دي ميستورا: حانَ وقت الرحيل

ناصر قنديل
نوفمبر 21, 2016

– لا يوجد عاقل يسمح لنفسه بالحكم على أداء أيّ مبعوث أممي من موقع الرهان على حياده وإنصافه أو التوقع بأن ينطلق في مبادراته من ثوابت القانون الدولي وحدود نطاق مهمته، كما وصفها قرار تعيينه، فهذه تمنيات لا يقع فيها مَن يعلم أنّ كلّ مبعوث أممي يأتي اختياره وفقاً لسيرة مهنية تؤكد التزامه بالتعليمات الأميركية من جهة، وعندما يتصل الأمر بالشرق الأوسط أن يكون متنبّهاً للحسابات الإسرائيلية من جهة أخرى، وهذا ينطبق على ستيفان دي ميستورا وقبله الأخضر الإبراهيمي وقبلهما كوفي عنان ومثلهم إسماعيل ولد الشيخ أحمد في اليمن، ومَن كلّف من مبعوثين مثلهم في ليبيا، ويمنح المبعوث هامش تحصيل مبالغ مجزية من المال من الصناديق السعودية التي ترتبط عضوياً بأزمات هذه البلدان وحروبها، لكن تحت سقف محدّد هو البقاء بصورة رجل القانون والمساعي الحميدة والمسؤولية عن تخفيض التوتر ومعاداة الإرهاب والاهتمام بالشؤون الإنسانية.

– الحديث عن دي ميستورا هذه المرّة لا ينبع من كونه يُضبط متلبّساً بأداء مهمة لصالح «إسرائيل»، وهذه ليست الأولى، أو بكونه يتنعّم بالمال السعودي ويقف على خاطر وليّ الأمر. وهذه صارت من العادات التي أدمن عليها، ومثله من قبله ومن يوازيه في اليمن وليبيا، ولا حتى في كون المبادرة التي جاء بها تعني مساساً مباشراً في الصميم لمفهموم الدولة السيدة، باقتراح منح إدارة ذاتية لجماعات مسلحة في قلب الجغرافيا الوطنية لدولة سيدة، تتمسك القرارات الدولية التي يكلف دي ميستورا بالسهر على تنفيذها، وفي مقدّمها القرار 2254، بوحدتها وسيادتها، وبما تعنيه أيضاً من تشريع للتقسيم ومعه تشريع للإرهاب. وهذه جرائم حرب يرتكبها دي ميستورا يستحق عليها المحاكمة كمجرم حرب، لكنها لا تفاجئ مَن يعلم مَن هو الشخص وما هو تاريخه، وما هي مرجعيته ولمَن، وممّن يتلقى التعليمات، ولماذا جاءته النخوة لزيارة دمشق، وكيف بلغته استغاثات جبهة النصرة ومَن معها، وتطوّع للقيام بالمحاولة الأخيرة لإنقاذ ما ومَن يمكن إنقاذه.

– مناقشة ما قام به دي ميستورا ترتبط فقط بالغباء الذي يتضمّنه مسعاه، وافتقاده أبسط حسابات السياسة التي يفترض أن يتمتع بها شخص يملك خبرته وتاريخه وسيرته. والغباء هنا هو الذي يستدعي من مشغّليه إعفاءه لأنّ عواطفه مع تنظيم القاعدة تفضح مهمته ومن وراءه وماذا يريدون، ولأنّ تحكّم صاحب المال بتحريكه لمهمة مستحيلة وانتحارية، يشكل مخالفة لأبسط شروط السلوك التي تدرّب عليها هو وأمثاله من الذين يجري إعدادهم لهذه المهام، فكيف يُعقل لمن تشتغل بعض خلايا دماغه تخيّل الحصول على موافقة الدولة السورية على صيغة كالتي حملها دي ميستورا بقبول جزيرة تحكمها جبهة النصرة في حلب، مقابل خروج المسلحين منها، وتمهيداً لعودتهم وعودة سلاحهم بغطاء الأمم المتحدة وسيارات دي ميستورا وقوافل الإغاثة التي يسيّرها، وكيف يُعقل أن يتوهّم من يحمل بعضاً من خبرة وسيرة دي ميستورا أن يمرّر هذه الفضيحة على وزير بحنكة وخبرة وزير الخارجية السوري وليد المعلم، وفي دولة يقودها الرئيس بشار الأسد وتحكمها ثقافة الوحدة والسيادة حتى النخاع الشوكي، ولا تساوم عليهما، وهي في أضعف أيامها، فكيف وهي تنتصر؟

– غباء دي ميستورا وفضيحته سيرتّبان قرب رحيله، وقد جاء في زمن التغييرات والتقلبات يلعب لحساب مموّله وعواطفه، وهو يعلم أنّ مهمة الأمين العام للأمم المتحدة كرئيس مباشر لعمله تنتهي بعد شهر، وأنّ عليه انتظار قرارات الأمين العام الجديد بالتجديد له أولاً ومن ثم معرفة تعليماته، كما يعلم أنّ مرجعيته الفعلية في واشنطن عرضة للتغيير أيضاً، وعليه التصرف بحكمة الانتظار حتى تتبلور المرجعية الجديدة ويعرف سياساتها، ويكتفي في زمن التغيير بمواصلة النص الحرفي لمهامه، وفقاً للتكليف القانوني بتحفظ، والمخاطرة باللعب في الوقت الضائع لحساب المال والعواطف، فاضح ومقامرة تعرّضان بقاءه للخطر، فكان عليه قليلاً من التعفّف أمام المال السعودي في هذه الفترة وقليلاً من التقشف في حب تنظيم القاعدة، ريثما تنجلي الأمور في واشنطن ونيويورك.

– لم يستطع دي ميستورا أن يقاوم إغراء المال ولا شغفه بالنصرة، فسقط سقوطاً مدوياً… وحان وقت الرحيل.

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USA with a “majority of one” obstructs the United Nations

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For decades, and again this year, the United States votes “no” on most United Nations General Assembly resolutions supporting meaningful disarmament and economic justice. 

In fact, it has a consistent record of votes contradicting its professed rhetoric of concern for peace and human rights, as the UN General Assembly votes to adopt resolutions crafted to address the urgent need for disarmament, and for a more equitable global economic architecture. 

US Nobel Laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz has supported the adoption of many of these resolutions, and his voice, along with the majority of the member states of the developing world has gone unheeded. 

The huge and growing economic inequality both within and among nations is contributing to global destabilization, deadly conflicts, terrorism, the refugee crisis, now threatening to disrupt the core of Europe itself, and an escalation of barbaric violence which threatens to turn the clock of civilization back to the stone age. 

Nevertheless, the US continues to vote in opposition to many, if not most of the resolutions adopted by the UN General Assembly, where the developing world holds a majority of votes, and the US vote does not hold veto power,  as it does in the Security Council, and cannot therefore prevent the adoption of these resolutions.   

The resolutions, however, have no enforcement power, as do Security Council resolutions.  The US “no” vote is, however, a barometer of how and where it will use its influence to obstruct or prevent actual implementation of these resolutions in any meaningful way, in those venues where the US does have decisive influence.  While paying lip-service to “democracy,” “human rights,” etc., the US “no” vote in these numerous developing world sponsored resolutions betrays its actual contempt for these values in any meaningful sense.

An examination of this year’s voting patterns in the UN General Assembly’s First, Second and Third Committees illustrates this pattern, which is a greater indicator of the causes of the stalemate or paralysis at the United Nations than has been the inaction at the UN Security Council, so deplored by the US-NATO faction.

For almost 10 years, China and the Russian Federation have co-sponsored a treaty in the First Committee on Disarmament, on the “Prevention of the Placement of Weapons in Outer Space.”  The US has consistently opposed this treaty, and on November 3, 2015, in the First Committee 70th session Plenary Meeting, Resolution A/C.1/70/L.47 on “No First Placement of Weapons in Outer Space,” was adopted by a majority vote of 122 member states, including China, Russia, the DPRK, Iran, Pakistan, India, Kazakhstan, Angola, Kenya, Nigeria and a majority of other member states.  China’s vote is consistent with its declaration that it will not be the first to initiate a nuclear attack.  The US voted “no” on this resolution, along with only 3 other states, including Ukraine and Israel, which is alarming, since it indicates that the US reserves for itself the “right” to place its weapons in outer space, despite the fact that most other nuclear states, including India, Pakistan, China, the DPRK and The Russian Federation have eschewed the “right” to place weapons in outer space.

The related resolution A/C.1/70/L.3 entitled:  “Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space” has an equally interesting recorded vote, with 173 UN member states voting “yes,” including all states which supported the resolution on “No First Placement of Weapons in Outer Space,” and the US, Israel and Palau abstained.  It seems probable that, although most nuclear weapon states pledged not to be the first to place weapons in outer space, and the US reserved to itself the “right” to be the first to place weapons in outer space, the US is hedging its bets, and in the event that another state first places weapons in outer space, the US reserves to itself the “right” to engage in an arms race in outer space.

The very idea of placement of weapons in outer space, or an arms race in outer space, is insane, yet this is consistent with the US military doctrine of “Full Spectrum Dominance,” which asserts the US right to “Control of land, sea, air and outer space.”

On November 5th, the First Committee adopted Resolution A/C.1/70/L.18 on “Implementation of the Declaration of the Indian Ocean as a Zone of Peace.”  The resolution was adopted by a majority of 116 member states, and opposed by only four countries, the US, UK, France and Tuvalu.  As usual, the EU abstained, voting as a bloc.  This voting pattern reflecting diametrically opposed interests was similarly repeated throughout the entire spectrum of UN General Assembly resolutions from disarmament to development.

On November 23, at the Third Committee Plenary, Resolution A/C.3/70/L.30 “Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order” was adopted by a majority vote of 121.  The US which espouses the rhetoric of “democracy” more than any other state, voted “no.”  The European Union, voting as a bloc, also voted “no” in opposition to most countries of the developing world, including China, the Russian Federation, the DPRK, Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, Argentina, etc.

On November 24, the Third Committee adopted Resolution A/C.3/70/L.37/Rev.1 on “The Right to Development.”  The resolution was adopted by a majority vote of 136.  Only 4 nations voted “no,” including the USA, the UK, Canada and Israel.

On November 23, the Third Committee Plenary adopted Resolution A/C.3/70/L.58 on the “Use of Mercenaries as a Means of Violating Human Rights and Impeding the Exercise of the Right of Peoples to Self Determination.”  The resolution  was adopted by a majority vote of 121.  The US, Ukraine and most of the Europeans voted “no,” which is an appalling revelation of their willingness to adopt unscrupulous measures to suit their perceived “interests,” or the interests of their ruling “elites.”

This is merely a sampling of the voting record of the US and often the EU, which reveals their readiness to violate the economic, social, civil and political rights of the “developing world,” which comprises the majority of member states belonging to the United Nations.  Scrutiny of the majority of resolutions adopted by the General Assembly’s First Committee on Disarmament, Second Committee on Economics, Third Committee on Human Rights reveals the same pattern of the US and EU consistently voting in opposition to the will and the interests of the developing world, many of whose states are former colonies of the EU states, and are currently in a form of “debt bondage” to the US and the West, trapped by IMF demands for “structural adjustment,” “conditionalities,” and other onerous and exploitative arrangements.

These UN General Assembly Resolutions without enforcement mechanisms merely express the gross contradiction between the “interests” of the West’s “1%” and the needs of the huge populace of the other “99%” of humanity.  As the income inequality increases, as described by French economist Thomas Piketty and US Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz, these voting patterns will most probably continue unchanged, absent a global insurrection to eliminate the gross injustice in the distribution of power and resources that is currently entrenched, globally, and which the huge disparities in these votes reflects.

Carla Stea is Global Research’s Correspondent at UN headquarters, New York 

Ex-UN Envoy Blames US Invasion of Iraq for Rise of ISIS

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Sputnik – The rise of the Islamic State (ISIL) jihadist group, operating across Middle East and North Africa, was caused by the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq, former UN envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi told RT and RIA Novosti.

“The ISIL activity is the direct consequence of the US occupation of Iraq, they should have not invaded Iraq. And when [militants] saw what is happening in Syria they went there, too,” Brahimi said in an interview.

He added that the airstrikes, currently carried out by a US-led coalition against the ISIL positions in Syria and Iraq, did not prevent the spread of the jihadist cause in the region.

“Terrorism must be countered. An attempt was made to combat terrorism with aviation. But airstrikes do not solve the problem. These methods cannot resolve the political situation created by the ISIL,” Brahimi said.

The former UN envoy underscored the need for a non-violent political solution to the Iraqi and Syrian crisis as military operations have failed to yield results.

Brahimi also hailed Russia’s contribution to reconciliation attempts looking to bring an end to the ongoing civil war in Syria after Moscow hosted two rounds of intra-Syrian talks this year.

“There are no differences between us and Russia. We recognize that Russia has an important role, which we fully support… The efforts taken earlier by Russia in a bid to bring together some of the sides is the right direction,” Brahimi said.

The IS militant group controls large parts of Iraq and Syria and is notorious for publishing numerous videos showing many human rights atrocities including beheadings of foreign hostages.

Erdogan’s Visit to Riyadh Wins $70million for Terrorists in Syria

SYRIA 360°

Erdogan's Visit to Riyadh Wins $70mln-Backup for Terrorists in Syria
TEHRAN (FNA)- A senior Syrian dissident politician disclosed that after the recent visit of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Saudi Arabia the Al Saud regime allocated a sum of $70 million for the militants fighting against President Bashar Al-Assad.

“Saudi Arabia’s 70-million-dollar aid to Syrian militants is the outcome of Erdogan’s recent visit to Riyadh,” Arabic-language Al-Ajel news website quoted Syrian dissident Ahmad Farid as saying on Monday.

He noted that the Saudi government has declined to comment on the nature of its aid to the Syrian militants fighting against the Syrian government.

President Erdogan and Saudi King Salman bin Abdel Aziz in a recent meeting in Riyadh agreed on increasing their support for Syria’s foreign-backed militants.

Head of the Syrian Strategic Studies Center Taleb Zifa disclosed in November that Ankara and Doha were also doing their best for the reconciliation of the foreign-backed terrorists fighting against the Syrian government.

“Qatar and Turkey are doing their best to unite the terrorists in order to prepare them to stop the Syrian army advances in the coming days and months,” Zifa told FNA.

Zifa noted that both Ankara and Doha want to play a role in any upcoming negotiations between the Syrian government and the United Nations.

Last month, Syria’s permanent ambassador to the United Nations called on the world body to punish “the terrorist coalition of Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Israel”.

Speaking at a UN Security Council session on Tuesday, Bashar al-Jaafari said the coalition has been seeking to destroy Syria by fanning the flames of terrorism and shedding the blood of Syrian people.

In October 2012, Haitham Manna, a Paris-based veteran Syrian opposition figure, slammed Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey for infiltrating terrorists into Syria.

Speaking at London School of Economics, Manna said the Syrian crisis would deteriorate if the status quo continues, adding that the world powers are responsible for the lack of a proper solution to the Syrian crisis.

Major powers have refused to take any measure for the settlement of the Syrian crisis so far and only resorted to theatrical conferences dubbed “Syrian friends”, he said, adding they have presented no democratic reform plan for the crisis-hit country.

The Syrian opposition figure supported the plan offered by the UN and Arab League envoy, Lakhdar Brahimi, for truce in Syria during the Eid Al-Adha holiday (starting on October 26), and expressed the hope that the measure could serve as a prelude to ceasefire in Syria.

In September 2012, sources revealed that Turkey’s national air carrier, Turkish Air, transited Al-Qaeda and Taliban militants from North Waziristan in Pakistan to the Turkish borders with Syria, mentioning that the last group were flown to Hatay on a Turkish Air Airbus flight No. 709 on September 10, 2012.

“The Turkish intelligence agency sent 93 Al-Qaeda and Taliban terrorists from Waziristan to Hatay province near the border with Syria on a Turkish Air Airbus flight No. 709 on September 10, 2012 and via the Karachi-Istanbul flight route,” the source told FNA, adding that the flight had a short stop in Istanbul.

The 93 terrorists transited to the Turkish border with Syria included Al-Qaeda militants from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan and a group of Arabs residing in Waziristan, he added.

The source, who asked to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of his information, further revealed that the Turkish intelligence agency is coordinating its measures with the CIA and the Saudi and Qatari secret services.

FNA dispatches from Pakistan said new al-Qaeda members were trained in North Waziristan until a few days ago and then sent to Syria, but now they are transferring their command center to the borders between Turkey and Syria as a first step to be followed by a last move directly into the restive parts of Syria on the other side of the border.

The al-Qaeda, backed by Turkey, the US and its regional Arab allies, had set up a new camp in Northern Waziristan in Pakistan to train Salafi and Jihadi terrorists and dispatched them to Syria via Turkish borders.

“A new Al-Qaeda has been created in the region through the financial and logistical backup of Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and a number of western states, specially the US,” a source told FNA earlier this month.

“Turkey has also been misusing extremist Salafis and Al-Qaeda terrorists to intensify the crisis in Syria and it has recently augmented its efforts in this regard by helping the new Al-Qaeda branch set up a camp in Northern Waziristan in Pakistan to train Al-Qaeda and Taliban members as well as Turkish Salafis and Arab Jihadis who are later sent to Syria for terrorist operations,” said the source.

He said the camp in Waziristan is not just a training center, but a command center for terrorist operations against Syria.

Yet, the source said the US and Britain are looking at the new Al-Qaeda force as an instrument to attain their goals and do not intend to support them to ascend to power, “because if Salafi elements in Syria ascend to power, they will create many problems for the US, the Western states and Turkey in future”.

“Thus, the US, Britain and Turkey are looking at the Al-Qaeda as a tactical instrument,” he said, and warned of the regional and global repercussions of the US and Turkish aid to the Al-Qaeda and Salafi groups.

“Unfortunately, these group of countries have just focused on the short-term benefits that the Salafis and the Al-Qaeda can provide for them and ignore the perils of this support in the long run,” he said.

“At present, the western countries, specially Britain which hosts and controls the Jihadi Salafi groups throughout the world are paving the ground for these extremists to leave their homes – mostly in Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the Untied Arab Emirates (UAE) as well as those who live in Europe and the US – for Waziristan,” the source added.

The US and its western and regional allies have long sought to topple Bashar al-Assad and his ruling system.

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The EU shifting its strategy on Syria, Iraq and fighting ISIS

Civil defense members inspect the debris of a building collapsed after Syrian air forces’ ‘vacuum bomb’ attack, killed six people, three of them children, and wounded 40 others, in Ain Tarma town of Damascus, Syria on December 26, 2014. Anadolu Agency/Ebu Muhammed
Published Saturday, December 27, 2014
After the United States abandoned the idea of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad stepping down and enhanced security coordination with the Syrian army against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), it appears the Europeans began some time ago a series of meetings to change their policy on Syria. According to information obtained by Al-Akhbar, some senior European officials did not hesitate to say at the last Council of European Union Foreign Ministers meeting that “this policy was wrong.” It is necessary, therefore, to change it and let the United Nations envoy Staffan de Mistura’s initiative lead the way. Does that mean we will soon see favorable signs towards the Syrian regime and further disregard for the external opposition?
Geneva – A European official told Al-Akhbar about the proceedings of an important meeting between United Nations (UN) envoy Staffan de Mistura and European Union (EU) foreign affairs ministers on December 11, confirming that there is a change in the European position towards Syria. He said the meeting was closed like all meetings during which Europeans discuss sensitive matters. De Mistura began to explain the situation in Syria and the regional and international framework surrounding his plan that is supposed to be implemented in three months “otherwise it loses its ability to be implemented.”
This, in short, is what de Mistura said and the Europeans’ position towards it.
  • The plan to freeze the fighting in Aleppo is the only one currently available. There is no hope for another plan. Therefore, the EU should support it practically and not just verbally. It is the only plan capable of freezing the fighting, securing people’s needs and returning the displaced people who are burdening neighboring areas and states. It will also allow for the eventual process of reconstruction.
  • Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who showed readiness to ensure the success of the international plan in Aleppo, convinced Russian President Vladimir Putin of the plan and played a major role in convincing his Iranian allies as well. This was necessary because Moscow was reluctant, thinking that no US-Atlantic effort can be trusted and the plan might lead to dire consequences for Russia and its allies.
  • Although the Americans expressed reservations and doubt about the plan at the beginning, they have become more flexible, tying their approval with that of some of their regional allies, meaning of course Saudi Arabia primarily. In any case, I am going to Riyadh to convince Saudi officials of the plan’s feasibility. If we obtain preliminary approval from them, I will subsequently continue my efforts in Damascus so we can start as soon as possible because time is running out.

They [the Europeans] believe that since the resignation of former UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, it was necessary to maintain political efforts between the regime and the opposition.

Theoretically, the Europeans support everything de Mistura said. They believe that since the resignation of former UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, it was necessary to maintain political efforts between the regime and the opposition. First, so the regime will not unilaterally seek to settle the war militarily under the pretext of the absence of current political efforts. Second, to give the opposition – which is becoming increasingly divided with each side leveling accusations at the other – the impression that the West continues to support it. Third, there is no room for thinking beyond de Mistura given the crisis in US-Russian relations because of Ukraine. This crisis prompts the Europeans to think that Moscow has become more adamant about its support for Assad. Therefore, there is no hope of exerting pressure on the Syrian regime except through the Iranian ally. This, too, is an important development in Brussels.
Here, we should remember that Brahimi had told the Europeans once what he said on more than one occasion and in more than one place, namely, that his resignation will “relieve two people, Assad and Saudi Foreign Affairs Minister Saud al-Faisal” because his personal relationship with both men was quite bad. He was probably speaking about “Saud al-Faisal’s personal hatred towards Assad being a hindrance to finding a solution.” It is also known that the Syrian president, from his very first meeting with Brahimi, questioned his intentions especially when the Algerian UN envoy suggested that Assad should step down and intended to meet Syrian Vice President Farouk al-Sharaa before Assad prevented him from doing so, arguing that this is improper on an official visit. Brahimi at the time had to make due with a phone call. After a while, Sharaa was removed from power.
  • Turkey remains a real problem for the Europeans. Some officials say it is impossible to predict what Ankara could do next. Others believe that Turkey is pretty much the only country still facilitating the passage of foreign fighters to Syria, it has not made up its mind about fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and is trying to blackmail the international community with its position. Here, the Europeans make two suggestions. Either put pressure on Turkey, including perhaps issuing a warning – which some believe is pointless because it might make the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s position more intransigent and push him further into Russia and Iran’s arms – or try to cajole and get closer to Turkey, prompting it to commit to the international decision to fight ISIS and stop the flow of foreign fighters. Either way, the Turkish position remains worrisome for Europe.
  • Iran has become a central player in both the Syrian and Iraqi crises. It is necessary to deal with this reality regardless of the reservations that some might have. There is nothing to prevent engaging with Iran in a serious dialogue about Syria, even before signing a nuclear agreement. This is useful because it could lead to political concessions from the Syrian regime and it could strengthen the presence of European companies in Iran. Perhaps this has become a European need despite French reservations, which are understandable, given French-Saudi relations and France’s concern not to upset Israel.
  • It is impossible to think of a serious solution or temporary solutions in Syria without Saudi Arabia, which has extensive relations with a number of Anti-Assad parties. It is important to reassure Riyadh that the European efforts do not intend to buoy up the regime. De Mistura said that Saudi Arabia implicitly welcomes his initiative. The Spanish foreign affairs minister was clearer, saying that Riyadh accepts the plan and it is in France’s interest to tone down its critique otherwise it will appear more extremist than Saudi Arabia, which is not an understandable position. The Spanish minister went as far as suggesting that an international conference for Syria be held in his country given that the idea might accepted by everybody.
  • Russia remains the main obstacle to any solution that does not satisfy the Kremlin and the Syrian regime. Since its relationship with the US and Europe is currently strained because of Ukraine, it is necessary to look for ways to separate any discussion with Russia about Syria from the position regarding Ukraine. Some European officials intend to strengthen the dialogue with Moscow because “it is unacceptable to return to the logic of the cold war.” Perhaps the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini will visit Moscow soon. Besides, Russia is active and serious about finding a political solution. The Europeans keeping their distance from Moscow might mean distancing the US and Russia.
The Europeans with and against Assad

Since its [Russia] relationship with the US and Europe is currently strained because of Ukraine, it is necessary to look for ways to separate any discussion with Russia about Syria from the position regarding Ukraine.

After de Mistura discussed these points with the European ministers and talked about his latest contacts and the hope that his initiative revives in the hearts of the Syrian people, contradictory but important positions emerged among the Europeans regarding the future of the relationship with Assad that can be summed up as follows.
First, everyone agrees to de Mistura’s plan, but they want to support it because it is the only plan currently available while awaiting the results of Russian efforts to bring the opposition and the Syrian regime delegation together in Russia. However, France, which currently enjoys strong trade relations with Saudi Arabia and Britain, is ahead of other Europeans in its contacts with Iran and insists that the plan should not support the Syrian army against the moderate opposition in Aleppo. In other words, the issue should not be portrayed as standing with the army against ISIS because in Aleppo and its surroundings there are fighters affiliated with the moderate opposition and they should be taken into consideration and supported “so we won’t appear as though we are drawing a parallel between the regime and the opposition and that we view both sides equally.”
The French foreign affairs minister was the most intransigent even though some within the current French administration point out the need to take a new position towards Syria, especially after the terrorist attacks that took place on French soil. Laurent Fabius said, “We don’t want what happened to Homs to happen in Aleppo,” where suspending the fighting benefited the regime only and was not balanced. The fighters left after they turned in their weapons to the state and were transported in government buses to the areas they come from.
A European official with ties to the Syrian opposition said
“the departure of the fighters then was a farce for them. Imagine that the Grand Mufti, Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun, who is a regime loyalist showed up in the buses transporting the fighters joking with them and asking them isn’t it better to marry while they are young instead of getting killed on battlefronts? They were given cell phones to talk with their families and undermine their morale. In the end, the media image and the reality on the ground were in the interest of the regime.”
The French minister was insistent that “the regime should not benefit from this plan in terms of relieving it at the Aleppo front so it can focus on other fronts in other areas.” That is what Fabius was saying when the EU received information about the possibility of the Syrian and Iraqi armies engaging in a wide joint military operation in Deir Ezzor.
Second, the European relationship with Assad is possible, but it becomes evident during the discussions of the foreign affairs ministers and commissioners of the EU that they are at a loss on how to deal with Syria. For example, a European official in Geneva says that a number of his European colleagues have begun to talk about the failure of the policy adopted so far and about the “uncalculated mistake” of suggesting early on that Assad step down.

Some Europeans argue that their assessment of the situation was erroneous while others believe that trusting the US from the beginning was a mistake.

Some Europeans argue that their assessment of the situation was erroneous while others believe that trusting the US from the beginning was a mistake because Washington, as usual, places its interests ahead of all its alliances, often putting the Europeans in an awkward position. Still others argue that underestimating the capabilities of the Syrian army and its allies was their biggest mistake.
As such, EU officials are currently discussing how to “modify” the political position that has been adopted for more than three years in Syria. One sign of this change is abandoning the mantra of “Assad stepping down” and finding more realistic statements that have been repeated now and then, such as “Assad is not a final solution to the crisis” or “Assad will not stay at the end of the political solution” or “it is only natural that a political solution will eventually lead to transferring powers from the presidency and not all powers” according to Geneva I. Another sign of a change in position is abandoning the phrase “proceeding with a transitional process now” and replacing it with one accepted by all, namely, “calling for the start of a transitional process.”
It appears that Mogherini succeeded, to some extent, in promoting the point of view that “we agree on the end result but political realism and the developments of the situation require us to adjust our course and use new phrases.” In other words, even if everyone in Europe wanted Assad to step down, political realism suggests that this is not possible at this point and encouraging a political solution might eventually lead to this end, meaning this is no longer a European priority.
The security council in Aleppo?
In light of these discussions about modifying the European position towards the Syrian regime, the most important question in the EU is how to ensure the success of the Aleppo plan and how to implement it without portraying Assad as the winner, especially that the Syrian army advanced in a noticeable way in Aleppo recently?
The dominant trend is to find a monitoring mechanism by the UN Security Council. However, the Europeans realize that this is impossible due to the dual Sino-Russian veto that is always ready to protect Syria. Therefore, unlike the French and British positions which insist on an international force from the UNSC, the EU is more inclined towards finding a diplomatic formula that talks about “a monitoring mechanism linked to the UNSC.”
All of this will be released soon in what is now called “the EU strategy on Syria, Iraq and fighting ISIS.”
Despair with the Syrian opposition, particularly, the National Coalition for Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces, which for a long time monopolized, with international support, the representation of the opposition has infiltrated EU states after the US. The Europeans too are now more inclined towards expanding the scope of the opposition to include forces that were previously not accepted and undermine the Muslim Brotherhood.
It is remarkable for instance that when the head of the Coalition, Hadi al-Bahra, visited the EU in Brussels few days ago, representatives from the Coalition were calling the Europeans to say that Bahra no longer represents them. A European official says jokingly:
“Everytime we begin to talk with an official from the Coalition, we discover that this Coalition held new elections and changed the official. So we start all over again. And every time we meet with a Coalition official, he repeats the same question, how are you going to prevent the regime from benefiting from the plan you are proposing? But we have noticed for some time now that some parties within the Coalition have come to accept the idea of negotiating with the regime and reaching a political agreement with it even if their ultimate goal is for Assad to step down. This is the case with Moaz al-Khatib and his team for instance. The problem of the Coalition is that it does not know the meaning of political realism and continues in its fragmentation as it is tossed around by conflicting foreign alliances.”
The problem of the Coalition is that it does not know the meaning of political realism and continues in its fragmentation as it is tossed around by conflicting foreign alliances.”
In light of all the above, is the EU starting to change its position towards Assad? Perhaps all its members still support the departure of the Syrian president. But political realism requires a change in behavior and approach and not insisting on Assad’s departure as a priority. This will become more evident in the future as terrorist attacks inside Europe have increased. The only solution left is to cooperate with Syrian security forces, the Syrian army and Iran in the context of fighting terrorism.
As for de Mistur’as plan in Aleppo, it is currently in a feverish race between a military solution and security arrangements that cannot be undertaken without the regime’s approval and that might be to its advantage.
Once again, history repeats the same old maxim, “international interests are more important than principles and people’s tragedies.”
This article is an edited translation from the Arabic Edition.
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SAA COMPLETES ACTUAL ENCIRCLEMENT OF ALEPPO; DE MISTURA EFFORT EXPOSED AS FRAUD

Ziad Fadel

الجيش

ALEPPO:

 

The encirclement of Aleppo and attendant choke-off of all supply and reinforcement pathways is now complete. Unlike the situation before when the encirclement was by virtue of artillery control, Aleppo is now hermetically sealed with the presence of the army at every artery serving this northern capital.  South and West Handaraat are firmly under the control of the SAA where our soldiers found a huge Turk-supplied arsenal of weapons in cleverly concealed locations defended by die-hard, suicidal degenerates.  The number of rodents killed has not been announced yet, but, it promises to be quite large.  Rat communications demonstrate desperation as their one last claim to fame has disappeared.

 

Al-Mallaah Farms and Properties:  Completely under control of SAA.  The remnant rats have headed to the north for the security of Erdoghan’s Kingdom of Murder.

 

Handaraat:  Very important. And the most important parts are the south and west which fell to the SAA yesterday after the virulent plague-carrying rodents abandoned their sinking ship and headed north.  The Al-Kindi Hospital is also now under the control of the SAA although it has been pillaged by the scavenging heretics of Nusra rendering it useless for the treatment of human beings.

To find the Al-Mallaah Farms scroll to the northwest of Handaraat and you’ll see it.

 

Jaraabulus:  ISIS has reportedly executed 21 young men for blasphemy and “collaboration with the government”.

 

Manbij:  Once controlled only by rival gangs fighting for territory, this town is now infested with something even worse: English and German terrorists bent on murdering their way to Paradise.  For some time, the SAA had exercised partial control over the town in agreement with the gangs we mentioned, however, the troops were need elsewhere leaving the citizens with little protection from Erdoghan’s cockroaches.  If you think English soccer fans are a drag, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

 

De Mistura’s efforts to “freeze” fighting in Aleppo was exposed as motivated by a desire to preserve some terrorist control of the city for the purposes of negotiating.  All sources we have and to whom we have listened are saying the same thing: De Mistura, like Kofi Annan and Lakhdar Brahimi, is nothing more than a Saudi/Zionist/Erdoghani/NATO catamite hardly worth the time the Syrians have given him.   Let him freeze fighting now.

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Amid diplomatic offensive against Syria, France presses for war


May 15, 2014, WSW

During an official visit to Washington on Tuesday, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said he regretted that Washington had not gone to war with Syria last autumn and again advanced unsubstantiated accusations that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had used chemical weapons against the Syrian people.

In making these accusations, Fabius was directly pressing for war in Syria. He recalled US President Barack Obama’s “red line” pledge to go to war if Assad used chemical weapons. Falsely claiming that the Syrian regime had used poison gas last August in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta, Fabius said he regretted that France could not go to war with Syria because Washington and London decided not to attack Syria in September.

“It was out of the question for France to act alone,” Fabius said. “We regret that, because we believe it would have changed many things, in many respects.”

Fabius’ accusations of chemical weapons use were a deliberate, politically criminal falsification. He ignored the fact that, when the British Parliament voted against war in Syria last September, British Prime Minister David Cameron himself admitted that the Western powers did not have proof that the Assad regime had carried out the Ghouta attacks.

Fabius also ignored the devastating report by veteran investigative journalist Seymour Hersh, which established that it was the Turkish government, a US and French ally, that organised the Ghouta attack. Its purpose, as with Fabius’s statements today, was to provide a pretext for launching war in Syria. (See: “New exposé by Seymour Hersh: Turkey staged gas attack to provoke US war on Syria”)

Fabius’s statements are a warning to the international working class. Not only does France’s Socialist Party (PS) government want war in Syria—which could escalate into a global war involving Syria’s main regional allies, Iran and Russia—but it is working closely with Washington and other NATO powers to launch it.

There are numerous signs of a renewed diplomatic push for war. Talks on Syria are starting today in London, headed by Kerry along with ministers from France, Germany, Britain, and several Arab countries, as well as Syrian opposition leader Ahmad Jarba. Jarba just spent over a week in Washington in high-level meetings aimed to strengthen US support for the opposition in their battle against Assad.

On Tuesday, Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN-Arab League peace envoy for Syria, announced his resignation after serving in that post since 2012.

Fabius’s accusations of chlorine gas use by Assad echoed a report published Tuesday by the US-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) organization. HRW’s report alleged that pro-Assad forces used chlorine gas packed into crude bombs in attacks in mid-April on three towns in northern Syria, killing 11 people and wounding as many as 500. Neither HRW nor Fabius advanced any reliable factual evidence to support their allegations.

HRW claimed that it “cannot independently confirm” allegations of poison gas use, which it said were based largely on charges advanced by the Western powers’ far-right Islamist proxy fighters inside Syria.

As for Fabius, at a press conference with his US counterpart, Secretary of State John Kerry, he said: “We have at least 14 indications that show us that, in the past recent weeks again, chemical weapons in a smaller scale have been used, in particular chlorine.” Cynically claiming it had been difficult to obtain definitive proof because chlorine evaporates too fast to collect samples, he said: “Right now we are examining the samples that were taken.”

Kerry echoed Fabius’s remarks, denouncing Assad “who will not negotiate, who absolutely refused to negotiate at every single session… This represents a continuation of the stubborn clinging to power of a man who is willing to drop barrel bombs on his people, to gas them, to shell artillery on innocent civilians, to starve people in their homes, and somehow claim a right to be able to run a country.”

Fabius’s “regret” that the Western powers did not launch a war with Syria, together with the new fabricated charges of chemical weapons use by the Assad regime, show that the Western powers are again mobilizing for war against Syria. It also underscores the significance of the military build-up Washington, Berlin, Paris and their allies are carrying out throughout Eastern Europe aimed at Russia, ostensibly over the Ukraine crisis.

Russia, a key ally of Syria, emerged as the critical obstacle to launching a war against Syria last September, vetoing UN Security Council resolutions prepared to justify a US-led war against Syria. Now, Russia faces not only the hostile, far-right Ukrainian regime in Kiev that emerged from the NATO-backed, fascist-led putsch this February, but NATO troops stationed all along its western border. It is in a far weaker position to oppose a war against Syria, its main ally in the Arab world, by Washington and Paris.

In pressing for such a conflict, which directly threatens to provoke a world war, the PS government of French President François Hollande is demonstrating its utterly reactionary and anti-working class character. It is trampling on deep public opposition to war in the French working class. During the war scare last September against Syria, polls found that 64 percent of the French population opposed going to war.

Hollande is pushing for war nonetheless, seeking to divert the escalating internal class tensions caused by his attacks on the working class—which have made it France’s most unpopular government since World War II—into the cauldron of war.

In his two years in power, Hollande has pursued aggressive wars in Africa, including military interventions in Mali and Central African Republic, as well as in the Middle East. As they launched the war in Mali, PS officials repeatedly stated that a major goal in launching the wars was to shift the political atmosphere in France and permit Hollande to move ahead with unpopular attacks on the working class.

They openly commented that they were modelling their wars on the 1982 British Falkland Islands war. In this war, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher sought to boost support for her government in the middle classes and prepare for austerity measures against the workers, including the crushing of the 1984-5 miners strike. (See: “France seizes on murder of RFI journalists to intensify Mali war ”).

With such policies, Paris is setting in motion the drive towards either a catastrophic war, or a confrontation between the PS and the working class with revolutionary implications. As the imperialist pyromaniacs in Paris seek to resolve their intractable internal problems by staking everything on war, they are tobogganing with eyes closed towards catastrophe.

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