Russia will not submit to US blackmail on Syria, James Petras says
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A US political commentator says Russia will never agree with US military intervention in Syria which he believes is a tactic to take the spotlight off its crumbling economy. Professor James Petras, who has written several books on the Latin America and Middle East, made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Monday. "I don't think Russia will submit to this blackmail. I don't think Washington has a stand to carry out its policies. I think if Obama does go ahead with this bombing mission, he will face great opposition in the United States," Petras said. He also said that US President Barack Obama faces "enormous internal difficulties in his attempt to distract attention by launching a war against Syria, [which] is a way of deflecting the forthcoming economic crisis because of internal difficulties." The war rhetoric against Syria intensified after foreign-backed opposition forces accused the government of President Bashar al-Assad of launching a chemical attack on militant strongholds in the suburbs of Damascus on August 21. Damascus has vehemently denied the accusations, saying the attack was carried out by the militants themselves as a false-flag operation. On September 9, Russia offered a proposal to put Syrian chemical weapons under international supervision in order to avoid US military strikes. On September 14, US Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov agreed on the deal and Damascus also accepted the plan. On September 17, Lavrov stated that the resolution that the UN Security Council will adopt on Syria will not refer to Chapter 7 of the UN Charter that regulates the use of military force. In his interview with Press TV, James Petras added, "Kerry has reneged on his commitment." "Basically, what he did was essentially sign off an agreement to undermine the opposition in the United States. Public opinion was running very strongly against the US bombing of Syria; the US Congress was prepared to vote against it," he said. "Kerry did a detour; he agreed to the proposal by President [Vladimir] Putin to dismantle Syria's chemical weaponry and once the pressure was off, he wanted to insert this clause, which provides the basis for the US to renew its initiative to bomb Syria. "The same thing happened in Libya; Washington was able to secure Russian approval for an air supervision of Libya's air space and then turned around and used that UN proposal to bomb Libya into defeat. And I think what is in store for Syria is something very similar. "Under no conditions can the Russians accept this resolution because it is an open ticket to the US bombing Syria, even as it identifies and prepares to dismantle its chemical weapons."