Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Syria: Meetings and Greetings? Cairo. Opposition in Moscow. Syria's "friends" in Paris


Covering some ground today....
It's Periwinkle
Back to Syria. It's going to be a long read.

Let's look at the "Opposition" meeting in Cairo,as mentioned previously  here.
Opposition makes new push to unite.  

The Arab League chief urged “exiled” Syrian opposition figures to unite at a meeting Monday as a new Western effort to force President Bashar Assad from power faltered.

More than one year into the Syrian revolt, the opposition is still hobbled by the infighting and fractiousness that have prevented the movement from gaining the kind of political traction it needs to present a credible alternative to Assad."There is an opportunity before the conference of Syrian opposition today that must be seized, and I say and repeat that this opportunity must not be wasted under any circumstance," Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby told nearly 250 members of the Syrian opposition at the opening of the two-day conference in Cairo.

Nasser Al-Kidwa, deputy to U.N. special envoy Kofi Annan, said that unity of purpose and vision was "not an option, but a necessity if the opposition wants to bolster its popular support and trust and increase international support."Unlike Libya's National Transitional Council, which brought together most factions fighting Moammar Gadhafi's regime and was quickly recognized by much of the international community, Syria's opposition has no leadership on the ground.

Syria's opposition has no leadership on the ground. I doubt that is truthful or correct. From my understanding the opposition on the ground, in Syria, wants nothing to do with this external opposition force. Keeping the above in mind this next sentence from the same article is nonsensical.

Regime opponents inside (Syria's opposition has no leadership on the ground?) and outside Syria are a diverse group, representing the country's ideological, sectarian and generational divide. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed his hope that the Cairo meeting could contribute to the efforts of the U.N. special envoy and international community "to pave the way toward a meaningful transition in Syria."

"It is important that the Syrian opposition increase its cohesion and designate effective representative interlocutors," said a statement released by Ban's spokesperson.

Besides the conference in Cairo, opposition members , (not all opposition members) also plan to meet Russian officials later this month
Some Syrian opposition groups have rejected the plan, calling it ambiguous and a waste of time and vowing not to negotiate with Assad or members of his "murderous" regime.
However, the National Coordination Body for Democratic Change in Syria said Monday that the plan is the best way to ensure a political transition that avoids a full collapse of the Syrian state
Elaraby, who has held private meetings with Syrian opposition figures at the League's headquarters in the past, said the agreement did not meet Arab expectations because it did not specify a time frame for a "clear transition" as the League had called for.
Regarding defections?

Although the defections are notable, Assad's regime has remained remarkably airtight.

Russia and some of the Opposition:

Russia has been meeting with members of the opposition all along.
Not the ones the western media usually presents to us as the ‘exiled’ leaders, but opposition that has long been present in Syria. I have mentioned these meetings in previous posts.

Russia  has announced upcoming meetings with the opposition.

“Russia says it will hold talks with two Syrian opposition groups, officials from President Bashar Assad's government”

The first group headed by opposition leader Michel Kilowill will arrive later this week.

He added that another group with Abdul baset Sieda, the new head of the Syrian National Council, as its head will visit Moscow after July 10.

Abdul Baset Sieda ( this name appears spelled many different ways) is the Kurdish leader, who was recently given the SNC leadership, a move undertaken to appease a pivotal group amongst the diverse factions, that form the opposition. Many of whom had complained loudly about the Muslim Brotherhood’s stranglehold on the SNC. The Kurdish role in the Syrian crisis, has always been pivotal.

They have been the “wild card” for lack of a better term. With no chance the Christian or Allawite groups would support the Muslim Brotherhood killers, for obvious reason, the Kurds were the best group to woo.

Understanding this may give us insight into why the Kurdish leader is meeting in Moscow with Sergei Lavrov.

A good read, linked below,  that explains the Kurdish role and why it is important. It is lengthy but I will include a couple of paragraphs

 How the Syrian Opposition Can Court the Kurds

One of the missing links to a viable Syrian opposition is the Kurds. While comprising only 8% of Syria’s population, they represent the minority voice needed to help strengthen the Muslim Brotherhood-based Syrian National Council (SNC).

This is why the SNC recently named a Kurd as its new leader while the Free Syrian Army is now calling on its "Kurdish brothers" to join forces against President Bashar al-Assad. Yet, if the SNC and its partners want to gain and sustain a Kurdish buy-in, then they will have to move beyond the anti-Assad rhetoric and focus on the source of the problem, regime alternatives the Kurds can trust. At minimum, this effort will require restructuring the SNC or creating a real umbrella opposition group that is inclusive of secular and locally-based leaders and de-linked from Turkey and its Kurdish problem. It is a mistake to think that Syrian Kurds are eschewing the SNC because of uncertainty about the future.

 On the contrary, like Christian and Alawite groups, most are clearly aware of their political prospects under a Muslim Brotherhood-SNC influenced, post-Assad government. Repercussions of regime change on minority groups in the Middle East and the particular fallout from the revolts in Egypt and Tunisia have confirmed these fears. Sectarian conflict in Iraq is another clear reminder for Syrian minority groups of what is likely to emerge in a post-Assad state.
Kurdish support has it's problems and is not assured. The man the Muslim Brotherhood (SNC) choose was a figure head, more then anything. He is not resident in Syria, but, in Europe.
Therefore he is not trusted entirely by the Kurds resident in Syria

While meetings with some opposition members take place in Moscow,   the NATO group "Friends of Syria" will be meeting in Paris. Russia will not be in attendance.

Meanwhile, Russia will not attend a Friends of Syria meeting in Paris on Friday which seeks to co-ordinate Western and Arab efforts to stop the violence in the country, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said.

“Russia was invited. They made it known that they did not want to participate, which is not a surprise,” he told reporters. Russia, an ally of Syria, did not attend previous meetings of the group.
Freethinker left this link; Washington's road to Iran goes through Syria (Op-Ed)
As mentioned there have been so many contradictory op-eds???
Geneva conference on Syria: A diplomatic victory for Moscow?
You decide?

The Guardian being relatively reasonable- Military intervention in Syria would be disastrous for its people
Some of the comments are absurd. (love that word. Absurd)

Lovely work. From Damascus.



Fights break out at Syrian opposition meeting in Cairo

 A meeting of Syria's splintered opposition in Cairo on Tuesday descended into scuffles and fistfights that will dishearten Western leaders calling for unity against Bashar al-Assad.

A Syrian Kurdish group quit the meeting, sparking mayhem and cries of "scandal, scandal" from some delegates. Women wept as men traded blows, and staff of the hotel used for the meeting hurriedly removed tables and chairs as the scuffles spread.

"The Kurds withdrew because the conference rejected an item that says the Kurdish people must be recognized," said Abdel Aziz Othman of the National Kurdish Council. "This is unfair and we will no longer accept to be marginalized."


  1. Russia has been meeting with members of the opposition all along. True.
    But those meetings had the purpose of stopping violence, and ending the terrorism done by opposition groups. The underlying assumption was that Assad would continue on as leader. Since Assad was the popular choice among the Syrian people, the Russian position was perfect.

    A new plan from the Geneva Conference on Saturday' agreed to by Russia, is all about how regime change from Assad to the "opposition" will take place. So these next meetings with opposition will have a new underlying assumption of regime change.

    The Geneva agreement reads like a bunch of BS (similar to the promises they made for Libya) on how peaceful inclusive and democratic the new government will be. But the bottom line is that regime change is the only way forward. Russia is on board.


  2. Thanks for the link

    The reference to Russia meeting with other opposition groups was not with the SNC members

    The meetings were with internal opposition groups.
    From varying political parties.

    1. True, but the purpose of those meetings is different now. The old meetings were about making peace with Assad remaining in power. Now these new meetings are about transitioning to a new government. Big change.

    2. "but the purpose of those meetings is different now"

      Not so sure about that?
      The meetings with Russia didn't garner broad coverage so we can only speculate what all the meetings with the internal or external opposition were about?

      I actually lean more towards the meetings, covering every possible angle pertaining to "leadership" in Syria.

      It would make sense that Russia would cover every angle.
      If the government remained. If it fell. If Assad played a major or minor role, whatever?
      There would be a plan a,b,c and d......
      No different then the NATO planners. They too would have planned on multiple scenarios.

      Therefore, "transitioning to a new government" if that is what happens, is likely not a big change, just a different plan in the multiple plans envisioned

    3. OK, I'll give in. We can not prove that those early meetings with Russia and opposition groups were about making peace and keeping Assad in power. Although I do seem to remember one or two posts by you here in which you stated (speculated?) your belief that Russia was backing Assad and trying to stop NATO violence?

      Clearly with the new Geneva agreement, Russia is now on board with the transitioning of this Assad government to a new one. The next meetings with opposition groups will have this focus.

      Russia appears to have caved to NATO (or was on board all along) and is playing good cop (diplomacy) while the NATO bad cop does what it does best.

    4. Anonymous: I don't want you to give in.

      What I am suggesting, and what makes sense IMO, is that it is not possible to envision either Russia or NATO having one scenario, one possibility that has been entertained or considered all along.

      There may be one goal, but, there is more then one way to attain that goal.

      Let's say Russia and China would have not blocked the UN resolution- the very first one- this would have been over.

      The no fly zone would have long been in place and Syria would be, as we speak, reeling from a devastating air campaign. Infrastructure destroyed, civilian casualties in the 100,000 of thousands.(due to the dense population)

      Surely the US and it's NATO allies went to the UN on both occasions with this intent.

      "Clearly with the new Geneva agreement, Russia is now on board with the transitioning of this Assad government to a new one."

      Transitioning to what though? Another version of the Assad government? Something else?

      All this stuff is very open to interpretation.(made clear by the multiple interpretations of what the agreement meant or didn't mean)

      Which is why the SNC rejected the Geneva agreement outright. They knew that. They knew this was no guarantee of Assad being gone.

      Russia appears to have caved to NATO

      And appearances can be deceiving.

      I won't disagree that every one is playing diplomatic games, at the expense of the Syrian people, I may add.

      I simply cannot see Russia and China giving up on the Tartus port,(Russia) that port along with the port in Gwadar,(China) Pakistan.
      Those ports are absolutely vital to shipping, vital to free( by that I mean uncontrolled) transport for those nations.

      China has been expanding trade routes world wide. Down to the Caribbean.

      I have a post somewhere here on that???
      Gwadar is in Balochistan province,the area that is facing the heaviest NATO destabilization

      The Port has a heck of a lot to do with that

      Are you aware of the concept of full spectrum dominance?


  3. Anonymous 2:23, if your the same anon that I asked a question of previously or one of the "us" that commenter referred to, perhaps?
    I think you are, the language usage appears the same, still hoping for an answer to the question posed

    Sigh, this is always a problem with anonymous comments....
    The commenters with monikers, I know, but anons?

    Anonymous July 2, 2012 5:14 AM "If the timing of the big crisis has been planned to coincide with the London Olympics, this 'opposition' makes sense."

    How so? In your opinion?

    If your not and cannot clarify this question, perhaps someone else can?

    I realize there is much "false flag" talk around the Olympics, as there has been around every Olympics, but how this correlates to Russia and China's opposition?

    That is not clear to me

    1. Yes, same person, same IP address.
      The comment I made on July 2 was really about the possibility of project Blue Beam being rolled out during the Olympics, using a crisis in Syria to set the stage. I do realize that idea is speculation, conjecture and waaay out there.....
      But if it is to happen, people must be very afraid and confused first. A genuine WW3 scenario with Syria, Iran and the Sinai forming the theatre, featuring Russia and China vs. the US, Israel and Europe. That was the context of my post from July 2. My above comment is simply about the Russians bailing on Syria.

      So whether this scenario is a randomly occurring confrontation of age old enemies, or if it is a scripted road to blue beam remains to be seen.

    2. "whether this scenario is a randomly occurring confrontation"

      nothing is random, if I am understanding how your using this word, there are actions and reactions, that can make things seem contrived though that is not necessarily so.

      As I said "For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction"

      I see that as a natural law.

      Therefore if you push for a reaction and get the said reaction, it doesn't make it contrived, nor does it make it random

      I hope that makes sense?

    3. One more thing, thanks for the reply.
      I truly wasn't getting the comment.
      It is at least somewhat clearer

  4. Hackers hackerTurkish minsty and found evidence turkey trying to provoe war with syria...Turkey very angry at hackers..so must be true

    Schon am Montag hatte die Hacker-Gruppe RedHack angekündigt, „etwas Großes“ zu veröffentlichen und behauptete die Behörden könnten nichts dagegen tun. So war es dann auch (vor kurzem hatte die Gruppe die Seiten von Milch-Firmen attackiert – mehr hier). Tatsächlich veröffentlichte die Gruppe die Identitäten mehrerer ausländischer Diplomaten, die derzeit in der Türkei tätig sind. Dazu stellten sie die ID-Cards der Diplomaten ins Internet, die ihnen das türkische Außenministerium ausgestellt hatte. Dabei handele es sich nur um einige ausgewählte Personen, die Gruppe hat nach eigenen Angaben noch viel mehr Informationen. Auf ihrer eigenen Webseite erklärte die Gruppe, die Aktion sei dem türkischen und dem syrischen Volk gewidmet. Über Twitter schrieb RedHack dann auch, dass sie die Internetseite des Außenministeriums, public.mfa.gov.tr, mit der Absicht an das Sivas-Massaker (hier) zu erinnern und auf Syrien aufmerksam zu machen gehacked hätten.

    Kurzzeitig waren auf der Seite Bilder des türkischen Ministerpräsidenten Erdogan gemeinsam mit Gaddafi und Assad unter dem Titel „Ministerium für Krieg und Sklaverei, nicht Auswärtige Angelegenheiten“ zu sehen. Darunter schrieben sie die Message: „Wenn ihr so sehr Krieg wollt, dann zieht eure Stiefel an und kämpft. Wir werden nicht für euch sterben, nur weil ihr von der Mehrheit gewählt wurdet.“

    Das Außenministerium erklärte, der Wissenschafts- und Technologieforschungsrat der Türkei (TÜBITAK) sowie Mitarbeiter des Innenministeriums seien derzeit dabei sämtliche Schlupflöcher in der Firewall des Ministeriums zu schließen.

  5. A Lonergan ‏@HarryOrmond
    @Hey_Joud Dozens of Belgian assault rifles seized in Latakia, Syria #Belgian #Belgium
    Belgium with memories of its former glorious empire doesnt want to miss out

    1. Hey, forget about the Belgians. The rifles found were surely FN-FALs, a Belgian 1950-design, mass license-) produced worldwide and is therefore dubbed "The Western Kalashnikov". They are still in use in India, used to be the standard rifle of the British until the late 80s as LA1-A1. However, they were widely used by the terrorists in Libya. I suppose, the Libyan Army had them in stock while from the beginning of the Gadaffi era they had used the AK-47 as standard rifle. Some may have been supplied by Arab-monarchs. Anyway, these seem to be the probable sources, not the Belgians. Who needs countries like that to run an international arms-market? BTW, in most of the Rebel-Vids, they sport weapons that are definetly no standard-Syrian issue. (Chinese/Pakistani-Ak-copies, Chinese/Pakistani-RPG-copies, FN-FALS, even M-16s, Hungarian AK-versions (they are widely used in Lebanon and Palestine) and vintage-Chinese-SKS-copies and - in one Video, allegedly showing fighters of the FSA, one of the the Lads was wearing an East German NVA-Helmet! The only country ever to receive East German helmets was Turkey ( along with other hardware like APCs). It proves that the Gunmen are surely no defectors who brought their Guns from their units. Having been in the German Army, I know a bit or two in this field. For Details, just ask.

  6. ed-handed: gangs, "Farouq Battalion" explosion of houses in the neighborhood of "deficiencies" in Homs to accuse the army shelling
    Criminals pointing a camera at the apartment to be detonated by the explosion, and then waiting to do their comrades blown up in order to filmed and distributed to the media, as usual!? in one of the tape rare the most obvious which form the evidence is compelling that the gang of Islamic armed criminal bombing of houses in order to portray the accused Syrian army shelling. If we pointed out in earlier times, and a few months ago, the gangs of "battalion-Faruq" Wahhabism, a subsidiary of the so-called "army" free and funded by Saudi Arabia, blowing up dozens of homes in the neighborhood of "Baba Amr" before the arrival of Arab observers to accuse the army, they are the rare times that where we can get the presumption so clearly set the criminals red-handed. tape published by the "truth" and the photographer a few days ago in the "neighborhood of the Palace" in Homs, shows how criminals are installing the camera on one of the apartments, as they know that the explosion will happen there. And when he gets the explosion they start yelling "bombing the neighborhood palaces .. Oh God .. oh God!" explosion, as can any ignorant or blind to note, there has been not because of artillery fire, nor any other kind of bombardment, but an improvised explosive device placed inside home. And conclusive evidence, it is not only that the region is living a quiet moment when the bombing occurred, and the moment there is no any kind of military operations, but more importantly because it is crystal clear that he did not fall to the flat target any missile of any kind and from any party whatsoever , and because the direction of cumulus projectiles from the explosion comes out from inside the apartment to outer space force and violence, which means that the center of the explosion is an explosive inside the house. Had the apartment been any shelling, of any kind, to the direction of projectiles cumulus went toward random inside the apartment! on April 25 / April, we published a report we catch a gang of "Battalion Ansar", a subsidiary of "Front victory" in Homs, a bombed areas residential in the same neighborhood, the "neighborhood of the Palace", a mortar, although the neighborhood is one of the "neighborhood opposition" controlled by various armed groups! Source: The Truth

  7. what the what so called Free Syrian army is doing in a village called Salkin, Idlib. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cvpltgpY570&feature=g-all-u

  8. 'While I was waiting the “big boss” I heard one of the kids – the older one – telling the other how he and large group of his "brothers" - as he called them - attacked an army checkpoint the night earlier and killed bunch of them.
    He was telling details that scared me personally, including burning one soldier alive when they captured him. The other 12 years old was smiling and chanting Allah Akbar (God is Great) saying those Alawites deserve this.

    I interrupted the conversation saying in a very smooth tone, but they are not all Alawites, some of them are Sunni, and some others are Christians and Druze, I personally have been stopped by couple of checkpoints from Eastern Syria (Dier Elzor) as appeared from their language, the older kid looked at me saying:
    "why would they fight with the Army, they deserve to be slaughtered with a sword, Alawites are all godless and infidel, and those who support them are all the same."
    When we overthrow Assad – the 16 years continues – we will force Sharia rules on those who aren't “Muslims” including killing their men and enslaving their women, we will also punish those Muslims who didn't stand by us particularly Damascus residents who kept letting us down repeatedly.'