Michael Mcfaul: Assad's fall is a foregone conclusion

The U.S. ambassador to Russia has argued it is a foregone conclusion that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will be removed.

It is the greatest myth that is discussed in Russia that Assad would be able to stay in office, Michael McFaul told Russian online newspaper Gazeta.ru. He claimed there exists an assumption in Russia that mere support from the outside would enable Assad to keep power. McFaul said no one in the United States believes Assad will still be in rule in a few years' time.

The ambassador also said the U.S. is not against ordinary Syrians who support Assad. It is the U.S. principle that there must be an evolutionary process based on talks to result in the creation of political institutions that are in line with the people's interests. It is a matter of rules of the game, and not winners or losers that the U.S. supports, McFaul summed up.

The U.S. does not want Syria to experience the kind of collapse that Iraq or Somalia have suffered, the diplomat said. He said his country shared the Russian government's goal of helping avoid the collapse of the Syrian state. In rejecting criticism of the U.S. involvement is Syrian affairs, McFaul said the U.S. cannot turn a blind eye to daily killings of innocent people by the regime. He said tens of thousands of people had been slained by government forces.

It would be inhumane of the U.S. to distance itself from this, and, moreover, the U.S. believes that the longer bloodshed lasts the more likely it is that it will result in the collapse of the state and in power going over to extremists, McFaul said. The Great French Revolution of the 18th century and the Russian Bolshevik revolution of 1917 are evidence of this, he said.

He dismissed allegations that U.S. President Barack Obama's administration has been instigating revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa. Such allegations are lacking in sober-mindedness and honesty, according to McFaul, who said the U.S. administration merely reacted to what first broke out in Tunisia, then in Egypt and then in Syria.

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