Thursday, May 9, 2013

For Syria: A beginning for talks but to what ends?

After you have read the news stories linked in the previous post: Kerry Sees Transitional Syrian Government Without Assad Read this one. A beginning for Syria talks
Let's call this wondering, thinking, contemplating via the blog.. my thinking is all italicized 
New thoughts are in red...
Excerpt and additional links below:

It shouldn’t have been this hard, but Secretary of State John Kerry has finally gotten Russia to back the peace plan on Syria that it endorsed in principle last June.(? Russia endorsed the Geneva Plan last year) This isn’t a breakthrough, but at least it’s a beginning.

The U.S.-Russian formula, as expressed by one American official, ( ?"as expressed by one American official") is that Assad will step aside (step aside? as opposed to step down? and quite possibly stepping back into power?) “as part of a political process once a transitional governing body is formed.” The United States, in other words, is making Assad’s departure an outcome of the process, rather than a precondition. (sounds as if Assad may step aside, but, not step down) The Russians, in publicly backing the plan, are in effect pledging that they can deliver people in the Syrian government  (missed that this a.m. this suggests that the Russian will be putting friendlies into place)who would be part of a post-Assad transition. 

Kerry described the common goal this way as he was standing next to Sergei Lavrov, his Russian counterpart: “We’ve . . . affirmed our commitment to a negotiated settlement as the essential means of ending the bloodshed.”

But what will the United States and Russia do to implement this promise? Will the United States permit Iran to attend the international peace conference, as Russia likely will urge? The official U.S. position is that Iran shouldn’t attend. My guess is that President Obama would bend if he thought an Iranian role would create a more durable settlement of regional tensions.
Will the Russians lean hard on both Assad and the Iranians to force them to accept the reality that Assad is finished? “We are not interested in the fate of certain persons,” (This is not a new type of statement from Russia. This is in fact the same type of statement that has been made all along. This is not about Assad, this is about the decisions of the Syrian people etc.,) Lavrov said obliquely Tuesday. Lavrov spoke with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem, a pragmatic figure who might be a transitional player. But it’s doubtful Moualem, or anyone else acceptable to the opposition, could deliver the regime’s hard-liners.

This peace plan, like so many others for the Middle East, is a bet that moderates can carry the day. With tragic regularity, this hope has proved to be misplaced. To succeed this time, the United States and Russia will have to empower some regional or international force that can step between the combatants after the transition begins and minimize the killing.(This is interesting, this seems to be a call  for or an acknowledgement that peacekeeping forces will be put into Syria, including Russian peacekeepers. Is this where the compromise was reached? That Russia and the US will keep an eye on one another in Syria for an indefinite length of time?)

 A moderate rebel faction (??spin) has finally begun to emerge behind Gen. Salim Idriss, the commander of the Supreme Military Council. (This is nonsense. Sheer nonsense. Idriss is in control of nothing and no one,  he is the man the US has annointed," United States has tapped as its conduit for aid to the rebels" .I spent some time reading about him over the past couple days and have linked to a mcclatchy article above) He’s taking responsible positions — pulling back his forces from reprisal attacks after last week’s massacres of Sunnis in coastal villages. Idriss had also offered to negotiate with the regime, meet with the Russians, protect the Alawite community — and forswear chemical weapons.
Idriss sounds to me as if he could be a prep for future NATO interventions
Keeping in mind that everyone involved is planning ahead.
 The challenge for Idriss is to show that he can back these sensible positions with enough military muscle that his moderate forces, not the jihadists, hold the balance of power among the rebels. Idriss’s ability to deliver this command-and-control structure, in turn, depends on a real commitment by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey to funnel all military assistance to the rebels through Idriss, not the jihadists.
Here, American diplomatic pressure will be crucial. To empower Idriss, the United States may expand its training and nonlethal assistance to include supplying weapons — even as its real hopes remain with a negotiated peace deal backed by Russia.  (This tells me the US is going to stick with the planned move of arming the rebels)
 For Russia, the Syrian endgame offers a test of President Vladimir Putin’s sincerity, and of his clout. He regally left the details to Lavrov Tuesday, after keeping Kerry waiting three hours. This lese-majeste may impress Russians, but it won’t get the job done on Syria. (Lavrov is plenty capable, so it's not a big deal that Putin let Lavrov deal with Kerry. Interesting, though that Putin left Kerry waiting for 3 hours?) If Putin has finally come to understand that Russia would potentially suffer most from the dissolution of the 1916 Sykes-Picot boundaries in the Middle East, then he will have to put his personal political energy behind the deal, rather than making a handoff to Lavrov.

 Sykes Picot? Had to read up on that. Here

Basically France and Britain carving up the area for themselves. Throwing Imperial Russia a bone while dissolving the Ottoman Empire
From Rick Rozoff's place

Back to the ending of the WP piece:

The extremists also get a vote in this process, unfortunately. Hard-liners within Assad’s camp could step up their use of chemical weapons( continuing on with the spin/lies promoted by the NATO media) hoping to set off a regional bonfire. Sunni jihadists could slaughter Alawites, in revenge for past attacks but also to torpedo a peace deal.( Sunni jihadists, aided by US, Israel, GCC  have been slaughtering Alawites, Christians and moderate Sunni's all along, what the hell is David Ignatious talking about)Hezbollah and Iran could decide that their interests would be so harmed by Assad’s removal that they would rather torch Syria and take their chances. And Israel could continue its recent attacks, (that can be counted on!) drawing Arab reprisals. (? Which Arab states would do that? The GCC countries are colluding with Israel)
There are many ways this peace initiative could fail. But at least it has begun.
I haven't seen it begin, yet. Have you?


  1. Good work Penny.

    I think the Assad step-aside as opposed to a step-down follows as a logical consequence of this-

    " the Geneva Communique pre-supposes the establishment of a transitional governing agency. We proceed from the assumption that the agency will exercise full executive power"

    So initially (and notionally) the Assad administration will be left in place but then all executive power will transfer to the 'transitional agency'. I can't see either Assad or the administration being left in place for long after that.

    I'm not impressed by Putin's 3 hour stunt. It looks (to me) like petulance at having his hand forced.

    1. I am not sure how to interpret Putin's 3 hour delay?
      Could be petulance? Could be the proverbial FU
      I just don't know.

      I gotta be honest here freethinker, there are so many 'ifs,whats & maybes' that I am not really sure if anything will come of this at all.

      But if it does, if all the cards fall in place

      " To succeed this time, the United States and Russia will have to empower some regional or international force that can step between the combatants after the transition begins and minimize the killing.'

      This reads to me as if Syria will be permanently occupied by "peacekeepers" who will be permanently on guard for competing interests. Like a stalemate. And that is not good for the Syrians
      Of course it might be better then what is presently ongoing, but the country will never be theirs again

    2. Why be so pessimistic? The US is the one creating all kinds of twisting of language and meaning to confuse. A lot of what is called news inside the US is just theater for the Beltway crowd and those in the hypnotic trance that surrounds there. A more realistic way of looking at this Washington Post spin is that the US needs a way to not look like it's been defeated. So it is a PR move for the Empire. Part of the Unipolar World, you know.

      The insurgents have just about been wiped out. They've lost just about all important areas, and their morale is probably shot, too. The Syrian government has the supplies, training, militias, and public support that it needs. Only missiles or jets can end that, and it is doubtful that ZATO would do that as long as Putin is firm.

      There was talk of an international peace-keeping force six to twelve months ago, and Voltaire Net had an article about it. But this was a non-NATO force designed to be friendly to Syria - not an endless NATO/corporate occupying force, which Syria would never agree to in the first place. If there is a peace-keeping force, it can guard the border crossings with Turkey. That will make Erdoghan look stupid.

      It is ZATO that has the weak hand. Putin can say to Netanyahu that a continuation of the turmoil means more and better weapons and air defense. If we are to believe the reports, Putin told him that Iskanders, which can be nuclear-tipped, and the S-300 air defense would now be coming in. That is horrible news for Israel, and it doesn't make sense to escalate things more.


    3. Hi Paul:

      I don't feel pessimistic? But realize that is subjective. More thinking aloud

      "A more realistic way of looking at this Washington Post spin is that the US needs a way to not look like it's been defeated"

      I would agree with that. The US needing to spin this as not being defeated.
      Even if a stalemate ends up being the outcome.. the US did not get the destruction of Syria as they had planned, including breaking it apart into 3 parts. Represented by the 3 stars on the FSA flags. So, in that way the US has suffered a defeat.

      "The insurgents have just about been wiped out."

      Agreed with that also. Largely. Looks as if many important areas are cleaned up
      But there seems to be two problematic areas, that is of course at the Turkish border and in occupied Golan
      It seems, IMO, Israel's Islamist factions are kidnapping peacekeepers to replace them with IDF and fighters. That bothers me

      There was talk of an international peace-keeping force six to twelve months ago

      Yes, I think that i have some posts here mentioning that.

      Re: the Iskanders..
      there were main stream reports around christmas time that Iskanders had already been moved in to Syria.

      I have a post dated Dec. 6 that mentions it and then another one just around the christmas new year time frame

      ty Paul

    4. HI Pen,
      "I am not sure how to interpret Putin's 3 hour delay?"

      The US Secretary of State Kerry expecting to meet with the Russian President is a diplomatic insult. The US is saying 'your president is equivalent to our Foreign Minister'. So Putin insulted the US back by making him wait three hours before handing over to his counterpart, the Russian Foreign Minister, Lavrov.

    5. Hey James

      I thought about that too. Like why would Kerry expect to meet with Putin.
      Lavrov is plenty capable and is the diplomatic equivalent..
      Therefore it would seem if Kerry had to wait, then Kerry had to wait
      So what you are saying is Putin gave as good as was given?
      If you know what I mean?

    6. Exactly, Pen. He is not going to start off as the junior partner. At least that is how I read it.

    7. The Iskanders were for the Turkish border before. Turkey wanted Patriots, so Russia supposedly responded. A big loss for Turkey, and they definitely lowered their diplomatic profile after that.

      Iskanders aimed at Israel are a different matter. It's hard to know the status of S-300s or other air defense things. Truth is the first casualty of war, and this war has been going on for some time.

      By the way, a few troublemakers on the Turkish border after the insurgents are wiped out is more of a problem for Turkey than Syria.

      One other thought is that ZATO pushing Putin to the wall over this may have been a big mistake. The odds of major military heavy metal being in that part of the world facing Israel is now high, and the needs of rebuilding will lead to a big push for the gas pipeline and other development. A slow drain might have been more effective at hindering the gas pipeline and in making Syria a bad place to invest in.


    8. Paul:
      definitely much food for thought
      comments that help fill in the blanks and bring other views, different views are good

      "By the way, a few troublemakers on the Turkish border after the insurgents are wiped out is more of a problem for Turkey than Syria."

      I am not sure why you think this would be?
      Could you briefly clarify?

  2. Looks like more of the same zionist double-speak. Every time I read something in the zionist media, or from one of Israel's western quislings, it reminds me of how thoroughly repugnant and inhuman they are.

    Nice breakdown, Penny.

    вот так

    1. Just me talking out loud bot tak and thinking...

  3. Hi Penny, hope you are feeling better.
    Putin gave Kerry the run-around before the meeting. I doubt the meeting was any different. The Syrians are demolishing the local and imported terrorists. Putin doesn't have to give anything, the Syrians can sort out the situation themselves provided the state terrorism machine NATO is kept on a leash. The insurgency has seen a dramatic downturn in foreign and native enrollments and I suspect the Saudis and Qataris are getting cagey about throwing good money after bad.
    The Iranian rep's recent visit to Jordan seems to have had some effect, around 1600 insurgents imported via Jordan got wiped. A tip off? And Jordan evicted the Israeli ambassador.
    Another 4000 got eliminated recently and 3500 insurgents in Homs are negotiating, that would mean Homs controlled by the army. The region S. of Aleppo has been cleared and much of the Edlib region (the main entry for insurgents, weapons and logistics) is either controlled or disputed. Assad opened Golan to Palestinians and has promised to arm them with advanced weapons. SEA is busy damaging Israeli infrastructure.
    Obama is having a tough time over Benghazi, some say he will be impeached. Will he start WWIII to avoid that? The only fly in the ointment as far as I can see.
    Thanks for your insights on the external goings on.

    1. And thank you for yours Clothcap

      I heard Pepe Escobar talking about how much of Syria is cleaned up
      So, this is good.

      My thinking is that the US does not have much to offer in this situation unless they go big, or unless Israel (the joker) pulls something off

      I heard that about Jordan and the Ambassadors?
      What is that all about, any idea?

      I wondered if Jordan had a change of heart about playing with the NATO war machine
      after all Israel would be more then happy to see Jordan taken apart and filled with Palestinians. goodness knows it has been part of their agenda for sometime now
      Of course, I have never been entirely sure how Jordan feels about all that?

      Who is SEA ?
      Can you clarify?

    2. Sure. Syrian electronic army.
      Jordan, maybe 3 options were offered, support the US and Israel regime against Syria and be an enemy of Iran, be neutral or ally with Iran.

  4. A premature end to some elements of Israeli-American plan "b"?

    Lebanon foils terrorist attacks: Army

    "As a result of intensive investigations, the military intelligence service apprehended on May 6 members belonging to the suspicious cell, and seized a quantity of explosive devices and detonators in their possession," DPA quoted the army as saying on Thursday.

    "Other members of the group are being tracked down," it added.

    The suspects had reportedly planned to assassinate leading politicians and military installations inside Lebanon, according to a security official who spoke on condition of anonymity.

    The army did not say how many were arrested nor did it specify their identities, but the official said the main suspects are Lebanese and Syrian nationals, with the Syrian suspects having links with the terrorist al-Nusra Front, a branch of al-Qaeda in Syria."

    вот так

    1. that sounds like some good news

  5. This isn't about Syria, but it gives an idea of the extent of the overall Israeli-American world dominance policies, of which Syria is a part of. And since it was another apparent fail... ;)

    US "Pivot" Toward Asia Trips in Malaysia

    Keep those fails coming...

    вот так

    1. thanks bot tak, will check it out

  6. Penny,

    One other thing. Time is most definitely not on the side of ZATO. The longer this drags on, the tougher it will be for Erdoghan, Obama, and Abdullah. It doesn't help ZATO that the Benghazi story is being mentioned a lot in the US. The insurgents are going to be practically extinct in a month or two, except for those recuperating in hospitals in Turkey and Jordan, and one doubts that recruitment efforts are going well when the anti-ZATO side is actually doing a few things against Israel and ZATO is, well, ZATO. It also stands to reason that Iran and Syria are putting more firepower closer to Israel, and a logical view of the situation is to cut a deal with Russia and Syria to not provide things to Hezbollah as part of the peace treaty. The longer Israel waits, the more the Hezbollah problem will grow.


    1. Interesting stuff Paul

      I have not been focused on Hezbollah and Lebanon except as it revolves peripherally around Syria
      Simply not enough hours in my day
      " It also stands to reason that Iran and Syria are putting more firepower closer to Israel"
      That would/could be effective.
      Confessing to military strategy being my weakness...

  7. Isn't in interesting that since the Israel fiasco the mainstream here in Canada at least are no longer even talking about Syria?

    I want the lamestream press to keep harping Israeli swill, seriously, because it is so truly unbelievable and shows them for what they are - they are their own worst enemy and their chutzpah will be their own undoing.

    It is even clear in the comments, moderated such as they are, that the vast majority of folks simply don't buy their garbage anymore.

    Thanks to the alternatives, like you Penny, for keeping your eyes and ears open and providing such a wealth of information to all of us out there reading!

    Buffy (feeling...better)

    1. Re: comments at msm sites
      I notice the big upswing in questioning comments
      It's great
      Despite the heavy handed moderation at the msm outlets
      It's seems more and more just ain't buying what the lying gov & media is selling
      No wonder the gov is looking more and more the tyrant/tyranny that it is!
      Glad you are feeling better
      I was sick for a couple of days, myself