Press TV has interviewed Mike Harris, editor of Veterans Today in Oregon, to discuss a new round of talks aimed at ending the war in Syria.
The following is a rough transcription of the interview.
Press TV: Are you optimistic about these talks that there can be some progress made this time around?
Harris: Well I would like to see some progress made because the violence in Syria has to end but I am puzzled as to why the Saudis who have been some of the largest promoters of radical Islam are supporting such a terrorist group as ISIS (Daesh). It really reveals who the Saudis are and it seems that the goal here is to topple all of the secular Islamic regimes and replace them with hard-line Wahhabist regimes, which is what the Saudis have been promoting around the globe for the last 60-70 years. And they have been even funding these madrasas everywhere in order to foment radical Islam which is the result of this type of terrorism.
Press TV: So with that being the case, with the Saudis being one of the main supporters of terrorism in this region, and on the other hand we have Saudi of course being there and a lot of these groups that are supported by the Saudi regime, how difficult then is it on the one hand to sit down with these individuals or entities, representing entities that are causing so many problems? I am talking about the Syrian government side of things to be able to actually even sit and talk in order to be able to reach some type of resolution because of course we know Damascus continues to say that it will not sit down, it will not negotiate with terrorists?
Harris: Well I support Damascus government. I think President Bashar al-Assad has done a masterful job holding his country together. He is loved by his people. He was elected in a popular election, over 86 percent of the vote. They like this man here.
This is foreign meddling. This is adventurism from the Saudis, from the Turks, from the USA. Elements within the USA are supporting ISIS, it is well-documented, all of these drops of supplies that are supposed to go to the good guys, end up in the bad guys’ hands. It is not by accident. The US has got state of the RGPS. They know where they are putting the supplies down. We have got some generals in there who are rogue and not following the state of policy of the US government that is to combat terrorism. They are actually supporting terrorism.
And I really have a lot of empathy for President Assad as well as the Syrian people who are living in such horrible conditions. I have been there twice in the past year and things are deteriorating and they are bombing the civilian infrastructure, the power plants, they are bombing the water treatment plants. This is the US doing these things. This is not what our government is supposed to be about. If we are really sincere about fighting terrorism, let’s fight the real terrorists and [not] providing material support.
Press TV: Who is going to change it? You talked about like rogue elements as for as in the military. So how is the rest of the world supposed to be dealing with this? We look at Syria itself and we look at all the deaths and destruction over the years and at the end of the day you are saying the bottom line is basically Washington and Riyadh that is behind this. So what is the key? Who is going to be able to stop this from re-occurring whenever and wherever the United States wants in the world?
Harris: Well unless there is …, the United States is out of control right now. Let me say this about that. I am not convinced that President Barack Obama has control over US military. I think he may no longer be the commander-in- chief. It does not appear that he is. It appears more likely that Senator John McCain, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, seems to have a bigger role in shaping policy for the US government and what the commander-in-chief does. If that is the case, McCain is [forwarding] very, very closely to committing treason again and this is a very, very serious time in the US.
The United States is not doing well, we are not prospering. This country, our country, my country has been systematically destroyed by what I call mal-management by this group of people who wish to incite to start all of this trouble around the world.