Putin is on the right side of history – by A.Z.


“You will not deny that one does not really need to support the people who not only kill their enemies, but open up their bodies, eat their intestines in front of the public and cameras. Are these the people you want to support? Is it them who you want to supply with weapons? Then this probably has little relation to humanitarian values that have been preached in Europe for hundreds of years.”


Well said, Mr Putin, in this instance. Assad’s thugs are marginally better than the Al-Qaeda terrorist.


Cameron thinks that it is possible to arm the pluralist democratic elements of the opposition, and they will drive al-Qaida from Syria.


Who are you fooling Mr Cameron? Come clean and state your aims.


Mr Obama did better when he declared the “supposition” of the use of chemical weapons by the regime as a “finding”.


In any event, these two governments have laboured mightily to get what they wanted – a peg, however flimsy, on which to hang arming the Syrian opposition.


They know that this is no struggle for democracy or human rights. Not any longer in any case. This war is complex: it directly cuts through an ancient and highly emotive and sectarian regional fault lines.


However both Cameron and Obama don’t seem to care if west’s contradictions are becoming increasingly apparent as long as the bloodshed across the region increases.


As the G8 meeting gets underway today, Putin is poised to denounce any escalation in arming the opposition.


In a recent article below, The New York Times has detailed that the opposition has received, since the beginning of 2012, possibly as much as 3,500 tons of weapons, and lists the flights by which the materiel arrived, and from where they derived. This represents a huge air-bridge of munitions.




Those who witnessed the arming of the Mujahideen in Afghanistan in their battle against the Soviet forces will tell you that then a single cargo a month was thought significant for the Mujahideen to fight with the Soviet military might in a country three and half times the size of Syria. To add perspective, at times, the Syrian opposition has been receiving fifteen a month.


Syria is already inundated with weapons. But, as the world has witnessed in Afghanistan no quantity of arms supply ever suffices. And in the moments when the opposition begins to lose it is always blamed on the west as its failure to equip the rebels with more and better weapons. We all saw in Afghanistan how a simple rebellion was transformed when the donors started pumping in huge sums and the struggle turned into big business.


Syria shows that we have learnt nothing and therefore nothing has changed. In a brilliant piece last Thursday Reuters reports an incident on the Turkish-Syrian border where France’s recently recalled ambassador to Syria gave “a stash of brown envelopes stuffed with thousands of dollars” to “‘viable’ [that is, non-Al-Qaida] rebels operating in zones no longer under Bashar al-Assad’s control”. {http://in.reuters.com/article/2013/06/13/syria-crisis-france-idINDEE95C0BA20130613}


Some more weapons are not likely to engineer any positive change. Afghanistan has shown us that the weapons do not stay with the intended recipients. Warlords move in and then trade in weapons and fighters.





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  1. Elizabeth