The Crisis In Syria – What Now?

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The United Nations Security Council held another inconclusive Middle East debate on March 12th, focusing largely on the continuing massacres in Syria. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton participated, along with her counterparts from Russia, France, the United Kingdom and other members of the Security Council.

Clinton called on Russia and China to support a Security Council resolution that placed the blame for the violence squarely on the shoulders of the Assad regime. She insisted that, as between the government and the opposition, Syrian President Assad’s forces must stop the firing first. Elaborating on a central theme of her Security Council speech, she told reporters afterwards:

The monopoly on deadly violence belongs to the Syrian regime, and there needs to be an end to the violence and the bloodshed in order to move into a political process. Now, of course, once the Syrian Government has acted, then we would expect others as well to cease the violence. But there cannot be an expectation for defenseless citizens in the face of artillery assaults to end their capacity to defend themselves before there’s a commitment by the Assad regime to do so… There must be a cessation of violence by the Syrian regime first and foremost. Then we can move toward asking others, who will no longer need to defend themselves because we will be in a political process, to end their own counter-violence.

French Minister of Foreign and European Affairs, Alain Juppé, agreed, telling reporters that one of his “red lines” in negotiating a new resolution was to make sure that the initiative for a cease fire must first come from the Assad regime. His other “red line” was that the resolution must include a clear reference to a political process that takes account of “the aspirations of the Syrian people to freedom and to democracy.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey V. Lavrov agreed that there must be “an immediate end of violence” in Syria. However, he added that armed elements of the opposition in Syria – including elements said to be affiliated with al Qaeda – were also responsible for the violence and should cease their armed attacks in conjunction with the Assad regime. He supported a resolution by the Security Council, but one that did not impose “any prejudged solutions.”

Both Russia and China referred back to the Security Council resolution authorizing international military action in Libya to protect civilians, which they felt was exceeded by NATO in terms of the scope of the NATO bombings and the arming of some rebels in Libya. They had both abstained on the Libyan resolution, and vowed not to permit a repeat situation in Syria.

French Minister Juppé minced no words in criticizing Russia and China for their comparisons with the Libyan situation:

It is rather indecent to try to condemn this intervention and at the same time to block, to veto a resolution in Syria just at the moment when the regime is killing hundreds and hundreds of victims.

The back-and-forth at the UN took place against the backdrop of more killings in the city of Homs as well as in other parts of Syria. The United Nations estimates that 7,500 people have died so far in Syria, since the crackdown on protests began about a year ago. Valerie Amos, United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator for Syria, expressed horror at the devastation she witnessed first-hand. “As fighting, shelling, and other violence intensifies in Idlib, Homs and other places in Syria, the risk of a grave humanitarian crisis grows,” she said. “I call on all Member States to continue to ensure that the humanitarian response and negotiations for humanitarian access are clearly separated from political discussions.”

An attempt by the UN-Arab League Special Envoy, former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, to persuade Assad to initiate an immediate ceasefire failed. Nevertheless, Annan – who once called Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein “a man he could do business with” – remains optimistic.

Negotiations are underway behind the scenes for some sort of watered down Security Council resolution, which could end up finessing the timing of cessation of violence by each side, provide general support for the Arab League’s plan for transition towards a more inclusive government chosen by the Syrian people without specifically asking for Assad to step aside, and call for unrestricted access for international humanitarian workers to reach those in need of assistance. For any such resolution to pass, there will have to be a disavowal of any outside military intervention and no reference to the imposition of economic sanctions under UN auspices.

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  • ObamaYoMoma

    Senator John McCain is pressing for the imposition of a no-fly zone.

    Senator John McCain and his acolytes Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman have all been incredibly mentally incompetent for decades. Whatever they suggest doing 100 percent of the time is always wrong. In fact they never get it right. Indeed, according to those moonbats the fantasy based nation-building missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, which, by the way, are the two biggest strategic blunders ever in American history, are spectacular successes. Hell, they still haven't figured out yet Libya is another miserable failure. It's like on foreign policy they are walking and talking Jimmy Carter zombies.

    Our role should remain strictly humanitarian and diplomatic in nature.

    Our role should not remain humanitarian, as Muslim on Muslim violent is very detrimental to the Islamic world and very advantageous to the un-Islamic world. Indeed, both sides are our enemies, hence, if we must do anything, lets act clandestinely to make the jihad last as long as possible, and remember in the Islamic world, as opposed to the Western world, all Muslims are jihadists or otherwise they are blasphemous apostates that per the dictates of mainstream orthodox Islam must be executed.

    The conventional wisdom is that Iran will be the big loser if Assad is overthrown.

    Actually, the West needs to stop wasting time on Syria and needs to focus instead 100 percent on stopping the Iranian ruling Mullah regime from acquiring nukes with impunity at all cost, since if they get nukes it will be the end of the world as we once knew it.

    Moreover, no amount of negotiating with Muslims will ever stop Iran or any other Islamic country from acquiring nukes. Not to mention that since Syria and Iran have a mutual defense pact, the jihad taking place in Syria at this time makes it very convenient and conducive for the West to act now to eradicate the ruling Mullah regime in Iran and to destroy their nuclear weapons program, while Assad is preoccupied defending itself from a Sunni insurgency. In fact, it would be ludicrous to pass up this golden opportunity to act now in our own best interests.

    Iran is also demonstrating to its Arab neighbors that it is on the wrong of the “Arab Spring” freedom movement, causing a potentially serious rupture with its Hamas allies.

    Yeah right…freedom in the totalitarian Islamic world. Now that's funny. Meanwhile, the last time I checked the only freedom that Sharia allows is the freedom for Muslims to become more devout slaves of Allah.

    What the West needs to do ASAP is eradicate Assad's poodles in Iran along with their nuclear weapons program, and then step in to replace the ruling Mullah regime in Iran as Assad's new poodle to keep the lid on the Sunnis, the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Saudis and Gulf State Emirates, which are financing a stealth global jihad against all non-Muslim unbelievers in the world, primarily via mass Muslim immigration to the West, which in reality is covert and deceptive non-violent jihad for the purpose of infiltration and long-term stealth demographic conquest. Nevertheless, with the current useful idiots masquerading as diplomats, fat chance of that ever happening in a million years.

    • Roger

      The other choice our leader (the dear one) made was not to impose a western constitutional republic or democracy, but to give Libya to Al Qaida with all it's oil reserves. Have you noticed an uptick of muslim militant violence in Africa since they had access to oil revenue in Libya?

      It's hare do keep track of you points when you mash them all into a hodge podge of a rant, or multi part rants.

  • Roger

    Jumping to conclusions? I don't want Libya. I just don't want our enemies to have it.

    And Al Qaida killed more of us that the quack before did. It's not hard for me, I can make my point in a few lines. You? Not so much.

    • ObamaYoMoma

      Like I said, you are oblivious of Islam, which considering the fact that you are also oblivious of Santorum's Senate record of being a big spender, big union panderer, and Washington lobbyists and insider, while at the same time you swallow anti-Romney propaganda like crack cocaine, isn't surprising.

      • Roger

        Straw man arguments are so handy when you have nothing to use on the original subject, aren't they?

        Why do you think I want to occupy Libya? Can you quote anything I have ever said saying I wanted to even waste time there?

        • ObamaYoMoma

          How else are we going “to impose a western constitutional republic or democracy,” moonbat? Grow up and stop bugging me. You aren't intelligent enough for me to waste any more time on.

          • Roger

            I never made an argument we should do so.

            Anything else?

    • Snorbak

      "I just don't want our enemies to have it"
      With the exception of Israel, EVERY state within the ME & Nth Africa are enemies of the West, period.
      The bigger threat within Islam are the Shia states seeing that they hold a 1400 year "chip on their shoulders" & a deep seated hatred of the Sunni.
      You should look into the reasons as to why Saudi Arabia are getting nervous regarding Iran & the so called "Arab (Shia) Spring" for the answer.

      • Roger

        I have, and also remember my uncle and aunt talking when they came home after working for Aramco.

        • Snorbak

          With regard to the "trouble" in Syria though, I do agree with ObamaYoMoma in that it is predominately a Shia/ Sunni fight masquerading as a peoples rebellion & fight for freedom or more correctly, viewed as such via western media.

          • Roger

            Saudi Arabia is funding the rebels, it's a way for them to stab Iran in the back.

  • John Rutley

    Do not get involved in Syria, it’s another hornets nest for the West. Why arent the Arab brothers rushing to help out? Let them sort it out on their own!!

  • HexColor

    The United Nations Security Council held another inconclusive Middle East debate on March 12th, focusing largely on the continuing massacres in Syria. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton participated, along with her counterparts from Russia, France, the United Kingdom and other members of the Security Council.

  • melvin polatnick

    There is no bigger snob than Assad,he must be replaced with a leader that is more friendly to international corporations. Israel is their next door neighbor, they have the tech to propel Syria into the 21st century. But Jews are not welcome to participate in the Syrian economy. The new leader of Syria must be a person that accepts investors from all religions and nations..

  • jewdog

    The hatred, violence and supremacism that characterizes Islamic culture is intrinsically divisive. In the absence of a tyrant to unite the volatile and intolerant factions which make up Islamic society, it is prone to chaos.
    The question we need to ask is :"What is good for us Infidels?" One answer is that the Islamofascist scum kill each other. That is something we can actively encourage by aiding one side or the other.