I. These terrible Russian tankers
All over the world, Russians are so afraid that the other day the newspaper men mixed up the Russian tanker Iman - an auxiliary vessel fleet in the port of Tartus - with a flotilla, as if full of armed to the teeth
“On the arrival in Syria of warships with special forces detachments were broadcast by the American television station ABC, as well as the television channel Al-Arabiya. According to some data, already two Russian warships with special forces arrived in Tartus, and according to others, the second ship has already headed for Tartus and will arrive in Syria in the coming days ”(source: http://www.zman.com/news/2012/03/20/122810.html).
“Al-Arabiya Channel ... referring to sources in the ranks of the Syrian opposition stated that Russian military special forces had arrived in Tartus” (Russian service "BBC").
“Reports of the presence of Russian anti-terrorist forces in Syria raise new questions about whether Russia indirectly or even directly contributes to the brutal suppression of protests in Syria. Russia is a loyal ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad. It causes outrage among her colleagues in the UN Security Council, blocking repeated attempts to put an end to violence in Syria ”(Fox News - in the translation of "InoSMI"). And from the same place: "A source from the Security Council told ABC News that the arrival of the Russian military in Syria is an information" bomb "that will undoubtedly have serious consequences."
“According to Russian media reports, the country's military unit has arrived in Syria. As a source in the UN Security Council told ABC News, this news It became a "bomb", which, undoubtedly, will have serious consequences.
Russia, one of the staunch supporters of President Bashar Assad, despite international condemnation of the brutal suppression of the uprising by the Syrian government, has repeatedly blocked attempts by the UN Security Council to end the violence, accusing the US and its allies of trying to unleash another war.
Now, according to Interfax news agency, the Black Sea Fleet tanker Iman has arrived in the Syrian port of Tartus in the Mediterranean with an anti-terrorist group of marines on board. The government of Bashar al-Assad insists that it is fighting a terrorist insurgency. Russian sources do not provide details about the mission of the Russian troops in Syria itself, or whether they are going to leave the port.
According to Mark Galeotti, a security expert who specializes in Russia, the presence of the Russian military in Syria can be considered a “fairly obvious” sign of support for the regime. “Everyone believes that Russians are nothing more than Bashar Assad’s last friends,” said Mark Galeotti, professor of international relations at New York University (source: "InoTV").
The relocation of large spetsnaz detachments that are gathering on the sly to bring order to a single state, on a tanker, is, of course, the newest word in military tactics. The next “information bomb” of the world media will probably be Russian marines in hats with earflaps, disguised as fishermen and trying to sail the Atlantic on motorboats in order to invade the US. It is there, and not in Syria, that the model realm of democracy smells and so do not like this bloodthirsty Russian.
As for the newly raised question of cruelty, with which protests in Syria are suppressed, then the topic of the kindness of the spiritual media has not been interested in for long. There is no demand for it. However, there is a demand for cruelty - and if so, let's find out more about them.
“Human Rights Watch has accused the Syrian opposition of massive human rights violations. HRW sent a corresponding letter to the Syrian National Council, which opposes President Bashar al-Assad.
The statement emphasizes that the opposition has repeatedly kidnapped, tortured and brutally murdered B. Assad’s supporters, soldiers, and police officers. "The brutal tactics of the Syrian army cannot justify such actions of the opposition," human rights activists say.
Excerpt from Catherine Zabrodina’s article, "Russian newspaper":
“His hands were bound, and his face was in blood. He denied all charges. Then the person who conducted the interrogation, demanded to bring a stun gun ... ”- similar evidence of the atrocities of the Syrian militants released Human Rights Watch.
An open letter in which human rights activists appealed to opposition leaders became a sensation. Indeed, so far only the Syrian government has been accused of violating human rights. But now, for the first time, observers have recognized: militants fighting on the side of the opposition are kidnapping, brutally torturing and killing not only regular military and security officials, but also ordinary citizens, even if they have little sympathy with the authorities. According to human rights activists, members of religious minorities in Syria, especially members of the Alawiti Shiite sect, to which President Bashar Asad and almost all the ruling elite are subjected to violence, are also subjected to violence. ”
See how? It is better not to blame one side, otherwise you can be considered biased - or, at least, too democratic. And even better - do not blame anyone at all, but understand what is happening. On the one hand, tankers and sailors in hats with earflaps will begin to see bells, and on the other hand, the oppression of genuine democrats in the Stalinist dungeons of the Russian-Syrian regime will begin.
These nightmarish fantasies, inspired by American stereotypes about Russians, coexist with storiesdrunkenly issued by some media outlets - right in the spirit of the Marktven Journalism in Tennessee. Here, for example, Mixednews - from voltairenet.org:
“Informed diplomatic sources told the Wayne Madsen Report (WMR) that Bahrain, representing the Gulf Cooperation Council, offered Russia a bribe to 5 billion dollars if it does not use the veto in the UN Security Council on a resolution sponsored by the Arab League countries that called for Syrian resignation President Ashar Bassad. " (So in the translated text. - O. Ch.).
It further speaks of a proposal to “bribe 5 billions of dollars for Russia for a positive vote on the resolution by Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa during his visit to Moscow before the UN Security Council vote. Our sources report that the Russian government categorically refused the money that was offered from Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Oman.
WMR also found that a similar bribe from these countries was also offered to China. The proposal, which the Chinese government had a good laugh at, seemed to have been made during 18’s January visit by Chinese Prime Minister Wei Jiabao to Doha, Qatar’s capital. (End quote).
It is felt that the media hit the "yellow" writing. Why? The theme of Syria is no longer the same as before, it excites readers. The world community has realized that the West will adhere to the strategy of waiting - and then will accept any option for the outcome of military actions in Syria: whether Assad wins, whether they defeat. The first option will give reason for truly democratic governments and the media to slander about the violation of human rights in Syria, and at the same time in Moscow, the second ... the second America is unlikely to wait. Bashar Asad stubbornly oppresses his line. The meeting of the “Friends of Syria”, which the world democratic forces are already postponing for the second time - initially it was appointed to 24 in March, then to 2 in April, now to 1, is nothing but an April Fools ’political rally started to mark the start of the beach season in Turkey.
Meanwhile, the opposition, which still has not realized that weapons she will not be given and will not be supported by military intervention, continues to insist on the "Libyan scenario" ("Vesti.ru"):
“Two powerful explosions thundered in Damascus on Saturday. One of the terrorists mined cars was blown up near the Air Force intelligence headquarters, between Baghdad Street and Kusaa quarter. Another explosion took place at a roundabout near Umayyad Square, where a mass rally of the public in support of President Bashar Assad was held two days ago. The majority of those killed in the attacks are civilians. This was stated by the Minister of Health of Syria Vail Nadir al-Halak. "As a result of two explosions committed by terrorists, 27 people were killed, mostly civilians, and 97 suffered," state-run Syrian television quoted the minister.
Nevertheless, despite the efforts being made by members of the world community, the Syrian opposition is ready to resolve the crisis in the country only according to the “Libyan scenario.” This was stated by the Secretary General of the League of Arab States (LAS) Nabil al-Arabi. “The Syrian opposition believes that a way out of the current conflict is possible only according to the“ Libyan scenario ”, and attempts to negotiate with the regime of President Bashar Asad for a peaceful resolution of the situation will not lead to anything,” Egyptian Al-Ahram newspaper quotes the Secretary General of the Arab League . Al-Arabi also added that the opposition "find no alternative to military intervention in the internal conflict."
No wonder: in the event of a victory, the army of terrorists will not be stroked over the head. “If we knew that it would come to that, we might not have dared,” admitted 30-year-old Bassel Fouad, an activist who escaped from an attack against the opposition in Bab Amr in Homs this month and is now in Lebanon. “But we did it, and now we cannot stop, because if we do that, they will kill us all” (Washington PostMarch 14, the article "The anniversary of the uprising, the Syrian protesters say they will not surrender." Author - Liz Sly, report from Beirut).
All seekers of easy democracy according to the “Libyan scenario” are warned by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov: “If the interethnic, interfaith nature of the Syrian state is violated, which is very difficult to construct, I am afraid that a crisis will break out in this place, which unfortunately is breaking inside the Islamic the world between Sunnis and Shiites. And if so, then not only around Iran the situation can change - it can change around and inside Iraq, where the Sunnis feel offended. And all those who can have at least some influence on these processes should feel their full responsibility ”(S. Brilev, "Vesti").
And one more quotation from Lavrov: “Kofi Annan conveyed his proposals to the Syrian leadership,” said the head of Russian diplomacy. - I can assure you that they are not talking about the care of Bashar Assad. I believe that the question of the future of Syria should be decided by the Syrians themselves. Russia will support any agreement formulated on the basis of the all-Syrian political dialogue between the government and all opposition groups ”("Vesti").
In the meantime, information bombers are continuing their work. "Free press" (The author of the report - Viktor Savenkov) writes about their activities:
“Alarming news comes from Damascus again. No sooner had the capital of Syria recovered from the double terrorist attack that took place on 17 in March and killed the 27 people, as the media again report bloodshed. "Lenta.ru" With reference to the Israeli edition of Yediot Ahronot, on the night from 18 to 19 in March at least 80 soldiers of the government army were killed and at least 200 locals were injured in a specially protected area of Damascus. “The battle began at around midnight and lasted about four hours. According to witnesses of the incident, small arms and grenade launchers were used during the battle. The shooting intensity, according to this information, was extremely high. ”
At the same time, if you go directly to the site "Ediot Ahronot", You can seethat the Israeli edition refers to the notorious Qatari television channel Al-Jazeera, which in turn refers to "sources in the opposition."
Al-Jazeera has been at the center of several in recent weeks. scandalswhen from tv channel with noise gone several journalists who said that this channel is engaged in a deliberate distortion of the situation in Syria and its one-sided coverage. Among those who have left is the executive director of the Al-Jazeera office in Beirut, Hassan Shaaban, who saidthat quit in connection with the “prejudiced and inflammatory position of Al-Jazeera” in covering the events of the “Arab Spring”, especially in Bahrain and Syria.
Such incidents cause serious doubts about the accuracy of the information that is reported by the world media and relay Russian publications. As confirmation (or refutation) of information about the death of a large number of military in Syria last night has not yet been received, we contacted Orientalist and journalist Ankhar Kochneva, who lives in the center of Damascus. ”
A fragment of the “SP” dialogue and Ankhar Kochneva, who was phoned by her acquaintance who lives in the area where the collision occurred, makes it possible to judge how “journalism in Tennessee” is being done.
“He called me around 2: 00 nights and reported what was happening. Shooting I heard right from the tube. However, reports that there was a very bloody battle that lasted all night, do not correspond to reality. The official information is: 13 bandits killed, 10 captured, 1 soldiers killed and 3 wounded. ”
When asked by a journalist, “But information about 80 of dead soldiers is given by Yedioth Ahronot, citing witnesses,” Kochneva replied: “Well, of course, you can see better from Tel Aviv than from Damascus. Al-Mezza is not a suburb of Damascus, but its district itself. There are agricultural fields and gardens and it is not a specially protected area. I wonder what kind of "local media" or witnesses who do not know exactly where the events took place. According to our information, the battle was due to the fact that the militants tried to kidnap the officer, and the army fought back. There are no other details of the incident ”(source: http://svpressa.ru/war21/article/53666/).
Ankhar Kochneva also said: “There are no problems with food, because Syria feeds the entire region: Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and earlier, Turkey. Thanks to this, we have the cheapest vegetables and fruits in the region. Quite the contrary, in this matter problems now begin in neighboring countries: I was recently in Jordan, so they say that before all the food came from Syria, but now it’s just trouble. We have increased prices for some goods, but in general everything is acceptable ”(same source).
Let us return to the Russian tanker - the next scarecrow of the new Cold War, spawned by those who want to not only scare, not to be scared. 19 March RIA News" reported: “There are no Russian warships performing tasks off the coast of Syria. In the Syrian port of Tartus 10 days there is a vessel of the auxiliary fleet tanker "Iman", which performs the tasks of logistics support - replenishment of fuel and food - ships of the Black Sea and Northern fleets, which ensure the safety of navigation in the Gulf of Aden against the pirates, "reported RIA Novosti representative of the information management and the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation. "
As notices Konstantin Bogdanov, RIA “Novosti” military commentator, “there are two layers in the tanker's visit to Tartus: Moscow shows that it has not left the region and is not going to leave, and its opponents are making every effort to isolate Russia, presenting it almost as an interventionist in support of the regime of Bashar al-Assad. The case is not the first, and obviously not the last: the Syrian positional game of chess continues. ”
As for the latest events in Syria, “government forces completely freed the city of Idlib in the north-west of the country from armed extremists (320 km from Damascus). According to the newspaper Al-Vatan, residents thank the servicemen for restoring calm. In addition, in the previously liberated city of Homs (165 km north of the capital), security forces resumed a special operation after attempts to convince terrorists seated in a number of quarters to lay down their arms ended in failure. In Khalidia and Bab Sebaal-Watan, the militants again began to build barricades and block the streets. Five civilians and at least 25 servicemen died from their hands in one day ”(ITAR-TASS, Alexander Kozin from Tunisia).
Not knowing what else to stop the stubborn Bashar Assad, Western countries decided to include his wife, Asma Asad, in the EU sanctions list. To do this, seekers of sensations had to re-write the correspondence of members of the Assad family. I do not presume to judge, it is true, or another fiction.
“Last week, an electronic correspondence of family members of the Syrian president fell into the hands of journalists from The Guardian. According to the newspaper, it became known from her that Asad had bought jewelry in London, a vase for 2650 pounds sterling, as well as candlesticks, chairs and chandeliers for 10 thousand pounds.
The newspaper notes that reports of the wastefulness of the presidential wife against the background of the crisis in the country could be a catalyst for including Asma in the EU’s “black list”. The sanctions include a ban on entry into the EU, as well as the freezing of bank accounts "("Sight").
And in the West they began to say that Bashar Asad was going to move to Moscow - for permanent residence. As they say, the language is boneless, but Asma’s purchase of chairs and chandeliers makes you wonder ...
Ii. Wherever you throw, everywhere wedge
В Los Angeles Times March 18 published a report from Beirut by Patrick J. McDonnell "Syria's conflict matters far beyond its borders."
The reporter believes that the Syrian conflict will be the cause for wars and the spread of instability far beyond the Syrian borders. Along with this, the American journalist is also afraid of the growing hostility in the spirit of the Cold War in the world. About this, writes McDonnell, warn international experts, including Kofi Annan.
The author of the report reports that "Syria is a kind of strategic chessboard, on which big and small interests play for their future advantages." Describing briefly about the Alawites and Sunnis and generally about the "explosive mixture" of religious and ethnic groups in Syria, McDonnell notes that "Iran regards Syria as a key Arab ally." He further writes: "In the meantime, Israeli officials have expressed concern about whether the post-Assad administration will be better or worse for their country."
Then the journalist goes to Washington and Moscow, who have strained relations because of Syria and conduct rhetoric “in the style of the cold war: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called the joint Russian-Chinese veto on the UN Security Council resolution on Syria“ despicable ”, and Russia regretted the "hysterical" reaction of the West ".
As the journalist believes, Moscow “still suffers a burning pain because it could not stop the campaign of bombing under the control of the West”, which eliminated Muammar Gaddafi in Libya. Now Moscow, McDonnell writes, is trying to “not allow the same scenario to be played out in Syria, which is its last major Arab ally.”
Then McDonnell returns to Israel.
"In the meantime, Israel is following the developments in Syria with growing alarm." The fact is that let “Assad and not a friend of Israel,” but at the same time he “is viewed by the Israelis as a predictable and rational adversary.” Israel enjoys a perennial silence on the Syrian border: “With few exceptions, on the Syrian border along the occupied Golan Heights it has been quiet for many years.”
Meanwhile, military officials in Israel are "concerned about the Syrian stockpiles of weapons, including chemical ones."
In general, wherever you throw, everywhere a wedge.
The author writes that if Iran establishes itself “in the camp of Assad,” then Syria could be the “battlefield” between Iran and Saudi Arabia, and the latter can be supported by other Sunnis in the Persian Gulf.
In a Moscow report by Ellen Barry ("New York Times" 20 March 2012), entitled “It Seems Russia Decreases Its Support for Syria”, said that Russia's Foreign Minister, “the strongest supporter of the Syrian government,” sharply criticized President Al-Assad on Tuesday, saying that “Mr. many mistakes and that “no one invites him to Moscow” if he resigns. The article contains statements by S. Lavrov at a Moscow press conference and then from an interview with Kommersant FM radio station.
Ellen Barry ends his article as follows: “Some political scientists note that the Russians do not yet have an incentive to go against Mr. Assad. Peter Harling, project manager for Syria from the International Crisis Group, said that Russia's support for Mr. Assad gives it a "huge role" and leverage for the West. “If they go against the regime more decisively, they will lose all leverage and will soon be ignored by everyone, including the West,” he said.
Report by Ann Barnard from Beirut ("New York Times" 19 March 2012), entitled “Syrian defectors clashed with security forces in the capital”, is dedicated to recent Damascus armed clashes.
“But the choice of time, place, as well as the intensity of Damascus clashes,” the author writes, “suggests that diplomacy did not make much progress in resolving the conflict. In contrast, the Syrian army seems to have made significant progress in recent days against the enclaves of insurgents in the country, from the northern city of Idlib to Dara in the south, the birthplace of protests that began in March last year. ”
From the following passage, one can understand where the difference in numbers comes from: “The Syrian observation post on human rights is an opposition group based in London,” reported that its informants had transferred: at least 18 members of the security forces were killed in a Damascus clash. The official press agency SANA led the number of casualties much lower: one security officer and two opposition members were killed during the assault on the "shelter of an armed terrorist group" in a wealthy area. "
In conclusion of the report - referring to the ABC channel, - it is told about the Russian military ship, “arrived in Tartus with a team of Russian anti-terrorist marines”. In the message, Ann Barnard notes, it was suggested that "Russia is actively helping Mr. Assad by sending him military experts."
The journalist quotes “Interfax” the words of a representative of the Russian Ministry of Defense, who said that “he was puzzled by the message, in which, according to him, Iman, perhaps, was mentioned, a Russian tanker who arrived in Tartus 10 days ago. He said that there was security on board the Iman, because it delivers fuel to Russian ships participating in international anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden. ”
Another Beirut report by Ann Barnard is called “For the Syrians there is no easy way out of the conflict” ("New York Times" from 20 March).
As the author writes, having “firepower and willingness to kill, President Bashar al-Assad can hold power for months or even years, preventing the opposition from controlling any territory and not allowing it to take a breath in order to develop consistent effective leadership,” analysts say , diplomats and Syrians participating in the uprising. "
According to analysts and Syrians, “the force itself will hardly eradicate what has become a widespread and unpredictable uprising that can strike even after the government used crushing force against centers of resistance, such as Homs, Idlib and Dara. Wide areas of the country are a hostile territory for government troops, and the attackers managed to hit the power centers even in the capital, Damascus. ”
The impasse of diplomacy and the gushing blood makes Syria stand out among those countries that marked the “Arab Spring”. Ann Barnard speaks of the "war of attrition," which "becomes all the more dangerous the longer it lasts."
“Many Syrians say that Mr. Asad cannot afford to stop shooting and can never return to the management that he exercised before, when his power came from sectarian ties, business interests and fear. If he cancels his repressions, as Syrians with different political views say with confidence, the citizens will demand his resignation.
“We will see millions of protesters on the streets, not hundreds,” said a Christian engineer in the old city of Damascus, who, like many people recently interviewed in Syria, refused to give his name for fear of reprisals. “And the authorities know that.”
Analysts believe, according to Barnard, that the fastest way — Asad’s resignation or coup d'état that insiders could have arranged — seems “very unlikely.” “Isolated from all but his inner circle, Mr. Asad seems to believe that his strategy is successful.
Security leaders, the journalist continues, who could have overthrown him now, see that their fates have intertwined with him. The public has suffered too much to be satisfied with a coup; they will seek to crush the entire security system and, possibly, revenge. ”
Barnard further writes: “Some members of the constituencies that Mr. Assad is counting on - the business elite of Sunni Muslims, the Christian minority, government officials and ambitious young citizens - said in Syria last week that they lost faith in the government and more do not believe his statements about the victory. "
Then the American journalist gives a few examples - he talks about people who have become disillusioned with Assad’s policies.
"I am not against Assad, but I cannot support the government of President Bashar al-Assad, who does not offer me anything," said Youssef, 40, a government official. He said that he had lost his temper the other day, asking the store owner for the price of vegetable oil, and he took his cell phone to ask for the dollar, a common practice now.
Jozef said that he and his wife made 35000 Syrian pounds a month together, which was 729 $ in early March, and about half of that last week, when the dollar jumped in price. ”
One more example:
“Bilal, a businessman, a Sunni Muslim, proudly shows a picture of his father next to former President Hafez al-Assad, above his expensive leather sofa. He says: “We need to decide whether we should keep President Assad in power or not. We do not want to spend our lives organizing demonstrations for Assad. ”
And another example:
“... A rich Sunni Muslim, a student at Aleppo University, said via Skype that his father, who opposed his participation, is now leading him to protest.
Last week, he said that he had been watching the protesting guys at the university - in the commercial center of Syria, which had been a stronghold of state support for a long time - moving under government fire. “They were not afraid,” he said. “They attacked a security officer and beat them, and threw stones and more stones at him until he died.” Do you think these people will stop now? ”
But the report from Beirut in Chicago Tribune March 21: "Entrepreneurs are using the economy of the Syrian uprising." Author - Oliver Holmes, Reuters:
“While the economy of Syria as a whole is undermined by violent unrest, there were some people for whom the uprising created business opportunities.
Take the construction contractor Ahmed, who asked to call him only by name - out of fear of arrest. Without a license, he skillfully builds a small housing, while the authorities are distracted by the more pressing task of quelling the uprising.
“Yes, yes, I am exploiting the revolution. “The government is full of worries,” he said, 48-year-old, in his home in Aleppo - the northernmost large trading city of Syria with a population of a million people in 2,5. “Before, I did some buildings secretly, but now I’m somewhat open,” the entrepreneur added.
“Adventurers-builders,” writes further the journalist, “lenders and importers of the black market, all succeeded during the uprising, the Syrians tell.”
Surveillance cameras and thick steel doors are common goods in today's Syria. In the central bazaars of Damascus, money-changers trade in currency — in dollars. It is almost impossible to take a bank loan, which opens up opportunities for moneylenders.
“34-year-old Ali works for his father, a farmer who is struggling to preserve the family business, but was denied loans by both state and private banks.
"My father ended up borrowing money from a loan shark," Ali said, adding that the loan was given for three months at 50 interest paid in advance, with an 25 interest charge for late payment. "
Another popular commodity, as reported in the report, became drugs.
“Lama, the 25-year-old metropolitan pharmacist, says that there has been a marked increase in drug trafficking on the black market.
“We had to deal with smugglers in a pharmacy. Medicine is not something that may be delayed. If we do not make purchases using illegal means, then customers, especially those with chronic illnesses, will try to get drugs smuggled in by themselves. ”
Here is another way to make some extra money on the riots:
“And since the queues for fuel oil and gasoline are getting longer and the government is raising the official price of fuel, city residents are more and more moving towards a thriving black market.
Issa, a student in his early twenties from Damascus, said he noticed how business practices at a petrol station, where he worked part-time, had changed.
“As the price of fuel rises, my boss hired more people to go along the line of cars waiting for gas. When they see that people are going to leave without waiting, they are stopped and asked if they want to buy fuel at a higher price, ”said Issa.
"The queues are so long that people are willing to pay extortionate prices."
At the end of the report, Oliver Holmes reports:
“The government warned citizens about the possibility of a broader energy rationing, accusing terrorists of sabotage at power plants, as economists and business leaders say it is an attempt to save scarce fuel. The Syrian government says these “armed terrorists” killed more than 2000 soldiers and police during the unrest.
And since the value of the Syrian pound has plummeted, the cost of living has skyrocketed. Many Syrians are not able to buy anything but the most necessary. The official inflation rate was 15 percent in January; some basic commodities, such as sugar, butter, vegetable oil, and eggs, went up by as much as 100 percent.
“It may be true that Syrian firms are experiencing less foreign competition, but if the Syrians do not even buy products, all costs are double, what does it matter in any case,” said a Damascus resident.
"You do what you can, but still suffer."
Observed and translated by Oleg Chuvakin
- especially for topwar.ru
- especially for topwar.ru