Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 12, 2012

Diplomats And Analysts Wish For More Dead Syrians

One seldom sees blood-lust expressed so openly in a news story.

All Eyes on Russia as Syria Cease-Fire Deadline Passes

In some ways, the Annan plan needs to fail — which appears most likely — to persuade Russia and China not to wield their veto on Syria resolutions as they have twice previously, diplomats and analysts said.

Meanwhile the cease-fire seems to hold for the last a few hours though there are unconfirmed reports of a rebel attack against a military airport near Aleppo.

But with "diplomats and analysts" openly urging for a failure of the cease-fire one wonders how long it will take until it breaks down.

Posted by b on April 12, 2012 at 8:52 UTC | Permalink


from your link
"Some analysts believe many capitals, in particular Washington in an election year, were happy to hide in the shadow of Moscow’s intransigence because all Syria choices are fraught with peril. Its sectarian fault lines run like trip wires across the Middle East, and military intervention in what started as a peaceful movement has been seen as too messy."

that's probably it. they still need the maximum threat scenario for negotiations with Iran and Syria.

I other news Iran stops oil deliveries to Europe and offers a discount to Indian companies ...

Posted by: somebody | Apr 12 2012 9:23 utc | 1

Experts said that nobody expects the peace plan to take root because ultimately its provisions — allowing for peaceful demonstrations and democratic change — will doom the Assad regime.
More like the insurgents/opposition need the peace-plan to fail, they are the ones who will go down in a democratic election. The violence doesn't seem to be the issue, as long as Assad can be forced from power, the west are happy to sacrifice some thousand Syrians, government soldiers and rebels, as well as civilians. When western media report civilian deaths, we can assume most of them are going to be rebels.

Posted by: Alexander | Apr 12 2012 10:25 utc | 2

I other news Iran stops oil deliveries to Europe and offers a discount to Indian companies ...

Maybe the Indians can now start emigrating to Iran rather than the U.S. and free up the franchise system in the U.S. They're cheap bastards who grind their labor force into the dirt and skimp on the amount of meat they put in your sandwiches. I'm sure over time, without the presence of the U.S., the two countries would be at war with each other before too long. Neither would have the U.S. to hide behind and they'd have to deal with each other face to face. Germany will provide the weapons and the financing.

Posted by: Sultanist | Apr 12 2012 11:14 utc | 3

Russia's foreign minister Sergey Lavrov, 20 Mar 2012: "An analysis of Russia’s statements on Syria will make it patently clear that the revision of Russia's position is out of question.... Most statements by Western and some Arab countries showed a lack of insight into the Syrian crisis."!/MFA_Russia

On 27 Feb 2012, the day after the Syria's Constitutional referendum of 26 Feb, the Russian Foreign Ministry issued the press release: "We recognize the referendum to be a proof of the people’s support of the reformation policy. The influence of those opposition groups which invoked to boycott the referendum is obviously limited."

Lavrov, 11 Apr 2012: "The Syria leadership has the support of the majority of the Syrian people."

Lavrov, 10 apr 2012: "The fate of the nation of Syria should be determined by its people, not by outside forces."

Lavrov, 4 apr 2012: It is crystal clear that the opposition would not defeat Syrian Army even if the opposition were armed to the teeth.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Apr 12 2012 12:47 utc | 4

Once you start down the racist road, Sultanist, in your case by stealing land off Palestinians, it comes to dominate your thinking. You can even end up believing that jeering at Indians is humorous. I hope that you are not armed or a member of Neighbourhood Watch in the gated community in which you live, and do not think.

Posted by: bevin | Apr 12 2012 13:08 utc | 5

Sultanist @ 3 --That is a painting with an extremely broad brush. Anyway, I think there are enough Indians willing to emigrate that the US is not getting the great majority of them.

BTW, I love my local Indian green market and grocery store. Best prices on lemons anywhere. I would sorely miss it were it to not be here or were I to move to an area without one.

Posted by: jawbone | Apr 12 2012 13:58 utc | 6

The ceasefire is very revealing, so far one government soldier has been killed, and many civilians have been injured by a roadside bomb. "Rebel sources" report 3 civilians killed, including 12 year old boy. On BBC a man from the Syrian Social Club in the UK when asked if the government couldn't control their soldiers, said the sniper could very well be someone from the opposition trying to make the Syrian government look bad. That gives some hope as to whether the media can successfully spin the government as the agressor this day. David Cameron certainly tries to though, calling for tougher measures against the government for breaching the ceasefire - for not drawing all tanks out of urban areas. The UK government are selling out, clearly they have promised to handle this case in a previously agreed manner.

Posted by: Alexander | Apr 12 2012 14:22 utc | 7

This unrest in Bahrain bears watching. Will NATO deal with this the same way they do Syria? We'll see.

Posted by: ben | Apr 12 2012 14:24 utc | 8

Alexander @7 - the British government sold out a long time ago when it knew it couln't hang on to its empire, it passed the torch to Washington. The only one to stand against it was Harold Wilson who quite rightly refused to get involved at Washington's request in Vietnam. Sine then they have been a bunch of supine arse-lickers.

Posted by: blowback | Apr 12 2012 14:34 utc | 9

It looks as if the ceasefire is already failing
According to Syrian Observatory for human rights- ya know the one in London, one man was allegedly shot

The latest has the prolific liar Wissam Tarif- tweeting that 4 have been killed

You know Avaaz's human rights "promoter'

Interesting piece in the Gulf News

Bring in heavier armaments
That will bring peace to Syria!
Arm the rebels to end the strife
Because more war = more peace
Links in my post below-

Posted by: Penny | Apr 12 2012 15:05 utc | 10
In the above news story the opposition spokesman Burhan Ghalioun is quoted saying to Agence France-Presse today, Thursday: "We call on the people to demonstrate and express themselves... The right to demonstrate is a principle point of the [Annan] plan." Okay, let's look at this Friday's street demonstrations turnout size across Syria. If the size is smallish, any neutral observer should infer that the opposition to the government has only smallish support on the ground. The turnout size can be observed from videos at Youtube (and as I mentioned once before an anti-government website which collects and organizes the videos of demonstrations is ).

Posted by: Parviziyi | Apr 12 2012 15:06 utc | 11

It is has been longer then one year and the anti protests have never grown- It seems to me from what I have seen there have been anywhere from a few hundred to at best, and I mean at best 1,000
I have yet to see anything bigger
Therefore I wouldn't expect a protest in the next few days to be any different, no matter how it is spun by the lying western media

Posted by: Penny | Apr 12 2012 15:16 utc | 12


"- It seems to me from what I have seen there have been anywhere from a few hundred to at best, and I mean at best 1,000"

It seems to me from what I have seen there have been anywhere from a few hundred, to at best and I mean at best 1,000 attendees

thought that sentence initially read a bit mangled
hoping that is better?
but then it is entirely possible I just made it worse ;)
Oh well

Posted by: Penny | Apr 12 2012 15:18 utc | 13

this farqher has an interesting bio

Whenever the violence of the region in those years abated, he tried to focus on topics that highlighted daily life - stories about stuff like anti-dog fatwas in Iran, the most famous Lebanese chef and a wildly popular comedy series on Saudi television. He spent his last year as the Mideast correspondent writing an in-depth series that profiled half a dozen men and women working for political and social change.

Neil's exposure to the Middle East actually started early, at age three, when his father moved the family to Libya to work in the nascent oil industry. (He began his education at Esso Elementary School.)

so, he's an oil industry guy from birth. when he's not writing about violence in the ME, he's writing stories to reinforce negative feelings toward iran, and positive feelings toward saudi arabia.

Posted by: Proton Soup | Apr 12 2012 16:46 utc | 14

yeah, this seems to be about Saudi Arabia now

show all

Thursday, April 12, 2012 | 22:28 Beirut Subscribe to NOW Lebanon RSS feeds

NOW News
Erdogan says Damascus failing to abide by peace plan
April 12, 2012 share
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Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan Thursday accused the Syrian regime of failing to abide by the ceasefire and peace plan hammered out by UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan.

"There's a six-point plan put forward by Annan... Is it being implemented? I'm not of the opinion it is being implemented," Erdogan told reporters before leaving for Saudi Arabia where he was to have talks on the Syrian crisis.

To read more:
Only 25% of a given NOW Lebanon article can be republished. For information on republishing rights from NOW Lebanon:

Posted by: somebody | Apr 12 2012 19:29 utc | 15

I'm returning here to my theme that the Syrian leadership has the support of the majority of the Syrian people.

In the following video Syrian soliders stand over the body of a rebel they've just killed. They gleefully sing "Ya Bashar we're your men" and one solider says into the camera "This was one of the American collaborators who are trying to shoot and kill us.... The followers of Sheikh Al-Arour [we are vanquishing]...." English translation has been added as text in subtitles. The date is about a month ago. . I've now seen enough videos like that to make me believe that it summarizes what most Syrian soldiers say they're fighting for and fighting against. The soldiers say they're fighting for the Syria of Assad against Western Puppets and Salafis. (In my own view the soldiers are fighting for the Syrian Establishment against Chronic Chaos and Bedlam).

The following are two more videos dating from March showing Syrian soldiers enthusiastically cheering for Bashar Assad by name while standing over the bodies of dead rebels. English translation has been added as subtitles:

The following is a video of a Syrian brigadier-general giving a pep talk to a group of soldiers in Homs in late March. The soldiers interrupt with cheers for Bashar by name several times. English translation has been added as text in subtitles.

Soldiers line-dancing together to a dancey song with pro-Bashar lyrics, early April 2012:

Soldiers singing praises for Bashar in Homs Bab Amr:

In more official settings, more officially controlled, you'll hear soldiers speaking of "Homeland Honor Dedication" and suchlike mottos, with no mention of Bashar by name. But Bashar by name comes up spontaneously in the informal settings that you see in all the above videos. In almost any other country in similar circumstances, a body of soldiers would generally not take a partisan political position like that, even informally, because it could potentially be divisive within their ranks. Every soldier wants to be a force for law and order, but not every soldier wants to be a force for his country's ruling political party as such. The fact that the Syrian soldiers cheer specifically for Bashar is an indicator to me that cheering for Bashar is uncontroversial and non-divisive within the ranks. The soldiers in the videos are foot-soldiers who are "the soldiers of the people by the people", that is, they are drawn from a semi-representative cross-section of all Syrians. So, by extension, the fact they cheer for Bashar is an indicator that support for the government is broad and deep in the general society.

There are many other indicators that the government's support is broad and deep in the general society -- see

Posted by: Parviziyi | Apr 12 2012 20:56 utc | 16

The Syrian Sunni clerical leadership supports the Syrian government and opposes the uprising. That is not news. But on 10 and 11 April 2012 many senior Syrian muftis gathered in Damascus and reaffirmed it. Here's some news coverage of that:

Posted by: Parviziyi | Apr 12 2012 21:22 utc | 17

@ 16:"I'm returning here to my theme that the Syrian leadership has the support of the majority of the Syrian people."

I would think this would be the most relevant statement to be proven or dis-proven in this whole Syrian discussion. I never heard it discussed with regards to Libya either, outside of MOA.

Posted by: ben | Apr 12 2012 21:31 utc | 18

@ # 18. I humbly disagree.

It doesn't matter if the statement, "the Syrian leadership has the support of the majority of the Syrian people", is true or not.

For what it's worth, I agree with most people reading here that it is true. Parviziyi does a good job of documenting this.

But the truth doesn't matter with regard to how the West and NATO and the media will act. We have already seen this. They will stage photo ops of Kofi Anan with Syrian children in traditional garb as if to say the insurgents are the true representative of Syria. Indeed, Turkey and the U.S. appear to be supporting these terrorists diplomatically as if they deserve an large role in Turkey's fate.

Look, you are not going to shame the west or the media into acknowledging facts. They are lying! They intend to invade and rip the country apart, as they did in Libya. There is no going back now. It is only a matter of timing--do they do this in the next couple months, or let it simmer another 6 months, or year, etc.

There is probably less than a 5% chance that Syria has to use logic and facts to convince the West not to invade. And they are losing Russia on these very facts, (not that this is a surprise, it's been clear to me for a while Russia will not stop the attack). Why isn't Russia more strongly defending Syria on this border dispute? Why isn't Russia disputing what Erdogan told the media? That Russia and China are leaning more toward his position and he may visit Russia?

Posted by: Walter Wit Man | Apr 12 2012 21:57 utc | 19

The Western countries have been obnoxious towards the Syrian government and the Syrian people. They've believed and disseminated a tidal wave of scurrilous falsehoods without a decent basis. But the West is not going to interfere in Syria any more than they've already done. In particular the West is not going to interfere militarily. Here are some quotations from Western foreign ministries to illustrate that comment #19 from "Walter Wit Man" is mistaken.

The USA position today 12 Apr 2012 was summarized by USA Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford in an interview on 28 Sep 2011: "The main thing for the opposition to do is figure out how to win away support from the regime, and not look to outsiders to try and solve the problem. This is a Syrian problem and it needs Syrian solutions."... Ford is strongly advising the opposition against a turn to arms. "It would be a mistake," he says, not least because "you want to be sure that if you're even contemplating this, you have a way to know that whatever you're going to do militarily is going to be effective.... I very frankly say to people, you don't have enough force to fight the Syrian army, you're not even close. We have to be realistic.",8816,2094881,00.html

On 11 Feb 2012 Robert Ford said: "The US position is that we reject ANY KIND of military intervention in Syria, let's be clear about that. We are striving for a peaceful political solution. Even the Syrian people do not want a military solution to this crisis. We believe Assad should step down, but at the end of the day the Syrian people will make the decision, not the US."

On 26 Feb 2012 Hilary Clinton said: "I think that there's every possibility of a civil war [in Syria]. Outside intervention would not prevent that. It would probably expedite it." Source: AFP @ . When Clinton said outside intervention would probably expedite civil war, she was thinking about outside military supplies to rebels as well as an outside military invasion. On 4 Feb 2012 Hilary Clinton was asked if there would be any possibility of foreign military intervention in Syria and she replied: "No, military intervention has been absolutely ruled out. And we've made that clear from the very beginning."; AFP @ .

On 12 Mar 2012 USA foreign ministry spokesman Mark Toner said: "We don't believe further militarizing the situation in Syria is a good idea.... At this point we're not looking to militarize the situation any more than it already has been. We don't believe that that's gonna ameliorate the situation." And also on 12 Mar 2012 White House spokesman Jay Carney said: "Our policy remains absolutely what it was, which is our belief that contributing to the further militarization of Syria is not a wise course of action right now. It could potentially lead down a dangerous road." . And also on 12 Mar 2012 the USA Vice-President Joseph Biden said that the United States rejects arming any of the parties in Syria.

On 29 Feb 2012 the Senate of France voted in favour of a resolution that France should not provide any weapons to the rebels in Syria. . On 15 Mar 2012 France foreign minister Alain Juppe said: "The Syrian people are deeply divided and if we give weapons to a certain fraction of the opposition in Syria, we will organize a civil war between Christians, Alawites, Sunnis and Shiites. It could be a disaster even greater than what exists today."; . On 6 Mar 2012 the British ambassador to Damascus said that Britain does not plan to arm the Syrian rebels; . On 9 Mar 2012, Germany’s foreign minister said any talk of military intervention was “counter-productive,” adding that it could bring “really disastrous consequences” to Syria. .

Posted by: Parviziyi | Apr 12 2012 22:43 utc | 20

The guys causing mayhem in syria have plans elsewhere,-says-Coptic-bishop-24161.html
Why would anybody want to go there now. They are ruining their own country and obviously don't want tourists or they wouldn't be going out of their way to make people feel uncomfortable and unwelcome. Such a shame, but is anyone really surprised? Even a cursory knowledge of the Middle East would tell you that there have always been fundamentalists awaiting their opportunity, and only the repressive ex-governments have stood in their way. People who rebelled to get 'freedom' will live to wish they hadn't bothered.
- Jane ROBERTS, Oxford, 23/12/2011 14:40

Posted by: brian | Apr 12 2012 22:45 utc | 21

On Norwegian state TV this day, the news coverage of the ceasefire, they mentioned the government breach of shooting 3 "civilians", and left out the roadside bomb by the rebels.

I sent a mail, asking them not to be so blatant about their onesided coverage, understanding that they had to try legitimizing intervention and regimechange, but please try to at least give impression of a balanced coverage..
On their next news-broadcast, there was even interviews with two civilian Syrians, both were positive to their government, one of them said the government shouldn't pull out tanks from cities, as that would make the public feel unprotected.

My point is, it does help to poke at the news-editors, at least some of them, but you have to be smart about it.
On the other hand, I've never seen newscoverage with as much blood-lust as today. The topic of b's article indeed is justified,

Posted by: Alexander | Apr 12 2012 23:09 utc | 22

of note:

'There are five major Salafist groups in Gaza, all of which espouse an austere form of Sunni Islam that seeks a return to practices that were common in the early days of the faith.

Their religious observances and refusal to abide by various ceasefires have set them on a path of confrontation with Hamas'

these are the same group who are the insurgents in its no surprise they dont abide by the Annan ceasefire!

Gaza Salafists snatch Italian, threaten to kill him
By Mai Yaghi (AFP) – Apr 14, 2011

GAZA CITY — A Salafist group of radical Islamists kidnapped an Italian activist in Gaza on Thursday and threatened to kill him, the group and aid workers said.

Foreign aid workers in the enclave named the man as Vittorio Arrigoni and said he was an activist with a pro-Palestinian group called the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), who was also working as a journalist and writer.


Posted by: brian | Apr 12 2012 23:18 utc | 23

Bashar Assad said in a nationally televised speech on 10 Jan 2012: "We were late [in modernizing political institutions].... But our being late doesn’t mean that we reached the point of no return. The important thing now is to stand united."

In the assessment of all Syrian government supporters (and I am a government supporter, btw), most of the people of Syria adhere to the spirit of national unity and support the reform program led by the government. You can find a lot of talk in pro-goverment quarters that national unity is real. Another way to put it is that the political landscape to a first approximation consists of a big monolith plus a few small separate fragments. What happens politically is whatever the monolithic People of Syria wants and insists on. Here's a few quotes illustrating that the government thinks in terms of a monolith:

Bashar Assad on 16 Apr 2011: "The most dangerous thing is the existence of contradiction between the direction we [the government] are moving in and the direction the [monolithic] people are moving in.... What’s important at this stage is for us to reach a state of unity, unity between the government, state institutions and the [monolithic] people.... From my meetings with sections of the population last week, I found that there is a gap which started to appear between state institutions and the Syrian citizens. This gap must be closed.... What’s important is that we and the population are one party, not two parties."

Bashar Assad on 19 Nov 2011: "Most of the Syrians are unified, and what's happening now is a minority of militants are killing Syrians on a daily basis."

Walid al-Moallem on 28 Nov 2011: "I take pride in the [monolithic] Syrian people.... I assure you that the [monolithic] Syrian people's word is the Syrian leadership's decision." ,

The Syrian General Federation of Trade Unions on 7 Dec 2011 expressed confidence that the national unity of the [monolithic] Syrian people and their rallying around President Bashar al-Assad is the guarantee to preserve Syria's steadfastness in the face of all challenges.

With this view of the political landscape, the opposition cannot impose order on itself let alone bring order to Syria because the opposition isn't trying to be with the monolith. The opposition does not even attempt to win the monolith. Instead, the opposition trys to get foreign interference to destroy the monolith. But the foreigners are not going to do it. So Syria is fine, imo.

Another thing Bashar said on 10 Jan 2012:

The basic question which has been put to me with a great deal of intensity is: when and how will it end? There are things which we know and things we don’t. The first thing which we don’t have full information about but we can draw deductions about is the [foreign] conspiracy. It will end when the Syrian people decide to turn into a submissive people, when we submit and abandon all our heritage....

Posted by: Parviziyi | Apr 12 2012 23:29 utc | 24

Just a very basic logical problem Parviziyi, you say the West is lying about Syria, which I agree with, but yet you then go on to site these same sources for evidence they don't have plans of attacking.

Why would they lie about the basic facts and then tell the truth about their intentions?

They are lying on both counts. They are lying about the basic facts, like how much support the government and Assad have, and they are lying about their intentions (the West has ALREADY supported regime change, and they will continue to do so).

When Hillary Clinton says military intervention has been "ruled out", she's lying. Obviously. Because the U.S. and the West have already helped out militarily. They have already ruled this option in, obviously. So it's a bit naive to accept Hillary's word.

Again, I wish your interpretation were accurate, but wishes don't make reality.

In fact, it's dangerous for Syria to get cocky or complacent and to assume they have repelled the invaders when all the evidence looks like the most powerful military forces on earth are getting ready for a final assault after an undetermined period of further weakening Syria diplomatically, at least.

Posted by: Walter Wit Man | Apr 13 2012 0:02 utc | 25

@ Walter Wit Man #25: I didn't say the West is lying about Syria. I said at #20: "The Western countries have been obnoxious towards the Syrian government and the Syrian people. They've believed and disseminated a tidal wave of scurrilous falsehoods without a decent basis."

I go along with the old saying "Never ascribe to bad faith what can be explained by incompetence." Or "never ascribe to devious malice what can be explained by mainstream bigotry."

The West, through incompetence and bigotry, decides to give credence to reports that they know are unverified. And it suits their purposes to give no credence to the denials by the other side, and act with reckless disregard for verification. That's not the same as a damn lie.

I won't deny that damn lies are said sometimes by Western governments. But I deny that the quotes at #20 are being said without sincerity.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Apr 13 2012 0:37 utc | 26

my letter to the Economist:

Hello Economist
... in your article on Erdogan and Syria you claim: 'IN THE early hours of April 9th a group of Syrian civilians fled to the Turkish border as clashes between insurgents from the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and Syrian government forces raged. Two Syrians died and several others, including two Turks, were wounded when Syrian troops fired on the civilians’ destination, a refugee camp located in the Turkish province of Kilis'

this is not true...what happened and ironically is backed by the SOHR (no friend to syria) is :
The AP reported on that shooting:
The soldiers were believed to be firing at rebels who tried to escape to the refugee camp after ambushing a Syrian military checkpoint, killing six soldiers, according to the Britain-based activist group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.'
Which makes much more sense even if less useful propaganda.
so why make a claim that looks like deliberate disinfo?

The SOHR has been the main source of a lot of propaganda against the syrian govt…yet even here they don’t claim what you do.

Also this story in RT claims these refugee camps are being used by the insurgents to commit raids on syria.

Also this Asia Times report concurs:

So why does your story make the claims it does?


Posted by: brian | Apr 13 2012 1:25 utc | 27

The westerns regimes and their press ARE lying about syria...thats plain as all the dodgy media reports!

see my post above

Posted by: brian | Apr 13 2012 1:27 utc | 28

@ Alexander | Apr 12, 2012 7:09:20 PM | 22

I've had similarly encouraging responses to my complaints to Oz news media. Several have filled a gap, or balanced a bias, I complained about at the next opportunity. Don't get me wrong. Their coverage is still crap but they do respond to brief, restrained, respectful complaints.

"My point is, it does help to poke at the news-editors, at least some of them, but you have to be smart about it."
That's the key.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 13 2012 3:52 utc | 29

Well, here it is folks; straight from the horse's mouth ... er ... website.
Found via niqnaq...

NATO Reports: Syria at Any Cost
(But prefers "cheapest" method possible - exposes Annan "peace deal" as insidious gambit to "buy time.")
by Tony Cartalucci - Land Destroyer

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 14 2012 8:43 utc | 30

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