Worrisome Security Council Syrian Resolution
by Stephen Lendman
On April 14, the Security Council unanimously passed Resolution 2042. The UN News Centre headlined, "Syria: Security Council authorizes deployment of advance military observer team," saying:
The Security Council authorized sending "an advance team of up to 30 unarmed military observers to Syria to report on the implementation of a full cessation of armed violence, pending the deployment of a United Nations supervision mission tasked with monitoring the ceasefire."
While calling on all sides to end violence and guarantee the safety and free movement of observers, once again fingers pointed mainly the wrong way.
Reports suggested disagreement delayed passage for 24 hours. Russia argued for even-handed language. Its efforts fell short. More on that below.
An advance 30 member team was on standby for departure. A total force of up to 250 will join them. It's not clear who they'll be, where they'll be from, or who'll select them.
Key is having independent observers on the ground reporting honestly on what they see. Achieving it's a tall order, especially when official reports and scoundrel media distort and lie.
Washington wants the process manipulated its way. If pro-Western monitors are deployed, anti-Assad accusations will continue.
At best, a shaky truce holds. At issue is for how long. Insurgent-caused violence continues. Deaths and injuries follow. Expect greater eruptions ahead.
The Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) headlined, "Increasing Military and Civilian Deaths and Injuries in Escalation of Terrorist Groups," saying:
Insurgents "opened fire randomly in al-Eza'a mountain." They attacked public and private property, including the city's TV and radio headquarters.
Eye witnesses said one man put an explosive device under a car. Others armed with automatic weapons stormed a private home. Residents were threatened. A Red Crescent ambulance driver was attacked and beaten.
A pharmacy was set ablaze. Army Colonel Mohammad Awad Eid was kidnapped en route to his Hama unit. His whereabouts are unknown.
An armed terror group stormed the home of parliamentary candidate Mohammad Ismael al-Ahmad. He was taken to an unknown location. In the same area, Majed Farah al-Arnous, a private citizen, was abducted.
Other insurgents attacked a security patrol between al-Ghosum and al-Sakhwa villages. Two deaths and two injuries resulted. In Daraa, policeman al-Saryouli and warrant officer al-Ghabra were hospitalized after being attacked.
Near Daraa, the bodies of Lt. Colonel Mohammad Ali Atbeh and First Lt. Majd Maher Bakri were found. Both died from gunshot wounds. A bus carrying Sarakeb civilians was attacked. Three injuries resulted.
Insurgents burned the Lattakia Qneinas neighborhood medical center. Fire burned a warehouse and reproduction health clinic. In Deir Ezzor province, armed terrorists attacked mourners in Mouhsen. One death was reported.
Retired Colonel Akel Mahmoud was killed in Adra, near Damascus. In Douma City, three dead bodies were found. Gunshots killed them. In Homs, insurgents opened fire on unarmed civilians. One death and 12 injuries were reported.
Gunmen stormed the Daraa area home of policeman Khalid Fuad Rahhal. His father and brother were killed. He was wounded.
This and more occurred in the first 48 hours since ceasefire terms took effect. They continued on day three. Armed terror gangs attacked civilians, security forces, public and private property.
Dozens of incidents occurred. Deaths, injuries, and destruction resulted. Syrian authorities cite "hysterically escalated aggressions" since ceasefire was declared.
Imagine what's likely coming. Terror gangs keep killing civilians and security forces. As always, Assad's blamed for their crimes. Expect anti-regime rhetoric to continue.
Less Than Even-Handed Security Council Resolution on Syria
Resolution 2042 includes disturbing language. It "(e)xpresses its intention to assess the implementation of this resolution and to consider further (unspecified) steps as appropriate."
The text fell short of even-handedness. It never should have passed. At issue is what follows. Violence won't end. Washington won't let it. Incidents keep occurring regularly, including on Turkey's border.
Ankara provides sanctuaries for Free Syrian Army (FSA) insurgents. Heavily armed, they attack sovereign Syrian territory, then return to safe havens. The pattern's repeated. Turkey's responsible. When Assad's forces confront them responsibly, he's wrongly blamed.
Moreover, AP reports "Obama has ramped up US aid (to) Syria's opposition in hopes of accelerating the downfall of (Assad), officials said Friday."
On condition of anonymity, US officials told AP they wouldn't "outline all forms of American assistance...."
For months, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, perhaps other regional states, and Western ones provided insurgents with arms, munitions, funding, and training. US and British Special Forces actively participate on the ground. So do CIA and MI6 operatives.
Nothing changed. The resolution left these vital issues unaddressed. They're key, and unless stopped, conflict will keep raging.
Terror gangs are paid to fight. As long as funds arrive, killing and destruction will continue. Assad, of course, gets blamed, including for confronting them responsibly.
The US controlled blame game has one aim - regime change by any means, including war. Turkey's a key player. At issue is will the Erdogan's government go this far. Internal opposition stands firmly opposed.
Security Council 2042 Provisions
(1) Immediately implement Annan's six-point plan, facilitating "a Syrian-led political transition leading to a democratic, plural political system, in which citizens are equal regardless of their affiliations, ethnicities or beliefs, including through commencing a comprehensive political dialogue between the Syrian government and the whole spectrum of the Syrian opposition."
Syrians indeed should choose their own government and leaders. Washington has something else in mind - replacing Assad with a client state.
(2) Calls on Assad to "(a) cease troop movements towards population centres, (b) cease all use of heavy weapons in such centres, and (c) begin pullback of military concentrations in and around population centres."
Doing so will leave Syrian civilians defenseless. Assad can't nor should he agree. Imagine if city police in America failed to protect local populations. Chaos would result. Streets would be unsafe. Politicians allowing this would be thrown out and replaced.
(3) Withdraw "all Syrian government troops and heavy weapons (to) their barracks...."
At issue is the same problem raised above.
(4) All parties are called on, "including the opposition," to end violence in all forms.
Key is even-handed enforcement.
(5) A UN "supervision mission....to monitor a cessation of armed violence in all its forms by all parties...."
At issue again is even-handedness.
(6) "Calls upon the Syrian government to ensure the effective operation of the mission (by providing) full, unimpeded, and immediate freedom of movement and access as necessary...."
Free movement should be confined to public areas subjected or vulnerable to violence. They should exclude locations no government would allow, such as military bases.
(7) An advance team of 30 monitors is authorized. Assad's called on to fully cooperate.
What about insurgents? They're the problem, not Assad.
(8) All parties are called on "to guarantee the safety of the advance team, (but) primary responsibility in this regard lies with the Syrian authorities."
Responsibility lies equally with all parties to the conflict. Part-way compliance won't work.
(9) The Secretary-General's requested "to report immediately to the Security Council any obstructions to the effective operation of the team by any party."
At issue, is whether he'll even-handedly. So far, Ban said little about insurgent violence. He focused almost entirely on Assad confronting it. He vilified him for doing it. Expect little change in his attitude and approach.
(10) Syria, not insurgents, is called on "to allow immediate, full and unimpeded access to humanitarian personnel to all populations in need of assistance...."
All sides must cooperate equally. One alone won't work.
(11) Ban's requested to report on implementation to Council by April 19.
What he'll know in that short period leaves much in doubt.
(12) "(F)urther steps as appropriate" will be considered once implementation has been assessed.
If fingers keep pointing one way, expect tighter sanctions and possible intervention. At issue is how Russia and China will respond.
Moscow especially disapproved of original resolution language. Its current form leaves much to be desired. Major issues were unaddressed. They include continued arming, funding and training insurgents.
Now, according to AP, efforts will be stepped up. Doing so ensures continued conflict, not ending it. Also, pointing fingers largely one way leaves little said about insurgent violence. That's the key issue. Prioritizing it is essential.
Syria was calm and peaceful until Western-generated violence erupted. Priority one is confronting and ending it. Resolution 2042 left that unaddressed.
At issue is what's next. Given Washington's hardline agenda, expect little positive to follow.
Regime change plans depend on violence and instability. Most likely they'll persist. Assad will be blamed, then whatever "further steps" imperial America has in mind will be clarified.
A Final Comment
The RAND Corporation think tank has considerable influence on US policy. Operating like a shadow government, it supports militarism, imperial wars, and technocrat run world government.
Its ideal world isn't fit to live in. Media scoundrels ignore its agenda.
Former US Assistant Secretary of State James Dobbins directs RAND's International Security and Defense Policy Center. In mid-February, he addressed Syria, saying:
Its situation "bears considerable resemblance to that of a year ago in Libya. In both cases an aroused population is seeking to oust a long established dictator, and is being savagely repressed as a result."
"In both cases, some level of external intervention will probably be needed to ensure such an outcome. Finally, from an American standpoint, the United States has much to gain from regime change—even more in Syria than in Libya."
He continued saying if Syria's opposition seeks US help supported by Western and regional allies, Washington "should contribute those military assets which only it can provide."
Dobbins sees Turkey playing a similar role as France and Britain did against Libya. A Security Council resolution calling for intervention "would be highly desirable but not essential."
He cites NATO's 1999 Yugoslavia war undertaken without UN authorization. He recommends replicating it against Syria following the Libyan model. He suggests America again "lead from behind."
Given Washington's regime change agenda, expect Dobbins' scenario to unfold ahead, maybe sooner than imagined.
At issue is how Russia and China will react. Both have vital regional interests. It's hard imagining they won't protect them.
The possibility of out-of-control regional war becoming global is frightening. Events ahead bear close watching. The worst may be yet to come.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.