Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 10, 2012

Syria: Various News

The situation on the ground in Syria is difficult to assess though judging from the names of towns mentioned in various news accounts and insurgency videos the Syrian army's operations are moving to smaller towns in the countryside and nearer to its borders with Turkey and Lebanon.

Yesterday Kofi Annan met with Bashar Assad and if this leaked account is true agreed on a plan to implement local ceasefires on a case by case base. Some of the insurgent groups may agree to such ceasefires, other may not and will thereby then attract special attention by the Syrian army.

Annan also traveled to Iran and Iraq to find support for his plan. Russia is offering Moscow as the next place for an international meeting on Syria and, like Annan, wants to include Iran in those talks.

Next week Erdogan will make a one day visit to Moscow and will likely get an earful from Putin. As Putin said yesterday:

I believe that we must do everything possible to press the parties in this conflict into negotiating a peaceful political solution to all issues of dispute.

Turkey depends on natural gas imports from Russia and Iran and a reminder on that may be a way to move Erdogan away from supporting the insurgents. Russia also has troops in Armenia, another neighbor to which Turkey is rather hostile, and is said to increase its troop size there to divisional strength. (The Armenia - Azerbaijan conflict is heating up and, with western support for Azerbaijan, may become one of the hot spots if the conflict over Syria or Iran escalates.)

The Russian troop increase and the next two items seem intended to keep keep any western power away from stupid ideas.

Syria held two days of military maneuver with an emphasis on coastal and air defense.

Russia is sending a small fleet into the Mediterranean which will also visit the Syrian harbor of Tartus. The fleet will stay until September.

That may then be the time frame Russia thinks is needed for the Syrian government to achieve a situation on the ground that allows for a better negotiation position and a solution the Syrian government and Russia can live with.

Posted by b on July 10, 2012 at 16:11 UTC | Permalink


Todenhöfer gets very explicit on the situation in Syria here:

translation " ... he criticizes the rebels, as they target civilians in order to claim them to be victims of the government. He draws this savoury statement on talks with eye witnesses in Hula, where one of the worst massacres took place. Todenhöfer calls the acts the rebels commit according to his findings "massacre marketing strategy", the most nauseating technique he had ever experienced in war."

"Zudem kritisiert er die Rebellen, «weil sie gezielt Zivilisten töten und diese anschliessend als Opfer der Regierung ausgeben.» Diese pikante Aussage stützt er auf Gespräche mit Augenzeugen in Hula, wo eines der schlimmsten Massaker stattfand. Todenhöfer nennt das, was die Rebellen gemäss seinen Erkenntnissen machen, «Massaker-Marketing-Strategie». Dies gehöre zum Widerlichsten, was er in kriegerischen Auseinandersetzungen jemals erlebt habe."

I guess, that is the "Al Jazeera technique"

Posted by: somebody | Jul 10 2012 19:19 utc | 1

Annan seem to wise up to who constructive partners can be in this case.

Posted by: Alexander | Jul 10 2012 19:59 utc | 2

In spite of all that is said, the Asad government seems to me to be weakening, though I don't have the proof. As with Egypt and Libya, in the end popular vote will be for Sunnism, rather its extremist form, Salafism. As in any civil war people will go for extreme ideologies.

I don't particularly want to convince you of my point of view; it's just what I think.

On the other hand, b, I was expecting a piece on Egypt. That is a classic conflict. MB president, Mursi, elected by popular vote, conflicts with the unelected military high command in demanding reconvocation of the elected parliament, demand refused. Western correspondents speak in favour of anti-democratic High Command. It's a classic. Democracy goes in the sense the West doesn't want, so it is downplayed in the media, and no doubt will be opposed in the West.

I have have never seen such a good case which proves what conspiratorial thinkers have been saying.

Posted by: alexno | Jul 10 2012 21:01 utc | 3

There are some exceptional stuff going on these days, like caricatures of reality, bizarre events. Material for several volumes of historybooks, and case studies, not least a gross example of how the media works, and willful ignorance of experts. Anywhoo, I think the Baath-party and Assad are going to ride this one out, and the west will do whatever they can to distract the issue of a ICC trial against the Syrian government, it's not going to happen - despite some calls for it, the western regimes wouldn't stand up very well to the scrutiny.

Posted by: Alexander | Jul 10 2012 21:19 utc | 4

>>> Annan seem to wise up to who constructive partners can be in this case.>>>

Alexander, your man entrusted to find a peaceful solution to Syria is the same man that was directly responsible for death of 500,000 Iraqi children and probably just many adults during his watch at the UN.

There is nothing constructive about Annan, Alexander, he is a merchant of death and he can't be taking Syria to any safe place. Many more Palestinians have been killed than the 16,000 or so Syrians and neither the UN nor the Gulf Arabs have made a case of the Palestinians' plight as much as they are now making about Syria, and this should tell you that there is something unholy about the man and the organization that has mandated him to help on Syria. He's a bagman; you have to remember his son getting caught with his hand in the till over the oil for food program imposed on Iraq. Annan also ordered the bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999; a couple of years later he was absurdly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Posted by: www | Jul 10 2012 23:24 utc | 5

Www #5

I couldn't have said it any better WWW. Annan is a tool nothing more, just like Ban ki Moon, just like very one of these guys even butors butros gali. They're in it for themselves and no one else, their role model is Tony Blair and they work for the puppet masters in the security council who use them like pawns.

Annan's job is to provide excuses for the west to blast Syria if Assad does not comply like a good little boy. In this conflict Annan is being used by both the west to put pressure on Assad and Russia and china to show they can't have it their way all the time.

The UN is a joke. Created by the winners of the second world war to make sure no one steps out of line with what they control.

Posted by: ana souri | Jul 11 2012 0:23 utc | 6

Next week Erdogan will make a one day visit to Moscow and will likely get an earful from Putin.

I imagine your euro of the counterrevolution, Vladimir Putin, will say "whatever… We're not sending Jr. anymore bombs…"

Posted by: slothrop | Jul 11 2012 1:15 utc | 7

hero… But, strangely enough, "euro" is okay, too

Posted by: slothrop | Jul 11 2012 1:16 utc | 8

egypt's revolution was a bourgeois revolution, if Morsi fails, he will be pushed aside by the radical revolutionaries

Posted by: nikon | Jul 11 2012 3:10 utc | 9

Next week Erdogan will make a one day visit to Moscow and will likely get an earful from Putin. As Putin said yesterday:
Here is the reason why
on June 28, the Russian government's food safety and quarantine service Rosselkhoznadzor (RSN) issued an announcement disclosing that it had detected 33 cases of infestation in Turkish exports to Russia of fruits and vegetables. The detection had reportedly taken place over the previous six months, possibly longer. The pests were identified in the official announcement as "the American white moth and the western (California) flower thrip"... Then followed the warning of a trade embargo. "As you know, in 2005 Rosselkhoznadzor was forced to introduce restrictive measures on imports of Turkish plant products due to the discovery of systemic infestation in the quarantine facilities in Russia."

Posted by: hans | Jul 11 2012 4:57 utc | 10

1) Kofi Annan's son worked for a Swiss inspection company with a UN contract. There might be nepotism involved. Nothing else.

2) Kofi Annan's role is that of moderator. Nothing else. He is very good at it. He has to go where the power / the agreement is. The role of the US in all this is unclear. Hillary Clinton might be saying publicly one thing whilst the administration is working for something different.

3) First indications of the Wikileaks file are that Bashar Assad is a representative of the Syrian regime, but not where the power is. Apart from that he might be saying publicly one thing whilst working for something different. My impression of the Baath party elite however is that they are highly professional.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 11 2012 5:37 utc | 11

>>> egypt's revolution was a bourgeois revolution, if Morsi fails, he will be pushed aside by the radical revolutionaries >>>

Don't worry about the Salafists, nikon, the only ones they can bully are the Christians. If Morsi fails, the US would simply name a replacement. I can't see the "bourgeois" element or even revolution having taken place. The shop is still 40% owned and managed by the miltary; simplified, it was more about a kids wanting to be left alone on the internet and the army going along because it wanted no part of Mubarak's planned imposition of his dynasty on it. No glamour, no revolution there. I read somewhere that Mubarak didn't even know about Suleiman's speech announcing that he (Mubarak) had stepped down.

Posted by: www | Jul 11 2012 7:02 utc | 12

>>> My impression of the Baath party elite however is that they are highly professional.>>>

Evidently very true, somebody, President Assad is only the front man. The real power and string pullers are the people of the Baath party. Assad is a mild-mannered ophtalmologist that stays Clark Kent all the time. Assad had been wanting to make meaningful social and political changes from his first day at the office but the big guys running the country would not let him. They screwed up.

Posted by: www | Jul 11 2012 7:13 utc | 13

The source of the Russian-Turkish vegetable story:

Posted by: Antifo | Jul 11 2012 7:24 utc | 14

On 14 June, The Monthly Argument presented a debate on Syria at Melbourne University Graduate House. Two members of Australians for Syria spoke. Deakin University academic, Sally Totman was booked to speak but pulled out at the last minute, so Susan Dirgham was asked to take her place.

Posted by: brian | Jul 11 2012 8:39 utc | 15

>>> Kofi Annan's role is that of moderator. Nothing else. He is very good at it.>>> (somebody)

I'd exchange the word "moderator" for the word "manipulator". He got the top UN job when he backed the US plan to bomb Yugoslavia. Boutros Boutros-Ghali was kicked out of the job at the end of his first term because he opposed America's plan. Kojo Annan's funny business was about $60 million diverted into Saddam's personal bank account instead into buying food.

More on Kofi Annan and what he's doing own Syria. From Tony Cartalucci from the Land Destroyer blog:

"UN's Kofi Annan: An Agent of Wall Street; Peace envoy" sits on board with traitors, meddlers, and warmongers.
by Tony Cartalucci

Posted by: www | Jul 11 2012 8:54 utc | 16

Tony Cartalucci does the obvious summaries of the bad guys- except for the real power behind the throne- Israel. He spent several paragraphs in his pieces bemoaning how "Israel is always blamed unfairly for everything in the middle east" and further elaborations on their perennial victimhood. Look at his articles, he has done a complete rundown of all parties benefitting from the phony "Springs" EXCEPT Israel. He will name all the big, amorphous corporate help-tanks but refuses to ID the zionist leaders at the top of every single one of them. He is the slickest zionist cover artist to emerge in a long time.

Posted by: pratt | Jul 11 2012 9:06 utc | 17

Yes, Pratt, especially the Brookings. Can you believe that this outfit has a branch in Qatar whose branch manager was invited to speak at Herzliya last February and tell the gathering of barracudas all about the Arab Spring happening around them. Other notable invitees to Herzliya were negotiator extraordinaire, Saeb Erekat, and the opening speech of the annual seminar that reviews innovations on better ways to screw the Palestinians was delivered via video by Prince Hassan of Jordan.

Posted by: www | Jul 11 2012 9:40 utc | 18

www you are forgetting the fact, that the US does not need the UN for a war ...

Posted by: somebody | Jul 11 2012 10:12 utc | 19

Since Iraq, the US have a very high threshold for engaging in an overt illegal war. They rather go at it like in Syria rather than declaring an illegal conventional war not sanctioned by the UN.

Posted by: Alexander | Jul 11 2012 10:21 utc | 20

heres one revolution the US regime wont be supporting:
“It seems that the revolution is ongoing for months, probably, despite all this kind of negligence by the Western media and from the Middle Eastern media,” said Mohsen Saleh, a professor at the Lebanese University in Beirut, alluding to the growing anti-governments protests across Saudi Arabia.

“The [al-Saud] family is really trying to put down this revolution and they can’t. It seems that they can’t despite all the aid from the United States and from the West, and from the Western media,” he added.

The analyst expressed regret that the international organizations and the so-called humanitarian organizations “have not shed any kind of light” on the ensuing developments across the Saudi monarchy.

Posted by: brian | Jul 11 2012 10:32 utc | 21

Boutros-Ghali was trying to write new rules of engagement for the UN where before it would enter a country under Chapter 7, it would obtain the consent of the 2 warring factions. The US didn't like this approach about Boutros-Ghali either and decided, against the wishes of most GA and SC member nations to not renew his term. It finally did it by way of its veto as even America's allies and fellow SC members wanted to renew Boutros-Ghali's mandate. Another proof that the US doesn't really give a damn about what other members in the UN GA and SC want. As someone else mentioned here, the UN is but a tool to do whatever the US wants it to. The US decides which Securty Council resolutions are to be enforced and which resolutions are to be forgotten about such as those involving Israel. We can also add the the UN also goes along with whatever Israel decides eventhough it doesn't sit on the SC.

Posted by: www | Jul 11 2012 10:49 utc | 22

>>> The [al-Saud] family is really trying to put down this revolution and they can’t. >>>

Other than Press-TV, who is saying they can't put down this revolution? They are doing a good job of putting down the one of Bahrain and no matter how many heads are broken, the Western media won't go anywhere near it.

Posted by: www | Jul 11 2012 11:03 utc | 23

>>> www you are forgetting the fact, that the US does not need the UN for a war ...>>>

Of course it doesn't. If it doesn't have a reason for invading a country, it would invent one.

Posted by: www | Jul 11 2012 11:06 utc | 24

Because they aren't really going to wash, they just want to lick their balls.

Posted by: Alexander | Jul 11 2012 12:38 utc | 25

That didn't make much sense did it. Anywho, whatever they have planned, it has already paned out for them to be doing it now already.

Posted by: Alexander | Jul 11 2012 13:57 utc | 26

Now the German Spiegel magazine comes up colonialist stereotypes as to damage Kofi Annans reputation and sanity:

"Bombing — and then?", said Annan in an Interview with "The New Yorker" few days before the US-invasion to Iraq 2003. "I'm deeply an African. There is the tradition of palaver: sitting under a tree and talk — until a solution was found."

Posted by: Antifo | Jul 11 2012 14:20 utc | 27

maybe the intention of the editor was to smear Kofi Annan, the text the journalists came up with though is deeply ironical as Kofi Annan's question "bombing and then what" before the Iraq war is still valid today ...
anybody who wrote this text must have noticed.

Posted by: somebody | Jul 11 2012 15:13 utc | 28

the end popular vote will be for Sunnism, rather its extremist form, Salafism. As in any civil war people will go for extreme ideologies.

Posted by: Raul Montgomery | Jul 30 2012 9:18 utc | 29

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