'In a speech at Stanford this month, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson declared that America intends to keep military troops in Syria indefinitely, in pursuit of the US’s “key end states for Syria,” including “post-Assad leadership,” the marginalization of Iran and the elimination of “weapons of mass destruction” that the US claims Syria has.
Occupying a country without the permission of the host government, as America is doing in Syria, contravenes international law. Nor does the US have a legal right to pursue regime change in Syria. Yet multiple media outlets have praised Tillerson’s remarks.
Newsweek (1/19/18) ran an article from the Atlantic Council’s Frederic Hof that called Tillerson’s speech “a major improvement in the American approach to the crisis in Syria.” The piece concluded that “what Mr. Tillerson has articulated is more than good enough as a starting point for a policy reflecting American values and upholding American interests.”
The Washington Post editorial board (1/22/18) also endorsed American violation of international law, writing that
Tillerson bluntly recognized a truth that both President Trump and President Barack Obama attempted to dodge: that “it is crucial to our national defense to maintain a military and diplomatic presence in Syria, to help bring an end to that conflict, and assist the Syrian people . . . to achieve a new political future.”
The same paper’s Jennifer Rubin (1/23/18) wrote:
Belatedly, Tillerson has recognized (as critics of both Trump and President Barack Obama have long argued) that we do have a national interest in Syria, cannot tolerate the indefinite presence of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and need to recognize that if we mean to check Iranian aggression, we will need to maintain a presence in Syria.
In Rubin’s conception, Iran’s presence in Syria—at the request of the recognized government—is “aggression,” whereas America’s is apparently legitimate.'
Read more: Tillerson’s Promise of More War in Syria Gets Warm Reception from Corporate Media