The Syrian Situation from Russia’s Eyes as interpreted by the Chinese

MOSCOW, June 9 (Xinhua) — Russia was completing its air defense contracts with Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Saturday. The contracts were signed and paid for long ago, and the systems could be used “only if” Syria faced foreign attacks, Lavrov told reporters.

Russia would not ship anything to Syria outside of these contracts, the minister said, adding it was not providing the Syrian government with any weapons against “peaceful demonstrators.”

The minister slammed what he said were outside forces who were fueling the violence in Syria by “openly providing” support to the armed groups and the opposition in Syria. He warned the country was on the brink of a “full-scale civil war”. Russia had decided at the very beginning of the Syria turmoil not to provide it with arms that could be used to “suppress domestic unrest,” Lavrov said.

For those that haven’t been watching, it is Russia and China who are holding back the U.N. from greenlighting a mission much like the one in Libya. There is also a much greater chance of arming an opposition group that is far more hardline against U.S. interests and still fully aligned with Iran’s interests as well.

Hopefully the formal end of this contract will help push Russia to allow some intervention.

China is a tougher nut to crack, as they are cracking down on a Tibetan resurgence fueled by multiple self-immolations…I.e. how true warriors of peace fight). The recent incontrovertible evidence of Syrian atrocities is also slowly moving the world to action. Election season worldwide doesn’t help.

Russia completes air defense contracts with Syria
Xinhua |

Six Months, No (domestic) Casualties, Freedom…what’s not to love?

Libya’s interim leader predicts Sirte victory by end of week –

BBC reports that the NTC will declare Libya liberated once they fully capture Sirte, even in Mr. Qaddafi is still at large. Although the desert town of Bani Walid also remains in Qaddafi loyalist hands, the rebels do not consider it critical for declaring victory because it does not lead to any escape routes through which Qaddafi could flee the country. Rebel fighters incurred heavy casualties in the fight for Sirte. Loyalist fighters used snipers and mortar barrages to pick them off as they advanced on loyalist bastions in the city, such as the main Sirte hospital and the Ouagadougou conference center, which Qaddafi built for hosting regional summits, according to the BBC.

I’m pretty sure this is how a completely different scenario was *supposed* to play out.  Pretty wild what competent leadership can do.

More Republicans doubt Obama’s Every Move

(Reuters) – A growing number of Republicans are criticizing President Barack Obama for failing to lay out a clear plan on Libya and mounting costly military operations at a time when America’s budget deficit is gaping.

Republicans largely backed Obama’s strategy in Afghanistan. But senior party figures including House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard McKeon and House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen are questioning the Libya air assaults.

via More Republicans doubt Obama’s Libya action | Reuters.

Personally I’m surprised it took them this long into the news cycle.  I mean, that’s like nearly 24 hours.

Ros-Lehtinen expressed concern that Obama has not yet clearly defined for the American people what vital U.S. national security interests are at stake in Libya.

Good point.  I mean…WTF…seriously people??   We couldn’t celebrate Egypt freeing herself, for fear of a group that haunts Glenn Beck’s “happy” nightmares, and now we can’t even help out as a guy we’ve fenced with for 20 years opens fire on his own people….and they stand up and fire back?

C’mon folks.   Can we give this one a week before someone drops the quagmire bomb?   (I’m guessing no…the Palin/Bachmann rhetorical multiplier is in effect)

Regardless….glad the U.N. was able to pull the trigger…not sure how much it will really do.  Air power doesn’t win wars, it can execute or stop mass genocide pretty good, but a scalpal, a sword, and a spear it is not.   We  can’t really offer air support to a rebel offensive, so the lack of Kwadaphi’s [sp] air power doesn’t mean all that much to his defense.

Waiting him out isn’t very politically tenable either.    I’m PDS (pretty damn sure) Obama is going to do the wise thing here and hand this one off to someone in Europe, quickly.  The derp will rise anyway, but it will be less than if he tries to take over command personally (not his style at all, and this isn’t really our fight…Europe needs Libyan oil a lot more than we do.).

I don’t expect Kharfaldi [sp] to last nearly as long as S. Hussein.

Fox New is a Bunch of A-Holes – U.N.’s World Food Program Cried Poverty While Sitting on Cash Stockpile of More Than $1.22 Billion – International News | News of the World | Middle East News | Europe News

Hours after FOX News’ publication of this story, WFP acknowledged the $1.22 billion in cash reserves, which it said “represents between three and four months of WFP’s annual operating revenue.

“Of that $1.22 billion, more than 90 percent is either committed to ongoing food needs, or comprises mandatory reserve requirements necessary for prudent financial management of an organization of its size (i.e. unfunded liabilities for pensions),” Brenda Barton, WFP’s deputy director of communications and public policy strategy e-mailed FOX News.

“This system of cash management is akin to that of a family who has $2,000 in the bank, of which the majority is committed for mortgage, car payment and groceries,” she wrote.

What I quoted above is the “correction” of the article, after they actually contacted the WFP for a statement.  If you read the article (which normally I wouldn’t recommend, except that it illustrates what a joke Fox is) you will get an entirely different impression of the economic situation (i.e. they are cash-rich and begging for more).

Ultimately, like other crises the world faces, it is the poor that will feel the greatest pain for the excesses and whims of the powerful.   And Fox is there to pile it on.  Assholes.