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East/West Cracks on Syria

by Stephen Lendman Monday, Sep. 16, 2013 at 11:48 AM


East/West Cracks on Syria

by Stephen Lendman

Weekend Geneva smiles appear headed for frowns. A fundamental East/West disagreement exists.

John Kerry, Britain's William Hague and France's Laurent Fabius met in Paris.

They want tough Security Council resolution language. They want UN Charter Chapter VII authorization. They want it for military force if Assad reneges on US/Russia agreed on terms.

According Fabius:

"We want concrete, verifiable acts and all options must stay on the table if these are not done."

Hague added:

"A resolution, in our view, should create a binding commitment for the regime to give up its chemical weapons within a specific time frame and to credibly, reliably and promptly place them under international control for destruction."

Separately, they want Chapter VII authorization. So does John Kerry. He claimed US/Russia deal terms "fully commits the United States and Russia to impose measures under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter in the event of non-compliance."

Lavrov said "the final document doesn't mention it." He added that Security Council resolution language being negotiated won't include Chapter VII.

If Syria fails to cooperate, a new resolution will be considered, he said. Key will be determining if noncompliance allegations are credible or fake.

Last June's Geneva peace conference agreement left wiggle room. It suggests possible Chapter VII authorization. It does so in case of noncompliance. It does not specifically stipulate it. It doesn't call for automatic use.

On the one hand, Kerry left no ambiguity about Washington's intentions. On the other, he lied.

"Russia did agree in Geneva that chapter 7 is mentioned specifically as the route for compliance if there is non-compliance or any use of chemical weapons by anyone in Syria," he said.

False! Russia categorically opposes force. It wants diplomatic conflict resolution.

"In both of these circumstances," Kerry added, "use of chemical weapons or non-compliance, you are already automatically into chapter 7 according to the agreement we came out of Geneva with."

"If the Assad regime believes this is not enforceable and we are not serious, they will play games."

"We're going to work hard to have a resolution that is as strong and forceful as possible."

"If Assad fails to comply with the terms of this framework, make no mistake, we are all agreed - and that includes Russia - that there will be consequences."

"Should diplomacy fail, the military option is still on the table." It's Obama's option of choice. He prioritizes it. He'll create whatever pretext he needs to launch it. Another major false flag is likely.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov categorically opposes military intervention. Tough Security Council resolution language wreck peace talks, he believes. It cannot include Chapter VII, he insists.

"If for someone it is more important to constantly threaten...that is another path to wrecking completely the chances of calling the Geneva-2 conference," he said.

He's "convinced that despite those announcements...the American side will firmly adhere, as a normal negotiating partner, to what was agreed" in Geneva last weekend.

Terms exclude military force unless sanctioned by the Security Council. Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) officials will stipulate how they'll be inspected, controlled and destroyed.

They'll do so according to Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) provisions. Syria assured full cooperation. Assad's a man of his word.

Insurgents alone threaten noncompliance. They used chemical weapons multiple times before. Clear evidence proves it.

They're responsible for Augusts 21's Ghouta attack. Previous articles discussed it. Syrian forces had nothing to do with it. Claiming otherwise is indisputably false.

On Monday, UN weapons inspectors submitted their report on Ghouta's attack. On Tuesday, it will be made public.

A leaked first page said:

"In particular, the environmental, chemical and medical samples we have collected provide clear and convincing evidence that surface-to-surface rockets containing the nerve agent sarin were used."

The report runs 38 pages. Fifty interviews were conducted. Patients and survivors tested "positive for sarin and sarin signatures," it said.

Symptoms included "shortness of breath, eye irritation, excessive salivation, convulsions, confusion/disorientation and miosis, (pupil constriction)."

August 21 falling temperatures may have increased casualties. Weather conditions "maximize(d) their potential impact as the heavy gas can stay close to the ground and penetrate into lower levels of buildings and constructions where many people were seeking shelter."

Report conclusions stopped short of attribution. Washington, Britain and France blame Assad by implication. They do so despite clear evidence insurgents bore full responsibility.

Throughout months of conflict, Assad's been wrongfully blamed for Western-enlisted death squad crimes.

The so-called Commission of Inquiry (COI) continues to lie for power. On September 16, the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) headlined "Al-Hamwi: inquiry commission still immersed in exaggeration and disinformation."

Syria's permanent UN Geneva representative, Faisal al-Hamwi, addressed the Human Rights Council in response to COI's latest duplicitous report.

"We have advised the Commission since it began its work to avoid falling into pitfalls and to maintain truth and objectivity, and we provided the High Commissioner's office with up to 250 documents and communiques belying the allegations of the parties involved in the bloodshed in Syria,'' he said.

''However, the Commission brushed aside all this and persisted in politicization and exaggeration.''

Article 14 of its report admitted ''outside (support) of the armed groups who are providing them with political cover and financial and military assistance, which has turned the conflict in Syria into a proxy war in defense of regional and international interests.''

Article 33 said ''those supporters are pushing the fighters to extremism."

''And here we ask: Why did not the commission have enough courage and honesty to name those supporters, first and foremost, the US and its tools in the region; namely Qatar, Turkey and Saudi Arabia?''

"(O)nce again, COI disregards the negative impact of unfair sanctions imposed on the Syrian people that have triggered economic and social crises and external and internal displacement of citizens.''

COI wrongfully blamed Syria for "a number of massacres" insurgents caused. Doing so is "shameful and unprofessional, and unconventional in the code of international and legal organizations.''

It reflects "cheap disinformation."

"(N)o country in the world would demolish its own infrastructure. ¦Syria respects its commitments to the international and humanitarian law and Geneva relevant agreements, and needs no certificate of good conduct by the Commission.''

''Apparently, the Commission has neither heard nor seen the atrocities and massacres of al-Qaeda agents and the Takfiris in the areas that they attacked, and the slaughtering and public executions before the children and women and the victims' families sometimes."

Commission members ignored ''hysteric moves by countries which are inciting killings in my country every time a sign of an international move comes into sight towards a political solution based on dialogue among the Syrians.''

Since its September 2011 founding, COI consistently pointed fingers the wrong way. It's an imperial tool. It lies for power. It abhors peaceful conflict resolution.

It substitutes misinformation for honest information and analysis. It aids and abets sacrificing the lives and welfare of ordinary Syrians. It does so to advance Washington's imperium. It does it shamelessly.

On July 30, Syria's permanent UN envoy Bashar al-Jaafari addressed the General Assembly, saying:

"The Commission of Inquiry on Syria is still deliberately blowing things out of proportion when displaying its findings, also fully disregarding or downplaying core issues.''

''There are blood-curdling scenes that flagrantly contravene the Syrians' dignity and human rights regarding the crimes of the armed terrorist groups, ranging from eating human flesh, cutting throats, mutilating bodies, beheadings on sectarian and confessional grounds, throwing bodies from rooftops to committing hundreds of suicide bombings using car bombs in populated areas, recruiting children, abducting and slaughtering clergymen, assassinating scholars in mosques, issuing instigative fatwas on 'sexual jihad,' killing children on the charges of infidelity, robbing factories and transporting them to Turkey."

Syrians deserve better. They're largely on their own to achieve it. They face Western-enlisted death squad terrorism. They face likely longterm struggle.

They face brute force Washington intends. They face likely shock and awe madness. Potentially they face hundreds of thousands more casualties. They face their country entirely ravaged and destroyed.

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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