The peace plan and ceasefire is working brilliantly wouldn’t you say?
“Al-Jazeera: Syria’s Tuesday death toll rises to 77, activists say “(April 18)
Yeap, that’s what I call a ceasefire.
And the as always “helpful” Russians:
Lavrov: Syrian armed opposition exercises provocative acts to foil Annan’s plan
“Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday said that the Syrian armed opposition exercises provocative acts to bring back violence and foil Annan’s plan.”
“Lavrov added that Moscow calls to solve all issues in peaceful methods through dialogue without foreign interference in accordance to the international law and within respecting the countries’ sovereignty and independence.”
So according to the Russians it is the unarmed civilians that are provoking the SYSTEMATIC destruction of cities, block by block, neighbourhood after neighbourhood.
And remember the destruction is done by Russian weapons, sold by Russia, the Syrian crews and troops trained by Russia, with Russian advisers attached etc.: T-72s, 240mm mortar bomb system etc.
So that is what Lavrov means when he said “Moscow calls to solve all issues in peaceful methods through dialogue”.
This is the Russian version of “peaceful methods through dialogue”
And remember, as I said in my previous posts, one of the weapons used by the Syrian regime in Homs was the Russian 240mm F-864 high explosive mortar bomb. The world’s largest high explosive mortar bomb designed to “demolish fortifications and fieldworks” according to a Russian arms merchandizing catalogue. It weighs 130 kilograms and contains 31.93 kilograms of TNT as an explosive charge.
This weapon system is notable for its capability to conduct a “plunging attack,” in which the munition is fired at a high angle and comes down nearly perpendicular to penetrate a building or fortification.
And Russians used a LOT of that “peaceful methods through dialogue” when the same weapon was used to destroy Grozny in 1994-96. And now they have passed on these “peaceful methods” to the Syrians
Remember also that Russia has blocked every attempt of a UN arms embargo. Just another helpful and friendly Russian way of “Moscow calls to solve all issues in peaceful methods through dialogue”.
And the French President Sarkozy has “discovered that Assad is lying and destroying Homs:
Sarkozy says Assad wants to “wipe Homs from the map”
“French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Thursday accused Syria‘s Bashar al-Assad of seeking to ”wipe Homs from the map,” comparing his campaign to the Libyan regime’s attacks on the city of Benghazi.
”Bashar al-Assad is lying in a shameful way, he wants to wipe Homs from the map like [former Libyan strongman Moammar] Qaddafi wanted to wipe Benghazi from the map,” Sarkozy told Europe 1 radio station.
”The solution is the creation of humanitarian corridors so an opposition can exist inSyria,” he said.
The French president and other Western leaders had cited the Qaddafi regime’s attacks on Benghazi as reason for the international community to intervene in Libya.”
OK, so now you “got it”. And what exactly are you doing about it? More bombastic statements?
“Sarkozy also said that the isolation of Russia and China on Syria ”will not last” and that the two countries will eventually join the rest of the international community against Damascus.
”The Chinese and the Russians do not like being isolated,” he said.”
Well I wouldn’t bet on it. Russia and China will only change if the real costs are getting to high. And so far it is costing them nothing to protect and support Assad. On the contrary they feel that they have bolstered their position.
Some interesting stories from Syrian intelligence, police and army officers why they defected. Usually when they found out that the regime they where actively supporting had arrested, killed or destroyed houses of their relatives or family members.
Defectors Recount Tales of Conflict; ‘Blood on My Hands’ .
“RAMTHA, JORDAN—Sitting among family in this Jordanian town on the Syrian border, an ex-army intelligence officer recounted how he worked against rebel forces by intimidating family members to prevent military defections.
Now he’s a defector.
At the start of the Syrian revolution a year ago, the 21-year-old said he sat in his barracks with colleagues and watched TV reports of widespread protests against the government that met with increasingly brutal crackdowns. One day, he said, the TVs were removed and his commanders told him and his colleagues they were fighting against terrorists aligned with the U.S. and Israel who were plotting to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad.
The intelligence officer said he worked tirelessly to crush the uprising in western Homs for five months, finally being granted two days of leave in July. He returned to his home in southern Deraa but it was riddled with bullets. His brother had been arrested under the charge of ”protesting” and his cousin killed by bullets fired by Syrian troops while demonstrating, he and his family members said in interviews.
The officer then realized he hadn’t been fighting terrorists, but his own people, he said.
”I have innocent blood on my hands,” he said, staring at the floor as his 3-year-old sister played beside him and his father and brother smoked cigarettes.”
“Here in Ramtha, a former lieutenant colonel recounted his swift—and short-lived—decision to desert the Syrian police and join rebel forces.
”I fought until they locked up my father, interrogated my sisters and burned down my house,” said the former officer, while sitting on floor cushions with other refugees. ”Now that I’m no longer fighting and left Syria, the pressure on my family is less.”
“Elsewhere in Ramtha, a former soldier who escaped to Irbid, Jordan, near the Syrian border, said his brother defected from the Syrian air force in April only to be caught and arrested. When their father went to the prison to inquire about the brother, he too was locked up, the soldier said.
The rest of the family is too scared to ask after the father and son, worried they too will be jailed, the former soldier said.
”No country is providing us weapons, Saudi and Qatarsay they want to, but don’t,” said the former solider, 29 years old. ”If the West doesn’t help us or other Arab countries, we’ll go to Al Qaeda. We don’t want to accept them, but what can we do when our children are being killed?”
“He said that what especially haunts him is the intelligence he provided to colleagues to arrest defectors’ female family members, a way to pressure the former soldiers to turn themselves in. He said he heard reports of rape perpetrated by his colleagues as another form of intimidation against family members, but hadn’t seen any firsthand.
”I defected because of what I saw how they killed people, like my own cousin, and destroyed their houses,” he said. ”I decided I couldn’t do this.”
A normal sign on any road wouldn’t you say?
“STOP. WATCH OUT FOR THE SNIPER”
And here is former Syrian General Akil Hashem take on the Uprising in Syria:
(His background: Joined the Syrian Army in 1962 and were promoted in the Military ranks until Brigadier General. He served in the armoured military units to become the Head of Operations for the Armoured Brigade.
He fought in 1967 June War and the 1973 October War, were he was badly injured, for that he was granted medals for his bravery: He retired – upon his request – in 1989.)
Former Syrian General Akil Hashem on the Uprising in Syria
Without Intervention, No End in Sight
“For a military perspective, Foreign Affairs’ Jordan Hirsch spoke with former Syrian Brigadier General Akil Hashem about the overall state of the rebellion, the capabilities of the military and the opposition, and what it will take to oust Assad. Excerpts:
Over a year after the uprising in Syria began, what is the state of the revolution?
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime is rapidly escalating its military campaign and will continue killing no matter what. But at the same time, the revolution will continue no matter what. This stalemate will not end unless the international community intervenes militarily.
One of the main reasons given by Western powers for their reluctance to intervene in Syriais the power of Syria’s military and air defenses. As a former brigadier general, what is your assessment?
I cannot believe that the United States, Britain, and France, with all of their intelligence capabilities, do not realize that the Syrian military is weak, largely thanks to rampant corruption. It’s one thing to have equipment and weapons, but it’s another thing to have the leadership to deploy them. And the leadership of the Syrian military is particularly decrepit. It starts with junior officers who ask soldiers to buy them cigarettes and then refuse to pay them back and goes all the way up to division commanders who divert army matériel to build their castles, villas, and mansions, ordering soldiers to construct them without compensation.
What about matériel?
The Syrian military is relatively well equipped, but the weapons that it does have are severely outdated. The T-72 tank, the top-of-the-line tank in Syrianow, entered service in 1979. The air defense missiles, except for some new ones from Iran, were purchased in that era as well. The same goes for armed vehicles. So this notion that Syria has a sophisticated air defense system or army is ridiculous “
“Where do you see the uprising heading over the next several months?
Assad cannot put down the rebellion. More than 10,000 people have been killed, but there are millions of Syrians participating directly or indirectly in the revolt, so the revolution will continue. That said, the rebels cannot win on their own. If the international community does not intervene, the conflict will persist indefinitely unless there is a military coup, an assassination of Assad or of top members of his regime, or a mass defection among the Alawite sect itself. The battle could continue like this for at least a year, if not longer. “
“What would it take for the West to intervene?
Western countries will only intervene if the Assad regime escalates its killing, or there is a massacre on the scale of Srebrenica. According to my sources, the regime actually regulates how many should be killed per day. At the beginning of the armed uprising, the number was about 50; after the assault on the Baba Amr neighborhood of Homs, the number increased to 100. Assad knows that if he commits a large-scale massacre, he will trigger intervention. So if the numbers climb to 30,000 or 40,000 dead, or many thousands are killed at once, then you may see the international community act.Syria may also provoke its neighbors — similar to what happened last week, when Syrian troops fired across the border into a Turkish refugee camp.
If Assad were to fall, what would Syria look like?
There will be chaos. It will be like Iraq — a totalitarian regime that controlled everything suddenly collapsing, opening the door for all kinds of problems, even sectarian violence. But anything that comes after the regime would be a million times better than what we currently have. The doomsday scenarios of the Muslim Brotherhood or al Qaeda taking over Syria are ridiculous. Eventually, the opposition forces in the diaspora and within the country will find a way to unite to establish a free, democratic country.”
And the wifes of Britain’s U.N. envoy and Germany’s U.N. ambassador (Sheila Lyall Grant and Huberta von Voss-Wittig) have produce a video were they appeal to Assads wife Asma ‘Stop your husband’
“Stand up for peace, Asma. Speak out now. For the sake of your people. Stop your husband,” asks the video. “Stop being a bystander. No one cares about your image. We care about your action
“We strongly believe in Asma’s responsibility as a woman, as a wife and as a mother. As the vocal female Arab leader that she used to be, as a champion of female equality, she can not hide behind her husband,” Lyall Grant and Wittig said in a statement, according to Reuters.
Well good luck with that. But I wouldn’t count on anything.
I was going to write about Chinas help and support for the Assad regime but it became to long. So I just am going to make two quick points.
First, that China, together with Russia, has blocked ANY international intervention or condemnation of the Syrian regime. Through vetos in the UN Security Council, voted against sanctions, voted against condemnations of the Assads regimes human rights record in various international bodies etc.
And China doesn’t recognize ANY of sanctions by the UN, EU etc.
Second, that China helps Assad mostly through Iran.
China has helped Iran to sidestep the regular global financial system to create a huge clandestine money-transfer, commercial and currency exchange machine for getting around the US-led Western sanctions hurting Irans international trade.
They are assisting in the construction of this underground network as a pipeline through whichIran can continue to conduct its commercial business with the outside world. And to help Iran evade the financial isolation because of the sanctions regarding its nuclear weapons program.
China also profits enormously from these sanctions-busting measures. Two years ago, anticipating the blockage of its regular trade relations, Iran began transferring billions of dollars to Chinese banks, which as a rule do not enter into foreign currency transactions with foreign banks.
However, the sums were so vast and the profits so tempting that China was persuaded to make an exception to this rule. International financial circles estimate that Iran transferred sums in the $ 25-50 billion range to Chinese banks.
China undertook to make available the amounts need to buy essential goods that the embargo prevents Iran from acquiring directly.
Beijing does the shopping and draws on the Iranian deposits to pay for the purchases. The goods are delivered to China and transferred to Iran via Pakistan.
China is making a very tidy profit from its shopping service for Iran. China is charging Iran an extra four-percent to cover insurance dues and another four percent surcharge as a “risk fee,” over and above the expensive roundabout delivery route. Already, China may be clearing as much as a billion dollars a year from this service alone.
When Washington found out about these arrangements about a month ago, US officials turned to China to get them stopped. They ran into a blank wall; the Chinese refused to give up their hugely profitable service for Iran
And the Chinese use this system to also help Assad with ALL the things he needs to suppress the uprising.
And as I told you in my previous post that Assad is short of money to pay for all the costly fuel (via Lebanon) his troops need to suppress the uprising. Because the embargo on fuel sales to Syria puts Assad in the hands of these Lebanese merchants.
So he has offered Russia and China $30 billion worth of government bonds for a massive injection of funds to his government.
Anyone want to buy?
And here is a “funny one”:
China says considering sending observers to Syria
“China said Thursday it was considering sending observers to monitor a Syrian ceasefire that came into force last week but is under threat as violence escalates.
”China is earnestly looking into whether to send observers to Syria or not,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Liu Weimin told reporters at a regular briefing.”
OK, lets see if I got it: first you send money, arms, specialist, training etc. to help Assad to suppress the uprising and killing unarmed civilians, And then you send “observers” to see and make sure that the help you sent Assad has the effect it was supposed to. Of course all in the name of “observing the peace plan”.
The future for this peace plan and ceasefire looks better and better wouldn’t you say?
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