Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 18, 2012

Ban Ki-moon's Helicopter Nonsense

Who gave Ban Ki-moon this idea?

The United Nations Security Council is expected to authorize deploying a full mission of 250 monitors to Syria after it takes up the issue Wednesday, but Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon questioned whether even that number would be sufficient.

"I think this is not enough, considering the current situation and considering the vastness of the country, and that is why we need very efficient mobility of our observer mission," he said Tuesday.

He said he had discussed with European Union leaders whether the EU could provide helicopters and airplanes for that mobility.

This can not be a request for civilian helicopters as those could be rented by the UN itself. So those helicopters Ban Ki-moon is dreaming of would be military helicopters from EU countries with military pilots and NATO standard encrypted radios. The same EU countries that have put sanctions on Syria because it cracks down on an foreign paid insurgency.

This at the same times as the U.S. has pledged "communication equipment" to the insurgents in Syria. The helicopter pilots could thereby direct the insurgents around military concentrations and roadblocks towards their targets.

The Syrian government would be crazy to agree to such a scheme of transport of UN monitors. Indeed it offered its own helicopters for the monitors to use. Ban Ki-moon certainly knew that the EU helicopter scheme would be rejected when he came out with it.

This crazy idea was only offered to let it look as if the Syrian government rejects the Annan plan and hindering the monitor deployment. But for now it seems to me that the UN is the one that holding back progress. There are still only six UN monitors on the ground where thirty were supposed to be since Monday. What is up with that Mr. Ban Ki-moon?

Posted by b on April 18, 2012 at 17:01 UTC | Permalink


Ban Ki Moon is an agent of the United States. Always has been always will be.

Posted by: bevin | Apr 18 2012 17:06 utc | 1

we used helicopters in south vietnam to haul the ICCS guys around... polish and hungarians (commies), canadians and indonesians ... we'd be restricted to corridors in injun country, supposedly we'd get shot at if we strayed out of the corridors.

the whole operation was run by air america, we changed hats for ICCS missions, that's all.

i dont know about the helicopter pilots being savvy enough to gather intel and herd insurgents around... i spose if they were trained for that sort of thing, they'd be able to do it, but we got to remember that they're basically nothing but taxi drivers, and they'll have a load of inspectors who would be watching for monkey business.

but maybe things have changed and the inspectors themselves will be chosen for their political reliability... who knows?

it would be a big operation, you'd need operations and scheduling people, maintenance bases and people, intel people to brief the pilots, a restaurant, and a bar stocked with off-duty saudia airline stewardesses.

Posted by: retreatingbladestall | Apr 18 2012 17:45 utc | 2

in all fairness, they would not like to get their observers killed.

the Syrian issue seems to get useful in the US elections ....

Posted by: somebody | Apr 18 2012 18:09 utc | 3

"I think this is not enough, considering the current situation and considering the vastness of the country, and that is why we need very efficient mobility of our observer mission," he said Tuesday.

Syria is a quarter smaller than the United Kingdom and slightly larger than North Dakota so it is not vast. Also, 70% of Syria is arid desert so of little interest to the UN peace keeping mission.

Maybe, the presence of NATO helicopters for the UN peace keepers is to allow other NATO helicopters to pass unnoticed. It was the way the Americans and others resupplied the Bosnians and Croats in the former Yugoslavian Republic.

BTW, I am puzzled (well not really) at how feeble the cease fire agreement was when it came to dealing with the violent militants when compared with requiring the Syrian army to retrurn to barracks. For instance, in Rhodesia before the transfer of power, the black nationalist fighters were required to congregate in safe areas that were out in the country side. This was to prevent them infiltrating the areas that the Rhodesian army had withdrawn from so allowing ZANU, ZAPU, etc. no tactical advantage. The same should have done for the FSA.

Posted by: blowback | Apr 18 2012 18:20 utc | 4

All Quiet on the Damascus Front

The security incidents in the news occur at some distance from Damascus. What was worrying people last weekend was the reported kidnapping of two children in an area to the east of the capital near the Lebanese border. The parents had to pay a ransom for them to be freed, but in the end three of the kidnappers were caught.

Syrian officials insist that acts like these are the work of the self-styled “revolutionaries.” They say many were common criminals before the start of the crisis, and when the uprising began they joined the armed opposition groups. They had always kidnapped people, but now they have become bolder, and news of their activities has more of an impact.

The city’s trees, walls and pylons have been taken over by banners promoting candidates for forthcoming elections to the People’s Assembly. But most of them are devoid of politics – other the appearance of the term “reform” in some of the slogans. “People have not changed yet,” observes a regime insider.

On the political level, the color seems to have returned to the faces of Syrian officials. Even the most pessimistic among them are more confident about the future.
a sizeable proportion of Syria’s Sunnis still want the regime to survive. President Bashar Assad said at a private gathering some weeks ago that it was the Sunnis who had safeguarded Syria.

Hacked emails show the SNC kissing the Saudi princes' asses.

with Turkey covering - Syrian Free Army rebels choose outlaw life

Posted by: b | Apr 18 2012 18:25 utc | 5

Have all the actors involved in promoting violence in Syria stopped to think of blowback?

I mean, Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia have openly declared arming the rebels to overthrow a sitting government right under the noses of the US and Ban Ki Moon doesn't say a word??? Do these countries really think they're immune to black-ops?

I suppose having a US or NATO base in one's country makes them feel invincible and immune to their negative actions..Time will tell..

Posted by: Zico | Apr 18 2012 18:59 utc | 6

from b.'s link - this would be blowback to Quatar, Saudi Arabia and probably the AKP in Turkey ...

"To the latter can be added a host of clerics, including Sufis and adherents of the four schools of Sunni thought, who fear a Wahhabi religious takeover. They have been given a foretaste of what that might cost them. A number of clergymen have been assassinated for expressing views at odds with those of the “sheikhs of the revolution.” In Damascus, foremost of these was Sheikh Ahmad Sadeq, who paid for his declared views with his life.
In other words, a sizeable proportion of Syria’s Sunnis still want the regime to survive. President Bashar Assad said at a private gathering some weeks ago that it was the Sunnis who had safeguarded Syria. Such a remark sounds uncharacteristic of the Syrian leadership, but sources close to it affirm that this is what Assad believes."

Posted by: somebody | Apr 18 2012 19:57 utc | 7


ban ki-moon is also one of the most ridiculous figures in recent history & it is not as if this world isn't replete with them

Posted by: remembererringiap | Apr 18 2012 20:31 utc | 8

C'mon now. Setting aside Ban Ki Moon's ass kissing insensibility, there is no reason to suppose that by the time the forces of darkness convinced the Syrian govt to sign the paper, the pricks n asslickers had as many cards as they had when the negotiations began.
The FukUSi mob might've imagined they were wearing the Syrians down but the truth was that they were running outta time faster than the Syrians.
The media was still leading with the latest stagecrafted 'atrocity' on the news each evening, but the citizens of fukUS had become pretty bored with all that and begun asking themselves what this was really all about. This is especially since some journos had begun to wander off script and were admitting those people doing all the dying had been involved in a fair bit of killing themselves.

Plus the various insurgent factions were getting fractious and committing some really rank atrocities close to where journos could suss out a few facts before the official cover story got released.

The Syrians may have played this just right. The reason the observers aren't there in force yet is because there is fuck all to observe.
That is the 'resistance fighters' are a spent force unable to launch the provocations that will cause a blowback from the syrian Govt.
So now they hafta wait and try to slowly build up a new network of Jordanian and Saudi supervised mercenaries. That would explain why most of the action has been small cross border stuff.
If that is the case the Syrians may have this in the bag. It took twenty years to stir up the sunnis after the last zionist sponsored 'insurgency' caused Assad's father & uncle to hand out payback. If the government troops have done it right this time FukusI will be confined to trying to stir shit from the outside lookin in.
Most peeps prefer their neighbor's weird beliefs to a strangers line in specious bullshit, more so when the bullshit is delivered via high explosives.

FukusI may be sanguine about this but old Fidel and the Ayotollahs have shown that it is a hard row the pricks are tryin to hoe.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Apr 18 2012 21:13 utc | 9

It is total confusion at UN. And it seems intentional. Many countries don't want peace in Syria.

Posted by: Sophia | Apr 18 2012 21:29 utc | 10

Debs I think you could be right; but there may be more skullduggery in their bag of tricks. If these leaders are out to prove that in the end, their ambition is a takedown of Iran; then they won't leave Syria standing.

Posted by: Copeland | Apr 18 2012 21:43 utc | 11

As has been typical of David Dayen's coverage of Syria at Firedoglake, he totally swallows the western propaganda, hook, line, and sinker re the helicopters:

Posted by: Walter Wit Man | Apr 18 2012 22:45 utc | 12

@ 11: Yep, it's a long way from over. Madison Ave. has yet to run its course. These bastards create their own reality, and peddle it wholesale around the globe for their minions to dish out. This helo bullshit is just the latest course.

Posted by: ben | Apr 19 2012 3:03 utc | 13

i'm sure there are a few CIA proprietary "civilian" helicopter companies (evergreen, for instance) that are drooling over the prospect of a big UN helicopter operation in syria...

if you dont use helicopters, where are the observers gonna be based? gonna scatter observers out over the countryside, so they'll be within driving range of 'incidents'?

how much protection will they need? ...who will protect them? ...will their vulnerability result in them becoming biased towards one side or another? ...or will they be chosen, from the beginning, for their pre-existing bias?

so somebody does a couple carloads of observers with IEDs, then blames whoever they want to blame... it'd be easy: you stage an 'incident', call in the observers, and bushwhack the observers as they're enroute, then blame the other side... who's gonna be the wiser? you send more observers to investigate the 'incident' that killed observers who were enroute to investigate an 'incident'?

the helicopter proposal isnt an intrinsically bad idea... it depends on how it's used, and it depends on the integrity of the observers who are doing the investigating.

the whole thing's a sham, anyhow, so i guess if carloads of observers --who are vulnerable to IED attack-- are useful to you because of their vulnerability, ditch the helicopter idea.

no sweat, GI.

Posted by: retreatingbladestall | Apr 19 2012 3:42 utc | 14

no12 when you read the comments section of that link it seems nobody is buying it.

Posted by: somebody | Apr 19 2012 5:27 utc | 15

The US and her tag-alongs have pretty much thrown everything and played all the tricks in the book to bring down Syria. This latest attempt to send in "peaceful" observers is just one of those tricks. I'm sure some of these guys are target setters and plotters. Some of them will be working in coordination with the rebels.

Having said that, I still see no chance of the rebels winning in any meaningful way except for resorting to terrorist attacks, which will also alienate them further. The Syrian army has been preparing for times like this and no amount of weapons smuggling can tip the balance in favor of the rebels.

I'm just wondering, is it just me that's realize Ban Ki Moon has made this Syrian escapade his own project? Never in my life have I seen the head of UN abuse his position for personal interest. Isn't the head of the UN supposed to be neutral in resolving conflicts around the world? He seems firmly in the camp of rebels and even acting as their spokesman. In fact, he doesn't even acknowledge there're rebels fighting the Syrian government and conveniently lay all the blame on the Syrian government.

Now, I know stooges will always be stooges but this Ban Ki Moon guys passes all stooges in history. He shows his strings. Even Kofi Annan, in his useless days of trying to prevent wars at the UN, wasn't as "see through" as this Ban Ki Moon guy. Where do they find these guys for the UN?

Like the Afghan mission, this Syria project is a test of the NATO alliance. They want it to succeed. But if they fail, which they will, that will be another nail in the coffin of a dying and decaying organization that has merely turned into the mercenary arm of the so called "global elite". I like to call them global thugs and thieves.

Posted by: Zico | Apr 19 2012 7:08 utc | 16

Ban is deliberately proposing putting Observers in harms way with his helo scheme. Seriously, what will be NATO's response when one of these helos is shot down, pilot and observers killed? Answer: Lybia.

Posted by: okie farmer | Apr 19 2012 8:52 utc | 17

somebody @ 3 -- Does anyone recognize the video used by Amanpour during her brief comment that birds chirping can be heard between the sounds of artillery? I didn't any sourcing for the video.

And I couldn't bring myself to have to listen to and look at both Susan Rice and John McCain*.

*At least "Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran" McCain is at least up front about wanting to use a military approach to just about any foreign "problem." As opposed to the more hypocritical Peace Prize president.

Posted by: jawbone | Apr 19 2012 13:46 utc | 18

Walter Wit Man @ 12 -- David Dayen sees through Obama and et al in their attempts to fool the voters into believing he and his administration give a rip about their well-being. He's been all over Obama for his feckless and, mostly, impossible to use programs to "help" people affected so badly by the foreclosure and banking crisis. He gets that Obama is protecting the banksters and shafting the people. OBama's FU to the people is "HAMP you."

Dayen doesn't see that about most of the US Middle East policies. I doubt he has the time, given all he does for FDL, to really dig into foreign press coverage, into the specialist blogs. FDL needs a foreign affairs specialist, as Dayen is for domestic affairs.

Posted by: jawbone | Apr 19 2012 14:17 utc | 19


I've read Dayen's coverage of the mortgage settlement and agree he did pretty good work there.

But his stories on Syria have been abysmal. And he's posted enough stories that he has no excuse that he doesn't have time.

Most of the blogosphere is complicit. I hate to say it but I really suspect sites that have had support, like FDL. They are a step better than Daily Kos but I suspect that's simply to better entrap people in the Democratic party/controlled opposition.

Posted by: Walter Wit Man | Apr 19 2012 15:19 utc | 20

Ban Ki Moon: I wish he would just shut up or the main stream media would stop reporting his every utterance

Yes, ain't gonna happen
Still that is how I feel about the entire matter

Posted by: Penny | Apr 20 2012 18:36 utc | 21

Ban ki Moon-Is a waiter.At a particularly poorly run Deenys.This is deliberate and nearly traditional at this point-A useful idiot to be squack head of a body that can't even keep its corupption tracked any more.

Posted by: Todd Millions | Apr 21 2012 20:39 utc | 22

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