The latest in the situation on Syria is that the Assad government has fulfilled its obligations under the Russian / US agreement by submitting the full lists of chemical weapons sites within the required timescale of one week.
Meanwhile US partners appear to be trying to undermine the Russian – US agreement. France for example has and continues to push for a chapter 7 clause which would in effect give authority to the UNSC to act against Syria (militarily or with sanctions).
Russia and the United States brokered the deal in Geneva in mid-September to avoid possible U.S. military strikes. Under the deal, Assad would account for his chemical weapons and see them destroyed by the middle of next year. According to the Geneva agreement, the Security Council would have to adopt a second resolution in order to punish Syria for any non-compliance with the Russian-US agreement to eradicate Syria’s chemical arsenal.
France has also begun throwing its weight about (so to speak) when it comes to the inclusion of Iran in the Syria peace talks, the French FM. Insisting conditions must be put on Iran IF they are to be included.
The New York Times reports the French FM. Laurent Fabius, said Iran would need to accept the goal of the conference: the establishment by consensus of a transitional government that would not include President Bashar al-Assad.
Iran would also need to understand, Mr. Fabius said, that it would not be rewarded for any cooperation on Syria by being granted flexibility to pursue its nuclear program, another major issue between Iran and the West.
“There is an argument, which is a strong one, for the presence of Iran,” Mr. Fabius said, referring to any Syria peace negotiations. “When you have to make peace, it is between fighters, and Iran is involved in the conflict.”
“But two ‘buts,’ ” he added. “They have to accept expressly the aim of Geneva II,” Mr. Fabius said, using the diplomatic shorthand for the proposed conference.
“Second point, it should be made clear to the Iranians that there is a Chinese wall between the Syrian case and the nuclear program.” he said. “They cannot say, ‘We agree to offer a solution on the Syrian problem if you are loose on the nuclear weapon.’ No, these are two different things.”
William Hague, the British foreign secretary, told reporters Monday that he had held “a constructive first meeting” with Mr. Zarif and that he thought Iran might play “a constructive role” in talks over the Syria conflict. But he stressed that Britain expected Iran to take “concrete steps to address the international community’s concerns.”
“If they really mean what they’re saying, then certainly it will be possible,” Mr. Hague said.
Now, cynics looking at the comments from French FM. Fabius might conclude that said statements were made under direction of the US government, with the intent being to grab headlines on the eve of speeches by world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly.
Is the US trying to force Russia into approving a UN resolution that would allow for military intervention in Syria under chapter 7, (despite the agreement reached between the two countries), in exchange for American support of Syria’s accession to OPCW ?
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said.
“Our American partners are starting to blackmail us: ‘If Russia does not support a resolution under Chapter 7, then we will withdraw our support for Syria’s entry into the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). This is a complete departure from what I agreed with Secretary of State John Kerry’,”Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told Channel 1’s Sunday Time program.
“Our partners are blinded by an ideological mission for regime change,” said Lavrov. “They cannot admit they have made another mistake.”
Moreover, he stressed that if the West really was interested in a peaceful solution to the conflict that has raged for over two years, they would now be pushing for Syria’s entry into the OPCW in the first place, not for the ouster of President Bashar Assad.
“I am convinced that the West is doing this to demonstrate that they call the shots in the Middle East. This is a totally politicized approach,”said Lavrov.
The Russian foreign minister pointed out that in the case of a military scenario, militants would come to power and Syria would no longer be a secular state. Up to three quarters “of these guys are Jihadists,” including the most radical groups such as Al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant, who want to create an Islamic Caliphate in Syria and in neighbouring territories, Lavrov said. (Full Article Here)
The Propaganda War
In the piece titled: “Syria and the News/ media lust for conflict” we attempted to point to the part being played by some European, US & International media outlets in the call for conflict in Syria. Here is yet another example of propaganda used to justify both US support of Al-Qaeda directly or indirectly via the now failing Free Syrian Amy (FSA) and in support of a US strike on Syria.
Below are examples from an Op-Ed written by Nicholas Kristof in the NY Times, Sunday review. Title: Pulling the Curtain Back on Syria
(Our comments in Italic text)
“As one woman tweeted to me: “We simply cannot stop every injustice in the world by using military weapons.”
“Fair enough. But let’s be clear that this is not “every injustice”: On top of the 100,000-plus already killed in Syria, another 5,000 are being slaughtered monthly, according to the United Nations. Remember the Boston Massacre of 1770 from our history books, in which five people were killed? Syria loses that many people every 45 minutes on average, around the clock.”
Kristof is suggesting here (as the US government have) that the TOTAL stated number of deaths are the direct responsibility of the Assad government only.
Here again he is giving the impression to those with limited knowledge of the situation in Syria that the Assad government has killed up to 100,000.
“In other words, while there are many injustices around the world, from Darfur to eastern Congo, take it from one who has covered most of them: Syria is today the world capital of human suffering”.
Ironically, no mention of Palestine, nor is there any mention of Iraq and the terrible loss of life due to lies, or the ongoing suffering due to the use of depleted Uranium (DU).
“Skeptics are right about the drawbacks of getting involved, including the risk of retaliation. Yet let’s acknowledge that the alternative is, in effect, to acquiesce as the slaughter in Syria reaches perhaps the hundreds of thousands or more.”
Again as stated above his statement suggests that only Assad is responsible for the ongoing killing. There is no mention of US involvement (even via proxies). No mention of Gulf states sending mercenaries to fight in Syria.
“So while neither intervention nor paralysis is appealing, that’s pretty much the menu. That’s why I favor a limited cruise missile strike against Syrian military targets (as well as the arming of moderate rebels). As I see it, there are several benefits: Such a strike may well deter Syria’s army from using chemical weapons again, probably can degrade the ability of the army to use chemical munitions and bomb civilian areas, can reinforce the global norm against chemical weapons, and — a more remote prospect — may slightly increase the pressure on the Assad regime to work out a peace deal.”
The first mention of the so called Rebels (“as well as the arming of moderate rebels”), yet no mention of Al-Qaeda or the horrendous war crimes committed mainly against defenceless civilians.
“If we were fighting against an incomparably harsher dictator using chemical weapons on our own neighborhoods, and dropping napalm-like substances on our children’s schools, would we regard other countries as “pro-peace” if they sat on the fence as our dead piled up?”
Now anybody with even a limited knowledge of Psychology would know that what is being deployed in his statement above, is a form of reverse psychology placed in a mixing bowl alongside some empathy, add a little We know for sure, mix it up and you have the recipe called WHAT IF IT WAS US.. You see when making such a concoction one doesn’t actually have to be responsible for ones comments after all claims like (“dictator using chemical weapons on our own neighbourhoods”) and (“and dropping napalm-like substances on our children’s schools”) is US government propaganda.
Here is a link to the full article Sunday Review
Regarding the subject of French insistence on a chapter seven inclusion in the Russian / US agreement, beyond doubt this is been driven by the US. During the joint US – Russia news conference, FM. Lavrov made it quite clear to the obvious displeasure of Secretary Kerry that any chapter seven inclusion would have to be submitted under a separate resolution.
As for claims that the US is trying to blackmail Russia into agreeing to a chapter seven inclusion to the original Russia – US agreement, most would absolutely agree that that is indeed the case.
On the Propaganda war, one might also point out that Mr Kristof in urging for the bombing of Syria, is denying the possibility of alternatives for ending the bloodshed, he also neglects to mention the fact that the Assad government is willing to attend peace talks, which the so called rebels have openly rejected.
What this proves however, is the effectiveness of propaganda as a tool, being employed by some media outlets and pundits such as Mr Kristof.
As mentioned above properly used the propaganda concoction can be mixed and re-mixed with different ingredients to suit different needs.
T.J. Total World View
25th September 2013.