Arrested NATO officers in Aleppo were in country illegally and are not therefore covered by the Geneva Convention

Syrian special forces arrested NATO officers yesterday in east Aleppo

Le Conseil de sécurité se réunit à huis clos après l’arrestation d’officiers de l’Otan à Alep

The Security Council meets behind closed doors after the arrest of NATO officers in Aleppo
The Security Council sits in camera, this Friday, December 16, 2016 at 5: 00 universal time, while NATO officers were arrested this morning by the Syrian Special Forces in a bunker in Aleppo-East.

Why Is the U.S. Refusing an Independent Investigation If Its Hospital Airstrike Was an “Accident”?

The Intercept

In Geneva this morning, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) demanded a formal, independent investigation into the U.S. airstrike on its hospital in Kunduz. The group’s international president, Dr. Joanne Liu , specified that the inquiry should be convened pursuant to war crime-investigating procedures established by the Geneva Conventions and conducted by The International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission. “Even war has rules,” Liu said. “This was just not an attack on our hospital. It was an attack on the Geneva Conventions. This cannot be tolerated.”

Liu emphasized that the need for an “independent, impartial investigation is now particularly compelling given what she called “the inconsistency in the U.S. and Afghan accounts of what happened over the recent days.” On Monday, we documented the multiple conflicting accounts offered in the first three days by the U.S. military and its media allies, but the story continued to change even further after that. As The Guardian’s headline yesterday noted, the U.S. admission that its own personnel called in the airstrike — not Afghan forces as it claimed the day before — meant that “U.S. alters story for fourth time in four days.” All of this led Liu to state the obvious today: “We cannot rely on internal military investigations by the U.S., NATO and Afghan forces.”

An independent, impartial investigation into what happened here should be something everyone can immediately agree is necessary. But at its daily press briefing on Monday, the U.S. State Department, through its spokesperson Mark Toner, insisted that no such independent investigation was needed on the ground that the U.S. government is already investigating itself and everyone knows how trustworthy and reliable this process is:

QUESTION: The — so MSF is calling for an independent investigation of this incident by a neutral international body. Is that something the administration would support?

MR TONER: Well, we’ve got three investigations underway. Certainly, we’ve got our own DOD-led investigation. We obviously strongly believe that can be a very transparent and accountable investigation. Let’s let these three investigations run their course and see what the results are.

I would say — and I know the White House spoke about this earlier — we have reached out to some of the leadership in Médecins Sans Frontières to express our condolences over this tragic incident. But as to whether there needs to be an independent fourth investigation, we’re satisfied, I think, at this point that enough investigations are underway that we’ll get to the truth.

QUESTION: You don’t think that with the U.S., which is — which has an interest in how this investigation proceeds and what the outcome is, and being involved in all three investigations somehow affects the legitimacy of it?

MR TONER: I mean, frankly, I think we’ve proven over time that we can investigate incidents like these — like this, and as I said, hold anyone accountable who needs to be held accountable, and do it in such a way that’s transparent and, I think, credible.

QUESTION: Just along those lines —

MR TONER: Please.

QUESTION: — MSF has said that this is a clear presumption of a war crime that’s been committed here. Some have suggested that the ICC take it up. Is it a safe bet that the U.S. would vote against/veto any attempt in the Security Council to bring this incident for — up for an ICC investigation?

MR TONER: I don’t want to answer a hypothetical. On the war crime question itself, we’re just not there yet, and I don’t want to prejudge any outcome of any investigation.

Please, sir.

QUESTION: What do you mean, “We’re just not there yet”?

MR TONER: I mean we’re conducting investigations, we’re looking at this very closely, and we’re going to, as multiple folks have said including the president over the weekend — that we’re going to hold those accountable and it’s going to be a credible investigation.

QUESTION: Does that mean —

QUESTION: So it’s conceivable to you that this could have been a war crime?

MR TONER: I said we’re not — we’re letting the investigations run their course.

QUESTION: Well, regardless of whether or not you —

MR TONER: I’m not going to — I’m not even — yeah, please, Matt.

QUESTION: No, but I want to —

MR TONER: Sure, go ahead. Sorry.

QUESTION: Is it not — I mean, it’s always been assumed, I think — and I just want to know if this assumption is still safe — that the U.S. would oppose an attempt to refer an incident involving U.S. troops to the International Criminal Court.

MR TONER: That’s —

QUESTION: I mean, as it’s — as it was being formed, you guys ran around signing these Article 98 —

MR TONER: That’s a perfectly sound assumption.

Can anyone justify that? So predictably, American journalists have announced without even waiting for any investigation that this was all a terrible accident, nothing intentional about it. Those U.S.-defending journalists should be the angriest about their government’s refusal to allow an independent, impartial investigation since that would be the most effective path for exonerating them and proving their innocent, noble intentions.

Many Americans, and especially a large percentage of the nation’s journalists, need no investigation to know that this was nothing more than a terrible, tragic mistake. They believe that Americans, and especially their military, are so inherently good and noble and well-intentioned that none would ever knowingly damage a hospital. John McCain expressed this common American view and the primary excuse now accompanying it — stuff happens — on NPR this morning:

They’re certain of this despite how consistent MSF has been that this was a “war crime.” They’re certain of it despite how many times, and how recently, MSF notified the U.S. military of the exact GPS coordinates of this hospital. They’re certain of it even though bombing continued for 30 minutes after MSF pleaded with them to stop. They’re certain of it despite the substantial evidence that their Afghan allies long viewed this exact hospital with hostility because — true to its name and purpose — the group treated all wounded human beings, including Taliban. They’re certain of it even though Afghan officials have explicitly defended the airstrike against the hospital on the ground that Taliban were inside. They’re certain of it despite how many times the U.S. has radically changed its story about what happened as facts emerged that proved its latest claims false. They’re certain of it despite how many times the U.S. has attacked and destroyed civilian targets under extremely suspicious circumstances.

But they are not apparently so certain that they desire an independent, impartial investigation into what actually happened here. The facially ludicrous announcement by the State Department that the Pentagon will investigate itself produced almost no domestic outrage. A religious-like belief in American exceptionalism and tribal superiority is potent indeed, and easily overrides evidence or facts. It blissfully renders the need for investigations obsolete. In their minds, knowing that it was Americans who did this suffices to know what happened, at least on the level of motive: It could not possibly be the case that there was any intentionality here at all. As McCain said, it’s only the Bad People — not Americans — who do such things deliberately.

But those who already know that this was all a terrible mistake, that no U.S. personnel would ever purposely call for a strike on a hospital even if they thought there were Taliban inside, should be the ones most eager for the most credible investigation possible: namely, the one under the Geneva Conventions, which MSF this morning demanded, by the tribunal created exactly for such atrocities.

A New Push for Peace in Syria?

Iraq-Syria-US
Global Research, November 14, 2014

Why are there no serious peace talks to end the war in Syria? After robbing over 130,000 people of their lives, and evicting over 9 million refugees from their homes, the Syrian war has infected nearly every region of the Middle East. Yet among the U.S. and its regional allies there are no public discussions about a viable peace plan, only war talk. 

It’s hard to talk peace when the United States is still maneuvering for war, having recently given $500 million to arm and train Syrian rebels, while also brokering a deal with Saudi Arabia to open a new Syrian rebel training camp, in addition to the one already functioning in Jordan. Instead of using Obama’s vast Middle East influence for peace he has used it to push war.

The brilliant failure of the U.S.-led Geneva peace talks on Syria was done without the seriousness demanded by the wholesale destruction of a nation. Obama used the talks to pursue “U.S. interests,” having purposely excluded Iran from the talks while trying to leverage disproportionate power for Obama’s “Free Syrian Army” rebels, who enjoy minuscule power on the ground as they used peace talks to make unrealistic demands.

Obama played a passive role in the peace talks, allowing them to flounder instead of publicly putting forth serious proposals that reflected the situation on the ground. There have been no talks since January and Geneva III is yet unscheduled, as Obama seems committed only to giving the rebels more bargaining power via more war, the logic being that if the rebels are armed and trained appropriately, they’ll eventually be able to win back enough land to force the Assad government to bargain on equal terms.

The giant void in the market for peace has opened up opportunities for Russia and Egypt, who reportedly are attempting to insert themselves as leaders in Middle East diplomacy, in part to expand their influence, in part to protect themselves from the conflagration of Islamic extremism the conflict is producing.

Mint Press reports on the still-developing story:

“Moscow and Cairo are preparing for a conference between the Syrian regime and the opposition in the hope of bringing them together in a transitional government that ‘fights terrorism’…the agenda of the conference to be held between the two sides includes establishing a transitional Syrian government with extensive powers while maintaining Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s authority over the army and security institutions.”

If such a proposal comes to fruition its merits must be seriously debated on the world stage, where Obama would very likely do his best to sabotage the peace. This is because Obama’s rebels on the ground in Syria — loosely organized under the “Free Syrian Army” banner — are powerless, and a Russia-led peace process would reveal this fact and apply it to a peace treaty, leaving little influence for the Obama administration in the new government. This is a peace deal Obama would rather kill.

Obama’s rebels are weak while the Syrian Government has made substantial military gains. Most notably a recent peace deal was won in Syria’s largest city Aleppo, modeled after the peace deal in Homs that allowed rebels to leave unarmed while giving de-facto control of the city to the government.

Interestingly, veteran Middle East journalist Robert Fisk recently questioned not only the relevance of Obama’s Free Syrian Army, but it’s very existence. Fisk explains:

“The Free Syrian Army I think drinks a lot of coffee in Istanbul. I have never come across it – except in the first months of the fighting, I’ve never come across even prisoners from the Free Syrian Army…You know, the FSA, in the eyes of the Syrians, doesn’t really exist. They’ve got al-Qaeda, Nusrah, various other Islamist groups, and now of course ISIS…But I don’t think they care very much about the Free Syrian Army. One officer told me that some have been accepted back into the Syrian Army, so they could go home. Others had been allowed to go home and they were not permitted to serve in the Syrian Army anymore. I think that the Free Syrian Army is a complete myth and I don’t believe it really exists and nor do the Syrians…”

Fisk’s analysis of the FSA punctuates the perspective of many who have long questioned whether the FSA had been totally absorbed by the Islamic extremist militias. At most the FSA exists in tiny irrelevant pockets, though Fisk thinks the FSA might be an Obama administration fantasy used to justify the ongoing Syrian war.

Aside from Obama’s weakness on the ground, there are broader geo-political reasons Obama would reject a Russia/Egypt-led peace. For one, the Obama Administration only recently made a long term investment in war, by giving the $500 billion to the Syrian rebels and training thousands more in Saudi Arabia, actions that effectively dismissed any meaningful reconciliation with Iran.

Obama chose instead to reinforce the close alliances with pariah states Saudi Arabia and Israel, and both are demanding that Syria be destroyed. By re-committing himself to Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Israel, Obama has essentially abandoned peace with Syria and Iran, since Obama’s allies want Syria and Iran destroyed.

If Obama followed the lead of Russia and Egypt in the peace process, his allies would abandon him, since they’ve invested huge sums of money, arms, and their political livelihoods on making sure their governments and domestic companies profit off of the demise of the Syrian government.

This is the basis for the complete geo-political stalemate in the Middle East. Of course the giant U.S. corporations that benefit from Middle East dominance are applying maximum pressure to continue war. The stalemate has become so obvious and destructive in Syria that Russia and Egypt have inserted themselves as power brokers, which would act to bolster their political-economic leverage while pushing the U.S. out.

Regional power scrambling aside, if a rational peace deal were put forth —whether it’s brokered by Russia, Egypt, or whomever — the world must demand that peace be pursued, lest the Syrian catastrophe continue.

Obama and his regional allies have proven totally incapable of producing any realistic peace proposal — they’ve been too consumed with war.   Obama has yet another chance to recognize the results of this failed proxy war and accept a peace that is a 100,000 lives overdue, or it can forge ahead to expand the killing. Stopping the war is as easy as acknowledging the reality, and to forge a treaty that reflects it.

Shamus Cooke is a social service worker, trade unionist, and writer for Workers Action (www.workerscompass.org). He can be reached at shamuscooke@gmail.com

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Assad to UN Envoy: There Won’t Be Geneva III, Talks with Opp. Only in Damascus

Local Editor

Assad-Staffan de Mistura Well-informed Western sources reported that the Syrian President Bashar al-assad told UN envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura that there will be no  Geneva III, asserting that Damascus will be the only place to host any talks with the opposition forces if they decide to hold negotiations.

The sources added that Staffan de Mistura did not launch any initiative during his visit to Damascus in the shade of the US insistence on holding Geneva III and the Russian rejection for the “wasting-time” conferences.

Source: Al-Manar Website

20-09-2014 – 18:13 Last updated 20-09-2014 – 8:13

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The Syrian People Have Spoken

Posted on June 6, 2014 by Alexandra Valiente
 
The Syrian presidential election surprised both Syrians and their allies and enemies. The poll, which everyone agrees was legitimate, mobilized 73.42% of the electorate, despite the inability of some people to get to the polls because of the occupation of part of the country by foreign mercenaries. Bashar al-Assad won 88.7% of the vote and his mandate has been extended for 7 more years.

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For the past several months, the 11 remaining member states of the London Group (formerly known as the “Friends of Syria” at the time when there were 114) denounced the Syrian presidential election on June 3 as a “farce”. According to them, on the one hand it would be ludicrous to hold an election in a country plagued by a “civil war”, on the other hand, the outgoing President Bashar al-Assad is a tyrant, using massive torture and bombing his own people, and therefore illegitimate. According to these 11 states, the only way out of a war that has already left “at least 160,000 dead Syrians” would be by giving way to a “transitional body” designated not by the Syrians, but by themselves, the London Group.
The major media from members of NATO and the GCC States were therefore intending to ignore this “non-election”, in the words of Secretary of State John Kerry. However, early voting for Syrians living abroad having led to mass demonstrations in Lebanon and Jordan, it was obvious that almost all Syrians living inside Syria who could vote would. Henceforth, these mainstream media dispatched teams in extremis to cover the event.
Until that time, it was generally accepted, except by the Voltaire Network, that Syrians in exile opposed the Republic, and had fled the country to escape “political repression.” The episodes at polls in Beirut and Amman showed that in reality, the vast majority of them had fled the exactions of foreign mercenaries who attack their country. Just as surprised as the Syrian ambassador to Lebanon, the Lebanese Interior Minister denounced the presence on his territory of alleged Syrian refugees who support their government, refusing to take into account the attack on their country and the destruction of their homes by more than 250,000 mercenaries in 3 years.
The Syrian Republic strove to meticulously follow Western standards of democracy. Parliament adopted a new electoral code which established the rights granted to candidates both for public advertising and television appearances and newspapers, as well as providing an escort ensuring their safety in this time of war.
The country, which abandoned the one-party system in favour of a multiparty system, having adopted the constitution of February 26, 2012, had two years to develop numerous parties and learn public policy debate.
The Syrian Republic, which has accepted the presence of Western journalists since November 2011, had two and a half years to learn how to meet their professional requirements. It gradually established good contacts with many of them, especially since the Geneva 2 Conference. More than 360 international media were accredited as well, with complete freedom of movement throughout the country, despite the war.

Political arguments

Kerry has seen raw data that suggests Syria used chlorine in gas attacks
For the London Group, it would be impossible to hold an election in a state at war. They forget that recently, these same States welcomed the presidential elections in Afghanistan and Ukraine.
In Afghanistan, on April 5, the first round of the presidential election unfolded under the supervision of NATO troops. One voter in three fled the country, but could vote from abroad. According to the member states of the London group, it would have required 50% of votes cast to be elected in the first round (there would be a second round on June 14). In this case, given the abstention rate of 67% the president was elected by 16.5% of the electorate).
In Ukraine, the Kiev coup announced a turnout of 60% on May 25. In doing so, they did not count the voters of Crimea, although they say that this area is still part of their country. President-elect Poroshenko reaped 54% of votes cast. However, if the score included all voters across the territory it claims, it has the support of 27% of them.
One should not be surprised by the low standards of the London Group: in the last European Parliament elections (May 25), the participation rate was exceptionally low (only 13% in the Czech Republic). This election without the people was nevertheless considered “democratic” (sic).

The Bellicose Role of the Atlanticist Media 2011-2012

The war against Syria began in 2011 as a 4th generation war. That is to say that NATO intended to overthrow the government by discouraging people from defending themselves rather than through a conventional war.
Major international media (Al-Arabiya, Al-Jazeera, BBC, CNN, France24, Sky), coordinated by the Alliance were to delude the Syrians and the world into believing that their country was in the grips of a “revolution” and their government would inevitably be overthrown. The war would have peaked in early 2012 by the false substitution of Syrian channels to announce the flight of President al-Assad and the establishment of a “transitional government.” However the operation was foiled and failed. In June of 2012, Russia and the United States concluded outlines of an agreement which provided both peace in Syria and sharing the region between them.
However, France, Israel and the democratic opposition in the Obama administration (Hillary Clinton, David Petraeus, James Stavridis) relaunched the war in another form. This time the method was to attack the country with non-state forces, on the model of the condottieri of the Renaissance and, more recently, the Contras in Nicaragua. During this second period, the Atlanticist and Gulf media continued their momentum to describe an imaginary revolution against a cruel dictatorship, while public opinion in Syria wound up rallying with the government. So that when the Syrian presidential campaign began, the media gave a completely different narration of the situation depending on whether they were based in NATO countries or GCC or not.
How then would the Atlantic Media deal with this election?

The Atlanticist Media Strategy of Assad Bashing in 2014

During days preceding the election, they used several arguments to discredit the electoral process.
• “The result is known in advance,” they pounded. Indeed, there was no doubt that the outgoing president, Bashar al-Assad, would be elected for a third term of 7 years. This statement left the public to assume that the election would not be fair.
However, if Europeans are willing to compare what is comparable, the situation in Syria is reminiscent of Europe at the end of the Second World War.
On August 26, 1944, the President of the Provisional Government of the French Republic (GPRF), which was established in Algiers a few days before the invasion of Normandy, General Charles De Gaulle, went up the Champs-Elysees escorted by an innumerable crowd. There was no election then. De Gaulle’s legitimacy was indisputable because he was the first politician to refuse Collaboration in 1940 and immediately enter the Resistance.

Charles de Gaulle leading the parade down the Avenue des Champs-Elysées to celebrate the liberation of the city, France, Paris.26 August 1944.

 
 The French greeted him as a man who knew how to oppose fatalism and lead them to victory. Similarly, the Syrians see Assad in the man who was able to oppose the colonization of the country and lead them to victory.
• “The other two candidates are mere stooges” continue Atlanticist media, implying that the country was still at the single party level and that this election was staged.
However, the characteristic of a multi-party system is to be able to vote for a candidate of one’s choice. In many elections, voters do not identify with any candidate. They can then either refrain if they consider that the system is flawed; or vote blanc if they want to support the institutions, but no candidate; or vote for a fringe candidate to relativize the score of the principal candidate (the so-called “protest vote”).
Therefore, even before considering the score of the candidates, what is most important is the level of participation. In the Syria war, where part of the territory is currently occupied by at least 90,000 foreign mercenaries, despite the call of the Syrian National Coalition for boycott, 73.42% of the electorate voted. By comparison, this is better than in France for all elections to the European Parliament (since 1979), better than all the elections (since 1986), but less so than the presidential election (80.34%). The difference of course, is that France is at peace.
• “The country is largely destroyed and the bombardment continues,” assures the Atlanticist media. The election would therefore be an epiphenomenon, the daily reality is the pervasiveness of war. To add, AFP affirms that the government only controlled 40% of the country sheltering 60% of the population.
Participation having been greater than 60%, it should first be noted that the AFP figures are imaginary. Control by the Syrian Arab Army is much broader since it regained the coast. Mercenaries are still present at the Turkish border and in some pockets here and there. Thus, the district of Damascus is 18 000 km2, of which only 75 km2 are held by the Contras, but the AFP considers that the entire district is in the hands of the “revolutionaries”. In addition, in some areas, the Syrian Arab Army is absent, but state officials are ever-present. This is the case of the Kurdish areas who themselves ensure their own safety while recognizing the Republic. Finally, most of the territory is uninhabitable desert that everyone is entitled to control. However, where the Contras try to traverse, they are shot down by the Syrian Air Force.

The Khalidiya district of Homs 

Also, showing pictures of Homs devastation does not mean that the government is “bombing its own people.” Again, if we take the example of World War II, these images are comparable to Stalingrad as the methods of the Contras are the same as those of the Nazis: that of “mouse holes”. In order not be eliminated in the streets, foreign snipers dig passages from one house to another in the side walls.

Bombing of France during World War II. From Wikipedia

Finally, to bombard enemy positions, the Syrian Arab Army may be required to bomb civilians in the way the Allies bombed Lisieux, Vire, Le Havre, Tilly, Villers-Bocage, Saint-Lô, Caen etc. during the Normandy landings. However, when the methods of the Allies are discussed, noone thinks of accusing them of having deliberately killed 20,000 French civilians.

The Consequences of the Vote

To everyone’s surprise, the turnout was massive wherever it was possible to vote, including in the Kurdish areas, while the Atlanticist media relayed Kurdish calls for a boycott.
We must therefore conclude:
• The charges of dictatorship and torture are imaginary.
In no state in the world, have we seen the people vote for a dictator who oppressed them. The German Nazi party never got more than 43.9% of the vote (March 1933) and immediately ended multiparty elections.
The Syrians residing inside their country certainly know better what is happening at home than the Syrians of the National Coalition, most of whom have lived abroad for at least twenty years. They no longer believe the US narrative of the early events (children that police allegedly tortured in Daraa) and they never believed the current narrative (the 10,000 people tortured and starved to death in “regime” prisons).
• The Syrian National Coalition does not represent the Syrian people.
The Coalition, a body created by the French services and now controlled by Saudi Arabia after having being controlled by Qatar, was recognized as the “sole representative of the Syrian people” by the London Group. Despite the boycott, abstention is only 26.58% of registered voters, which seems to correspond primarily to those prevented from participating because of the occupation of part of the territory by the Contras.
It is also still unclear how an entity flying the green-white-black three-star flag —that is to say, the flag of French colonization of the inter-war period— could be supported by the Syrian people.
• The Collaborators of the colonial powers are discredited.
During televised debates, members of the Coalition explained the absence of a leader capable of competing with Bashar al-Assad by a long period of dictatorship stifling the country. Now, as we have seen, there is no dictatorship in Syria today.
If we make the comparison with the Second World War, the absence of a rival to Charles De Gaulle in 1944 did not mean that he had imposed a dictatorship, but that French politicians were discredited by working with Nazis. That is why none of the people who participated in the National Coalition can hope to play a political role in the future in the country.
 Translation
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Presidential election a positive step

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May 29, 2014, Ken Stone, the Spec

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry dismissed as “farce” the upcoming Syrian presidential election of June 3, but it may prove to be a step toward a political solution to the Syrian crisis.

This election is an exercise in real democracy.

On Feb. 26, 2012, in response to demands for constitutional change from the Syrian people, the Syrian constitution was reformed and ratified by a general referendum to allow for multiparty elections. In fact, this will be the first free election in Syrian history in which more than one candidate has stood for election for president. If Western governments are really interested in bringing freedom and democracy to Syria, why would they oppose it?

The new Syrian constitution requires a presidential election by July. If there weren’t an election, President Bashar Assad would no longer have a mandate to rule, which, of course, is the principal reason Kerry doesn’t want the election to take place.

The U.S. has been the main architect of the covert, illegal war against Syria organized through the so-called “Friends of Syria Group,” including Western countries such as Canada, as well as Arab monarchies, such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar, who have organized mainly non-Syrian mercenaries — many openly allied to al Qaeda — to attempt to overthrow the Syrian government.

It’s important to note that the mercenaries, controlling 30 per cent of Syrian territory, not only oppose, like Kerry, the June 3 election, but also refuse to hold elections in territory they control. The reasons are twofold: first, they would be voted out by the Syrians who live under their brutal foreign occupation. Secondly, their paymaster is the Saudi government, which is an absolute monarchy and tolerates no opposition.

Kerry also dismissed the upcoming election because tens of thousands of Syrians have been displaced by the fighting. It’s too bad Kerry isn’t familiar with U.S. history. Abraham Lincoln authorized a presidential election in 1864 in the midst of the bloody U.S. Civil War when the South was mostly under Confederate control.

The U.S., moreover, has a dismal track record in not respecting democratic elections and elected leaders. It has staged coups against dozens of elected governments around the world since 1945 and deposed scores of elected leaders, including most recently, Aristide of Haiti, Chavez of Venezuela, and Yanukovych of Ukraine. Its own elections are rife with voter suppression of minority populations, huge inequalities in campaign spending, fraudulent practices and extremely low turnouts. Kerry lives in a veritable glass house and shouldn’t throw stones.
Kerry is also personally responsible, whether he admits it or not, for the Syrian election being called at this time. At the Geneva 2 Conference last January, he sabotaged any chance of an internationally sanctioned, transitional government being formed in Syria by insisting Assad couldn’t be part of it. This insistence flew in the face of the Geneva 1 Communique (June 30, 2012), which stipulated there would be no preconditions to talks. Because the Geneva 2 Conference collapsed without reaching consensus, the Syrian government went ahead with the scheduled presidential election.

For that election, the Syrian government secured promises of election observers from the BRICs countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China) to verify its fairness. However, Kerry went in the other direction. He and U.S. President Barack Obama personally welcomed leaders of a segment of the armed opposition to set up a bureau in Washington and promised them even more aid in their quest for regime change in Syria. It’s no wonder that Lakhdar Brahimi, the special UN mediator, threw up his hands and resigned a few days ago.

In areas controlled by the Syrian government, ordinary people are excited by the prospect of the election. Rallies and debates are taking place daily. Syrian expatriates are excited about voting in the three-way presidential contest as well. However, in North America, Syrian citizens will be denied a vote because the Harper and Obama administrations have shut down Syrian embassies.

It’s too bad the Harper and Obama governments are again standing in the way of democratic change in Syria.

The June 3 election might signify an important step toward national reconciliation between significant sectors of Syrian society and lead to a political, rather than military, solution to the conflict there.

Pro-elections rally in Aleppo. photo:

 

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Brahimi Desperate over Syria, Wants to Resign, No Successor Found

Local Editor

European sources reported that UN representative to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi has really decided to resign as he was desperate to find a solution for the Syrian crisis.

The sources said that Brahimi told UN Chief Ban Ki-moon about his intention, noting that, unlike previous times, any state or side did not try to dissuade him from his decision.
Lakhdar Brahimi
The problem now lies in fining an alternative, for Brahimi, who can be accepted by the Arab League, the Security Council and the UN, the sources said.

Over the nationality of Brahimi’s successor, discussions in Geneva suggested that he should be from Arab Maghreb countries, sources revealed to al-Manar website.

Former Tunisian foreign minister, Kamal Marjan, was nominated for this post. However Tunis refused, according to the sources.

Morocco also refused that any of its diplomats would be nominated to succeed Brahimi. Therefore the Algerian troubleshooter’s successor should be Mauritanian or Libyan, and in the meantime there is no figure to hold this position.

Brahimi knows very well these difficulties that hinder finding a successor for him. For that he did not set a date for his resignation.

Meanwhile, the US-Russian dispute over Ukraine and Crimea indicates that the Syrian crisis is no more on the US agenda, the sources said, noting that Geneva III is not likely to take place in these circumstances.

The sources also pointed out that discussions over whether to hold Geneva III or not are likely to take place after the Syrian presidential elections, something that pushes the date of the international conference to the next fall because of the holy month of Ramadan and the summer vacation in West.

Read the Arabic text of Nidal Hamadeh article.

Source: Al-Manar Website
22-04-2014 – 15:59 Last updated 22-04-2014

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Taking stock of Lakhdar Brahimi

After the failure of the Geneva 2 Peace Conference, the Special Envoy of the Secretaries General of the UN and the Arab League, Lakhdar Brahimi, has refrained from from setting a date for a new meeting. He pronounced accusations against Syria, which he blames for the war of which she is the victim. For Thierry Meyssan, Mr. Brahimi was not only judge and jury, but his mandate was to impose upon Syria what he had imposed on his own country: war
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Posing as a Third World activist, Lakhdar Brahimi as the last person to host the Vice-President of the Tricontinental, Mehdi Ben Barka, before the latter was mysteriously kidnapped and murdered. Following the independence of Algeria, he was successively secretary-general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador to Egypt, and the High Representative of the Arab League and of the UN worldwide. Recalled to Algeria, he served as Foreign Affairs Minister from 1991 to 1992.——————–

The Geneva 2 Conference failed, first, because the United States decided to support the Saudi position rather than honor their signature on the Geneva 1 communiqué and, secondly, because it was chaired by Lakhdar Brahimi was not an impartial broker but served precisely Washington instead of seeking peace.
On the advice of Russia, Syria had accepted that the special envoy of Ban Ki-moon would chair the sessions. Moscow hoped at the time that Washington would keep its promises. Damascus remembered that twenty-five years earlier, at Taif, Brahimi had not been an opponent of Syria. However, the vote by the U.S. Congress granting funding to Al-Qaeda at a secret meeting [1], the lack of legitimacy and authority of the delegation of the Syrian opposition, the cancellation of the UN invitation to Iran on the eve of the conference and the keynote speech by Secretary of State John Kerry heaping all the responsibility on Syria [2], not to mention the hurdles put by the European Union to physically prevent the Syrian delegation from travelling to Switzerland [3] showed that Moscow had either miscalculated or been deceived.
The Montreux session was exclusively designed to put Syria in the dock, making it fall into a trap. Indeed, the United States had itself drafted the statement by the opposition and released two days earlier a supposedly independent report – actually a hoax sponsored by Qatar – comparing Syrian prisons to Auschwitz [4]. Though Walid al-Muallem reasonably addressed Syrian public opinion, John Kerry and his allies, for their part, spoke to the rest of the world to impose their propaganda.
The Geneva talks were an opportunity for Lakhdar Brahimi to frame Syria’s inflexibility and to blame her for the war of which she is the victim. Thus, in the eyes of the world, the victims became the executioners. He allowed talk about terrorism, while all the same time evoking the issue of transitional government. Then he accused Syria of not playing the game even though the discussion on terrorism had resulted in the clear endorsement of the “opposition” delegation of the abuses perpetrated by the jihadists.

Since the U.S. shieft, Lakhdar Brahimi has transformed himself into a relentless accuser of Syria. On March 14, before the United Nations General Assembly, he accused her of turning down international humanitarian aid and of starving her own people [5]. He presented the situation in Yarmouk Camp as Syria’s deliberate intent to starve the Palestinians, ignoring that the Palestinian Authority supports Syria and has thanked her for what she is doing in Yarmouk. Above all, he never ceased to assert that the conflict was between the government and some of its citizens and could not find a military solution.This is concealing the West’s ten-year involvement in prepararing for this war, the way in which they triggered it by sending snipers into Deraa and spreading disinformation about the torture of children. It is also ignoring the presence of foreign fighters, even though Mr. Brahimi had previously admitted they were at least 40,000. Even though this figure is three times lower than what it actually is, it is enough to indicate that this is a war of aggression comparable to that that suffered Nicaragua in the 80s.

In retrospect, it appears that Syria was wrong to follow Russia’s advice and trust Lakhdar Brahimi. His appointment was in itself a foreboding of the failure to come: while his predecessor, Kofi Annan, had resigned, saying the mission impossible due to the division of the Security Council, Brahimi himself had accepted it with a smile.
Then, Lakhdar Brahimi had combined his role as Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General with that of Special Envoy of the Secretary General of the Arab League, from which Syria was improperly excluded. He was therefore judge and jury.
At the time of Brahimi’s appointment in August 2013, I wrote an article about his past and submitted it to a major Syrian newspaper – I did not yet have the privilege of writing for Al-Watan. I reported his engagement in 1992 among the ten members of the Algerian High Security Council [6]. This so-called champion of democracy then annulled the results of democratic elections, forcing President Bendjedid to resign, placedjanviéristes generals in power triggering a terrible decade of civil war, which the Algerian people still bear the scars and from which only the United States profited.
At the time, the leader of the Algerian Islamists, Abbasi Madani, took the pseudo secular Syrian, Bourhan Ghalioun (future president of the Syrian National Council) as a political advisor. The armed Islamist faction GSPC (renamed in 2007 Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb) was trained in handling weapons alongside the Islamic Fighting Group in Libya (renamed in 1997 Al-Qaeda in Libya); most fighters of the two groups are today incorporated into the armed groups in Syria.
Very worried about the consequences of these revelations, some Syrian officials opposed their publication. According to them, the dissemination of such an article would have been interpreted, including by Russia, as a desire to break away on the part of Syria. So I published it in Algeria, on Mr. Brahimi’s turf, in El-Ekhbar, the country’s second daily [7]. It provoked a storm against him there.
Let’s observe today the legacy of Lakhdar Brahimi : even before taking part in triggering the Algerian civil war, he had negotiated the Taif Agreement (1989) for the Arab League which divided Lebanon along religious community lines and which, today, make it anything but a sovereign state. Mr. Brahimi is also the one who negotiated the Bonn Accords (2002), installing the Kabul Karzai clan in power on behalf of NATO. Finally, as for the famous report – to which he gave his name – of the UN Commission he chaired for the Peacekeeping Operations [8] dedicated to “humanitarian intervention”, the new name for colonialism. Above all, he endorses the drift of the Organization which invented interposition troops to impose the peace of the great powers instead of observers to monitor the application of a negotiated peace between the parties in conflict. He advocated to base this global governance on a doctrine of intervention and a supra-national intelligence service called “Decision Support”, which Ban Ki-moon entrusted … to NATO . ” [9].
Moreover, Mr. Brahimi has never been a “bargainer” or a “mediator” in the conflict. His mandate, signed by Ban Ki-moon, asks him to use his “talents and his extraordinary experience” to lead Syria to a “political transition, in accordance with the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people [10]. And “transition” here does not mean transition from war to peace, but from a sovereign Syria to an enslaved Syria without Bashar el-Assad.
Lakhdar Brahimi, who presents himself as a former Third World militant, has never served the people of the Third World – not even his own – and has never broken with the major powers. He does not deserve the respect that we have accorded him.
Translation
Roger Lagassé

Assad says “active phase” of Syrian war will end this year: Russian state news

Updated 3:30 pm: A former senior Russian official who recently met Bashar al-Assad said the Syrian president told him the “active phase” of the war in Syria will be over this year but that the government would continue to fight “terrorists,” state-run Russian news agency Itar-Tass reported on Monday.
Sergei Stepashin, who served as prime minister in 1999 under then-President Boris Yeltsin and now heads a charitable organization, met Assad in Damascus last week during a visit to the Middle East, according to Russian news reports.
“To my question about how military issues were going, this is what Assad said: ‘This year the active phase of military action in Syria will be ended. After that we will have to shift to what we have been doing all the time – fighting terrorists’,” Itar-Tass quoted Sergei Stepashin as saying.
Stepashin said they had also discussed economic cooperation between Syria and Russia, Itar-Tass reported.
Russia joined the United States in organizing peace talks that began in January in Geneva between Assad’s government and its foes. But no agreement was reached and it appears unlikely a new round will start anytime soon, in part because of high tension between Russia and the West over Ukraine.
Assad has lost control of large swathes of northern and eastern Syria to Islamist rebels and foreign jihadis. But the army, backed by forces from Lebanon’s Hezbollah and other allies, have driven rebels back from around Damascus and secured most of central Syria.
The head of Hezbollah said in an interview published on Monday that Assad would stand for re-election this year and that he no longer faced a threat of being overthrown.
(Reuters)

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Sixty Minutes with Naser kandil: About the regional global situation, Ukraine, Geneva 3 and the impossible peace with “Israel”

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Alert! Open War Vs. Syria in the Offing?

The Syria Solidarity Movement wishes to draw the attention of the peace movement to the renewed danger of a unilateral US attack on Syria. Here’s what we have recently observed:
1) Since the collapse of the Geneva 2 talks, US Secretary of Defence, Chuck Hegel, has come up with “further options” on Syria. They include:
a) the establishment of a 25-mile-deep, no-fly zone along Syrian borders;
b) the deployment of unmanned drones for pinpoint strikes on targets farther inland;
c) the equipping of the US-supported, foreign mercenaries with the latest anti-aircraft and anti-tank weapons in time for a spring offensive – and partly to upset plans for a Syrian presidential election in April 2014.
2) The political cover for these acts of aggression against the sovereign state of Syria will be the latest form of “humanitarian interventionism”, known as Responsibility to Protect, or R2P. In Syria, the pretext for the no-fly zone will likely be UN Security Council resolution 2139 (February 22, 2014) regarding Syria. This resolution demands “that all parties allow the delivery of humanitarian assistance, including medical assistance.”

3) March 15, 2014, marks the third anniversary of the covert war of aggression against Syria launched by western and regional powers through the so-called “Friends of Syria” Group. President Obama is impatient. His advisors predicted in March 2011 that the government of Syria would fall within weeks. Instead, virtually every sector of Syrian society has rallied to save the country from being balkanized into hostile statelets à la Libya, Iraq, Yugoslavia and Afghanistan. Russia, China, and Iran have remained firm allies.

4) The US empire is on the warpath. Fresh from a disastrous regime-change operation, utilizing extreme right wing and fascist forces, against the elected government in Ukraine, and an on-going destabilization campaign against the elected government in Venezuela, Washington policy makers are now demanding some results against the elected government in Syria.

5) The peace movement must deny Washington a victory in Syria in the spring of 2014, just as we helped mobilize world public opinion against the U.S. threat of immediate war in August 2013. We need to mobilize our base to contact elected officials and tell them, just as we did in August 2013, that the people of the world will not accept a ratcheting up of the war on Syria. Instead, we now demand:

    1. Quit the Friends of Syria Group now – end the illegal aggression against the sovereign state of Syria;
    2. Drop the economic sanctions against Syria – they are outside the mandate of the UN Security Council and are, therefore illegal and unjust;
    3. Re-establish full diplomatic relations with Syria – open the door for a political, not military, settlement of the Syrian crisis;
    4. Cease and desist from providing any direct financial, material, and political support to foreign mercenaries in Syria, whether linked formally to Al Qaeda or not;
    5. Stop the campaign of disinformation, demonization, and delegitimation against the government of Syria.

In short, the peace movement in every country needs to tell its own domestic political leaders to keep their HANDS OFF SYRIA!

Crimea Independence, Yabrud Liberation, Mazbout and Putin Recognizing Crimea as a Sovereign Independent State


Bad News for Obama, Netanyahu, brotherhood, and Daniel Mazbout,


Where is the Russian US deal Stupid?

SYRIA: THE WORST DEAL EVER


——-

In case you missed It”


“Saddam Hussein’s destiny or that of Kaddhafi  awaits Putin‘, Thus dreamed “Mr. Bernard-Henri” Mazbout.

His enemy, now, is Putin, and Syria should rethink its affiliation to the Russian side and engagement in a war against terrorism- that has no beginning and no end – and from which Israel -whose safety has been guaranteed by Russia  – is excluded. So the safety of Israel is not Guaranteed by the USA, and Lavrov, not Kerry the sponsor of the so-called “Peace Process”
 “There is no point in fighting terrorism . The origin of terrorism should be fought instead.” he wrote on 16/03/2014, 

For this reason , the Lebanese Resistance has not waged war against its local sectarian enemies of 14th of March who work for Israel, and want the Resistance to surrender its weapons . On the contrary , it is trying to assimilate them, by forming a joint government with them, in order to spare the country a bloodbath and protect the Resistance .”  he added, ignoring that he was against Syria going to Geneva 2, and denied the Syrian  diplomatic media victory achieved there. 

The stupid avoided telling us, why the SAME 
Lebanon’s resistance who has not waged war against its local sectarian enemies of 14th march who work for Israel, has waged an open war, in Syria, against 
the same March 14th enemy and, (using his term), the so called mercenaries brought from outside of Syria” 


How he could at the same time, salute the wisdom of Hezbollah patience in Lebanon and salute its victorious wars in QUSAYR, and Yabrud.

“A very special achievement and a very smart tactic make the Syrian Army and the Freedom Fighters of the Lebanese Resistance retrieve the city of Yabrood , the Headquarters of the thugs of the opposition in the outskirts of Homs , on the borders with Lebanon and which controls the road between Damascus and Homs and where between 7 thousand and 10 thousand thugs have taken refuge from ISIL and Al Nusrat . This means that the supplies coming for the thugs in the vicinity of Damascus shall be cut and also the flow of thugs and supplies from Lebanon.”

Don’t be fooled by Mazbout calling his brothers in ISIL and Nusra, thugs. Read between the line for the Zionist poison in his honey. To Justify his previous Zionist farce, or his MIND MAZE, he wrote, criticizing the  people celebrating‘the victory over the thugs and the liberation of Yabrood”:

hezbollah yabroud celebration
“Supporters of the Iranian backed Hezbollah militant group drove on motorcycles around Beirut’s southern Dahiyeh area  Sunday in celebration of the seizure of the border city of Yabroud by the Syrian regime forces and Hezbollah.” – Thus Wrote Ya-Libnan, a march 14th Hasbara outlet

To cover his true color, instead of saying the Iranian backed Hezbollah “militant”, Mazbout wrote:

While people are celebrating the victory over the thugs and the liberation of Yabrood, we have to say that we wished that this victory liberated the Golan heights or Galilee instead , we want to direct our guns to the real enemy and we don’t want this experience to be repeated and we don’t want to fight world sponsored terrorism . We need reforms to protect our societies from infiltration, and any authority or rule should have this as a priority .”

Is there any difference with Hariri’s Hasbara outlets? The Embedded code between his lines, the Zionist Hasbara, he confirms the following:

  • The world order has nothing to do with the Syrian crisis. Its all about reforms, freedom and democracy, and the regime failure to respond to peoples demands. 
  • The regime (AND HEZBOLLAH) are directing its guns to fight the Syrian People, instead of the “real enemy’ in Golan Heights, and Galilee. No world has been said about SNC’s Kamal Libwani offering Golan Heights for the head of Assad, and about Beynouni denying that Iskandarona is an occupied Syrian Land in accordance with the terms of the “Doha Protocol,”  Point 13 – To cancel any claim of sovereignty over Liwa Iskenderun 
  • The resistance axis should stop the war on the enemy within and immediately launch against the real enemy to liberate Golan Heights, Shebaa farms and Galilee. 

The rotten Zionist asshole looked into the mirror and saw a Zionist RAT hiding behind the Palestinian cause, posing as a Pro-Axis of Resistance to cover his real agenda: divide to conquer. He wrote: 

“Syrian intelligence employee who edits the Uprootedpalestinians thinks he is helping the Syrian regime while in fact he is exposing the Syrian regime instead of protecting it. This person hides behind the Palestinian cause while doing his mediocre job of small Intelligence employee…”  

 WE Say in Arabic: “الاناء بما فيه ينضح”

The Zionist agent never missed a chance to to attack President Assad. He assumed that I am one of the men who surround president Assad, and its a disaster that explains many things

“This does not say anything good about the men who surround president Assad and who serve him , if all of them are like Batista, , this is a disaster and explains many things . ..

Very soon Mazbout would claim that Alex is one of the men who surround Putin.

A Quiz: Find Alex





Unfortunately Alex is not even one of those, because he don’t Live in Syria. He lived in Syria (196-1970), he failed to work in Syria. Thanks to Syrian Intelligence. 
Alex is an uprooted Palestinian who lived 7 years in Bentjbail (1948-1955), in Ein-elhelwi (1955-1965), In Nasser’s Egypt (1965-1969), in Qadhafi Libya (1972-1977)…. 

Mazbout added

“While his country is burning and his people dying by the dozen , this ill bred person called Batista is busy attacking me who is backing his cause and his country… “

Yeeh, the asshole is supporting my cause, with friends like him who needs enemies. I am not attacking you, I am attacking your hidden AGENDA

————————


Crimea Declares Independence, Seeks UN Recognition

Local Editor

View image on Twitter
The Republic of Crimea has addressed the UN seeking
recognition as a sovereign state and called on Russia to integrate it into the Russian Federation. 96.77 percent of the Crimean population voted ‘for’ the integration in a referendum.


“The Republic of Crimea intends to build its relations with other states on the basis of equality, peace, mutual neighborly cooperation, and other generally agreed principles of political, economic and cultural cooperation between states,” the legislation says.

Crimea was declared an independent sovereign state, the Republic of Crimea, on Monday, the autonomous Ukrainian regional parliament’s website stated. The Supreme Council of Crimea unanimously voted to integrate of the region into Russia.

Ukrainian military units on Crimean territory are to be disbanded, with the military personnel allowed to stay and live on the peninsula, Interfax reported Crimean Supreme Council chairman Vladimir Konstantinov as saying.

“Those who, according to their beliefs, don’t accept the Crimean independence and stay true to the Ukrainian state won’t be persecuted,” the head of Crimea’s parliament Vladimir Konstantinov said, as quoted by ITAR-TASS. He added that the same principle will apply to government employees and security workers who took the oath of allegiance to Ukraine.

His comments came after more than 500 troops left Sevastopol to register at temporary checkpoints.

Crimea

Pro-Russian Crimeans celebrate in Sevastopol on March 16, 2014 after partial showed that about 95.5 percent of voters in Ukraine’s Crimea region supported union with Russia.(AFP Photo / Viktor Drachev)

Pro-Russian Crimeans celebrate in Sevastopol on March 16, 2014 after partial showed that about 95.5 percent of voters in Ukraine's Crimea region supported union with Russia.(AFP Photo / Viktor Drachev)


The Crimean Parliament also ruled that Ukrainian state property in the peninsula will become the property of the Republic of Crimea, Kryminform news agency reported.

The Crimean Parliament will remain the supreme legislative body of the republic until September 2015, or until a decision is made to integrate Crimea into the Russian Federation.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s coup-imposed President Aleksandr Turchinov called the referendum “a great farce,” saying it will never be recognized either by Ukraine or by the civilized world,” AFP reported.

It’s after the announcement of the official results: 96.77 percent of the Crimean population has voted ‘for’ integration of the region into the Russian Federation. The turnout was 83.1 per cent.

Source: Agencies
17-03-2014 – 17:19 Last updated 17-03-2014



——-

Putin Signs Order to Recognize Crimea as a Sovereign Independent State

Local Editor

President Vladimir Putin has signed an order that Russia recognizes Crimea as a sovereign and independent state. The Autonomous Republic of Crimea held a referendum on Sunday with over 96% voting for integration into Russia.

“According to the will of the peoples of the Crimea on the all-Crimean referendum held on March 16, 2014, [I order] to recognize the Republic of Crimea, in which the city of Sevastopol has a special status, as a sovereign and independent state,” the document reads.

The order comes into force immediately.

Crimea was declared an independent sovereign state, the Republic of Crimea, on Monday, the autonomous Ukrainian regional parliament’s website stated.

Crimea also addressed the UN seeking recognition as a sovereign state.

“The Republic of Crimea intends to build its relations with other states on the basis of equality, peace, mutual neighborly cooperation, and other generally agreed principles of political, economic and cultural cooperation between states,” the parliament said.

The Crimean parliament also unanimously voted to integrate the region into Russia.

Source: Agencies
17-03-2014 – 20:49 Last updated 17-03-201


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Qatar signals strategic shifts as Iranian diplomacy sways EU

Qatar’s Foreign Minister, Chalid al-Atija (L) holds a joint press conference with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif on February 26, 2014 in Tehran. (Photo: AFP-Atta Kenare)
Published Monday, March 10, 2014
When Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders visited Iran on February 22, 2014, the Iranians blatantly told him that the only solution in Syria would be to form a broad-based national unity government comprising of representatives of both the regime and the opposition, but under the leadership of President Bashar al-Assad.
The European official also heard harsh words from the Iranians about the role that Saudi Arabia and Qatar have been playing in sponsoring terrorism. Iranian officials said that two Gulf countries, encouraged by the international community, were destabilizing the region and thwarting all efforts for peace in Syria.
The Iranians also said that funding terrorist groups would backfire on Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and presented information, lists, and documents of their support for terrorists, mentioning that a brother of Prince Bandar bin Sultan was involved in funding them.
On February 26, only four days after the Belgian minister’s visit, Qatari Foreign Minister Khaled bin Mohammed al-Attiyah arrived in Tehran. The minister, who has Syrian relatives, had started out his career as a fighter pilot, before he went into politics, business, and law. Because of his background, he probably understood that going to Tehran was not only mandatory now, but urgent.
How couldn’t he have realized that when Doha has been receiving reports for some time that Saudi Arabia was planning to undermine the Qatari role and eliminate the Muslim Brotherhood’s remaining bastions?

Tehran did not sever its relations with Qatar throughout the Syrian crisis; Iran advised and warned Qatar repeatedly when weapons and militants began to cross all red lines, but Qatar did not budge: “Assad has to be toppled by force.”

Qatar’s ambitions are justifiable, but its role was delicately drawn on its behalf. Riyadh allowed Doha’s ambitions to run their course. The kingdom encouraged, supported, and suggested that it was right behind Qatar. But as soon as the Qatari role in France suffered a blow due to its funding of terrorism in Mali, Saudi Arabia moved in to take its place. As soon as Qatar’s role in Egypt suffered a setback after the Muslim Brotherhood-led regime there was toppled, Saudi Arabia moved in to shower Field Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sisi with money and support.
Doha sent officials to Damascus and Tehran, but its overtures were not well-received. What is required of Qatar is much more than a few publicized visits.
Two more blows came from Saudi Arabia. First, the ambassadors of Saudi, the UAE, and Bahrain were recalled from Doha. Then, the Muslim Brotherhood was designated by the Saudis as a terrorist organization. The media outlets funded by the two countries then proceeded to take part in the worst dispute in the history of their relations.
Qatar’s strategic shift
Iran is waiting, and so is Assad. The first is famous for its diplomacy and patience. The second brings in a military option that has started to turn the tide of the ongoing war.
The Qatari foreign minister went to Iran to offer a comprehensive deal that is currently under consideration. The Qatari position on Assad remains rigid, but everything is now up for discussion.
Qatar’s financial and moral contribution in securing the release of the nuns kidnapped in Syria is significant. The same can be said about other similar developments, even if the details of which have not been fully publicized, including Qatar’s recent move to curtail its support for armed groups. Those details will come to light in the near future.
Iran on the diplomatic track, Assad on the battlefield
On Sunday, Europe’s foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, heard from Tehran the same things her Belgian counterpart was told during his visit: the fight against terrorism is a priority, there must be a political solution in Syria based on the premises mentioned earlier, and there must be good faith on the nuclear issue. Everything else can be discussed.
Ashton’s response was more than encouraging to Iran as she said she was carrying a message of goodwill from 28 European countries. Ashton affirmed that by overcoming this stage with Iran will allow them to address more strategic issues down the road.
Tehran is aware of Europe’s need for making compromises. In Iran’s line of thinking, this is acceptable, so let it be the starting point and the bargaining chip that it can use with the Obama administration.
Iran’s warm reception of Ashton, and other European officials, is important and deliberate. It was followed by an equally warm reception that the U.S. extended to Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli premier who is pathologically obsessed with Iran.
Yabrud: By force or by negotiations

The P5+1 negotiations are progressing. The Syrian army, in parallel, is making progress on the ground. Yabroud has all but fallen, whether through negotiations or by force. The decision to retake it was made a while ago, yet without haste. Other strategic regions might fall to the regime as well. Assad does not want July’s presidential elections to take place without first being in control of major cities – including Aleppo.

Washington and Tehran have been trading accusations during the negotiations, but this is to be expected. Obama needs this to silence the Israeli lobby in Congress and reassure Israel. Tehran needs it to ease the hard-liners’ attacks on the negotiators. The decision regarding the “gladiator’s flexibility” made by the Supreme Leader is irreversible, unless it proves to be detrimental to Iranian interests. So far, Tehran has gained much more than it expected in 2005.
The European officials who visited Iran heard the following: “We have the will to reach a final agreement. Iran’s sovereignty and rights as a signatory of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) must be respected when it comes to nuclear enrichment. We are not negotiating from a position of weakness. The sanctions did not kill Iran, but only made it more self-reliant.”
The Europeans told the Obama administration: “Ease your threats if you want to negotiate. Do not embarrass the negotiators.” At the same time, Iranian officials told them unequivocally: “The bomb does not benefit us. It runs against our faith. It even poses a threat to us.”
Iran is testing the West and vice versa. This is what is at heart of the coming shifts in the region. If the negotiations succeed, many things will change.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is worried and justifiably so. The issue has to do with its future role on the international arena. Iran is now a cornerstone in the war on terror. Therefore, it was necessary for Saudi Arabia to make a public volte-face shortly before Obama arrives in Riyadh this month by putting several organizations it once funded on its terrorism list.
The Iranian-European negotiations also include Gaza and the future of Palestine. Western powers realize that Tehran is not negotiating over the principle of resistance and settlements, and the Europeans have begun sounding the alarm over the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.
Ashton spoke about the dangers of the Israeli blockade and the continued closure of the crossings on the Egyptian border. She said that Gaza must be taken into consideration during Palestinian-Israeli talks. The Europeans are preparing to offer what they call an “unprecedented package” for both the Palestinian and Israeli sides. This presupposes an agreement between them.
Do all these things allow Iran and its allies to be optimistic? Not quite.
What if Western negotiators ask Iran to take additional measures not stipulated in the NPT? The “gladiator’s flexibility” will vanish, or turn into a showdown.
What if nuclear inspections end up allowing NATO to spy on Iran’s conventional weapons? This is a possibility.
What will Iran do with the law it passed in 2005, requiring the construction of 20 nuclear reactors for civilian purposes? These will all need uranium enrichment.
What if Saudi Arabia and Western countries decide to transfer more harmful weapons to Syria in an effort to overturn the balance of power and try to take Damascus once again? And what if Israel ventures to undertake military action for the same purpose?

All of these questions are on the table. Yet the European Union is looking for a way out of such predicaments. For instance, European mediators proposed the idea of forming an international group to supply Iran with the nuclear material it needs. They believe that this would meet Iran’s needs while encouraging it to abandon uranium enrichment. Iran has yet to approve and hasn’t suspended production of heavy water in the reactor in Arak. Western powers fear this could help Iran produce plutonium, which can be used to make nuclear weapons.

The tug of war continues.
Iran to Geneva II
The Belgian minister, and then Ashton, proposed to integrate Iran again into the Geneva 2 talks. Tehran had moved negotiations from Geneva to Vienna, to protest the Western position on Iran in Geneva.
Iranian Assistant Foreign Minister Hussein Amir Abdul-Lahian proposed to a European foreign minister to mediate with Syria over humanitarian issues, and to create a joint Iranian-European-Syrian follow-up committee. The Iranians said that they were extending assistance to Syrian refugees, especially in Jordan and Lebanon. The Iranians also spoke about their role and Hezbollah’s in brokering reconciliations in Syria. There were also discussions over possible cooperation between the Syrian Red Crescent and the European Red Cross.
These strategic developments involving Iran and Europe coincided with an increasing Iranian-Turkish rapprochement. Recep Tayyip Erdogan is in need of Tehran, amid his feud with former ally and present enemy, preacher Fethullah Gulen. There were also talks with Russia recently to safeguard the rights of the Tatar minority in Ukraine. Qatari-Turkish-Iranian meetings, even ones involving Russia too, are no longer far-fetched. So how will this be translated on the ground in Syria?
Things are clearer than before. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will hold further meetings with Ashton until July. By then, it would be time for Syrian presidential elections.
Things in Ukraine will be clearer too by then: Either they will deteriorate further inviting more firmness by Vladimir Putin, or there will be de-escalation, bringing about better conditions for broader negotiations. The Europeans told Tehran that they were not enthusiastic about escalation with Putin and were inclined to seek settlements.
Also, the military situation in Syria would have become clearer by then. Everything therefore indicates that the coming months will be crucial, critical, but also full of promising possibilities.
This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.

U.S. restricts movement of Syria’s UN envoy for his performance in Geneva 2

Mar 06, 2014

Washington, (SANA) US State Department announced Wednesday that Washington decided to impose restrictions on Syria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Bashar al-Jaafari within a 40-km radius of New York City.

 This step indicates Washington’s fear of the success achieved by the Syrian diplomacy in terms of divulging the conspiracy hatched against Syria.

 “We have delivered a diplomatic note to the Permanent Representative of the Syrian Mission to the United Nations in New York informing him that … he is restricted to a 25-mile travel radius,” said State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki.

 Paski’s allegations that “Some other countries’ UN envoys face similar restrictions including Iran and North Korea envoys,” do not justify such a move as no UN sanctions are imposed on Syria.

 This step also poses questions in terms that the USA utilizes the presence of the UN HQ on its territory for restricting the work of the diplomatic missions of the UN member states.

Al-Moallem: What Syria’s delegation to Geneva did was part of its national duty 

Damascus, (SANA) Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign and Expatriates Minister Walid al-Moallem said what Syria’s official delegation to Geneva conference did was part of its national duty

…Read more

PRESIDENT AL-ASSAD AFFIRMS IMPORTANCE OF REGIONAL COOPERATION TO CONFRONT EXTREMISM AND TERRORISM

Feb 26, 2014
Damascus, (SANA)

President Bashar al-Assad on Wednesday received Chairman for the Foreign Policy and National Security Committee at the Iranian Shura Council, Alaeddin Boroujerdi and an accompanying delegation.

During the meeting, President al-Assad said that cooperation among countries of the region is key to confront extremism and terrorism, affirming the importance of coordination among parliaments of these courtiers and the friendly countries in this regards, as well as practicing more pressures to stop all forms of support offered by some states to the terrorist groups and extremist powers.
The president expressed the Syrian people’s appreciation for Iran’s stances in support of Syria on all levels in the interests of the two friendly countries, affirming that the victory achieved by the Iranian people in the nuclear file will be positively reflected on all peoples adhered to their sovereignty and independence of their decision.
For his part, Boroujerdi reiterated Iran’s firm stance in support of Syria’s struggle which stands in the first trench of resistance, saying that the successes gained by the Syrian people in the face of the most arrogant colonial powers and their tools in the region will form a juncture, not only in Syria’s history, but in the future of the peoples in the whole region.
Later, Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi discussed with Boroujerdi the economic and trade relations and means of developing them as well as activating the credit line between both countries.
In the same context, Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign and Expatriates Minister Walid al-Moallem met Boroujerdi, briefing him on the events of the first and second rounds of Geneva 2 conference
Boroujerdi: Solution to crisis in Syria comes through dialogue… the US cannot impose its dictatorial opinion on Syrian people
Chairman of the Foreign Policy and National Security Committee at the Iranian Shura Council, Alaeddin Boroujerdi, reiterated Iran’s support for Syria’s people and government in their war against terrorism.
At a press conference held in Damascus on Wednesday following his talks with Syrian officials , Boroujerdi said that one of the most important issues he discussed during his visit to Syria was supporting Syria which is at the forefront of resistance against the Zionist entity, in addition to discussing with Syrian officials political efforts to resolve the crisis in Syria.
Boroujerdi asserted that the Syrian people will decide upon their fate via free elections, and that all countries must accept this, stressing that the United States cannot impose their dictatorial opinion on the Syrian people.
“We have discussed the latest developments on the political and military arenas in Syria regarding the crisis which is imposed on it,” Boroujerdi said, adding that he dealt with the political efforts exerted to end this crisis, particularly Geneva 2 conference in detail during his meeting with Foreign and Expatriates Minister Walid al-Moallem.
He noted that the role played by UN Envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi during the Geneva 2 talks between the Syrian government and the so-called opposition wasn’t impartial; rather his role was biased in favor of the other side and this was quite surprising.
Boroujerdi said that the situation in Syria today is much better than it was before, saying that the alliance between armed terrorist groups and the Zionist entity is regrettable, expressing astonishment at watching those terrorists and how they received treatment in the hospitals of the Zionist entity, and the visit of the occupation entity’s prime Minister to them.
“President Bashar al-Assad, despite all the pressure exerted on him, stands in the front of resistance against the Zionist entity, and there are many who support this direction and adherence to stances,” he said.
Boroujerdi added that when the Americans and those who claim democracy say that President al-Assad shouldn’t run for the upcoming presidential elections, they through aside all what we know about democracy in the world.
He also affirmed that the danger posed by takfiri movements doesn’t threaten the region’s country; rather it threatens the entire world, calling on countries which didn’t deal through logic in the crisis in Syria and tried to have unrealistic ways, to retreat from these ways and return to the right way.
Boroujerdi said that the US and western countries which support terrorists with weapon and money and send hundreds of European and western-nationals to Syria should know that this support will pose a threat to their national security in the future inside their countries as the crisis in Syria will come to an end and those terrorists will have no place in the country.
Syrians alone have right of self-determination through ballot boxes
Speaker of the People’s Assembly Mohammad Jihad al-Laham affirmed that the Syrian people alone have the right of self-determination and elect their representatives through free, fair elections.
“Those who call themselves as external opposition fear to go to the ballot boxes because they have no popular base to depend on in any upcoming elections,” al-Laham added during a meeting with Chairman for the Committee of Foreign Policy and National Security of the Islamic Consultative Assembly of Iran Alaeddin Boroujerdi and an accompanying delegation.
He appreciated Iran’s stances in support of the Syrian people, its wise polices and morals, in addition to its standing by Syria in the face of the terrorist war against it, calling for setting strategic plans for cooperation between the Syrian people’s assembly and the Iranian Shura Council in the next stage.
Boroujerdi, for his part, said that Syria is targeted today by the western and imperialist countries because it stands in the first line in the war against the Zionist entity.
“In spite of the US plots against Syria to foil Geneva 2 Conference, the crisis in Syria will end in the interest of the Syrian people and government,” Boroujerdi added.
He affirmed that the armed terrorist groups in Syria seek to distort the moderate real image of Islam through their acts of heinous crimes and systemized violations against civilians.
The Iranian official said that the delegation’s visit to Damascus comes within the framework of the activities of Parliamentary Friendship Committee at the Iranian Shura Council.
M. Ismael/ Mazen

How Not to Get Aid Into Homs, Yarmouk, and 9.3 Million Syrians via a UN Resolution

Hunger As A Weapon

By Franklin Lamb
Al Nebek, Syria
Who authored the seemingly designed-to-fail UN Security Council Draft Resolution on delivering urgent humanitarian aid into the Old City of Homs and other besieged areas of conflict-torn Syria? When we know this, much may become clearer with respect to the cynical politicization of the continuing civilian suffering.
The draft resolution was put forward by Australia, Luxembourg, and Jordan, and according to a UN/US congressional source—one who actually worked on rounding up the three countries to front for the US and its allies—none was pleased with the decidedly raw and undiplomatic pressure they received from the office of US UN Ambassador Samantha Power.
When this observer inquired how such a poorly drafted, one-sided, adversary-bashing draft resolution could actually have seen the light of day and been submitted to the UN Security Council, the reply he received was terse: “Ask Samantha.”
Suspicions are being raised in Geneva, in Syria, and among certain UN aid agencies, in Homs and elsewhere, that efforts on behalf of those they are trying to save from starvation were ‘set-up’ to fail as a result of power politics and influences emanating from Washington and Tel Aviv.
This observer is not a big fan of conspiracy theories. No doubt it’s a personal congenital defect of some sort that makes him want to hear at least a modicum of relevant, prohibitive, material, non-hearsay evidence to support some of the wilder and internet-fueled claims ricocheting around the globe. However, some things are becoming clear as to what happened at the UNSC last week and why certain specific language was included in the resolution.
Ms. Power, it has been claimed by two Hill staffers who monitor AIPAC, owes her position as UN Ambassador to Israeli PM Netanyahu, who views her and her husband, AIPAC fund raiser, Cass Sunstein, as Israel-first stalwarts. Congressional sources claim the White House went along with her appointment so as not to provoke yet another battle—either with AIPAC’s congressional agents or the wider US Zionist lobby. As part of her continuing gratitude for her “dream job,” as she told an American Jewish Committee convention on 2/10/14 in New York, Ms. Power assured the AJC that the United States “strongly supports Israel’s candidacy for a seat on the UN Security Council, and we have pushed relentlessly for the full inclusion of Israel across the UN system.” Ms. Power is said to have assured AIPAC officials in private that evening that “one of Israel’s few survival reeds may be to grasp, in the face of rising anti-Semitism, a seat on the council.” Insisting that “there is growing and rampant hostility towards Israel within the UN, where a large number of member states are not democratic,” Ms. Power, continued” “I will never give up and nor should you.”
Following the standing ovation from her adoring audience, she repeated, according to one eye witness: “We have also pushed relentlessly for the full inclusion of Israel across the UN system.” What the Zionist regime still occupying Palestine knows, as does no doubt Ms. Power, is that the American public and increasingly even the US Congress is finally pulling back from the regime in favor of justice for Palestine. Thus the lobby’s strange reasoning that the UN system, where the American public is essentially absent, is increasingly important.
So what’s the problem with the US-mission-spawned Security Council draft resolution on Syria so dutifully submitted by three chummy and faithful allies?
Well, for starters, the resolution is DOA, as presumably every sophomore poli-sci, civics, or governance student would have recognized from the outset. The aggressive language—demanding the UNSC immediately take action by targeting only one claimed violator with yet more international sanctions—would have caused chaff and cringing among many, probably most. But even beyond that, Moscow, with a UNSC veto ready to use, sees the US-initiated draft as a bid to lay the groundwork for military strikes against the Syrian government, interpreting the language as an ultimatum: that if all this isn’t solved in two weeks then the Security Council will automatically follow with sanctions against the Syrian government.
As Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov told the media on 2/10/14, “Instead of engaging in everyday, meticulous work to resolve problems that block deliveries of humanitarian aid, they see a new resolution as some kind of simplistic solution detached from reality.”
The draft text, obtained by this observer from Reuters, expresses the intent to impose sanctions—on individuals and entities obstructing aid—if certain demands are not met within the next two weeks.
“It is unacceptable to us in the form in which it is now being prepared, and we, of course, will not let it through,” said Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov.
One diplomat in Syria, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s permanent representative to the UN, had told the Security Council on 2/11/14 that Moscow opposes some 30 percent of the original draft, but did not specify what which parts. He added, “We’re not aiming for a Russian veto, we’re aiming for a resolution that everybody can agree. That is what we want.”
For his part, President Obama, speaking at a joint news conference in Washington with French President Francois Hollande, kept up the pressure for the Security Council to accept the US resolution. He insisted that there is “great unanimity among most of the Security Council” in favor of the resolution and “Russia is a holdout.” Secretary of State John Kerry and others have “delivered a very direct message” pressuring the Russians to drop their opposition.
“It is not just the Syrians that are responsible” for the plight of civilians, but “the Russians as well if they are blocking this kind of resolution,” Kerry claimed. “How you can object to humanitarian corridors? Why would you prevent the vote of a resolution if, in good faith, it is all about saving human lives?”
Among international observers, the draft resolution is widely viewed as one-sided, condemning rights abuses by Syrian authorities, demanding Syrian forces stop all aerial bombardment of cities and towns as well as indiscriminate use of bombs, rockets and related weapons. It also, parenthetically and somewhat obliquely, condemns “increased terrorist attacks,” and calls for the withdrawal of all foreign fighters from Syria, but the latter language is believed to be aimed mainly at Hezbollah. Sources in Syria claim that the draft heaps all the blame on the Syrian government without devoting the necessary attention to the humanitarian problems created by the actions of the rebels.
These gratuitous draft elements are not only aggressive, but frankly appear calculated to end serious discussion and to undermine a solution of the problem.
Being new on the job is one thing for Ms. Power (she has served as UN ambassador only since August of last year), but politicizing relief from starvation for a besieged civilian population is quite another. Likewise for promoting a draft resolution focusing all blame on one side. Such things violate a broad range of applicable and mandatory international norms, and if Ms. Power is hazy on this subject, the State Department’s Office of International Organization Affairs is not—or at least was not when this observer interned there following law school years ago.
Language that would have stood a much better chance of ending the siege of Homs, Yarmouk and other areas under siege was drafted this week by a Syrian law student at the Damascus University Faculty of Law. The widely esteemed university witnessed the death of 17 of its students, along with the serious injuring of more than 20 others, when rebel mortar bombs, on 3/28/13, targeted the canteen of the College of Architecture. Those responsible for the shelling later admitted they were trained and armed by agents of the US government.
The DU law student’s draft resolution on unfettered humanitarian aid into besieged areas of Syria will hopefully be widely discussed over the weekend at a news conference tentatively scheduled on campus. Perhaps the next UN draft resolution will reflect the student’s homework assignment.
The starving victims besieged in Syria, and all people of goodwill, are demanding immediate, non-politicized humanitarian aid without further delay. Virtually every American voter is in a position to pressure his or her congressional representative, and would possibly achieve much good by making the White House aware of their demands to end playing international ‘gotcha’ politics, and to cooperate to end the needless deaths by starvation that continue today.

Washington forever scheming in Syria and in Geneva

Posted on February 18, 2014 by 

 

While negotiating with one hand in Geneva, with the other Washington is preparing a new military operation against Syria. Whatever the sequence of events, it will be sure to advance its pawns one way or another. War comes at no cost to Washington. It is the Syrians who are dying. To save time, it submitted to the Conference participants a Statement tabled by the “opposition”. Behind a conciliatory rhetoric, there are at least three traps that Thierry Meyssan breaks down for us.
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The second round of the Geneva 2 Conference opened on a very different tone from the first one. U.S. ambassador Robert S. Ford is no longer heading the “opposition” delegation and it is unclear who is now responsible for Syria in Washington. In any case, the representatives of “opposition” arrived with a “Statement of Basic Principles” [1] designed to set Damascus up for the same trap that Walid Muallem had laid for them during the first session: force him to answer his own ground. Damascus wanted to broach the fight against terrorism, but the “opposition” responded with a detailed description of the composition and mission of the Transitional Governing Body.

It was a particularly good move considering that, during the first session, Muallem had reached out to public opinion inside Syria, and sometimes in the Arab world, but never to that in the West. If he had wanted to target this audience, he should have started by focusing on international law before discussing the means to enforce it: the fight against terrorism. But first seeking to bolster the legitimacy of Damascus, he endeavored to expose the crimes perpetrated by the “opposition”-backed jihadists and the colonial ambitions of John Kerry.
Occupying the empty field, the United States dictated to the “opposition” a Statement which is based on the resolutions of the Security Council and the Geneva 1 Final Communiqué, that is to say on texts endorsed by all the states sponsoring the peace conference.
The Statement begins by detailing what the Body is supposed to be. Naturally, it will be neutral, inclusive – i.e. comprising all components of Syrian society-, peaceful – i.e. it would end the war-, and the guarantor of the territorial integrity of the country. Its function is to create an environment enabling the Syrian people to develop its own constitution and appoint its institutions.
- The first problem with this Statement is that it contravenes the practice of the armed groups. While the National Coalition expresses itself in a perfectly democratic language, the groups who are fighting on the ground have continued to brutalize minorities and try to impose a Salafist organization of society. Granted, most of these groups do not recognize the authority of the Coalition, but its legitimacy hinges on their actions.
Moreover, everyone have been aware of the hypocrisy since the beginning of the crisis: the best speakers for democracy in Syria being the absolute rulers of the Gulf dictatorships.
- The second problem with the Statement is the method to determine the Governing Body. Washington wants to impose it, as it did in many other countries. Hence it masterminded Geneva 2, as it did the Bonn Conference on Afghanistan: the great powers would negotiate among themselves and designate a Syrian Karzai. Damascus, however, continues to cite the Final Communiqué of Geneva 1, that “It is for the Syrian people to determine the future of the country.” Therefore, not only must the new constitution be approved by referendum, but the result of Geneva 2 may not be implemented unless it is ratified by President al-Assad. As it happens, he has committed himself to submitting it to a referendum.
Moreover, this remark reflects on the legitimacy of the “opposition” delegation. As noted by Sergey Lavrov in his opening statement at the conference, its current composition flies in the face of the Geneva I communiqué, which stipulates that “the peace talks should be open to all parties in Syria committed to a political settlement so that they will take an active part in the process and play their role.” However, the “opposition”delegation boils down only to the National Coalition, notwithstanding the fact that it has been repudiated by a majority of its members.
- The third hitch is that the Statement affords Washington the possibility to organize a Serbian-style regime change, by orchestrating a “color revolution”. The Kosovo war ended in a cease-fire followed by elections in Serbia. Through a crafty psychological campaign, the CIA got a pro-American candidate elected. Then it had Slobodan Milošević arrested and tried in The Hague for crimes against humanity. Since at the end of two years, the Court found no evidence to support the charges, Milošević was murdered in his cell. Ultimately, the Serbs fought for nothing because today they have lost Kosovo and are governed by those who bombed their country to smithereens.
The Statement thus contains an astonishing contradiction: it calls for the deployment of the United Nations throughout the country from outset of the transition, but it excludes them from the process. Instead, it affirms that its supervision will be entrusted to “independent organizations of international civil society.” In Central and Eastern Europe, these organizations were called Freedom House, Open Society Foundation and National Endowment for Democracy (NED) . The first is historically linked to both the United States and Israel , and the second is headed by business magnate and speculator George Soros, and serves the interests of both the United States and Israel, while the third is not an association, but a joint US-British-Australian body, created at the initiative of President Ronald Reagan to extend the work of the CIA after the scandals of the 70s. These organizations hand out billions of dollars everywhere they can to corrupt elites and to buy States.
In July 2011, Washington had sent an official Canadian delegation to Libya to propose a solution identical to the one applied in Serbia: a cease-fire followed by a transition period during which the “independent organizations of the international civil society” could deploy inside the country. Faced with Muammar el-Gaddafi’s refusal, NATO decided to enter by force.
In addition, the Statement stipulates that the Transitional Governing Body should create mechanisms to hold accountable “persons who have committed violations of human rights and international laws.” This phrase points directly to the arrest and transfer to The Hague of President al-Assad, during the transition period, for crimes against humanity. A procedure which should conclude, as for Milošević, by his death in his prison cell. There is no doubt that Washington’s candidates would win the elections once President al-Assad is eliminated from the game and the pseudo US associations deployed on the ground.
Therefore, much remains to be discussed in Geneva. Meanwhile, President Obama received the King of Jordan in California. The two men agreed on how the army currently being constituted in Jordan should again attack Syria. The deadline for Washington’s war plans is 30 September 2014. During the following seven months, the “opposition” should attempt to reverse the military balance of power and, at a minimum, take the south to install the seat of a provisional government. It is always better to have two irons in the fire.

Al-Moallem: Second round of Geneva talks achieved a very important point which starts off by rejecting violence and combating terrorism.

Al-Moallem: Second round of Geneva talks did not fail


Posted on February 16, 2014 by 
Al-Moallem: Second round of talks achieved very important point thanks to awareness of Syrian negotiators
Feb 16, 2014
Syrian official delegation’s plane, (SANA delegate)
Deputy Prime Minister, Foreign and Expatriates Minister Walid al-Moallem, said that the second round of talks in the Geneva conference did not fail, contrary to the some media analysis or the reactions of the French and British foreign ministers.
Al-Moallem said that the second round achieved a very important point thanks to the awareness of Syrian negotiators when they announced Syria’s agreement to the agenda proposed by UN Envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi which starts off by rejecting violence and combating terrorism.
He reiterated that talks did not fail; rather they resulted in what the Syrian official delegation always demanded which is an agenda for upcoming Geneva meetings.
On the premade orchestra in which the French and British foreign ministers held the Syrian Arab Republic delegation responsible for the failure of talks, al-Moallem said that this isn’t surprising as France and Britain have always been part of the conspiracy against Syria, noting that they made their accusations even before they were informed about what happened in the talks.
Regarding the arming of the opposition, al-Moallem noted that the US has announced its funding and arming of what it calls “moderate opposition” since the beginning of the first round of talks, describing this as “amusing.”
“The United States tried to create very negative atmospheres for dialogue in Geneva, but this didn’t dissuade our delegation from moving forward with constructive dialogue to reach results,” he said, adding that those who think that the US stopped or will stop conspiring against Syria are delusional, as the US has always been conspiring against Syria due to the Syrian people’s steadfastness in the face of Israel, and as long as Syria is confronting Israel, then the US will continue to conspire against it.
On whether this conspiring will reach the point of a direct US military aggression, al-Moallem said that such talk is mere media and psychological warfare aiming at pressuring the Syrian negotiator to hand over what the coalition delegation came to receive, adding “this is a delusion that will never happen.”
In response to a question on the French and American losses after the Geneva talks, the Minister said that Syrian Arab Republic delegation went to Geneva only to achieve the aspirations of the Syrian people by finding a solution to the crisis in Syria and relay the Syrians’ desire for the cessation of violence and terrorism.
Al-Moallem said that the US was very much in a rush to hand over power before carrying out any political work, because its pawns on the inside failed on the ground, adding “I believe that this delusional they planted in the minds of members of the coalition has failed, but that doesn’t mean that they stopped conspiring.”
On the Russian position towards the talks in Geneva, al-Moallem said that Russia has been fully informed on daily basis about the results of each session, which is why it wasn’t surprised by what happened.
Regarding his expectations on what Brahimi will submit to the UN in his report, the Minister said that Brahimi prefaced his report in his recent press conference, stressing that Brahimi, as a mediator, must be impartial, noting that Brahimi’s press conference indicates that he will be impartial, and adding that the minutes of the sessions are available.
He stressed the need for Brahimi to be committed to continuing this process, whether in a third or fourth round or something else, saying that those that one session will be enough to resolve an issue as complicated as the Syrian issue – which is becoming more complex with every day due to foreign interference – are delusional.
“An impartial mediator is the one that commits to the continuation of this process until it reaches it purposes, whether the Geneva processes continues or through talks that will be held between this round and the coming round,” the Minister said.
On Wendy Sherman’s statement that the document presented by the coalition is good, al-Moallem said that the coalition didn’t present a document; rather they read an interposition, asserting that the decision about the presidency isn’t up to Sherman or the coalition delegation, as this decision belongs to the Syrian people who alone have the right to decide upon Syria’s future.
“As for the interim government, we have full studies based on laws and the standing constitution with which we can argue their biggest legal advisors,” he added.
In response to the statement by British Foreign Minister William Hague who said that not reaching an agenda for the next stage is a very serious matter and his blaming the Syrian official delegation for this, al-Moallem said “I’d rather not respond to him, because he is ignorant about what happened during the talks. The agenda proposed by Brahimi is clear, and the Syrian delegation agreed to it.”
Back on the topic of talk of a wide-scale US military action against Syria, al-Moallem opined that it’s very unlikely that there will be any wide-scale or small-scale military action, as the Americans have their pawns who fight on their behalf and receive paychecks and weapons, so why would they involve themselves directly?
He added that the American side was surprised by the achievements made by the Syrian Arab Army, by the reconciliations talking place, and the resilience of the Syrian Arab Republic delegation in talks.
On whether the Syrian Arab Republic delegation is ready at any time to discuss the interim government, al-Moallem affirmed that the delegation is prepared to discuss this issue when its time comes in the agenda, reiterating that the interim government will not be discussed before finding out if the other delegation is against terrorism and not with it.
“Some would ask if the coalition delegation can stop violence and terrorism in Syria when it doesn’t have a popular base or a base among the armed groups? Our answer, quite simply, is that we know that this delegation cannot stop violence and terrorism. However, we are addressing its employers who are the United States, France, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. When this delegation agrees to stopping terrorism, this means that its employers agreed to stop terrorism, therefore this agreement must oblige them to stop funding, arming and training terrorists,” he said.
On whether the Syrian government is worried over what is happening in the southern front of the Syrian borders, al-Moallem said that those who love their country must always be worried about it, but nothing is currently different what has been happening for over two years; as the smuggling of arms and terrorists from the south and the attempts to attack the Syrian people continue, but the Syrian leadership and the Syrian Arab Army will be ready for them.
Al-Moallem concluded by thanking the accompanying media delegation which relayed to the Syrian people the truth about what was happening in the meetings.

John Kerry: Pes. Obama soliciting new policy options for Syria [VIDEO]

Via

Feb 15, 2014, Press TV
U-S Secretary of State John Kerry says President Barack Obama has asked his aides to rethink options on the situation in Syria.
Kerry said evaluation by necessity is occurring at this time and new options will be presented when the president calls for them. On the same note, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said diplomacy will remain the focus of the U-S efforts on the issue. Elsewhere, White House spokesman Jay Carney said Obama expected his national security team to constantly re-evaluate policy options on Syria. Meanwhile, at the Pentagon, press secretary John Kirby said the Defense Department has been asked to contribute new ideas for resolving the Syria conflict. Meanwhile, the Syrian government and opposition delegates say the peace talks in Geneva have hit a dead end.

Syria peace talks break off, no new date set: Brahimi

الفرسان الخمسة في جنيف

الفرسان الخمسة في جنيف

الصلابة السورية والخيبة الأميركية

ED: As Expected, Geneva 2 reached a dead end and Obama failed to achieve in Geneva what he failed to achieve during three years. He called his boy in Amman to discuss “the rising extremist threat emanating from Syria and what might be done to counter it.” To counter the US-Made “extremist threat”  Saudis will supply the “moderate” terrorists in Syria with Mobile Antiaircraft Missiles, to Impose No-Fly Zone over Syria and bring down the extremist terrorist while flying to hell. 

2014.. عـام الـتـسـويـات الـكبـرى أو الـحسـم الـعـظـيـم

 Meanwhile, the Syrian Arab Army tighghtens its grip on Yabrud and continued eliminating armed terrorist groups across Syria, 


And suddenly, 
Lebanon announced that it has formed a government on Saturday after more than 330 days of deadlock between the various political blocs.

مؤتمر صحفي لكبير مفاوضي الوفد السوري الرسمي د بشار الجعفري

Syria peace talks break off, no new date set: Brahimi
Updated 2:00 pm: A second round of peace talks between Syria’s warring sides broke off Saturday without making any progress and without a date being set for a third round, UN mediator Lakhdar Brahimi said.
“I think it is better that every side goes back and reflects on their responsibility, (and on whether) they want this process to continue or not,” Lakhdar Brahimi told reporters in Geneva.
Speaking on the final day of a second round of talks that have been mired from the start by blame-trading over the violence ravaging Syria, he apologized to the Syrian people for not making progress.
“I’m very, very sorry,” he said.
Brahimi said that the two sides now at least had reached agreement on an agenda for future talks – if they happen – something they had failed to do throughout the past week.
“At least we have agreed on an agenda. But we also have to agree on how we tackle that agenda,” Brahimi said, adding: “I very much hope there we will be a third round.”
Syria’s warring sides met in a last-ditch effort to save deadlocked peace talks amid fears that they could collapse altogether.
The second round of talks already appeared to fizzle out on Friday, but UN mediator Lakhdar Brahimi at the last moment invited the two sides to come back for a final joint meeting Saturday morning.
After days of discussions, the rivals stood further apart than ever, seeming to agree on only one thing: that the negotiations were going nowhere.
“We deeply regret that this round did not make any progress,” Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mikdad said after meeting Brahimi on Friday.
Opposition spokesman Louay Safi agreed: “The negotiations have reached an impasse.”
As the parties in Geneva failed to agree even on an agenda for their talks, the death toll mounted in Syria, where more than 100,000 people have been killed in three years.
A monitoring group this week that more than 5,000 people had been killed since a first round of talks began on January 22.
توقعات بتطورات لافتة خلال 48 ساعة في معركة يبرود
The United Nations warned Friday that more than 2,700 refugees had poured across the Lebanese border as the Syrian army carries out an offensive in the Qalamun mountains and heads towards the opposition-held town of Yabrud.
Thousands had already fled the town, but as many as 50,000 people were believed to still be inside.
In Geneva, the second round of talks, which began Monday, appeared set to wrap up Saturday with no sign of progress and it was unclear if Brahimi could convince the foes to come back for a third round of negotiations.
Washington, which backs the opposition and initiated the so-called Geneva II talks with regime ally Russia, voiced deep frustration Friday at the stalemate.
“Talks for show make no sense,” a senior US official said Friday.
US President Barack Obama vowed to push the regime harder.
“There will be some intermediate steps that we can take to apply more pressure to the Assad regime,” he said after talks with Jordanian King Abdullah II in California, but did not specify what such steps might be.
In an effort to inject life into the talks, both the United States and Russia sent top envoys to Geneva this week to meet Brahimi and the two sides.
But after a meeting with high-ranking US and Russian diplomats Thursday, the veteran peacemaker admitted that “failure is still staring us in the face”.
Washington blamed the impasse squarely on the Syrian regime, and chastised Moscow for not doing enough to push its ally to engage “seriously” in the process.
 

Regime representatives have so far refused to discuss anything beyond the “terrorism” it blames on its opponents and their foreign backers, and stubbornly insist President Bashar al-Assad’s position is non-negotiable.

They have declined to discuss the opposition coalition’s 24-point proposal for a political transition, or to consider Brahimi’s suggestion that the parties discuss the two issues in parallel.
Observers said the talks were hanging in the balance.
“We are in a dead end,” said a Western diplomat, warning prospects looked “grim” and that it would be tough for Brahimi to organize a third round.
Spokesman Safi said the opposition was appealing to the international community to “make a difference to push this process forward” but that a “pause” looked likely in the meantime.
Algerian veteran peacemaker Brahimi, who helped broker past deals in Lebanon, Afghanistan and Iraq, has pledged not to “leave one stone unturned if there is a possibility to move forward”.
But the Western diplomat cautioned: “I would not assume he will stay indefinitely,” saying Brahimi might have “concerns about his own credibility” if he allows the process to continue like a broken record.
The ongoing evacuation of civilians from besieged rebel-held areas of Homs – seen as the only tangible result so far of the Geneva II talks – has been hailed as a relative success.
But UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos expressed frustration at the “extremely limited and painstakingly slow” process of getting 1,400 people out, given that 250,000 are under siege across Syria.
Syria’s deputy foreign minister Mikdad had sharp words for Amos, accusing her of an “unacceptable” failure to recognize there was “terrorism” in Syria and that it hindered aid operations.
(AFP, Al-Akhbar)
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