New Syria Resolution: Better but Still Flawed
by Stephen Lendman
Its sponsors include America, Britain, France, Germany, Portugal, Colombia, Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, UAE, Oman, Lybia, Kuwait, Bahrain, and Togo.
Notably, Russia and China aren’t included. Nonetheless, Russian UN ambassador Vitaly Churkin said:
“We have the text which we shall send to our capital cities and will wait for the result.” He added that doing so “does not predetermine its fate in any way.”
More on its text below.
On February 3, Itar-Tass headlined, “UN Security Council agrees on Syria resolution,” saying:
On February 2, tentative agreement was reached. Key Russia/China concerns were addressed. Some perhaps but not all. Resolution sponsors “urged all countries to launch an open political process headed by the Syrians in the atmosphere free of violence, fear, intimidation and extremism.”
Earlier drafts were one-sided ultimatums. Though softer, the new version “still contains some veiled threat of sanctions” or worse if Syria fails to comply within 21 days. “In this case, the (SC) may consider some additional measures.”
Therein lies one of several flaws. Saying passage is far from sure, The New York Times called the measure “wobbly,” adding that SC members fully support the Arab League plan.
In fact, it’s Observer Mission report acknowledged what Western media reports suppress. Mission head General Mohammed Ahmed Mustafa al-Dabi said:
“The mission was witness to acts of violence against government forces and citizens leading to death and injury of many. A case in point was the attack against a civilian bus which killed eight persons and injured others, including women and children.”
Heavily “armed opposition groups” are involved. In Homs and Daraa, for example, they used externally supplied “thermal bombs and anti-armor missiles.”
“In Homs, Idlib and Hama, (observers) witnessed acts of violence being committed against Government forces and civilians that resulted in several deaths and injuries.”
Various incidents “include the bombing of buildings, trains carrying fuel, vehicles carrying diesel oil and explosions targeting the police, members of the media and fuel pipelines. Some of those attacks have been carried out by the Free Syrian Army and some by other armed opposition groups.” However, naming them was unaddressed.
Media misinformation was also highlighted. For example, “many parties falsely reported that explosions or violence had occurred in several locations. When the observers went (there), they found that those reports were unfounded.”
Moreover, observers said government forces didn’t attack peaceful pro and anti-Assad demonstrations, except for minor incidents. While stopping short of blaming foreign governments, readers can draw their own conclusions from clear evidence provided.
As a result, mission findings were discredited for not delivering what Washington and rogue partners want. Arab League governments were heavily pressured to provide one-sided “exaggerated accounts of events.”
Mission head al-Dabi pointed fingers elsewhere. As a result, he was assailed for not cooperating and vilified for once running Sudan’s military intelligence under Omar al-Bashir. Washington wants him tried in the Hague.
New Draft Resolution
Its language states:
It “e)xpress(ed) grave concern at the deterioration of the situation in Syria, and profound concern at the death of thousands of people and calling for an immediate end to all violence.”
It welcomes “the League of Arab States’ Action Plan of 2 November 2011 and its subsequent decisions, including (on January 22) which aims to achieve a peaceful resolution of the crisis.”
It expressed disappointment that violence prevented mission observers monitoring as planned and forced suspending their initiative as a result.
It stressed “the importance of ensuring the voluntary return of refugees and internally displaced persons to their homes in safety and with dignity.”
It’s “(m)indful that stability in Syria is key to peace and stability in the region.”
It noted “announced commitments by the Syrian authorities to reform (but) lack of progress in implementation.”
It “(r)eaffirm(ed) its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Syria, emphasizing its intention to resolve the current political crisis….peacefully, and nothing in this resolution authorizes measures under article 42 of the (UN) Charter.”
“Should the Security Council consider that measures” short of “armed force….inadequate or have proved to be inadequate, it may take such action by air, sea, or land forces as may be necessary to maintain or restore international peace and security. Such action may include demonstrations, blockade, and other operations by air, sea, or land forces of Members of the United Nations.”
The resolution “demands that the Syrian government immediately put an end to all human rights violations and attacks against those exercising their rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association, protect is population, fully comply with its (international law) obligations….and General Assembly resolution A/RES/66/176.”
It included a laundry list against him alone. It ranged from killing civilians to disappearances, arbitrary detentions, preventing access to medical treatment, sexual violence, and ill-treatment, including against children.
It sounds similar to false or exaggerated anti-Gaddafi charges throughout NATO’s campaign against him. Assad’s now target one before moving on to the next one.
It “(c)ondemns all violence, irrespective of where it comes from (but not naming it), and in this regard demands that all parties in Syria, including armed groups, immediately stop all violence or reprisals, including attacks against State institutions, in accordance with the League of Arab States’ initiative.”
It calls for “all those responsible for human rights violations, including acts of violence, (be) held responsible.”
It demands “Assad’s government….without delay:
(a) cease all violence and protect its population;
(b) release all persons detained arbitrarily due to the recent incidents;
(c) withdraw all Syrian military and armed forces from cities and towns, and return to their original home barracks;
(d) guarantee the freedom of peaceful demonstrations;
(e) allow full and unhindered access and movement” of Arab League “institutions” and international media in all parts of Syria to accurately determine conditions; and
(f) give Arab League monitors “full and unhindered” access on the ground.
It calls for addressing all aspirations and concerns of Syria’s people, “without prejudging the outcome.”
It supports transitioning Syria “to a democratic, plural political system, in which” all citizens are treated equally.
It demands Syrian authorities cooperate fully, including “unhindered access for humanitarian assistance.”
It requests the Secretary-General report within 21 days on implementation of the above provisions, in consultation with Arab League states.
It decided “to review implementation of this resolution within 21 days and, in the event of non-compliance, to consider further measures.”
Washington, rogue NATO partners, and regional despot allies abhor democracy and won’t tolerate it at home or abroad. Claiming otherwise belies America’s longstanding agenda, more recently in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and elsewhere throughout the region.
Expressing disappointment that violence prevented Arab League observers from operating as planned, it stops short of blaming externally generated insurgents.
Saying Syrian stability “is key to peace and stability in the region” ignores over 10 years of Washington-led and/or supported violence in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Bahrain, Yemen, Egypt, Palestine, and elsewhere.
Claiming Assad failed to implement reform commitments belies serious steps he proposed, release of thousands of prisoners, nonviolence against peaceful opposition protesters, continued instability preventing him from moving faster, and Arab League mission head al-Dabi commending his cooperation.
Affirming Security Council members’ commitment to peaceful conflict resolution ignores Washington’s longstanding regime change agenda by any means necessary.
In addition, allowing further measures for non-compliance gives Washington enormous leverage to exploit. Imagine what it has in mind. Assad alone is blamed, not unnamed responsible parties.
Moreover, language sounds ominously like Libyan Resolution 1973. It authorized “all necessary measures….to protect civilians and civilian population areas under threat of attack.”
Straightaway, NATO intervened belligerently. Many tens of thousands died. Libya was ravaged and destroyed. Civilians, of course, suffered most. Violence continues unchecked. Human misery is incalculable. Western intervention assures Syria the same fate and perhaps Iran if it’s targeted next.
Washington wants governments in both countries replaced by pro-Western ones. Doing so gives it unchallenged regional control, including over its valued oil and gas resources.
In his book, “Winning Modern Wars,” General Wesley Clark said Pentagon sources told him two months after 9/11 that regime change was planned in Iraq, Libya, Syria, Iran, Somalia, Lebanon, and Sudan. In weeks, Afghanistan was attacked. It’s now America’s longest war with no resolution in sight. Perhaps Syria’s next, then Iran.
United, Russia and China are bulwarks against it. Hopefully, they’ll demand language revisions to exclude interventionist wiggle room for Washington and rogue partners. It’s ominously there. Obama officials will take full advantage. Checking them is key.
A Final Comment
Russia Today reported, “Moscow won’t support a ‘raw’ resolution or arms embargo on Syria,” saying:
Russia’s UN envoy Vitaly Churki spoke by video link, explaining that Moscow opposes a counterproductive resolution.
Points he raised included Russia’s opposition to embargoing arms to Syria, some Security Council (SC) members not condemning armed groups operating there, and likelihood that weapons will still reach them even if a ban’s imposed.
Citing the Libyan example, he said arming Gaddafi was prohibited, but weapons flowed freely to insurgent forces.
Cherkin also stressed Russia’s firm opposition to foreign intervention. He also expressed angst about many SC members ignoring the Arab League observer mission’s report, especially al-Dabi’s comments. However, at Moscow’s insistence, he’ll address the SC, and the report will be translated into all six official UN languages.
Churkin said a final resolution must include its findings. Observers spent a month in Syria and saw events firsthand.
Russia wants conflict resolution peacefully, but won’t yield on key issues.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at email@example.com.
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.