Now, before I go any further, I think that it is important to outline a number of my assumptions. After all, if beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so is one’s definition of what is good and bad, desirable and undesirable, helpful or not. Furthermore, the Kerry-Lavrov agreement has to be seen in the context of Russian and American goals and strategies. Only by taking these into account can we see which sides got the better outcome. So here are a few of my personal assumptions which serve as my working hypothesis, if not outright axioms:
1) Russia does not have the intention to start war against US/NATO over Syria nor does it want to be dragged into one.
2) While Syria is very important to Russia, it is not vital.
3) US diplomats have long record of breaking and re-interpreting agreements they sign, from the Indian wars to the war on Libya.
4) Russia is not the world’s policeman and it has no special obligation at all to oppose US policies in the Middle-East or elsewhere.
5) Russia has already done more for Syria than the rest of the planet combined.
6) The insurgency in Syria cannot win without a US/NATO military intervention.
7) The US understands that Syria cannot win without a US/NATO military intervention.
8) While the real supreme goal in Russia in this conflict is not to protect Assad but to uphold International Law, it will be impossible to achieve this objective if the US is allowed to break International Law and attacks Syria. In other words, the sole way for Russia to make International Law something which cannot be ignored is to prevent the USA from ignoring it in Syria. In other words again, to prevent the USA to attack Syria is the necessary means to the goal of making International Law relevant again.
9) The demise of International Law began during the war in Croatia and Bosnia in 1995 when the US/NATO grossly mis-interpreted the UN Resolutions on Bosnia and Croatia and agreed to become the “Croatian and Bosnian-Muslim Air Force”.
10) The International Law was fully destroyed by the US/NATO when they agreed to become the “KLA’s Air Force” over Kosovo in 1988-1999 and at this point in time it is still dead.
Again, if we disagree on these assumptions will will have to disagree in our assessment of the latest Kerry-Lavrov agreement. I will now assume that we do agree on the assumptions above and turn to the analysis of the text itself. I will now take quotes from the text itself and give you my assessment of them:
The United States and the Russian Federation commit to work together towards prompt adoption of a UN Security Council resolution that reinforces the decision of the OPCW Executive Council.
Ok, this is no big big deal, but I would want to mention here that there was absolutely no need to involved the UNSC in this issue. A country can accede to the OPCW which itself then can assess the degree of compliance of this country with OPCW norms. The only possible reason why anybody would want to refer this issue to the UNSC is that the UNSC does have the right to impose actions on a UN member country through Chapter VII UNSC Resolutions. Thus, the simple fact of “reinforcing” the decisions of the OPCW by UNSC Resolutions is to threaten Syria. But it gets much worse.
(…) in the event of non-compliance, including unauthorized transfer, or any use of chemical weapons by anyone in Syria, the UN Security Council should impose measures under Chapter VII of the UN Charter.
Now, please follow me carefully here. I will make that in the form of a Q&A:
Q: will the insurgency accede to the OPCW?
Q: then which is the only party whose compliance to the terms of this convention will be monitored by the UNSC?
A: the Syrian government.
Q: in theory, who could use chemical weapons in Syria?
A: the insurgency and the Syrian government
Q: if the insurgency uses chemical weapons what will happen?
A: the UNSC would have to impose Chapter VII measures.
Q: against whom can such measures be imposed?
A: against the Syrian government
Q: in the light of the above, what should the insurgency do?
A: use chemical weapons.
Q: What does “the UNSC should impose measures under Chapter VII” mean?
A: That this resolutions preempts/presupposes/decides what the UNSC must do.
Q: what else does it mean?
A: that the UNSC cannot decide on measures other than Chapter VII measures.
Q: if Russia and the US have now already decided what the UNSC must do, what does it mean for the other members of the UNSC including the P5?
A: it means that their right to an opinion has been disregarded.
I don’t now about you, but in my opinion this paragraph is an absolute disaster. The two “any use” and “by anyone” are bad enough, but the way this paragraph simply pushes aside the UNSC as a whole and all its members, including the other P5 (UK, China and France) smacks of yet another violation of international law and the UN Charter.
Now, I know that some of you will say that this is a very negative interpretation of this paragraph and they will offer a far more creative one. They will say that if the insurgency uses chemical weapons this would give Russia the right to bomb the crap out of them. Guys, I *love* the idea, but that ain’t happening. Not in the real world. If you really believe that, I got a bridge to sell to you, and if I am wrong, well then I will eat my hat, but keep in mind that I worked at the UN myself and I know how this body works. If you have any illusions about UNSC resolutions being applied fairly, just take a look at the history of UNSC on Palestine and get real.
Then there is this one:
The United States and the Russian Federation have further decided that to achieve accountability for their chemical weapons, the Syrians must provide the OPCW, the UN, and other supporting personnel with the immediate and unfettered right to inspect any and all sites in Syria.
Iraq redux for sure. And some of you have pointed out that this means letting CIA/DIA/NSA/OGA agents into any building in Iraq. True. But it’s even worse in this case. In Iraq there was no insurgency. This time around, these “UN spies” can provide invaluable tactical intelligence to the insurgency. Also, there is another function that these inspection teams have demonstrated in Iraq: just pissing off the government with tons of absolutely ridiculous and unrealistic requests. Remember “Saddam’s palaces” for example? Well, this time around these “UN spies” will not only be able to demand the access to any bunker or command post used by Assad in case of attack, they also will be able to demand access to the laundry room of his wife and kids. Or they can demand access to the worst combat zone possible. And if they are prevented from getting there, who will they blame? Assad, of course. And if he does let them go and they are attack, who will they then blame? Assad again, of course.
Now I want to reply to some of your recent comments:
Syria is going to be under Russian protection from here on. It’s the Russian military that will keep Syria free.
No, and that is actually a very dangerous illusion. Not only does this notion contradict axioms 1 and 2 above, it also assumes that Russia has accepted an obligation or a policy which it has clearly and unambiguously rejected many many times in the past. The illusion of Russian protection is as dangerous as any illusion of safety. Just as you would be far better off climbing up a mountain with no ropes than to climb it with thin and weak ropes which will break, Syria is better off knowing and accepting that Russia will not fight NATO/US over it. There are, at this point in time, only two countries which Russia has committed to defend militarily: South Ossetia and Abkhazia. That’s it.
As Russia has repeatedly explained, it is defending international law not Assad. The reference in the agreement to a possible Security Council Resolution under Chapter VII is absolutely necessary in order to emphasise that it is the Security Council NOT unilaterally the US, which has the authority to decide whether or not Syria is in breach of its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention and to decide what action should then be taken
That is an elegant argument and I cannot fully disagree with it. However, the problem is that the Kerry-Lavrov agreement ALSO preempt/prejudges what the UNSC must/should do. The other problem is that if the US goes to the UNSC and does not get the vote it wants, it will then say something along the lines of “Syria is in non-compliance, but the Russians are denying that even though the agreement signed by them clearly says that non-compliance would be enforced by Chapter VII -type measures. If the Russians are now reneging on their obligations, we, as the leader and protector of the free world and civilized mankind, shall proudly shoulder our obligations to the international community and the Syrian people“. Remember axioms 3, 9 and 10 above. The historical record clearly shows how the US would act in such a situation.
ONE PERSON I’ve never (NEVER EVER!) questioned out of all Russian (and indeed world) politicians – is Sergei Lavrov. The man is more than smart, he’s a foreign policy genius! If the world’s fate ever depended solely on one man, and I was the one that should choose whom it should be – I’d choose Lavrov. I never expect a ‘blunder’ from the man.
I have immense respect for Lavrov who, besides being a world-class diplomat is also a very nice and highly principled man. He is at least as mart as James Baker was, but unlike Baker, Lavrov stands for humanity, decency, common sense and, basically, for everything good. However, and it pains me to have to mention that here, Lavrov was also the foreign minister of Russia when Russia betrayed Iran and reneged on its obligation to deliver the S-300s Iran had already paid for. Worse, Lavrov was also the foreign minister of Russia when Russia did not veto a UNSC Resolution which so obviously gave the US/NATO a green light to do anything it wanted in Libya. The problem, by friend, is not Lavrov, and when I wrote that “Lavrov blunders” I meant Lavrov as the agent of the Kremlin, not him personally. He is way to refined a diplomat to ever express is own opinion. And in the Kremlin there are at least two factions locked in a deathgrip trying to destroy each other. I wrote about this here and here. One of these factions is what I call the “Atlantic Integrationists” usually represented by Medvedev and these guys are still far from being powerless. Worse, most Russian banks and big corporations do support this faction also. What we see in this agreement is a typical compromise between the interests of different groups, not only in Russia, by the way, but also in the USA. But I would urge you not to endow Lavrov with any degree of infallibility, he is not the Pope and, besides, history has shown the Popes are just as fallible as regular man, or even more.
I’m not sure what Russia was thinking, I dont believe it was sell-out (even though it looks like it), but at this time its unclear what concessions they got to agree to this abomination deal. I do hope these concessions arent entirely for Russia itself…
No, this was most definitely not a sell-out! For some reason most of you seem to have overlook my initial conclusion so let me re-state it here:
I personally see this latest agreement as a Russian diplomatic failure and I hope that it will not have any serious consequences. Overall, Putin’s “Russian Gambit” is something like a 80% success, but without this mention of “Chapter VII” it could have been a 100% success. The Kremlin is walking a very dangerous path here and following this latest failure, it cannot afford any further mistakes.
Did anybody notice that I still believe that the Russian policy in Syria is at an 80% success. That is hardly a sell-out, especially when we consider that Russia has no, repeat, *NO* obligations towards Syria.
We are so used to the US propaganda about “meeting its obligations” (always reminds me of the infamous “White man’s burden”) that I feel I must really stress that here:
Russia is, and wants to be, a regular country. Just like Portugal, Peru, Thailand or Senegal. Yes, it is a bigger and more powerful version of a regular country, but that does not automatically make it into some kind of “USA v2” or “anti-USA”. Of course, we all understand that Russia is de-facto the world leader against the Ango-Zionist Empire, that is of course the case, but that is a Russian choice, not an obligation at all.
Besides, China is almost as big as Russia and it has a far bigger population and GDP – so why does nobody speak of a Chinese sell-out? Because the Chinese were not part of the Kerry-Lavrov negotiations? But that could be easily interpreted as a Chinese sell-out as they “did not even make an effort to influence the outcome”. That is silly, of course, but what I am trying to explain here is that it is both illogical and unfair to demand that Russia have some kind of special and unique role in world affairs, especially at a time when Russia itself is doing everything possible to prevent any country, including Russia, from playing such a role of a planetary hegemon.
So this is why even though I see the latest US-Russian agreement as a blunder for the Russian diplomacy and even though I find the agreement itself absolutely terrible and highly ambiguous, I don’t see any reason to panic and I most definitely am not saying that Russia has betrayed Syria or any such kind of nonsense. In diplomacy, like in everything else, “shit happens” and errare humanum est. What Russia, and Syria, need to do now is accept the fact of this mistake and persevere towards the end goal. Actually, there are two end goals here, but which fully depend on each other:
a) restore peace to Syria
b) resurrect the primacy of International Law in international relations
One cannot be achieved without the other. And both of them can also be expressed in a more indirect, but very accurate way nonetheless:
Remove the USA from its current position as world hegemon, bring down the Anglo-Zionist Empire and turn the USA into another “regular” country.
This is, in my opinion, where things stand at this moment.
Guys, I had to write all of the above under great time pressure and hurry and I apologize in advance for all the typos, poor grammar, missing words, lousy spellcheck, etc. I offer the above as a basis for discussion and not as an academic paper :-)
Please let me know what you think, and don’t hesitate to vehemently disagree with me because, really, nothing would make me as happy as being proven wrong in this case.
Many thanks and kind regards,
I agree with pretty much everything you say in this analysis. In particular, the incentive provided by the agreement to the rebels to use CW’s (again) and thus trigger a process that Russia will find very difficult to prevent. If that happens (or should that be when?), the benefit to the Zionist/Anglo/US agenda will be substantial and to the Russian one close to catastrophic.
The only point where my emphasis diverges therefore, is in how Russia (or rather the Russian non-Atlanticist faction) judges the effect of this on its objective of multi-polarity – ie ‘toppling the US from its current hegemonic role in the world’. The Zionist/Anglo/US objective remains pretty much cast in stone, ie to remain global hegemon. No matter this or that twist in diplomatic manouvers it has not changed substantially since the end of WWII and will not do so unless defeated militarily. The plain fact is that, should the Zionist/Anglo/US agenda emerge victorious from the current Syrian imbroglio, then Russian aspirations will be dealt a blow from which it will be near impossible to recover.
My sense is that both the Putin faction and Iran probably DO see this as a sort of ‘last chance saloon’. They most certainly do NOT want war, but may be left with no alternative. The Zionist/Anglo/US power brokers OTOH DO want war – or rather military action that they think can be contained and which will be very profitable for them. IOW, if the US proceeds on the basis you suggest (and I agree that all historical precedents – not to mention its dripping, drooling arrogance – says it will) then military action will not be limited to Syria – God help us all.
I’ve no doubt whatever that some of the US regime change hawks plan to do what you predict but it’s not certain that they will succeed. A lot of things have changed since Iraq.
The American people are dead against intervention in Syria whereas they were gung ho for the Iraq war because of the trauma of 9/11. Also the Internet, the blogosphere and alternative media such as RT have made a huge difference over the last ten years and it is harder for the Empire’s mainstream media to maintain an information blockade than it was in 2003.
The Benghazi debacle did enormous damage to the interventionist cause. The idea that the US government is fighting on the same side as Al Qaeda is potentially political dynamite in domestic US politics and there are plenty of Republicans who hate Obama who will use any ammunition they can get to wreck his administration.
On a separate point the problem with the Anglo Zionist Empire is not that it is Anglo. The problem is the power. It would be dangerous for an archangel to have so much power. As the poet Blake said “The greatest poison ever known Came from Caesar’s laurel crown”
Any hegemon means tyranny. It doesn’t matter who the hegemon is. That is why the restoration of international law would be a huge advance for humankind if it could be done.
I have responded replied to your latest comment through a post on my own blog.
Apologies for doing it in this way but my post is longer than your blog response (rightly) allows.
Apologies also if I have unintentionally misunderstood or misrepresented anything you have written or any comments you have made.
Saker, always thought provoking. Here is another thought. Russia can not crawl into a shell. It just happens to be one of two countries that can obliterate the world, has independent means to develop technology, has a strong financial position and has the enviable asset of an increasingly stable and focused society.
They would be foolish beyond measure to believe that their interests stops at their border, international law guarantees justice or to unilaterally declare military force can only in response to a direct military attack.
The only way that the Anglo/Zionist Empire will stop its ceaseless attack is for Russia to disarm and place its population at the disposal of the Empire – something that they nearly achieved in the 90’s.
The Russians seem to be trying to create a framework of sanity to allow dismantling of the Empire without a military or economic catastrophe – much like defusing a bomb. So, it more than just the rule of international law as an abstract goal.
It is in Russia’s best interest for Syria to survive as a sovereign state – for the sake of international law as means to curb the Empire, for Russia’s own national security and development and to stop the suffering of millions of people.
Russia can never be a “normal” country just like Rembrandt or Tchaikovsky can never be just another artist. If Russia has the means and the wisdom to lead (and specifically leading by example), they should do so. It would be a disservice to humanity to leave the world up for grabs when the other players are nothing short of evil (I realize that there are many valid counter-arguments and I look forward to them).
I am surely overstating your position but I would like to know what you think would justify a military action by Russia short of a direct attack.
I agree the wording is terrible, and gives the US far too many options to torment Syria.
However, and maybe this is just wishful thinking, the Russians must have gotten something valuable in return, such as a guarantee that the Americans will lean hard to stop the flow of Jihadis and their weapons. I’m reading a lot of reports that the SAA is renewing its offensive with gusto, so maybe that is possible.
If not, then I really don’t see why Russia would bother with this agreement at all. I agree that Russia can’t get into a war over Syria and they have no obligation to confront the US at every turn. But still, it would make no sense at all for the Russians to prevent an attack now, with the US in the weakest possible political position, only to allow one 6 months from now, after Obama has had a chance to get all his ducks in a row.
It would cost Russia nothing to simply veto any UNSC resolution and then stand back and let the US attack now and hang itself in global public opinion. Delaying only makes sense if the have very strong reason to believe the US can’t attack in 6-9 months. So I will hope for the best, that Russia has extracted some sort of iron clad guarantee.
*BUT* what I worry most about is Russia’s professed concern for international law and the UNSC has lead to some double dealing. Meaning that the whole point of the deal was to delay the atack on Syria with the assurance that Russia would allow a UNSC resolution against Syria after it ‘fails to comply’ and thus confer “legality” on an upcoming American attack. I do not think that is the case, but I can’t be sure.
If it is, that *WOULD* be a betrayal, not only of Syria, but of any concept of international law.
Thank you, Saker, and thank you to all the commentators here as well. So much to think about with all this.
The Syria agreement is a dangerous icy road, and I don’t like the manner in which the UNSC was invoked either. Reading it as a lawyer might, the tracks have been laid for an easy justification for a US strike on trumped up charges.
But, on the other hand, it sure looks like the US plans to attack anyway, probably sooner rather than later, as Israel is pushing hard for this, and the rest of the usual gang of thugs seem to be waiting for some faintly plausible justification to join in. Any ruse will do, so perhaps the fine print in this agreement doesn’t matter all that much. One way or another, agreement or no agreement, the plan is to destroy Syria.
The agreement may simply be buying time, and perhaps it was more important that something be signed now rather than not. This might have been the only way the US would sign any agreement at all. Had no agreement been reached, the US might simply have hauled off and attacked Syria unilaterally. At very least, this agreement would slow that down a bit by making the US at least go through the motions at the UNSC.
Maybe time is the key to all of this. Sufficient delays, even by a few weeks, might be time enough for something to happen that will knock the teeth out of the war hounds, and the details and flaws in this agreement might then become moot.
Yes. I am an optimist.
I have assumptions about the agreement, ss well. I feel that at this point in time Putin realizes that he walked into a trap laid for him by the majority pro-Western part of the Russian elite, namely, applying to hold the 2014 Winter Olympics in Solchi. And, of course, the Olympic Committee understood ehat was at stake and awarded Russia the Games. Now he is faced with a dilemma uphold international law or risk facing another Olympic boycott as in 1980. So his best bet is kick the ball down the court to post-Feb. 2014, when he will regain some freedom of action.
I have assumptions about the agreement, as well. I feel that at this point in time Putin realizes that he walked into a trap laid for him by the majority pro-Western part of the Russian elite, namely, applying to hold the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. And, of course, the Olympic Committee understood what was at stake and awarded Russia the Games. Now he is faced with a dilemma uphold international law or risk facing another Olympic boycott as in 1980. So his best bet is to kick the ball down the court to post-Feb,. 2014, when he will regain some freedom of action.
My other assumption is that Russia and China intend to supply troops to guard the chemical weapons sites.
Flawed and dangerous as the agreement is, it has forced the US to acknowledge Assad as the legitimate government of Syria, a matter it was loathe to admit.
If the terrorists stay true to form, there will be another chemical attack of some kind. Since the US is actively funding and supplying them, I would think a good case could be made against the US for facilitating the violation of an agreement it co-authored and is signatory to. Exploring that theory further, it would seem logical that if any ally of the US were to aid the terrorists in chemical weapons use, the US might be in an awkward position of confronting the question of whether the alliance amounted to complicity or foreknowledge of a violation of the agreement.
At what point, I wonder, do these things go to the ICC ?
Thanks a lot for the most interesting and thought provoking comments I ever had on this blog – for me this is a dream come true to see that kind of frank but friendly exchange of views on admittedly a complex issue.
Right now I am totally out of time, but here is what I propose to do. I hope to make a separate post entitled “The recent Kerry-Lavrov agreement – discussion part III” in which I will address all the points which have been made here. Your comments are simply too interesting to be replied to by a short couple of paragraphs.
@Alexander Mercouris: fantastic idea to use your blog for an in-depth reply and analysis. Not only does blogger limit the number of characters it allows in comments, but if even I have decided that this topic deserves a full-length discussion, how could I blame you for doing exactly the same thing
@EVERYBODY: guys – if you have your own blogs, don’t hesitate to join the discussion from there and just share the link to your blog like Alexander did. I think we can all agree that this is not about whose blog gets to publish what, its about joining forces to GET THE TRUTH OUT AND PROMOTE LIBERATING IDEALS. So, I say, the more blogs the better. Just let us know so we can follow the full “width” of the discussion(s) and get the full picture.
Lastly, a very very heartfelt THANK YOU to you all.
When I came home tonight and saw the full series of absolutely outstanding comments you made I felt really really grateful and happy.
God willing, I will reply to you all tomorrow evening (US time)
In the meantime, keep them comments coming!
Many thanks and kind regards,
One thing I would add for consideration is the question why Russia and France are both so outspoken on the Syrian issue.. There are a bunch of posts here that touch on this issue; to sum up, the author argues that a major bone of contention is the possibility of a nat gas pipeline from Qatar to Europe, which would threaten Russia’s position as a major supplier of nat gas to most of Europe.. France seems to be quite keen on this, apparently having thrown in its lot with Qatar..
I have just posted this comment in reply to your comment on my blog:
I await your response with interest (which by the way please post on your blog).
However on the essential point of bad faith you are absolutely right. Already with the ink on the agreement barely dry we see the US trying to rewrite the terms of the agreement by calling for a “strong Resolution” to set it out that will include deadlines that are not in the agreement and which I am sure will include threats of force under Chapter VII. The Russians of course will not agree and they are working on bringing the Egyptians in on side.
The Russians are in a position of advantage since it will be difficult for the US simply to walk away from an agreement it has already negotiated. I strongly doubt that the US public would countenance a Congressional vote authorising force against Syria when there is an agreement in existence with the Russians for Syria’s chemical disarmament, which Syria has signed up to. Though there will be tough negotiations in the Security Council over the next few days ultimately it will be the Russian view which will prevail.
Having said this, it is this serial bad faith on the part of US hardliners of which we are just seeing a further example that makes any and all attempts to negotiate with the US so difficult. Whenever an agreement of this sort is reached the US does not see it as a binding commitment it must honour. Rather it sees it as a starting point for more negotiations as it goes on trying to get its way. Worse still an agreement of this sort also becomes the subject of an internal negotiation between hardliners and moderates within the US.
Having said this the reality is there is no alternative but to negotiate with the US. Remember the US can attack Syria at any time. The only constraint on such an attack is ultimately domestic. It is much better that there should be an agreement to prevent this than there should not. That way it becomes easier to mobilise opposition to it.
I am in full agreement with your various comments, analysis and projections about the Kerry Lavrov gambit in Geneva.
What struck me today is the declaration by Lavrov, saying that the agreement between himself and Kerry in Geneva this week-end doesn’t mention in any way shape or for Chapter 7… ???
Very very odd!!!!
We have lots to somewhat disagree on. Your ten axioms need to be examined from the other side. So #1 should consider whether the US intends to go to war with Russia over Syria. If, for example, the insurgents attacked a Russian ship and Russia said “OK, we’re moving in”, would the US still bomb? For #2, who has more skin in the game? Is it more of a national interest for the US to smash Syria than it is for Russia to save it? What would Dempsey and his Russian equivalent say?
As for the Anglo-America leaning types in Russia, they have to compete with the Germany-EU types, and the Asia-leaning ones. The Anglo-Amercans have the disadvantage of having failed. What did Russia get for trying to work with them? A Georgian war and then this attempt to take over the Middle East and Iran. We see the take, but where’s the give?
Then we probably disagree on the relative strength of Russia’s missile technologies, which they have bet on for a long time. The reason international law collapsed was that the US had the relative strength to go unilateral. I would argue that US power has significantly declined over the last 15 years, so Russia and China want to bring law back. Call me an optimist, but I agree with the Chinese that the US should subtract all its derivatives and paper games from the GDP, not add them.
And I’m not sure that Russia abstaining on the Libyan War was a huge mistake. It revealed the brutality and lawlessness of the West, and their human rights vision. It also slowed down the onslaught against Syria and probably other nefarious plans. It thus discredited the pro-Atlanticists in Russia, as popular opinion was outraged, and really made Medvyedev look like crap. To bring back law in the UN, you have to show that it is sorely needed.
Thanks for that great analysis. Do you have a background in international law?
Also, it begins to look, as you mentioned in your second comment, like the west will never give up on regime change in Syria, unless faced with the prospect of serious losses. I can only hope the Russians are helping Syria prepare for a US/NATO/Israeli attack. A truly powerful air-defense system, combined with missiles that can seriously hurt Syria’s neighbors might very well deter the imperial forces.
Unfortunately an agreement, no matter how well written or binding, will not.
@Lysander: from the video here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2ELt1RERTc I get that Alexander is an international lawyer indeed.
Check out the rest of his blog – its very good stuff.
Gotta run – cya this evening!
The Option of “Regime Change” is Still “On the Table”: Who is Washington’s Protégé for Syria?
–OFF topic, though not much —
Pentagon too broke to buy a new fax machine
Well thanks to Alexander Mercouris I’m a little less worried, though it seems we all agree that the war hounds will stop at nothing to circumvent any restrictions in their drive to destroy Syria. I can see now that the agreement does lay out a few more obstacles to them than I’d noticed at first, but I think Saker is correct in seeing precisely the way the attempt to get around the obstacles will go.
What are the UN provisions for the replacement of members of the security council? Could the general assembly vote to remove a permanent member?
The US is heavily dependent on imports and the cooperation of other nations in the dollar hegemony. This is the Achilles heel in my opinion. A sudden loss of those would rip the drive train out of the war machine very quickly.
Truth of US-Russia Confrontation
“(…) the US war on Syria had started and ended the moment those two ballistic missiles were fired (…)”
(…) the moment the full military operation was launched, Head of the Russian Intelligence Service contacted the US intelligence and informed it that “hitting Damascus means hitting Moscow, and we have removed the term “downed the two missiles” from the statement to preserve the bilateral relations and to avoid escalation. Therefore, you must immediately reconsider your policies, approaches and intentions on the Syrian crisis, as you must be certain that you cannot eliminate our presence in the Mediterranean.” (…)
(…) Washington demanded Tel Aviv to adopt the rocket firing to save its face in front of the International Community, especially since these two rockets were the beginning of the US aggression on Syria and the announcement of the beginning of military operations (…)
(…) “after the US-Russia rocket confrontation, Moscow intended to increase its number of military experts in Russia, and added to its military units and destroyers to enhance its military presence in the Mediterranean. It also set a time for announcing about its initiative on stopping the aggression on Syria after the G20 Summit (…)
(…) “One of the first results of the US-Russian military confrontation was the British House of Commons’ rejection to participate in a war on Syria. This was followed by European stances, most significantly, the German stance announced by Chancellor Angela Merkel.”
I’ve just pasted fragments and the link to the article “Truth of US-Russia Confrontation”, that appears on Al-Manar, but I have some doubts related to its content.
1. I tend to not trust any article in any media that is based on “anonymous” sources.
2. The Russianas had said that the missiles were shot from somewhere in the middle of the Mediterranean. But the base of Rota is at the West End of the Mediterranean. The Middle of the Mediterranean would be, let’s say, around Italy.
3. As to As-Safir paper… it is not a paper I ever consult. I don’t trust it. It seems to me too close to Hariri Inc and Saudi Arabia. So the “new” details appearing on this peace may be some sort of misleading information with some purpose. The propaganda war is on full speed.
This said, the story may well be true, I mean, the details of the Russians shooting the missiles down and their phone call to the USAns, etc.