for Independent Media in Syria – Department of State:
Here are more details about the opportunity:
Here is a quote:
"Decades of authoritarian rule and restrictions on political and social life outside of state- sanctioned activity severely hindered the growth and development of independent Syrian civil society and responsive local governance. In 2011 civil demonstrations and action protesting the Syrian regime catalyzed the growth of independent and overt civil society actors and organizations, particularly in Syrian territory outside the regime’s control and among expatriate Syrian communities in neighboring countries. Concurrently, as opposition and other actors wrested political and military control from the Assad regime, local, regional, and national governance entities emerged to administer services and preserve order, among other functions.
Nearly nine years of brutal conflict in Syria has brought enormous suffering and challenges to Syrian civilians including: mass displacement due to violence by the regime and other armed actors; gross human rights violations and politically motivated detentions and killings; the emergence of violent extremist groups such as ISIS and al-Qaeda affiliates; fragmented opposition governance and military structures; acute shortages of basic needs such as food and shelter; and a collapse of essential service infrastructure and economic opportunities, among others.
The media environment in Syria is deeply polarized and fragmented between pro-regime and opposition outlets, as well as Kurdish and Arabic-language outlets, posing challenges for independent media that seek to provide balanced coverage and build trust across divergent constituencies. Propaganda efforts by violent extremist groups and systematic disinformation operations by the Syrian regime, Russia and Iran distort understanding of the conflict, undercut the Coalition to Defeat ISIS stabilization efforts and impede progress toward achieving a peaceful political transition under UNSCR 2254. Syrians of all backgrounds continue to require access to moderate, balanced, nonsectarian sources of news and information in order to contribute effectively to a stable and peaceful outcome for Syria." (my bold)
Apparently, the Department of State defines "independent media" as an organization that is willing to propagate Washington's own narrative to advance its political aims in Syria. This is quite clear when the opportunity states that the goal of the grant is to "achieve a political solution to the Syrian crisis". One might think of this as propaganda but, as we all know, the "good guys" never propagandize, they only tell the truth. From what I have seen in the media, it looks like the "solution" has already been found and that, for the most part, peace is closer than it has been for nearly a decade. Bashar al-Assad, the Russians and even the Iranians (who were invited to the "party") have reclaimed the vast majority of the territory that fell into the hands of the Islamic State.
2.) Syria Notice of Funding Opportunity – Department of State:
Here are more details about the opportunity:
One particular aspect of this Notice of Funding Opportunity was this sentence:
"We will give precedence to efforts to help counter radicalization and recruitment to violence by terrorist organizations that pose the highest level of threat and risk to the United States, U.S. persons, our allies, and other U.S. interests."
In other words, while on the surface this may appear to be a humanitarian program by the Department of State it is, in fact, a program that is designed to prevent attacks by Islamic State terrorists against American citizens (and its allies) and is not really concerned with what happens to Syrian civilians.
These two Department of State "opportunities" strongly suggest that, according to Washington, it is very clear that Syrians are not to be trusted with their choice of leader/government and that Washington is far from giving up on its nation-rebuilding/meddling experiment in Syria.
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