.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Roundup of world reaction to Syrian state crimes (Zvi)

From Zvi:

Given that the US government claims to be still waiting for a global consensus (what's that, you say? A stunning display  of non-leadership?) I thought that I would enumerate the  positions that various government, NGOs and others have  expressed regarding the ongoing bloodbath in Syria.

Syrian people (broad consensus):

* Assad must go.

* Islamists: "No Iran, no Hezbollah, we want Muslim rulers who fear Allah"

(While Iran may, for political reasons, say that Alawites are Muslims, most Sunnis disagree. Syrian Alawites will truly screwed if the Syrian regime falls)

* "One and all in the opposition to Bashar's rule are convinced that Hezbollah fighters and cadres of the
Iranian Revolutionary Guard have made their way to Syria to aid in the grim work of repression. There are even local reports that Iran has offered a large subsidy to bail out Damascus from the economic fallout of the rebellion." [wsj]

(These reports are NOT unfounded rumors. [tel])

Arab League:

* Called for an "immediate halt" to violence

Bahrain:

* Recalled ambassador

Brazil:

* Protects Syrian regime in UN as it continues to massacre its own people.

China:

* Protects Syrian regime in UN as it continues to massacre its own people.

* China is a strong opponent of "humanitarian" intervention in any country by world powers.

Egypt:

* Grand imam of Al Azhar called on the Syrian rulers to stop facing unarmed protesters with "live bullets and iron and fire." [wsj]

* Demonstrators in Cairo: Assad must go.

GCC:

* attacked Syrian regime's brutal repression (last week)

Hamas:

* Leaders remain in Damascus (probably very frustrated)

* But Gazan columnists, even in pro-Hamas papers, are writing things like: “is extremely hostile to the aspirations and rights of its people” [bloom]

Human Rights Watch:

* "It's a continuation of a deliberate policy of the military crushing the protest movement," said Nadim Houry, Human Rights Watch's senior researcher for the Middle East and North Africa. "We've seen it now in so many cities." [1]

* Urged the Arab League to hold an emergency meeting on the bloodbath in Syria. [2]

India:

* Protects Syrian regime in UN as it continues to massacre its own people.

Iraq:

* PM Al-Maliki (historical ties to Assad regime) is allied with the al-Assad regime, an arranged wedding brokered by Iran last year. [kurd]

* Iraqi Kurds and the majority Sunni Iraqiya Party have vehemently criticized the Syrian regime. [kurd]

* Iraq is once again engaged in a heated dispute with Kuwait and is increasingly leaning on Iran.

Jordan:

* PM: “World anger and rejection of the bloodshed in Syria are growing.” [cnn]

* PM: urged "immediate halt to military operations", adoption of meaningful reforms
* A Jordanian citizen was killed by sniper in Homs on Sunday. [jord]  

* A member of the regime's secret police, who fled to Turkey, claims that Syria is using Iranian snipers [scot]

Kuwait:

* Recalled ambassador

* Mulling cutting off aid, loans [kuwait]

* Huge investor in Syria, and Kuwaiti companies hold over 10% of Syrian insurance market [boyc]

Lebanon:

* Government, dominated by Hezbollah, humiliatingly defending Assad regime in UN

* Future Movement: accusing Syrian regime of crimes against humanity

* Walid Jumblatt (Druze): abandoning Syria and aligning with Turkey. As a Druze leader, Jumblatt tends to align with the "strong horse." Given that the Assads killed his father, Jumblatt will never love them. But he complies with their wishes as long as he FEARS them. [jumblatt]

* Lebanese Druze: worried by Syrian accusations that Leb Druze are arming the Syrian Druze. I would be worried too.

* Syrian-backed PFLP has stationed rocket launchers on Mt. Lebanon, near Aley. Jumblatt is furious. "According to Jumhouriaya sources  Jumblatt understood that from his Syrian visit that the developments  on 888 hill were a message to him in response to his calls on Syrian  president Bashar al Assad to immediately implement the reforms he  promised."

* Hezbollah: continued support for Syrian regime, but trying to lower the profile. Support for HA in Arab street is mostly gone.

Maldives:

* Maldives calls for end to state-sponsored violence against civilians in Syria [mald]

* Foreign minister urges UNHRC to refer the issue in its upcoming session

* (Maldives is one of the freest of the "Muslim countries", though still rated only "partly free"; its Freedom House scores are close to those of Turkey)

Morocco:

* "The kingdom of Morocco, which has traditionally refrained from interfering in the internal affairs of other countries, expresses today its strong worries and deep concern over the sad events rocking
Syria," [asiaone]

OIC:

* Accused Syria on Saturday of using "excessive armed force" and called on Damascus to stop the bloodshed. [reut]

PA:

* Abed Rabo: accused regime of crimes against humanity [latimes]

* Abu Rudaineh: called on Syria to protect Palestinians in Syria [jpost]

* Permitted hundreds of demonstrators in Ramallah to call for Syrian regime's overthrow [jpost2]

Pakistan:

* Pakistan's Bhutto family has historical ties to the al-Assad regime. [tribpk]

* Silent on regime atrocities. [tribpk]

* Supported Syrian regime at UN [tribpk]

Palestine Solidarity Campaign (and other BDS groups):

* - silence -

Qatar:

* Recalled ambassador (a month ago) [boyc]

* A huge investor in Syria. One large electrical project has been frozen after Syria retaliated for Al Jazeera coverage of the slaughter by refusing a permit. [boyc]

Russia:

* Maintains naval presence in Latakia and Tarsus. Were the Russian sailors sitting idly by, watching Syrian gunboats pound Latakia?

* Protects Syrian regime in UN as it continues to massacre its own people.

Saudi Arabia:

* Recalled ambassador (last Sunday)

* King Abdullah called on Assad to stop the "killing machine."

Spain:

* Offered Assad asylum in July [haaretz]

Turkey:

* Increasingly strident "ultimatum" language. Today, FM Davutoglu issued what it called its "final words" to the Syrian regime.

* FM in Saudi yesterday. Guess what they talked about? [arabiya]

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a vocal attacker of Israel:

* - silence -

UNHRC:
* Dictators R Us!

* Pretty much silent, although they have held special sessions. They tried to cover their silence with a team of independent experts who called for an end to violence.

UNRWA:

* Latakia: "The situation is very bad. There are more than 10,000 residents of the camp, and half of them left out of fear of incoming fire from the land and sea. We don't know where they are, and we're the ones responsible for them. We're just desperately trying to find out where everyone is."

(Try looking in the stadium, where 1000s have been rounded up, stripped of cell phones and IDs and are being held indefinitely. Which should worry people.)

UNSC:

* Let's see how little we can accomplish, as slowly as possible.

UN Secretary General:

* Multiple futile condemnations of Syrian atrocities.

Misc. media:

* Jakarta Post editorial: "So much for the UN principles of Responsibility to Protect... . How many deaths will it take for the world to know that too many people have died?" [jakp]

* TIME: "Syria's City of Graves: Hama and its History of Massacres" [time]


By the way, definitely read the Time piece, one of the very few first hand reports from Syria and an excellent example of real reporting.