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I asked Ambassador Ja’afari to address reports of Russian arms flowing to Syria’s military, including helicopter gunships. Without missing a beat, Ambassador Ja’afari said that it was Syria’s right as an independent sovereign state to purchase whatever weapons they wanted from whomever they wanted. Needless to say, he did not deny that Russia was supplying the Assad regime with weaponry.
Russia’s role in continuing to prop up the Assad regime does not appear to faze President Obama, by the way. During a press conference in Mexico following the conclusion of the G-20 Summit, Obama said the following about the Russians and Chinese, after acknowledging that they were not on the same page as the United States with regard to Syria:
“I wouldn’t suggest that at this point the United States and the rest of the international community are aligned with Russia and China in their positions, but I do think they recognize the grave dangers of all-out civil war. I do not think they condone the massacres that we’ve witnessed. And I think they believe that everybody would be better served if Syria had a mechanism for ceasing the violence and creating a legitimate government.”
Really? Does President Obama think the Assad regime separates out the arms it receives from Russia — whose state-controlled arms dealer is the biggest arms supplier to Syria’s government – and uses only non-Russian arms to carry out its massacres? To make matters even worse, Obama will not use Russia’s hopes to join the World Trade Organization as leverage to get Moscow to end its support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, particularly its flow of arms.
Finally, against all evidence, President Obama is still relying on the United Nations and the Kofi Annan “peace plan” as the solution:
“…it’s important for the world community to work with the United Nations and Kofi Annan on what a political transition would look like. And my hope is, is that we can have those conversations in the coming week or two and that we can present to the world, but most importantly, to the Syrian people, a pathway whereby this conflict can be resolved.”
Maybe President Obama should have a conversation with the survivors of the 1994 Rwandan massacre. Kofi Annan directed UN Peacekeeping Operations when the Rwandan genocide took place and, according to Canadian ex-General Roméo Dallaire, who was force commander of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda at the time, Annan held back UN troops from intervening to settle the conflict, and from providing more logistical and material support.
How comforting it must be for the Syrian people to know that all they have going for them today in Syria is the discredited Kofi Annan peace plan and the United Nations.
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