How Obama Overrode Kerry’s Agreements with Russia

Eric Zuesse, originally posted on 29 Dec. 2016 at

On more than one occasion, U.S. President Barack Obama overrode agreements that his Secretary of State John Kerry had reached with Russia. Unlike Obama’s consistent support of his prior Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton’s, initiatives (such as her backing of the coup that on 28 June 2009 had overthrown the progressive democratically elected President of Honduras and replaced him with a fascist regime), Secretary of State Kerry has repeatedly suffered humiliations from his boss’s (Obama’s) reversals of agreements that Kerry had reached with Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

The latest such incident was headlined at the “Moon of Alabama” blog on December 21st, “How The Military Excluded The White House From International Syria Negotiations”, where the anonymous blogger arbitrarily blamed “the military” (instead of Kerry’s boss, Obama) for having sabotaged “the White House” (instead of sabotaged the Kerry-Lavrov agreement) — the agreement that Secretary of State Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had reached on 17 May 2016 for a “comprehensive ceasefire” between the U.S. and Russia regarding Syria (and which the White House then sabotaged).

Obama never condemned nor fired any general, nor anyone else, for having perpetrated the U.S. bombing of Syrian government forces at Deir Zor, on 17 September 2016 — the sabotaging-event, which naturally caused Putin to instruct Lavrov to terminate all discussions with Kerry, because it displayed Obama’s unwavering determination to defeat Russia. (That sabotaging-event then motivated the meeting, on December 20th, when Russia, Turkey, and Iran, met together and agreed in their joint “Moscow Declaration”, to complete, on their own, their war against the West’s jihadists who were trying to overthrow Assad; and so, the jihadists in Aleppo simply surrendered to Assad’s government — and the U.S. government and its propaganda ‘press’ howled that this was a victory for the ‘brutal’ Assad against ‘the civilians’, and against ‘the rebels’ — the latter being actually the U.S.-Saudi-Qatari-backed jihadists.)

Kerry had failed because Obama wanted a military settlement of the U.S.-backed jihadist invasion of Syria; he didn’t want a diplomatic end to it — at least not a diplomatic end that wasn’t a surrender by the Syrian government forces: the replacement of Assad by the jihadists (who were backed not only by Obama, but by King Saud who owns Saudi Arabia, and by Emir Thani who owns Qatar).

And this sabotage, by Obama, actually repeated Obama’s earlier refusal to accept the deal that Kerry had negotiated with Lavrov to settle the conflict in Ukraine. As I had headlined on 7 June 2015, “Obama Sidelines Kerry on Ukraine Policy”, Kerry had told the U.S.-installed regime in Ukraine to cease promising to conquer the two breakaway regions that had refused to accept rule by America’s puppets after Obama’s coup overthrew the democratically elected Ukrainian President, for whom both of those regions, Crimea and Donbass, had overwhelmingly voted. Crimea rejoined Russia, of which it had been a part for hundreds of years before the Soviet dictator had transferred it to Ukraine in 1954, but on 17 September 2014 Putin declined the urgings of Donbass to become a part of Russia, and so Donbass became instead an independent country, for the time being. Though Kerry told Obama’s puppet-President of Ukraine to adhere to the Minsk agreements, Kerry’s nominal subordinate, Hillary Clinton’s friend Victoria Nuland, told this puppet to ignore Kerry’s statement, and Obama backed Nuland against her nominal superior, Kerry. If Kerry had been working under a decent President, he would have been a great Secretary of State, and Kerry cannot reasonably be blamed for his misfortune — and the world’s — that his ‘superior’ (the U.S. President under whom he served) was Obama.


Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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  • Taras77

    The evil nuland should fry in hell for human suffering, deaths of children/adults, and destruction in east ukraine. She and the other neo cons have no thought or compassion for the tragic results of their programs to “share our values,” whatever the hell they are.

    • cettel

      She’s worse than Obama? She’s worse than Hillary? She’s worse than Bush or than Cheney? She’s worse than Scalia or Elito or Roberts or Thomas, or than Robert Kagan, or than Bill Kristol, or than John Brennan? And don’t we likely have a new crew of the same in Trump’s Administration? Getting rid of termites or deadly mosquitoes isn’t so easy.

      • Taras77

        Replicating faster-I think you are correct.
        For many reasons, I have always refused to consider govt leaders per se as evil, just misguided. I no longer have that reluctance-I think what we are seeing and have seen is truly evil, if you will, the end (whatever that maybe) justifies the means, whatever the collateral damage, whatever the costs.

    • Lu Li

      Putin and his hordes should FRY along with Stalin in the hottest parts of hell., and jerk like you who take the name of TARAS and besmirch it with your vileness should join them both.

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  • Lu Li

    “Investigative historian”. LOL
    You have no clue about the Ukraine/Russia situation.
    I would say you suffer from CONSTIPATION of your BRIAN and diarrhea of your mouth that gets smeared by your pen.
    Make and effort, jerk, and stody some history of Ukraine and not from Russian sources, and STOP
    LYING. More than 10,000 Ukrainians have died because Putin wants Ukraine. His GIRKIN/STRELKOV tells it like it was and what and how Putin started his WAR against Ukraine. Get off your Putin train and face reality.

    • cstahnke

      Another Ukrainian nationalist with fairy tales to tell us. We have no obligation as Americans to intrude into crazy and ethnic based conflicts in the region. We helped through several mechanism to overthrow the elected government of Ukraine that was on good terms with the Russians. It is in our interests (the American people) to not get involved in nasty ethnic conflicts in Eastern Europe that go back centuries. The Ukraine situation is being used in Washington as part of an overall power-struggle between power-factions–there is no interest at all on either side in the welfare of the Ukrainian people. Russia has every right to protect Russians in the Dombass who are facing a fascist gov’t in Ukraine that wants to eliminate them. Yes, I know the history.

  • cstahnke

    I don’t think Obama undercut Kerry so much as he did not support him. That whole incident was part of the “deep” conflict that has been within the Deep State which both Kerry and Obama are subject to. This is why, to those that actually follow foreign policy, it looked like Obama was yo yo-ing around in his own foreign policy. At times Obama railed against Russia for defending Russians in Ukraine then at other times he ignored it and did nothing much about the military defeat of the Ukraine forces attempting to seize parts of Eastern Ukraine. He set up red-lines in Syria then ignored it despite all the trouble covert operatives went to to gas civilians to provide the pretext for a war escalation. Obama had every opportunity to dramatically escalate the Syrian War but he didn’t do it because the Deep State was and has been in disarray for at least five years often at war (literally) so his instructions were mixed and confused. The reason Russia went in heavily into Syria was because it knew that Washington would be unable to respond coherently and that it was not a good idea to create such a power vacuum in the region. Some days the U.S. fights ISIS and other declared terror groups and other days it aids it with fresh supplies and money (through the Saudis) and mercenaries. The whole thing is insane. Washington is insane right now and the election just made everything worse.