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Undermining Russian/Syrian Peace Deal

by Stephen Lendman Wednesday, Sep. 11, 2013 at 11:50 PM


Undermining Russian/Syrian Peace Deal

by Stephen Lendman

On Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov proposed the following:

• "putting (Syrian) chemical weapons storages under international control;"

• Syria agreeing to destroy them;

• signing the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC); and

• joining the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).

By evening, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem responded positively, saying:

Monday "we held a round of very fruitful negotiations with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and he put forward an initiative regarding chemical weapons."

"Already in the evening we accepted Russia’s initiative." It's designed to "pull the rug from under the feet of American aggression."

Moallem said Assad agrees with Moscow. He accepts its proposal. He'll do everything possible to avert war.

Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi added:

"We support (Russia's initiative) because the aim is to prevent Syrian bloodshed and prevent war, of which the consequences could spread far beyond the region."

If only things worked that easily. Deterring Obama's war faces long odds. More on that below.

Hours earlier, Moallem said:

"The Syrian Arab Republic welcomes Russia's initiative, based on the Syrian's government care about the lives of our people and security of our country."

Moscow's preparing draft Security Council resolution language. So are Washington, France and Britain. They'll table a joint resolution.

David Cameron and Obama spoke. "If this is a serious proposal then we should act accordingly, and I think a UN Security Council resolution is a good idea," he said.

"In that resolution I think it's quite important that we have some clarity about thresholds."

"We need to know that there's a proper timetable for doing this."

"We need to know there'd be a proper process for doing it, and crucially there'd have to be consequences if it wasn't done."

Russia's genuine interest in defusing the current crisis must be tested, he added. It's important to be sure its proposal isn't "some delaying tactic, some ruse."

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told Paris lawmakers:

"As I understood, the Russians at this stage were not necessarily enthusiastic, and I'm using euphemism, to put all that into the framework of a UN binding resolution."

UK Foreign Minister William Hague said time is short. Syria's credibility must be assured. Assad "consistently failed to match promises with action," he claimed. He lied saying so.

He got things upside down. Assad's more than willing to meet detractors more than half way. He's rebuffed whenever he tries. It shows what long odds he faces.

At the same time, expect major East/West differences to surface. Therein explains the forthcoming struggle.

On Tuesday, Lavrov said Russia's "working out (an) efficient precise plan. (F)or that, we are in talks with the Syrian side."

"We expect to present the plan, including to the US, in the nearest future."

"We are ready to elaborate it with the UN secretary-general, UNSC members, and with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)."

It doesn't exclude investigating previous instances of chemical weapons use.

"UN experts should return to Syria and complete their mandate in full."

"The truth must be found. Those responsible should be held accountable."

On Thursday, Lavrov and Kerry will discuss things. Britain wants Russia and Syria to show what's proposed is reliable.

"The onus is very much now on the Russian government and the Assad regime to follow up in a way to show that the initiative is a serious and genuine offer," said Prime Minister David Cameron.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said Syria must show it's serious about eliminating its chemical weapons.

There's much to be skeptical about, he added. Israel said the same thing. Shimon Peres called Syria untrustworthy. Avigdor Lieberman said Assad's using Russia's proposal to "buy time." He's stalling. He's "winning time and lots of it," he claimed.

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton's spokesman, Michael Mann, welcomed Russia's proposal. He asked for more details on what it entails.

China and Iran expressed support. Japan expressed its own. So did Arab League Secretary General Nabil al-Arabi.

France drafted its own resolution. Precise US/UK/French language is still being discussed.

Lavrov said Russia won't accept provisions threatening force. Putting the onus for possible chemical weapons use on Syria is unacceptable, he stressed.

Cameron said what's proposed must ensure what Russia proposed isn't "a ruse."

"We need a proper timetable, process and consequences if it's not done," he said.

Disagreement continues over whether what's proposed should be UN Charter Chapter 6 or 7.

Chapter 6 stipulates peaceful conflict resolution. Chapter 7 permits military force if other measures fail. It does so only with Security Council authorization.

France drafted Security Council resolution language. It's designed for rejection. No responsible leader would accept it.

It states it's "Acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations."

It wrongfully condemns Assad for insurgents' use of chemical weapons "on 21 August 2013 against the civilian population of Rif Damascus in violation of its obligations under international law."

It ignores clear evidence that only insurgents used them in Ghouta and numerous other times. It absolves them of all responsibility.

"It points fingers the wrong way "(d)emand(ing) the immediate cessation of the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian authorities;"

Its requires Syrian "authorities submit to the Secretary-General (Ban Ki-moon), within 15 days of the adoption of the present resolution, an exhaustive, complete and definitive declaration of the locations, amount and types of all items related to its chemical warfare program."

It further demands that UN inspectors "in close coordination with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, will carry out immediate on-site inspections of Syria's chemical, biological and related vehicles, based on Syria's declaration and the designation of any additional locations by the (UN) Mission itself."

It requires "immediate, unconditional and unrestricted access to any and all areas, facilities, equipment, records and means of transport."

It calls for an "immediate travel ban and asset freeze against individuals responsible for any violations of this resolution."

It states "in the event of non-compliance by the Syrian authorities with the provisions of this resolution," punitive Chapter 7 measures will be implemented.

It notes "profound concern at the risk of further use of chemical weapons by the Syrian authorities, considering the significant stockpiles of chemical weapons detained by the Syrian authorities."

It authorizes International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutions. It points fingers the wrong way doing so. It bears repeating. It's a resolution designed for rejection.

It blames Assad for insurgents' crimes. It give Obama pretext to wage war. He intends doing so. He's delayed. He's not deterred.

Expect lots of haggling ahead. Perhaps nothing will be agreed on.

Therein lies the rub. Obama wants war. He intends getting it. He'll blame Syria and Russia obstructionism for waging it.

Odds favor another false flag. Perhaps one's planned against Israel. War would be unstoppable.

Overwhelming congressional support would authorize it. Public sentiment would be ignored. Security Council consent would be circumvented.

Big Lies launch wars. It's an American tradition. This time's no different. Ravaging and destroying Syria remains policy.

Obama's selling it. He won't back down now. He deplores peace. He wants war. He's got bigger fish to fry.

Syria's a sideshow. It's prelude for what's planned. Iran is America's prime target. Isolating the Islamic Republic matters most.

Doing so depends on ousting Assad. It requires replacing Syrian sovereignty with pro-Western puppet governance. It makes targeting Iran easier.

It makes restoring Shah era harshness more likely. It'll take war to try. Waging it assures embroiling the entire region.

It risks global war. It's what no responsible leader should dare. Launching it is madness. Obama's hell bent anyway.

Fearmongering, misinformation and deception are his tactics of choice. One war follows another. Peace and stability are four-letter words.

Achieving imperial priorities matter most. At issue is unchallenged world dominance. Racketeering profiteers benefit handsomely.

America's war machine is the greatest threat to world peace. Presidents act extrajudicially. They do so on their own authority. They do it at their discretion. They do it for reasons they invent.

Peace, security, stability, equity, justice and other democratic values are non-starters. War spoils and dominance alone matter.

The business of America is war. It's the national addiction. One nation after another is pillaged. Popular needs go begging.

America's no land of the free and home of the brave. It's not beautiful. It's ruthless. It's belligerent. It's tyrannical. It threatens humanity's survival.

Obama's the greatest menace of our time. He believes war is peace. Stopping him matters most. Failure risks extinction. Life on earth could end in a day.

Rogue states can't be trusted. America's by far the worst. War is the national pastime. Ravaging and destroying one nation after another is policy.

It bears repeating. It's doing it for wealth, power, privilege, resource control, and unchallenged global dominance. It's so profiteers can gorge themselves at the public trough.

Peace defeats America's agenda. Obama's waging war on humanity. He's not about to stop now. Committed mass action alone has a chance to do so. If that's not more vital than ever, what is?

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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