Russia objects to US policy shift on Syria


"Lavrov said the material does not include guarantees that it meets the requirements of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. He said the organization specifies that samples taken from blood, urine and clothing can be considered reliable evidence only if supervised by organization experts from the time they are taken up to delivery to a laboratory.
The OPCW is the autonomous body for implementing the international Chemical Weapons Convention that went into effect in 1997. Its website says Syria is one of six countries that have not signed or acceded to the convention.
"  ABC News


Translation:  In Russia's view the White House can not make
unsupported claims of Syrian government use of proscribed weapons without following the protocols explicit in the international treaty that proscribed them.  What is suggested by Lavrov's statement is that the Obama Administration, having decided to intervene in Syria has now unjustifiably claimed that it has proof of Syrian government guilt in the matter of Sarin gas use.  He implies that Russia will not accept such a procedure. pl


"There have been leaks from Western media regarding the serious consideration to create a no-fly zone over Syria through the deployment of Patriot anti-aircraft missiles and F-16 jets in Jordan," he said, speaking at a joint news conference with his Italian counterpart.
"You don't have to be a great expert to understand that this will violate international law." the Telegraph


This is a clear warning that Russia will veto an appeal for a UN resolution supporting US intervention in Syria.  Let's get real about what may happen.  Russia will veto.  the US may intervene anyway based on the approval of its "friends."  Might we end up in an armed confrontation with Russia over Syria?  Is that what we want?  Is that what the R2P and neocon crowd want?  pl





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61 Responses to Russia objects to US policy shift on Syria

  1. marcus says:

    Eyewash to take everyone’s attention away from the surveillance state. There will be no expanded conflict. Americans are weary of these pointless wars.
    Unfortunately Americans are not tired of the “War on Terror” AKA the military nullification of the Fourth Amendment.

  2. The US foreign policy establishment already has in its mind various ways of going around the UN. The “Friends of Syria” and other such groupings are ad hoc “coalitions of the willing” outside the UN and thus international law.
    Underpinning this is the broad objective of destroying the international legal concept of state sovereignty and non-interference which goes back to Westphalia of 1648 and even to the Peace of Augsburg of 1555. The ongoing war against Syria for regime change falls under this global objective.
    Russia and China take a traditional state sovereignty position.
    The Neocons and the R2P crowd intersect on their desire to destroy state sovereignty as an international legal principle. Specialists in “public international law” know very well that international law changes very slowly and resists novelty like R2P which is controversial.
    The British started this war with the French and the US got drawn into it. The old Churchill thing “British Brains, American Brawn”. Obama behaves like a Governor-General rather than a US President one might argue. Tony Blair and Cameron right there to lead him on, as Hague leads the State Department types by the nose… Sykes-Picot 2013 enforced by the clueless Americans. Susan Rice the Oxford grad and Samantha Power the Irish girl who made good are easy vectors.
    Neocons like wars as do the R2P types. Force rather than diplomacy is their game to impose their policy. Congress is stupid enough to go along…over three quarters voted for second Iraq/Afghan wars. It might be that even more would vote for war against Syria-Iran. At some point in the future, whether in the Syria situation or not, Russia and China and others might not back down…Congress and the American people are clueless and spineless so I expect the worst case. Nixon was impeached for a lot less than Bush Jr and Obama have done.

  3. Alba Etie says:

    I still think that this will not lead to direct military intervention .And the R2P crowd though embedded in the BHO administration – UN Ambassador Powers & National Security Adviser Rice , still will not send us to a no fly zone in Syria. I am certainly not an expert on such matters – but it seems to me that having Rhode ‘announce’ the support to the FSA and Idriss on a conference call while the President is off pandering to his LBGT base suggests to me that this ‘ policy shift ‘ over the use of sarin is really theater. Moreover it does not appear that we are seeing any type of military build up in that we suggest a no fly zone etc in Syria will be coming soon . We shall see.

  4. Charles I says:

    Let’s give the rebs a chance to provoke more Syrian airpower with their new weapons flow before we abandon thoughts of U.S. no fly dreams. In any event, surely a loose S300 can fly over the Syrian border when required to ratchet things up.
    And when has the overt supply of weapons to rebels or terrorists failed to lead to direct intervention and eventual war?

  5. Babak Makkinejad says:

    That is my sense of it as well.
    But it serves to prolong the agony of Syria, and her neighbours.

  6. Charles I says:

    Here is reporting of a proposed 40 km deep no fly/ no fighting zone inside Syria along the Jordanian border enforced by air power flying out of Jordanian bases offered for that purpose:
    Increased weapons flow to the rebels can only exacerbate Jordan’s border and refugee problems increasing pressure for a kinetic solution.

  7. VietnamVet says:

    I cannot predict the future but you sure come close; that’s why this site is a daily stop.
    Sequestration or arming Sunni Jihadists with ground to air and guided anti-tank missiles are so contrary to the people’s interest that another no fly zone is possibility no matter the adverse consequences that we predict.
    One outcome of the seizure of the American government by financial gamblers and war profiteers and protected by the Surveillance State is that there are no longer any restraints on the Executive Branch. The American President can take any crazy risk that he wants.

  8. Alba Etie says:

    I am not a military expert perhaps you are -so tell me without the Turkish air base at Incirlik will the US, Britain and others have the ability to impose a Syrian no fly zone ? Would King Abdullah allow a no fly zone to be enforced from Jordan – without risking what Erdogan is now seeing – major political domestic push back from their respective populace ?
    Do not know when the overt supply of weapons did not lead to direct intervention – unless maybe it was Reagan when he armed all the jihadis in AfPak in the 1980’s to throw out the Russians .

  9. Alba Etie says:

    Yes it is horrible to watch the bloodshed – but if we did intervene its likely it would only make it worse . What do you make of the Egyptian Foreign Minister calling for Egyptians to make jihad against Assad ?

  10. walrus says:

    I’m afraid I agree with Prof. Kiracofe. This matter is not going to end well. Unintended consequences and wrong assumptions have a way of unpredictably distorting international relations.
    There are a number of Genies that could be let out of various bottles.
    The chief one, which has quietly slept since the Korean war or earlier, is the automatic assumption that American air power is unchallengeable.
    It is not hard to imagine a scenario where the Russians deploy SA300 anti air assets to Syria which succeed in downing a number of American F16 aircraft.
    The American response is to destroy the batteries with heavy Russian loss of life and the Russian response to that is cruise missile attacks on the airfields from which the F16s were launched.
    Where do we go then?
    Where do we go if the Assad regime, firmly labelled as a chemical weapons user, decides to really deploy them en masse and engage in Sarin assisted ethnic cleansing of all Sunni areas?
    How many other “unintended consequences” can be generated by Obamas lame attempt to deflect attention from the belated discovery that Americans live in a surviellance state?

  11. Tyler says:

    Of course you know those fat neocon/neoliberals/globalists who are pissed that Russia threw off their chains in the 90s are just licking their lips for an actual war with Syria.
    But of course, Obama can do no wrong in the MSM and what they castigated Bush II for is alright now.

  12. b says:

    “it does not appear that we are seeing any type of military build up in that we suggest a no fly zone etc in Syria will be coming soon”
    hmmm …
    U.S. to keep missiles, jets in Jordan amid Syria crisis
    The United States will keep Patriot missile batteries and F-16 fighter jets in Jordan after the completion of joint military exercises this month amid the crisis in neighboring Syria, the Pentagon said on Saturday.
    U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel “has approved a request from the Kingdom of Jordan for a detachment of F-16s and Patriot Missiles to remain in Jordan following the conclusion of the Eager Lion Exercise next week,” Pentagon spokesman George Little said in a statement.

  13. Norbert Slamon says:

    Wonder if the election of a reformist PM of Iran [won in first round 52.+%] will have any effect on the Syria and other issues facing the USA?

  14. Lars Moller-Rasmussen says:

    Concerning ABC quoting the OPCW website as saying Syria is one of only six countries never to have signed the prohibition on chemical weapons, it should be added that there are two more states that have never ratified it: One is Israel, the other is Myanmar.
    As I understand it, only ratification requires a country to fulfil the requirements of an international treaty. Being merely a signatory just signals intent to ratify at some future date.
    By the way, among the six non-signatories listed by the website of the OPCW is Egypt.
    Lars Moller-Rasmussen.

  15. Lars Moller-Rasmussen says:

    The ABC quotes The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons as saying Syria is one of just six countries never to have signed the treaty to ban chemical weapons. True, but there are two other countries that have never ratified although they both signed it back in 1993, according to the OPCW website: One is Israel, the other Myanmar.
    Please correct me if I am wrong, but as I understand it, a country is only bound by a treaty if it has ratified it. Merely signing it just signals intent to ratify at some future date. Israel and Myanmar have now waited for twenty years.
    Lars Moller-Rasmussen.

  16. MartinJ says:

    I wish I shared your optimism. Obama is playing a weak hand weakly and instead of showing backbone behaves like a recalcitrant toddler. Without a firm, defensible policy stance he leaves himself open to further bullying. Events will force him to intervene whether he likes it or not because he has not taken a position of authority. Plenty of time yet for a build up for a no-fly zone.

  17. mac says:

    Terrible turn of events in an already terrible situation.

  18. Fred says:

    Jordan? Why, other than our ‘best ally in the Middle East’ won’t let us use theirs?

  19. 505th PIR says:

    1) The Russians and Chinese will paralyze any UN Security Council initiative that attempts to resolve the Syrian Civil war by outside means. The US has its hands tied via this route.
    2) Any escalation by US et. al in terms of weaponry supplied to FSA will be met by equal or greater armaments supplied to Assad regime. This will also be accompanied by ratcheting up of Hezbollah and Iranian advisers/Shia volunteers.
    3)Russians will provide advisers/perhaps an expeditionary brigade to act as trip-wire for US No-Fly zone. This would make US decision to attack an effective step into the abyss. Checkmate…assuming “rational actors” in play.
    4)Notably, recent US announcement of arming rebels has coincided with calls for Jihad from Egyptian state leader Morsi and the most influential clerics across Gulf States and again in Egypt. Similar rumblings in Indonesia. When the jihaddi bodies start rolling into Syria from abroad in greatly increased numbers, there will be weapons aplenty waiting for them.
    This thing will get much more violent and will spill across borders. Once this happens, it will have a life of its own and will only end once it has played itself out on its own terms. It will be a bloody, bloody sectarian war for the ages that will “reach out and touch” the world in ways we never let ourselves imagine.

  20. robt willmann says:

    Yes, a treaty must be “ratified” by a nation state before it can be considered bound by the treaty. But you have to watch out and check whether the ratification was done with any “reservations” or not. Thus, you have to read not only the treaty itself, but also the ratifying document(s) from the country in question.
    Since Israel has not ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention, it would not be bound by it. And of course Israel has not even signed the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. So Israel has lots of nuclear weapons and probably chemical weapons.

  21. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I have nothing but contempt; “Ikhwan” stands for “Brotherhood” – evidently he and his ilk are excluding many people from the brotherhood of man as well as Islamic Brotherhood – the Ummah.
    To me, this position, if indeed it reflects the entire Muslim Brotherhood and not just some benighted fool’s, means that qualitatively there is nothing to distinguish Muslim Brotherhood from the Jihadists and Takfiris.
    Syria is not Egypt’s War – on the contrary – one would have expected MB in Egypt, in Tunisia, in Turkey to do their utmost to bring the hostilities to an end – but they have not done so.
    In my opinion, Muslim Brotherhood has failed its own test of minimizing discord among Islamic Ummah.

  22. Babak Makkinejad says:

    He never had a defensible policy in Syria – destroy the Ba’ath state to wound Iran was not a policy but a prescription for disaster for Syria and for the nominal friends of the United States.

  23. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Yes, but these sectarian struggles will not take place inside Iran – it will take place among nominally friendly countries to the United States: Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq, Kuwait, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Azerbaijan.
    Even Tony Cordesman at CSIS is warning about it.
    Yes, Col. Lang was right in describing US policy ” It is madness”.

  24. Tyler says:

    I was going to ask, what happens if Russia decides to skip ahead and stations troops in Syria? Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t they beat NATO to Serbia?

  25. johnf says:

    Everyone seems to be getting very gloomy (probably quite correctly). But a couple of bright spots.
    Firstly that the only big Islamic hitter on The West’s side – Turkey – seems to be withdrawing from the fight (see Kunuri’s comments on the previous thread).
    Secondly, that just as Erdogan has enraged his electorate his increasing Islamization of the state, his Muslim Brotherhood friends in Egypt, who are playing the same game, seem to be running into similar opposition from their own electorate.
    Morsi’s support has dropped from 57% to 28% in one year:
    “And yet despite this narrow base of support, the president and his party now hold most of the levers of executive and legislative decision-making authority and are using them to crack down on the press, civil society, and most forms of dissent. In addition, there are worrisome signs of still more over-reach by the presidency. As a result, over 70 percent of the electorate now express concern that “the Muslim Brotherhood intends to Islamize the state and control its executive powers.” …””
    He could be digging the same grave for himself which Erdofan dug.
    Finally, Robert Fisk gives a good (but gloomy) report on the region and the possibilities of a grand war between Sunnis and Shia. What is of interest on this was that it was headlining The Drudge Report.
    There seems to be a hardening right wing libertarian opposition to the war in the US – Paul, parts of the Tea Party, Snowden, Raimondo – which is striking a real chord with the American people.

  26. J says:

    Now for a little boogie music,
    СПЕЦНАЗ ~ Танцуем Боби-боба /муз.клип/

  27. 505th PIR says:

    How did US act in similar situations during cold war? I don’t recall Soviet Advisors/troops being bombed or attacked by US from 48-90. Again, considering “rational actors” at play. Sure would sobre up the decision making process I would think/hope.
    I think the biggest danger to them would come in the form of an explosive laden truck. Probably a Chechen jihadi or two up for volunteer duty as the driver-detonator.

  28. Alba Etie says:

    Perhaps this Jordanian deployment will amount to about the same thing as the Patriots that were deployed in Turkey several months ago .We shall see.

  29. Alba Etie says:

    I try to watch BHO’s actions rather then speculating about his being bullied. Its looks to me like that even with Slick Willie saying he is a ‘Wuz’ President Obama is slow walking the aid to the Syrian rebels. I will speculate though that the President wishes he might take back statements made about chemical weapons & Assad Jr stepping down . I also take some comfort in the fact that BHO was not bullied into attacking Iran so far . I am trying to measure & judge actions rather then rhetoric these days. We shall see.

  30. Alba Etie says:

    Pristina airport if memory serves.

  31. Eliot says:

    You’re probably thinking of the episode in Kosovo. Russian soldiers seize the airfield at Pristina, which was a critical supply node, before NATO forces could. General Clark threw a fit and ordered the Brits to remove them, they demurred.

  32. Anna-Marina says:

    Money, money, good money for profiteers, whereas the problem is the same trivial one – the aversion to accountability:

  33. John says:

    But Reagan arming the jihadis did lead to direct intervention…it just took 20 years.

  34. confusedponderer says:

    That is precisely what I had in mind when I predicted a 30 years war for the region if this insanity continues. With modern day weapons the death toll will be all the worse.
    And these lunatics set the region ablaze … because Iran is stronger than Saudi Arabia, if not as rich, and because Iran is independent of the US and Israel and will not yield to their demands, and they cannot possibly reconcile that with their paranoias and aspirations for regional and global (respectively) dominance, with the French and Brits playing along simply because they want to reassert themselves as players?
    IMO, and that is the silliest bit of it all, I don’t think there is a coherent policy but the desire to weaken Iran, and a leaping from perceived opportunity if something like that presents itself.
    They ‘do Syria’ simply because they feel Syria is ‘doable’ right now. That is the ‘strategy’.

  35. jonst says:

    I don’t have any idea how this will end in Syria(yes I do, but I don’t want to get Alba upset, just kidding guy, just kidding) but how many of you are reminded–from the past of how calibrations can go wrong…when so many actors and egos find themselves in physical proximity? In bad moods.
    That omnipresent sense, at the beginning of crisis, that humans control events…as opposed to events controlling us.
    A truism if ever there was one…but a truism that seems to be forgotten by the interventionists.
    And now I read a report–ok, who knows what is true–that alleges that Iran is sending in 4k ‘troops’? Keep doing that calibrations boys…and tell yourselves, ‘don’t worry, we’ll only go in this far and no further’.

  36. sleepy says:

    Perhaps we will see some coalition of left-right opposition to the civil liberties and foreign policy initiatives of Obama.
    And by “left” I don’t mean Obama style “liberals” or democratic party leaders, but rather whatever remains of traditional lefty anti-war and pro-civil rights movements.
    And by “right” I don’t mean McCain-Lindsay Graham styled “conservatives”, but libertarians, non-interventionists, and whatever elements of the tea party hold those views.

  37. DH says:

    “The National Security Agency has acknowledged in a new classified briefing that it does not need court authorization to listen to domestic phone calls.
    Rep. Jerrold Nadler, a New York Democrat, disclosed this week that during a secret briefing to members of Congress, he was told that the contents of a phone call could be accessed “simply based on an analyst deciding that.”
    If the NSA wants “to listen to the phone,” an analyst’s decision is sufficient, without any other legal authorization required, Nadler said he learned. “I was rather startled,” said Nadler, an attorney and congressman who serves on the House Judiciary committee.
    Not only does this disclosure shed more light on how the NSA’s formidable eavesdropping apparatus works domestically, it also suggests the Justice Department has secretly interpreted federal surveillance law to permit thousands of low-ranking analysts to eavesdrop on phone calls.
    Because the same legal standards that apply to phone calls also apply to e-mail messages, text messages, and instant messages, Nadler’s disclosure indicates the NSA analysts could also access the contents of Internet communications without going before a court and seeking approval.
    The disclosure appears to confirm some of the allegations made by Edward Snowden, a former NSA infrastructure analyst who leaked classified documents to the Guardian. Snowden said in a video interview that, while not all NSA analysts had this ability, he could from Hawaii “wiretap anyone from you or your accountant to a federal judge to even the president.””

  38. Charles I says:

    I’m no expert either and trust should such ops appear to be imminent those qualified will comment on the logistics and likely success – both aerial and political.
    My point of interest in the cited article was the claim that Jordan is requesting this op and offering bases to support it. Though I make no claim of any particular insight one might infer from the report that the King supports it.
    I inadvertently riled our host here a while back commenting on an interview of King Abdullah by Jeffrey Gold berg of The Atlantic, “The Modern King in the Arab Spring” that includes consideration of the political domestic question you pose, as well as some analysis of his position and prospects:
    In my timescale, from my cozy retrospective armchair arming the jihadis through the likes of the ISI, and the thinking behind such foreign policy ultimately did lead to direct intervention.

  39. Charles I says:

    If you read the cited report, it claims geography as the answer to your question – the effects of refugee flow and border porosity on the domestic front not at issue with our best ally.

  40. Charles I says:

    On the face of it, the Turkish Patriot deployment was in response to cross border groun

  41. J says:

    Russia’s Putin had a recent interview (in English) where he discussed Syria among other matters:
    Putin talks NSA, Syria, Iran, drones in exclusive RT interview (FULL VIDEO)

  42. Tyler says:

    I’m with you in hoping that the presence of Russian troops would put brakes on the entire thing. Then again I can imagine the neocon puppet masters on both sides firing up their creature McCain to demand we start WWIII by going into Syria. Remember him during Russia’s response to Georgia?
    Hopefully you’re right and cooler heads will prevail, but every time it seems that the adults have well and truly left the building.

  43. Tyler says:

    No trifling nonsense too small to drudge up. Meanwhile we ignored Russia trying to warn us about the Borat Bombing Brothers, but let’s focus on this nonsense.

  44. Tyler says:

    Thanks for sharing this.

  45. kao_hsien_chih says:

    Given modern technology, I doubt a war on that scale (and with so many outside parties being so obviously involved) could be confined just to the region.
    Even if large scale open fighting were confined to the region, there will be serious blowbacks around the world. The (old fashioned) liberal political order may not survive a conflict like that, at least for decades or even centuries to come. Perhaps even a new Dark Age? :/

  46. Fred says:

    We might wake up if the Egyptian military ousts Mursi and asks Putin for help since its apparent Obama is not good to his word (or at least his speeches).

  47. David A says:

    “Same legal standards that apply to phone calls also apply to e-mail messages, text messages, and instant messages”
    I also presume that the same legal standards apply to gun background checks. This means that feds are keeping a gun secret gun registry list.

  48. Alba Etie says:

    Could Egypt be the new ‘air craft carrier ” for a bloody intervention in Syria ? I am praying the Elites understand this will cause a upwelling of anti war protest here in These United States. Are the French and Italian aircraft carriers moving off the coast of Syria the way they did in Libya ?

  49. JerseyJeffersonian says:

    Well, if one were to judge by some US polls, Americans don’t have a lot of confidence in, or liking for, what our “leaders” are up to, either.
    But ask yourself; does that stop these “leaders” from doing what they want to do? No, it does not. Even our representatives in Congress are lied to, or at minimum, have the information permitted to them restricted to the “least untruthful answer”. Our representatives are constrained from telling us what they actually_do_know. And the FBI bestrides the land issuing thousands of National Security Letters, the essential nature of which is that the recipient MAY NOT DISCLOSE that they have even received such a letter, let alone what the targeted information sought by the issuance of the letter is, under penalty of criminal prosecution.
    Friends, countrymen, our “leaders” want to OWN us, and secrecy – maintained under threat – concerning their actions is the means of control. They feel that they have the absolute right to know everything about us, and that we have no corresponding right to know what they are up to. They feel that we must obey, and that we have no right to question, and to make that a certainty, they’ve taken the blindfold that covers Lady Justice’s eyes, and repurposed it to blind US. We’ve come full circle to being ruled by a King, and being deprived of effective representation.
    Hmm, this seems to be a situation rather like the fellow whose name is honored in my internet identity made complaint of some years ago, come to think of it…
    “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.”

  50. Alba Etie says:

    Yes sir Congressman Wilson was right. We went directly after the training camps in Afghanistan in short order after 9-11. And if I have understood the ongoing tutorials here at SST we are fixing do that same scenario again in Syria . Repeating old behaviors expecting different results, insanity indeed.

  51. Will Reks says:

    Are you saying that the MSM was castigating Bush in the runup to the Iraq war? That’s not how I remember it. The criticism for Obama will come when intervention turns into a disaster just like it did for Bush.
    The MSM gave the Bush WH a tongue bath. You can argue that Obama gets the same tongue bath and then some.

  52. Tyler says:

    Alba & Eliot:
    That’s the one. The British general responded to the effect that he wasn’t starting WWIII for Clark. We could use more generals like that.

  53. Tyler says:

    It’d be a weird world that would happen in. A world where Russia was the defender of conservative values and wasn’t about weird state secularism & spying.
    Oh wait.

  54. Fred says:

    Better call Gabby Giffords and Mayor Bloomberg:
    Somebody on the planet might shoot someone. Better ban all civilian drones. Then go after the guns.

  55. Alba Etie says:

    Yes I agree the GWOT is alive and well and holding our Fourth Amendment Rights hostage .

  56. Alba Etie says:

    Completely agree about the broad domestic opposition building to intervening in Syria. If we were to take a dispassionate look at the Overton Window you will see all hands raised in opposition from the left to the right regarding any Syrian involvement . Did not our First President and First Commander in Chief warn against overseas involvements.

  57. Alba Etie says:

    There is a Greek Orthodox Church member here that I know that states categorically that Hizbollah has saved Christian lives and Christian Sites in Syria from al Nusra .

  58. Alba Etie says:

    If we go beyond supplying small arms to the rebels this all ends very very badly ..

  59. Alba Etie says:

    From my cold dead hands ..
    Was open to maybe some background check beefing up , but not after seeing PRISM. There probably is a secret data base for our firearms already . At least the ones we paid for with credit cards …

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