Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Sarkozy Calls Assad 'Murderer'

The French president has called Syria's embattled leader a "murderer" who should face the International Criminal Court. Click here for the news.

Sarkozy says Russia and China must "unblock" their UN Security Council veto and allow "humanitarian corridors" to be created in Syria under UN auspices--code for Western intervention on the side of the armed rebels. But his statements will only make Moscow and Beijing more intransigent, according to Foreign Confidential™ analysts. Russia is bent on preventing another Libyan-style nightmare, which would mean the loss of Russia's naval facility at Tartus, the loss of about $1 billion a year in Russian arms sales to Syria (following the loss of $4 billion in annual arms sales to Libya), and, maybe most important, the installation of a Sunni Islamist, or Islamist-leaning regime in Syria, which could eventually encourage and support Islamist/separatist uprisings in Russia itself. China has similar concerns with regard to its restive areas, suspecting, rightly or wrongly, that the United States secretly seeks China's breakup.

What is urgently needed, given the potential for horrific regional conflict, is statesmanship--as opposed to political posturing and maneuvering--on the part of all concerned parties. Syria should not and does not have to follow Libya's example. Unfortunately, however, the U.S. seems determined to remake the so-called Greater Middle East in the name of democracy promotion without regard to the interests of a great power--Russia--with which relations, more than 20 years after the end of the Cold War, should be at an all-time high instead of at an alarming and apparently steadily declining low point.