04 February 2012

Syrian Massacre, Russian Intransigence

Syrians are still killing their own people, and the Russians are still avoiding the facts.

Syrian government forces have bombarded the city of Homs with artillery shells and mortars, killing more than 200 people, opposition groups say.

Activists accused the military of massacring women and children in the worst violence in 11 months of unrest.

But the government denied the claims, saying activists were engaging in a propaganda campaign.

A draft UN resolution is still under discussion, with Russia indicating it is still not happy with the wording.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Saturday the current draft included measures against President Bashar al-Assad's government, but not against armed opposition groups.

He said Moscow had tabled amendments to the text to try and ensure the UN would not appear to be taking sides in a civil war.

A vote had been expected to take place later, but Mr Lavrov said it would be a "scandal" to ask the council to vote on the resolution in its current form.

Russia is Syria's main ally on the council, and has said it will veto any resolution calling on Mr Assad to stand down.

Moscow has continued to supply weapons to Syria despite the protests.

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By: Brant


OJsDad said...

Both China and Russia have vetoed a resolution calling for Assad to step down.

Guardian said...

When I arrived in Baghdad in early 2005, one of the first things a buddy said was "On to Damascus!" It would have been more fun than what we spent the year doing :).

On a more serious note, I urge caution. Even if the UN passed a resolution, it, by itself, doesn't mean anything. It's just another "strongly-worded letter." But it will tempt us in the West to try to implement it by force and, despite the (relative) success of our intervention in Libya, we really shouldn't be going around the Arab world knocking off dictators. It costs too much, there are a huge number of ways it can go wrong (civilian casualties, a captured air-crew, a compromised SOF element, etc.) and the case for compelling national interest seems foggy.

In other words, yes, Assad is a brutal, murderous dictator. I feel for the Syrian people and in my heart I want us to help, just as I wanted us to help the Libyan people. But in my mind, Assad is the Syrian people's problem to deal with.

-- Guardian

OJsDad said...

Guardian, Syria is one of the places that I agree with Ron Paul on not getting involved in other peoples problems. There is nothing good for us. The Syrians will be happy to have our help now, but in a few years we'll be the Great Satan.

If I thought helping there would help to promote Democracy, free markets and peace in the region I would be all for it, but none of that will happen.