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Russia on Syria: Alternative to Peace is Bloody Chaos

by Stephen Lendman Thursday, Sep. 05, 2013 at 10:40 AM


Russia on Syria: Alternative to Peace is Bloody Chaos

by Stephen Lendman

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov addressed Obama's intended lawless aggression. He did so forthrightly. He did it because it matters.

Russia strongly opposes Washington's regime change plans. It won't stay silent and watch. Interfax reported Lavrov's comments.

He made them ahead of the September 5 and 6 St. Petersburg G20 summit. They're important.

"Contradictory processes that are unfolding in the world mean that resolute action is needed on our part," Lavrov said.

"We will continue to oppose attempts to legitimize change of regime operations under the flag of responsibility for protection,' and to advocate the solution of problems by politico-diplomatic methods with respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and equality of all nations."

"This means more complicated and subtle work than brutal military interference, but that alone can ensure long-term conflict settlements and further stable development in conflict-stricken regions of the world." the minister said.

"One can assume confidently that in 2013 the problem of conflict prevention and settlement will remain one of the priorities for the world community,"

"We will focus on the situation in the Middle East, in North Africa, on the Korean Peninsula, and in Afghanistan."

"Naturally, we will continue to make active efforts for the political settlement of conflicts in the Commonwealth of Independent States as well, primarily the Nagorno-Karabakh and Transdniestrian conflicts."

In 2013, Russia holds the rotating G20 chairmanship. It intends using it responsibly.

"This mechanism is objectively playing an increasing role today," said Lavrov.

"It is to be the center for crisis management in the financial and economic sphere, a means of putting the global economy on a trajectory of confident, sustained and balanced growth, and a way of reforming the international financial and economic architecture."

Russia will propose that the G20 "give consideration to a set of measures to create new stimuli to investment in real economic sectors and initiatives on modernizing national systems of sovereign borrowings and sovereign debt management."

"We will continue active work to build a unifying agenda for the transparency and predictability of energy markets, energy efficiency and 'green growth.' "

Russia will focus on "problems of support for international development, liberalization of global trade and progress at the Doha round of World Trade Organization negotiations, and on issues of employment and action against corruption."

"An important resource for raising the efficiency of our foreign policy is more extensive use of 'mild force' in foreign policy."

Chance for peace in Syria is slim, said Lavrov. Russia won't stop pursuing it.

"Given the developments in Syria, chances for such a solution based on the communique issued by the Syria Action Group at its meeting in Geneva on June 30, 2012, are dwindling, but there still is a chance and we should struggle for it," he said.

"An alternative to a peaceful solution is bloody chaos. The longer it persists and the larger its scale, the worse for everyone."

"The recent contacts in Geneva in a trilateral format - Russia-USA-Arab League/UN special representative Lakhdar Brahimi - showed that there still are opportunities to find common ground on how to ensure the implementation of the Geneva accords, if attempts to rewrite them are dropped."

"We are full of determination to follow this path. It's now our partners' turn."

"Although in words they are supporting a political settlement, in reality they are encouraging war until Bashar Assad is deposed."

"A double game in the current situation in Syria is extremely dangerous and fraught with the further militarization and deepening of the conflict, the surge of radical moods, terror threats and religious violence."

Peaceful conflict resolution requires "coordinated efforts by all outside parties which should speak with one voice and strive to bring the plenipotentiary representatives of the Syrian government and the opposition to the negotiating table."

"It is necessary to stop a fierce armed standoff that claims human lives, inflicts sufferings on the people and threatens to split the Syrian state apart and cause the crisis to spill over to neighboring countries."

Lavrov wants inter-Syrian dialogue steps taken. He wants them implemented to help all Syrians.

He called force against Iran extremely worrisome. It's fraught with negative consequences. It harms global security, he said.

"The threat of the use of force against Iran is looming over the negotiating process," he said. It's very alarming."

"We are calling on all our partners to act with maximum prudence - threats to use force hamper the achievement of mutually acceptable agreements."

"A military scenario would have the most negative consequences for regional and global security, all the more so given the current turbulence in the Middle East."

At the same time, P5+1 nuclear talks are "so far going hard but (are) undoubtedly promising," .

"Over the past year, it has been possible to find some points of contact and bring our positions closer together somewhat."

"It's a basis on which we should move forward. Meticulous and persistent efforts are needed to obtain positive results."

"We have no evidence that the Iranian leadership has decided to develop a military nuclear program."

"The IAEA regularly confirms Iran's conscientious compliance with the Agreement on Guarantees and the absence of evidence that declared nuclear materials have been used for prohibited purposes."

"Admittedly, the agency notes that the framework of this agreement prevents it from becoming reliably confident that there are no undeclared nuclear materials or activities in Iran."

"Deeper and comprehensive control is needed, and that is what must underlie a settlement."

"At a meeting in Tehran on December 13 between IAEA representatives and the Iranians, progress was achieved to an agreement on modalities of interaction with the aim of eliminating suspicions that there were elements of a military dimension to the Iranian military program in the past."

Lavrov hopes for a definitive agreement ahead. Given Washington's obstructionism, it won't be easy.

"Our principle is that Iran has an unquestionable right to a civilian nuclear program, including a right to enrichment, after all remaining issues have been clarified and - let me repeat - the entire Iranian nuclear activity has been put under reliable and comprehensive IAEA control," he said.

"The international community should respond to constructive moves on the part of Iran reciprocally, including by phasing out sanctions, both unilateral and those imposed via the UN Security Council."

US/Russia relations are worrisome, Lavrov admits. "There are a number of sore points in our relations, missile defense being one of them with no agreement reached thus far."

Missile defense systems for offense targeting Russia risks potential confrontations.

"The main thing is that these systems should not weaken Russia's deterrence arsenal or disturb the decades-old the balance of forces," Lavrov said.

He reiterated Moscow's unconditional demand. It wants clear-cut guarantees America won't target Russia. It wants what it won't get.

At the same time, Lavrov hopes Washington will take a more constructive approach. It hasn't so far. The Evil Empire's been reinvented. Cold War politics is back.

Under Putin, Russia is proud and reassertive. It's not about to roll over for Washington. Putin wants its rights respected. He wants greater Moscow influence.

He stresses Russia's "independent foreign policy." He affirms the "inalienable right to security for all states, the inadmissibility of excessive force, and unconditional observance of international law."

He and Obama disagree on fundamental geopolitical issues. Key is national sovereignty. So are war and peace. America claims a divine right to fight. Putin prioritizes conflict resolution.

Disagreements between both countries play out in dueling agendas. Russia's gone all-out to prevent full-scale war on Syria. It's valued regional interests are too important to sacrifice.

It resists Obama's plan to oust Assad. Doing so means Iran's next. Russia's determined not to let Washington keep bulldozing other countries into submission.

It's taking a stand now. Its tactics won't entirely be known until they're fully revealed. It prefers constructive dialogue by all parties. It's ready to do what it takes without cooperation.

Conditions keep heating up. On September 5, Russia Today (RT) headlined "Russia warns of nuclear disaster if Syria is hit."

RT quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich saying:

"If a warhead, by design or by chance, were to hit the Miniature Neutron Source Reactor (MNSR) near Damascus, the consequences could be catastrophic."

Russia's Foreign Ministry wants an IAEA risk evaluation. It's urgent. It wants it quickly. It wants "an analysis of the risks linked to possible American strikes on the MNSR and other facilities in Syria."

According to Lukashevich, the region risks "contamination by highly enriched uranium and it would no longer be possible to account for nuclear material, its safety and control."

Radiological material could fall into the wrong hands. IAEA said it'll "consider the questions raised if we receive (a formal) request."

Syria's MNSR facility contains a small amount of nuclear material. According to Carnegie Endowment for International Peace expert Mark Hibbs:

It's enough to cause "a serious local radiation hazard." It would affect a major regional city. Damascus' population numbers around 1.7 million. They'll all potentially be endangered.

Risking a small portion of them can't be tolerated. Cruise missile technology isn't perfect. Targeting at times goes astray.

Ones other than those chosen are struck. Odds that Syria's MNSR might be hit are too great to risk.

On September 5, Itar Tass headlined "Russian analyst: US strike against Syria unavoidable."

According to Russian Institute of Strategic Studies director/Lt. General Leonid Reshetnikov:

"The aggression, should it take place, will bring about a sharp aggravation of the situation in the Middle East."

"Over the past three to four years the United States has created in the region a whole belt of states that have to exist in the condition of semi-chaos, semi-destruction and semi-functioning."

"This is true of the whole of North Africa, Iraq and Afghanistan. Syria is next. Then there will follow Iran, if it does not surrender to the Americans' demands."

"(T)his smells like war near Russia’s southern borders. The United States is building a corridor from China to the Mediterranean, where it will be deploying its military basis, just the way it has done in Afghanistan in Iraq, because it regards this part of the world as its oil and gas artery."

US media scoundrels promote war. Inflammatory headlines, commentaries and editorials do so.

On September 4, The New York Times headlined "Rockets in Syrian Attack Carried Large Payload of Gas, Experts Say."

Expects cited say what Washington wants to hear. They repeat US, British and French officials saying only Syria has large amounts of deadly toxins. Clear evidence shows otherwise.

Experts base their analysis on online videos and photos. They're not corroborated. Images are easy to create. They're simple to fake.

Without independently verified proof, analysis based on them lacks credibility. Don't expect The New York Times to explain. Its report excluded comments from other experts raising these and other important issues.

A same day Times editorial headlined "The Stakes in Congress," saying:

"The administration is walking a difficult line, trying to persuade Congress and Americans that limited military strikes will be enough to be punitive and effective yet will not pull the United States into another Middle East conflict."

"The administration is still committed to establishing peace and avoiding a complete collapse of the Syrian state."

"At a minimum, there should be severe international condemnation of Mr. Assad’s slaughter of civilians at the gathering of the Group of 20 nations this week in St. Petersburg, Russia."

"But since the meeting's host is President Vladimir Putin, Mr. Assad’s arms supplier, even that may be unlikely."

Fact check

Times editors march in lockstep with administration policy. They report one-way. They largely suppress alternative views.

They want Assad ousted. They support lawless aggression to do so. They repeat official lies. They ignore inviolable international law.

They betray readers in the process. They're not alone. Western media scoundrels suppress truth.

They ignored Syrian authorities discovering 281 barrels filled with toxic chemicals. They did so weeks earlier. There was enough to destroy a whole city. They didn't care.

They proliferate Big Lies instead. They do it repeatedly. They do it consistently. They support what demands condemnation. They risk world chaos. It doesn't matter. They endorse America uber alles right or wrong.

A Final Comment

On September 5, Russia Today headlined "Russia releases key findings on chemical attack near Aleppo indicating similarity with rebel-made weapons."

Insurgents were caught using toxic chemicals multiple times before. Russia has its own credible evidence. It produced 100 pages of documentation. It did so in July.

At the time, Moscow's UN envoy Vitaly Churkin said:

"I have just passed the analysis of samples taken at the site of the chemical attack to the UN Secretary General (Ban Ki-moon)."

"It was determined that on March 19 the rebels fired an unguided missile Bashair-3 at the town of Khan al-Assal, which has been under government control."

"The results of the analysis clearly show that the shell used in Khan al-Assal was not factory made and that it contained sarin."

Its contents "didn't contain chemical stabilizers in the toxic substance. (It's) not a standard chemical charge."

RT added:

"The RDX - an explosive nitroamine commonly used for industrial and military applications - found in the warhead was not consistent with what the armed forces use."

The Bashair-3 warhead "is the work of Bashair al-Nasra." It's a brigade "with close ties to the Free Syrian Army."

Soil and shell samples contained "non-industrially synthesized nerve agent sarin and diisopropylfluorophosphate."

During WW II, Western nations used it to produce chemical weapons. Report findings were "extremely specific." They can "substantially aide" UN investigators.

Over 30 people died in Khan al-Assal. Syria straightaway sought a UN investigation. It accused insurgents of using chemical weapons.

Washington, Britain and France blocked the UN from acting. They want insurgent crimes suppressed.

Syrian soldiers suffered poisoning after discovering tanks with sarin gas traces. Investigating what happened in Ghouta "is impossible without consideration of all these facts," said Russia's Foreign Ministry.

It doesn't matter. Western officials want fingers pointed the wrong way. It's longstanding policy.

Substituting lies for truth paves the way for lawless aggression. Expect it. It's coming. It's the American way.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

Visit his blog site at

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

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