EU imposes arms embargo on Syria

May 10, 2011

…Move comes as Assad continues violent crackdown against protesters; embargo goes into effect on Monday night.  The European Union has decided to impose an arms embargo on Syria, which went into effect on Monday night.  The move came as Syrian President Bashar Assad continued a violent crackdown on anti-regime protesters in which human rights groups claim more than 800 have died over the past seven weeks.  The EU arms embargo received a preliminary green light at the end of last month. via jpost.com

No reporter has seemed more in the pocket of Hizballah and the Syrians than the New York Times’ Anthony Shadid. His reporting on Lebanon often quotes mostly or exclusively their supporters, under a variety of labels, as if they are objective observers or represent a range of opinion.

While his latest article includes some material on how bad the situation is in Syria–350 people identified as killed so far by the regime–his latest article reads like a press release by the dictatorship.

 Not since the days of the Cold War–probably in the 1970s–has a U.S. government become such an apologist for a repressive dictatorship. What makes the situation truly amazing is that the Syrian government is no U.S. ally but an enemy repressive dictatorship.

Shadid quotes Bouthaina Shaaban, a notorious Assad regime crony as saying, “You can’t be very nice to people who are leading an armed rebellion….” Yet there is no evidence that the opposition has used weapons. Nevertheless, he reports without comment the regime’s claim that demonstrators have killed 100 soldiers and police even though not a single such case has been even minimally documented.

Shadid quotes U.S. officials as saying, essentially that Shaaban and Administration officials have said that Ms. Shaaban and Vice President Farouk al-Sharaa are the good guy reformers while President Bashar al-Assad’s brother, Maher, is the bad guy hardliner. Poor Bashar is supposedly caught in the middle. What’s a dictator to do?

Shabaan ridicules international “sanctions” against Syria and is right to do so. They amount to nothing, nothing except a license for the regime to murder its citizens without fear of repercussions.

Some day the Times coverage of Syria will be compared to its terrible reporting on the Stalinist Soviet Union and its largely ignoring the Holocaust.

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“In the European Union, there exists the will to adopt sanctions quite rapidly,” French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe told reporters earlier this week, after a meeting of an international contact group ranged against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Earlier US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini also discussed sanctions against the Syrian leadership because of its violent suppression of unrest in the country.

“We are currently finalizing the list of persons whose assets will be sanctioned and France wants [Syrian President] Bashar Assad to be on it,” Juppe said. via jpost.com


U.S. and Allies Seek a Refuge for Qaddafi

April 17, 2011
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…wait…. if the U.K. freed the terrorist who blew up Pan Am Flight 103… it would seem that we also need to arrest some U.K. citizens. Are we going to really hold third world dictators accountable? How about Mubarak for the crimes he did against Israel in the war before the PIECE Agreement? Why the double standard?

The Obama administration has begun seeking a country, most likely in Africa, that might be willing to provide shelter to Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi if he were forced out of Libya, even as a new wave of intelligence reports suggest that no rebel leader has emerged as a credible successor to the Libyan dictator.

The intense search for a country to accept Colonel Qaddafi has been conducted quietly by the United States and its allies, even though the Libyan leader has shown defiance in recent days, declaring that he has no intention of yielding to demands that he leave his country, and intensifying his bombardment of the rebel city of Misurata.
The effort is complicated by the likelihood that he would be indicted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague for the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Scotland in 1988, and atrocities inside Libya.
One possibility, according to three administration officials, is to find a country that is not a signatory to the treaty that requires countries to turn over anyone under indictment for trial by the court, perhaps giving Colonel Qaddafi an incentive to abandon his stronghold in Tripoli.
The move by the United States to find a haven for Colonel Qaddafi may help explain how the White House is trying to enforce President Obama’s declaration that the Libyan leader must leave the country but without violating Mr. Obama’s refusal to put troops on the ground.
The United Nations Security Council has authorized military strikes to protect the Libyan population, but not to oust the leadership. But Mr. Obama and the leaders of Britain and France, among others, have declared that to be their goals, apart from the military campaign.
“We learned some lessons from Iraq, and one of the biggest is that Libyans have to be responsible for regime change, not us,” one senior administration official said on Saturday. “What we’re simply trying to do is find some peaceful way to organize an exit, if the opportunity arises.”

About half of the countries in Africa have not signed or ratified the Rome Statute, which requires nations to abide by commands from the international court. (The United States has also not ratified the statute, because of concerns about the potential indictment of its soldiers or intelligence agents.) Italy’s foreign minister, Franco Frattini, suggested late last month that several African countries could offer Colonel Qaddafi a haven, but he did not identify them.

via nytimes.com

here is to friendship in Africa