Friday, July 07, 2017


As with any meeting like this, it was inevitable that after Putin and Trump's closed-door private discussions, they would announce some breakthrough to make it look like there discussion was a success. This morning I was listening to Slate's Political Gabfest and someone (I believe it was Emily Bazelon) predicted that they would announce some bullshit agreement about Syria that probably won't ever actually happen. Bingo!
A cease-fire agreement reached Friday between the United States and Russia is intended to quell fighting in southwest Syria and allow anti-government rebels there to focus on the Islamic State, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said.
Aside from the fact that there have been more ceasefires that I can count in Syria (very few hold for long), it is worth noting that most of the fighting is happening in the North and East, not the Southwest. I'm not sure why the rebels in the Southwest need to focus on the Islamic State when the Islamic State doesn't currently hold any territory in the Southwest. Also, while Putin may be able to exercise some control over Assad's government, Trump has almost no influence on the rebel groups in the Southwest.

Assuming the ceasefire is actually honored, the only thing it might do is prevent Trump from launching another cruise missile attack against Assad's forces.