miércoles, 30 de septiembre de 2015

Las palabras y las cosas

Lo que va de la palabra a la acción. Hace dos días Vladimir Putin hablaba de ponerse serios con los terroristas del ISIS en Siria. Hoy comenzó la balacera. Reporta Joe Quinn para el sitio Signs of the Times (Sott.net):

Título: Russia establishes 'no fly' zone for NATO planes over Syria, moves to destroy "ISIS" - Pentagon freaks out

Texto: You may, or may not, have noticed the growing body of evidence over the past year or two that strongly suggests that the U.S. government and its European "allies" are not really serious about destroying "ISIS".

The first hint came early last year when the jihadi mercenaries took large swathes of Iraq and Syria, and the West did nothing but wring its collective hands and fret, and resolve to bolster the fighting capability of the wonderful "rebels".

The second hint came this year when the U.S. and their partners began piecemeal airstrikes against "ISIS" that appeared to merely spur the head-choppers on to more success.

The third hint came with reports that weapons supplies being sent to "Syrian rebels" were 'accidentally' ending up in the hands of the head-choppers.

The most recent confirmation that Western politicians and military types effectively view "ISIS" as 'their guys' came in the last few weeks when the Pentagon reacted to news that Russia was in the process of establishing an air base in western Syria, from which to attack all foreign forces in Syria involved in the four-year-long attempted coup against the Syrian government.

Putin's speech at the UN two days ago appears to have been the signal (one that was apparently missed by the Pentagon, perhaps because it was couched in clear, honest language) that Russia was about to 'get real' and make good on its intention to prevent the overthrow of Assad, defend the civilian population of Syria against ISIS, and solve the European 'refugee crisis' in the process.

On the same day as Putin's speech, the Russian government revealed that Iraq had decided to sign an intelligence-sharing accord with Syria, Iran and Russia as part of the mission to wipe ISIS from the pages of history. They even set up a center in Baghdad to facilitate this information-sharing and have invited other nations interested in joining the counterterrorism effort in Syria to sign up.

Today, with a speed that indicates the result of the vote was a foregone conclusion, the Russian parliament unanimously agreed to allow the Russian military to engage in Syria. The decision was rubber-stamped by the Duma on the basis that the Syrian government had invited the Russian military to help in their fight against terrorists, and with the rationale that ISIS terrorists and the 2,000 (give or take) Russian nationals that have joined them "must be defeated there and not allowed to return to their home countries [e.g. Russia] with battle experience and ideology adopted in the war zone." Russian involvement in Syria is, therefore, very much in keeping with international law, a quaint notion long since dispensed with by the "international community" of Washington, London and a few EU capitals.

But just in case anyone was still in doubt, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov today pointed out at the UN Security Council debate that "ISIS" possesses "elements of Weapons of Mass Destruction", a claim which is decidedly more plausible than the U.S. claim that Saddam had WMDs back in 2003.

With a consistency between word and action that exposes Western governments for the liars they are, the Russian military, on the orders of Putin, today began carrying out air strikes against Jihadi targets in Syria:

"In accordance with the decision of the Supreme Commander of the Russian Federation Armed Forces, Vladimir Putin, Russian airforce planes today began air operations with surgical strikes against identified ground targets of the terrorist group ISIL in the Syrian Arab Republic."

By all accounts, the Pentagon appears to have been caught with its pants down, which is not surprising given that so many of its employees spend their time watching child porn on their computers.

Yesterday, Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work told a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing that he was "surprised" at the decision by Iraq's Joint Operations Command to share intelligence with Syria, Iran and Russia in an effort to coordinate action against the Islamic State. The problem for the Pentagon here is twofold: 1) Iraq, Syria, Iran and Russia combining their resources to defeat "ISIS" puts the US and NATO firmly out of the picture. 2) The Pentagon had, in its hubris, believed that the Iraqi government was sufficiently 'owned' that it could share sensitive US military intelligence about US military activities (and US proxy forces) with the Iraqis. There is now a risk that that intelligence may be made available to the Russians, allowing for the better targeting of US and Saudi proxy forces in Syria, and even Iraq.

The next surprise came this morning, when Russia effectively told the U.S. it had one hour to leave Syria:

"A Russian official in Baghdad this morning informed US Embassy personnel that Russian military aircraft would begin flying anti-ISIL missions today over Syria.

"He further requested that US aircraft avoid Syrian airspace during these missions," U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby said.

Despite the fact that Russia, Iran and Syria are targeting terrorist groups in Syria, Deputy Work said: "Obviously, we are not going to share intelligence with either Syria, or Russia, or Iran, so we are in the process of working to try and find out exactly what Iraq has said."

In further evidence that things have gone a little 'pear-shaped' for the Pentagon, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia, Evelyn Farkas, has been fired has resigned and will leave at the end of October, according to a senior U.S. defense official. Ms Farkas's responsibilities included dealing with Russia on Syria and Ukraine. Oops.

By carefully choosing which type of military aid to give to Syria, Russia has effectively created a 'no-fly' zone for NATO war planes above large swathes of Syria, unless of course pilots more accustomed to engaging in turkey shoots want to risk being blown out of the sky.

It is almost certain that the Russian S-300 anti-aircraft missile system is now operational in Syria. "ISIS" has no air force, so this system was clearly intended to protect against a NATO bombing campaign aimed at the Syrian army. This is, perhaps, one of the reasons that Western military attacks on "ISIS" have been so ineffective. Not that Russia or Syria ever wanted to stop Western bombs falling on "ISIS" positions; they just wanted to stop NATO using the excuse of attacking "ISIS" to target the Syrian military.

With the recently enhanced Russian air base at Latakia, Russian air force planes stationed there can freely engage U.S. proxy mercenary (ISIS) targets and (hopefully) close the book on this latest monstrosity created by the psychopaths in Washington and their misogynistic, head-chopping "royal" friends in the Gulf.

There is, however, one down side to this new development; Europe is already dealing with a large influx of refugees from Syria. It's really unreasonable of the Russians to risk adding about 30,000 more "ISIS" jihadis into the mix, most of whom, as I speak, are frantically shaving off their terrorist beards and heading for Turkey and 'safe passage' to Germany.

martes, 29 de septiembre de 2015

Siria, masacre para qué?

Siria, qué lo tiró. Es la perfecta, siniestra síntesis de un imperio en decadencia y sus increíbles idas y vueltas en pos de objetivos difusos. Los que se joden son los sirios, claro: el desastre humanitario más grande de nuestro tiempo. Algo parecido se va a terminar diciendo de Afghanistán, Irak,  Pakistán, Libia y tantos otros. El espectáculo dantesco de la estupidez humana (léase neocones, establishment financiero, élites varias) al servicio de la destrucción de gente, infraestructura urbana, culturas, economías, civilizaciones enteras. Medio Oriente en llamas porque estos tipos creen que la "destrucción creativa" rinde sus frutos.

Vamos a unos numeritos para ver primero cómo es todo este proceso destructivo. Lo que sigue viene del sitio web MercyCorps (http://www.mercycorps.org). El artículo fue publicado originalmente en Agosto de 2013 y luego se actualizó la información para su publicación, a comienzos de este mes, en el mismo sitio. Dejemos de lado detalles como que se habla de la "crisis" de Siria, como si los males de ese país vinieran del espacio exterior. Vamos a los datos:

Título: Quick facts: What you need to know about the Syria crisis

Texto: Syria’s civil war is the worst humanitarian disaster of our time. The number of innocent civilians suffering — more than 11 million people are displaced, thus far — and the increasingly dire impact on neighboring countries can seem too overwhelming to understand.

But one fact is simple: millions of Syrians need our help. And the more aware people are of the situation, the more we can build a global response to reach them. Our lifesaving work — to connect people to the resources they need to survive and help their communities thrive — is only possible with your knowledge and support.

What is happening to Syrians caught in the war?

More than four years after it began, the full-blown civil war has killed over 220,000 people, half of whom are believed to be civilians. Bombings are destroying crowded cities and horrific human rights violations are widespread. Basic necessities like food and medical care are sparse.

The U.N. estimates that 7.6 million people are internally displaced. When you also consider refugees, more than half of the country’s pre-war population of 23 million is in need of urgent humanitarian assistance, whether they still remain in the country or have escaped across the borders.

Where are they fleeing to?

The majority of Syrian refugees are living in Jordan and Lebanon, where Mercy Corps has been addressing their needs since 2012. In the region’s two smallest countries, weak infrastructure and limited resources are nearing a breaking point under the strain.

In August 2013, more Syrians escaped into northern Iraq at a newly opened border crossing. Now they are trapped by that country's own insurgent conflict, and Iraq is struggling to meet the needs of Syrian refugees on top of more than one million internally displaced Iraqis — efforts that we are working to support.

An increasing number of Syrian refugees are fleeing across the border into Turkey, overwhelming urban host communities and creating new cultural tensions. Mercy Corps is working in these areas as well to help families meet their basic needs and find work.

Hundreds of thousands of refugees are also attempting the dangerous trip across the Mediterranean Sea from Turkey to Greece, hoping to find a better future in Europe. Not all of them make it across alive. Those who do make it to Greece still face steep challenges — resources are strained by the influx and services are minimal.

How are people escaping?

Thousands of Syrians flee their country every day. They often decide to finally escape after seeing their neighborhoods bombed or family members killed.

The risks on the journey to the border can be as high as staying: Families walk for miles through the night to avoid being shot at by snipers or being caught by soldiers who will kidnap young men to fight for the regime.

How many refugees are there?

Four million Syrians have registered or are awaiting registration with the United Nations High Commission of Refugees, who is leading the regional emergency response.

Every year of the conflict has seen an exponential growth in refugees. In 2012, there were 100,000 refugees. By April 2013, there were 800,000. That doubled to 1.6 million in less than four months. There are now four million Syrians scattered throughout the region, making them the world's largest refugee population under the United Nations' mandate.

At this rate, the U.N. predicts there could be 4.27 million Syrian refugees by the end of 2015 — the worst exodus since the Rwandan genocide 20 years ago.

Do all refugees live in camps?

The short answer: no.

Jordan’s Za'atari, the first official refugee camp that opened in July 2012, gets the most news coverage because it is the destination for newly arrived refugees. It is also the most concentrated settlement of refugees: Approximately 81,500 Syrians live in Za'atari, making it the country’s fourth largest city. The formerly barren desert is crowded with acres of white tents, makeshift shops line a “main street” and sports fields and schools are available for children.

A new camp, Azraq, opened in April 2014, carefully designed to provide a sense of community and security, with steel caravans instead of tents, a camp supermarket, and organized "streets" and "villages."

Because Jordan’s camps are run by the government and the U.N. — with many partner organizations like Mercy Corps coordinating services — they offer more structure and support. But many families feel trapped, crowded, and even farther from any sense of home, so they seek shelter in nearby towns.

Iraq has set up a few camps to house the influx of refugees who arrived in 2013, but the majority of families are living in urban areas. And in Lebanon, the government has no official camps for refugees, so families have established makeshift camps or find shelter in derelict, abandoned buildings. In Turkey, the majority of refugees are trying to survive and find work, despite the language barrier, in urban communities.

The fact is, the majority of refugees live outside camps.

What conditions are refugees facing outside camps?

Some Syrians know people in neighboring countries who they can stay with. But many host families were already struggling on meager incomes and do not have the room or finances to help as the crisis drags on.

Refugees find shelter wherever they can. Our teams have seen families living in rooms with no heat or running water, in abandoned chicken coops and storage sheds.

Most refugees must find a way to pay rent, even for derelict structures. Without any legal way to work in Jordan and Lebanon, they struggle to find odd jobs and accept low wages that often don’t cover their most basic needs. The situation is slightly better in the Kurdish Autonomous region of northern Iraq, where Syrian Kurds can legally work, but opportunities are now limited because of the conflict there. And language is still a barrier.

The lack of clean water and sanitation in crowded, makeshift settlements is an urgent concern. Diseases like cholera and polio can easily spread — even more life-threatening without enough medical services. In some areas with the largest refugee populations, water shortages have reached emergency levels; the supply is as low as 30 liters per person per day — one-tenth of what the average American uses.

The youngest refugees face an uncertain future. Some schools have been able to divide the school day into two shifts and make room for more Syrian students. But there is simply not enough space for all the children, and many families cannot afford the transportation to get their kids to school.

How many refugees are children?

According to the U.N., more than half of all Syrian refugees are under the age of 18. Most have been out of school for months, if not years.

The youngest are confused and scared by their experiences, lacking the sense of safety and home they need. The older children are forced to grow up too fast, finding work and taking care of their family in desperate circumstances.

Bien, tenemos entonces cinco años de "guerra civil" a cargo de "militantes" "sirios" defendiendo la libertad y la democracia contra el tirano Bashar Al Assad (elegido recientemente por más del 80% de los votos, dicho sea de paso). Macanudo. Hasta que de golpe los chabones (los neocones, los servicios, las élites financieras, y todos aquellos que les dieron una mano a los fridom faiters) se fijan que Vladimir Putin pone cara seria y dicen: Má si, era joda, nos vamos, men

Vayamos a la noticia de hoy, pelada, tal como la cuenta, por ejemplo, Reuters:

Título: U.S., Russia agree Syria must be united and secular: Kerry

Texto: The United States and Russia agree on "some fundamental principles" for Syria, the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday, adding that he plans to meet again with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday.

"There was agreement that Syria should be a unified country, united, that it needs to be secular, that ISIL (Islamic State) needs to be taken on, and that there needs to be a managed transition," Kerry told MSNBC, adding that differences remained on what the outcome of such a transition would be.

Speaking in the television interview from New York amid the United Nations gathering this week, Kerry said both U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin are both "looking for a way forward" in Syria, suffering from a four-year civil war as well as the rise of Islamic State.

Kerry described Obama and Putin's meeting on Monday to discuss the crisis as "genuinely constructive, very civil" with "a very candid discussion."

"Everybody understands that Syria is at stake, and the world is looking rapidly for some kind of resolution," Kerry said.

"We are looking for a way to try to get to a point where we can manage a transition and have agreement on the outcome and you could resolve it," he added.

Asked about whether there was an opportunity to use Russia and Iran's influence in Syria to halt Assad's use of barrel bombs on Syrians, he said: "Absolutely."

He added that he raised the issue in meetings with Russia and Iran.

"They are both in the position, in exchange perhaps for something that we might do, they might decide to keep Assad from dropping barrel bombs," Kerry told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program.

Por último, un análisis posible de lo que se dice más arriba. Leemos esto en el sitio web Moon of Alabama:

Título: Under Russian Pressure U.S. Accepts "Unified", "Secular" Syrian State

Texto: Putin's realist talk about Syria at the UN, which embarrassed the platitude spouting Obama, led to a change in U.S. policies.

The White House has halted the Pentagon training of the unicorn riding "moderate rebels". That program is toast but the real question is if the "secret" CIA run program, which is vastly more extensive, is also suspended. My hunch is that it is.

On top of that Secretary of State Kerry made a very new statement that amounts to a really significant change in policy:

The United States and Russia agree on "some fundamental principles" for Syria, the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday, adding that he plans to meet again with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday.

"There was agreement that Syria should be a unified country, united, that it needs to be secular, that ISIL (Islamic State) needs to be taken on, and that there needs to be a managed transition," Kerry told MSNBC, adding that differences remained on what the outcome of such a transition would be.

Never before has the U.S. officially expressed a demand that the Syrian state should in future be "secular" as it is now. This is a rejection of the Muslim Brotherhood dominated Syrian exile coalition and of the GCC states' proxy fighters in Syria who demand a sectarian state based on Islamic law.

Since Israel lost the 2006 war against Hizbullah the U.S. and Israel plotted to overthrow the Syrian government which they accuse of facilitating Hizbullah's military supplies. The U.S. planned, prepared and financed a "color revolution" scheme and an exile opposition. The failing Iraq war and the emergence of a Shia dominated Iraqi government also led to an alliance between Israel, the U.S. and Sunni dominated Gulf states which planned, organized and financed radical Sunni guerrilla forces to attack Iran and its allies in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. As Seymour Hersh reported in 2007:

To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has cooperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.

The "Arab spring" phenomenon allowed to implement the scheme against Syria. Under the disguise of the color-revolution narrative of "peaceful demonstrations" a guerrilla war was launched against the Syrian state. More than ninety policemen and soldiers were killed by the insurgents in the very first month of that "peaceful" revolution.

With sheer endless amounts of Gulf money Syrian soldiers were bribed to defect, unemployed rural youth and foreign mercenaries were hired to bring down the Syrian state. A year after the war on Syria started it was clear that there were no "moderates" fighting against the Syrian government but only radical Islamists. The NYT reported that CIA provided arms were flowing to them. The Defense Intelligence Agency noted in 2012 to the White House:


Despite that the U.S. rejected peace offers brokered by Russia and the CIA significantly increased weapon provisions and the training of additional jihadis.

The DIA also remarked:


That the recruiting for and weaponization of the anti-Syrian forces continued after these warnings were issued confirms that the current results, the Islamic State Caliphate and al-Qaeda in Iraq and Syria, is the (more or less) intended outcome. The U.S. did not turn a blind eye to the issue but, as the Defense Intelligence Chief General Flynn said, took a "willful decisions" to facilitate this.

That "willful decision" is also the reason why many people doubt that the U.S. declared "fight against the Islamic State" is serious. The current U.S. attacks on IS target look more like an attempt to regulate its size and behavior than a serious war to defeat or eradicate it. The Saudis have flown 2.5 times more air attacks against Yemen within six month than the U.S. led coalition of 62 countries has flown against the Islamic State within a full year. Long known U.S. plans to reorganize the Middle Eastern borders along presumed sectarian and ethnic lines are regularly peddled by this or that high U.S. official or "expert".

It is obvious that the U.S. organized a sectarian revolt in Syria and in 2012 made the willful decision to further the growth of a sectarian Islamic State. It planned to partition Syria and Iraq and some surrounding countries into new sectarian entities.

That Kerry now says "Syria should be a unified country, united, that it needs to be secular" and "ISIL (Islamic State) needs to be taken on" is tantamount to admitting Obama's policy so far was always fundamentally wrong. If meant serious and backed by political and military means it is a huge turnaround.

Should this come to fruition it is not only the turn of the corner for Syria. It is the defeat of the failed neoconservative "democracy spreading" and neoliberal "responsibility to protect" infested ideologies in face of the straight realist policies represented by the Russian President Putin.

lunes, 28 de septiembre de 2015

Discurso (3)

Bueno, acá va el discurso de Putin a la 70° Asamblea General de las Naciones Unidas, reunidas hoy, 28 de Septiembre de 2015. Los lectores perspicaces de Astroboy (o sea, todos), notarán que este no es exactamente el mismo discurso que aparece en la transcripción PDF que circula ampliamente por los medios (ver el post anterior). Lo que sigue es el discurso bajado directamente desde la Presidencia de la Federación Rusa (http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/50385). Igual, no nos pongamos paranoicos. Una cosa es un discurso propalado de antemano y otra el discurso final, con los espaciados que impone la transmisión oral del mismo. Lo más probable es que haya pequeñas discrepancias de forma entre ambos. En todo caso, pasen y vean. Los subrayados son nuestros. Acá va:

"Mr. President,
Mr. Secretary General,
Distinguished heads of state and government,
Ladies and gentlemen,

The 70th anniversary of the United Nations is a good occasion to both take stock of history and talk about our common future. In 1945, the countries that defeated Nazism joined their efforts to lay a solid foundation for the postwar world order. Let me remind you that key decisions on the principles defining interaction between states, as well as the decision to establish the UN, were made in our country, at the Yalta Conference of the leaders of the anti-Hitler coalition.

The Yalta system was truly born in travail. It was born at the cost of tens of millions of lives and two world wars that swept through the planet in the 20th century. Let’s be fair: it helped humankind pass through turbulent, and at times dramatic, events of the last seven decades. It saved the world from large-scale upheavals.

The United Nations is unique in terms of legitimacy, representation and universality. True, the UN has been criticized lately for being inefficient or for the fact that decision-making on fundamental issues stalls due to insurmountable differences, especially among Security Council members.

However, I’d like to point out that there have always been differences in the UN throughout the 70 years of its history, and that the veto right has been regularly used by the United States, the United Kingdom, France, China and the Soviet Union, and later Russia. It is only natural for such a diverse and representative organization. When the UN was first established, nobody expected that there would always be unanimity. The mission of the organization is to seek and reach compromises, and its strength comes from taking different views and opinions into consideration. The decisions debated within the UN are either taken in the form of resolutions or not. As diplomats say, they either pass or they don’t. Any action taken by circumventing this procedure is illegitimate and constitutes a violation of the UN Charter and contemporary international law.

We all know that after the end of the Cold War the world was left with one center of dominance, and those who found themselves at the top of the pyramid were tempted to think that, since they are so powerful and exceptional, they know best what needs to be done and thus they don’t need to reckon with the UN, which, instead of rubber-stamping the decisions they need, often stands in their way.

That’s why they say that the UN has run its course and is now obsolete and outdated. Of course, the world changes, and the UN should also undergo natural transformation. Russia is ready to work together with its partners to develop the UN further on the basis of a broad consensus, but we consider any attempts to undermine the legitimacy of the United Nations as extremely dangerous. They may result in the collapse of the entire architecture of international relations, and then indeed there will be no rules left except for the rule of force. The world will be dominated by selfishness rather than collective effort, by dictate rather than equality and liberty, and instead of truly independent states we will have protectorates controlled from outside.

What is the meaning of state sovereignty, the term which has been mentioned by our colleagues here? It basically means freedom, every person and every state being free to choose their future.

By the way, this brings us to the issue of the so-called legitimacy of state authorities. You shouldn’t play with words and manipulate them. In international law, international affairs, every term has to be clearly defined, transparent and interpreted the same way by one and all.

We are all different, and we should respect that. Nations shouldn’t be forced to all conform to the same development model that somebody has declared the only appropriate one.

We should all remember the lessons of the past. For example, we remember examples from our Soviet past, when the Soviet Union exported social experiments, pushing for changes in other countries for ideological reasons, and this often led to tragic consequences and caused degradation instead of progress.

It seems, however, that instead of learning from other people’s mistakes, some prefer to repeat them and continue to export revolutions, only now these are “democratic” revolutions. Just look at the situation in the Middle East and Northern Africa already mentioned by the previous speaker. Of course, political and social problems have been piling up for a long time in this region, and people there wanted change. But what was the actual outcome? Instead of bringing about reforms, aggressive intervention rashly destroyed government institutions and the local way of life. Instead of democracy and progress, there is now violence, poverty, social disasters and total disregard for human rights, including even the right to life.

I’m urged to ask those who created this situation: do you at least realize now what you’ve done? But I’m afraid that this question will remain unanswered, because they have never abandoned their policy, which is based on arrogance, exceptionalism and impunity.

Power vacuum in some countries in the Middle East and Northern Africa obviously resulted in the emergence of areas of anarchy, which were quickly filled with extremists and terrorists. The so-called Islamic State has tens of thousands of militants fighting for it, including former Iraqi soldiers who were left on the street after the 2003 invasion. Many recruits come from Libya whose statehood was destroyed as a result of a gross violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1973. And now radical groups are joined by members of the so-called “moderate” Syrian opposition backed by the West. They get weapons and training, and then they defect and join the so-called Islamic State.

In fact, the Islamic State itself did not come out of nowhere. It was initially developed as a weapon against undesirable secular regimes. Having established control over parts of Syria and Iraq, Islamic State now aggressively expands into other regions. It seeks dominance in the Muslim world and beyond. Their plans go further.

The situation is extremely dangerous. In these circumstances, it is hypocritical and irresponsible to make declarations about the threat of terrorism and at the same time turn a blind eye to the channels used to finance and support terrorists, including revenues from drug trafficking, the illegal oil trade and the arms trade.

It is equally irresponsible to manipulate extremist groups and use them to achieve your political goals, hoping that later you’ll find a way to get rid of them or somehow eliminate them.

I’d like to tell those who engage in this: Gentlemen, the people you are dealing with are cruel but they are not dumb. They are as smart as you are. So, it’s a big question: who’s playing who here? The recent incident where the most “moderate” opposition group handed over their weapons to terrorists is a vivid example of that.

We consider that any attempts to flirt with terrorists, let alone arm them, are short-sighted and extremely dangerous. This may make the global terrorist threat much worse, spreading it to new regions around the globe, especially since there are fighters from many different countries, including European ones, gaining combat experience with Islamic State. Unfortunately, Russia is no exception.

Now that those thugs have tasted blood, we can’t allow them to return home and continue with their criminal activities. Nobody wants that, right?

Russia has consistently opposed terrorism in all its forms. Today, we provide military-technical assistance to Iraq, Syria and other regional countries fighting terrorist groups. We think it’s a big mistake to refuse to cooperate with the Syrian authorities and government forces who valiantly fight terrorists on the ground.

We should finally admit that President Assad’s government forces and the Kurdish militia are the only forces really fighting terrorists in Syria. Yes, we are aware of all the problems and conflicts in the region, but we definitely have to consider the actual situation on the ground.


Dear colleagues, I must note that such an honest and frank approach on Russia's part has been recently used as a pretext for accusing it of its growing ambitions — as if those who say that have no ambitions at all. However, it is not about Russia's ambitions, dear colleagues, but about the recognition of the fact that we can no longer tolerate the current state of affairs in the world.

What we actually propose is to be guided by common values and common interests rather than by ambitions. Relying on international law, we must join efforts to address the problems that all of us are facing, and create a genuinely broad international coalition against terrorism. Similar to the anti-Hitler coalition, it could unite a broad range of parties willing to stand firm against those who, just like the Nazis, sow evil and hatred of humankind. And of course, Muslim nations should play a key role in such a coalition, since Islamic State not only poses a direct threat to them, but also tarnishes one of the greatest world religions with its atrocities. The ideologues of these extremists make a mockery of Islam and subvert its true humanist values.

I would also like to address Muslim spiritual leaders: Your authority and your guidance are of great importance right now. It is essential to prevent people targeted for recruitment by extremists from making hasty decisions, and those who have already been deceived and, due to various circumstances, found themselves among terrorists, must be assisted in finding a way back to normal life, laying down arms and putting an end to fratricide.

In the days to come, Russia, as the current President of the UN Security Council, will convene a ministerial meeting to carry out a comprehensive analysis of the threats in the Middle East. First of all, we propose exploring opportunities for adopting a resolution that would serve to coordinate the efforts of all parties that oppose Islamic State and other terrorist groups. Once again, such coordination should be based upon the principles of the UN Charter.

We hope that the international community will be able to develop a comprehensive strategy of political stabilization, as well as social and economic recovery in the Middle East. Then, dear friends, there would be no need for setting up more refugee camps. Today, the flow of people forced to leave their native land has literally engulfed, first, the neighbouring countries, and then Europe. There are hundreds of thousands of them now, and before long, there might be millions. It is, essentially, a new, tragic Migration Period, and a harsh lesson for all of us, including Europe.

I would like to stress that refugees undoubtedly need our compassion and support. However, the only way to solve this problem for good is to restore statehood where it has been destroyed, to strengthen government institutions where they still exist, or are being re-established, to provide comprehensive military, economic and material assistance to countries in a difficult situation, and certainly to people who, despite all their ordeals, did not abandon their homes. Of course, any assistance to sovereign nations can, and should, be offered rather than imposed, in strict compliance with the UN Charter. In other words, our Organisation should support any measures that have been, or will be, taken in this regard in accordance with international law, and reject any actions that are in breach of the UN Charter. Above all, I believe it is of utmost importance to help restore government institutions in Libya, support the new government of Iraq, and provide comprehensive assistance to the legitimate government of Syria.


Dear colleagues, ensuring peace and global and regional stability remains a key task for the international community guided by the United Nations. We believe this means creating an equal and indivisible security environment that would not serve a privileged few, but everyone. Indeed, it is a challenging, complicated and time-consuming task, but there is simply no alternative.

Sadly, some of our counterparts are still dominated by their Cold War-era bloc mentality and the ambition to conquer new geopolitical areas. First, they continued their policy of expanding NATO – one should wonder why, considering that the Warsaw Pact had ceased to exist and the Soviet Union had disintegrated.

Nevertheless, NATO has kept on expanding, together with its military infrastructure. Next, the post-Soviet states were forced to face a false choice between joining the West and carrying on with the East. Sooner or later, this logic of confrontation was bound to spark off a major geopolitical crisis. And that is exactly what happened in Ukraine, where the people's widespread frustration with the government was used for instigating a coup d’état from abroad. This has triggered a civil war. We are convinced that the only way out of this dead end lies through comprehensive and diligent implementation of the Minsk agreements of February 12th, 2015. Ukraine's territorial integrity cannot be secured through the use of threats or military force, but it must be secured. The people of Donbas should have their rights and interests genuinely considered, and their choice respected; they should be engaged in devising the key elements of the country's political system, in line with the provisions of the Minsk agreements. Such steps would guarantee that Ukraine will develop as a civilized state, and a vital link in creating a common space of security and economic cooperation, both in Europe and in Eurasia.


Ladies and gentlemen, I have deliberately mentioned a common space for economic cooperation. Until quite recently, it seemed that we would learn to do without dividing lines in the area of the economy with its objective market laws, and act based on transparent and jointly formulated rules, including the WTO principles, which embrace free trade and investment and fair competition. However, unilaterally imposed sanctions circumventing the UN Charter have all but become commonplace today. They not only serve political objectives, but are also used for eliminating market competition.

 I would like to note one more sign of rising economic selfishness. A number of nations have chosen to create exclusive economic associations, with their establishment being negotiated behind closed doors, secretly from those very nations' own public and business communities, as well as from the rest of the world. Other states, whose interests may be affected, have not been informed of anything, either. It seems that someone would like to impose upon us some new game rules, deliberately tailored to accommodate the interests of a privileged few, with the WTO having no say in it. This is fraught with utterly unbalancing global trade and splitting up the global economic space.

These issues affect the interests of all nations and influence the future of the entire global economy. That is why we propose discussing those issues within the framework of the United Nations, the WTO and the G20. Contrary to the policy of exclusion, Russia advocates harmonizing regional economic projects. I am referring to the so-called ”integration of integrations“ based on the universal and transparent rules of international trade. As an example, I would like to cite our plans to interconnect the Eurasian Economic Union with China's initiative for creating a Silk Road economic belt. We continue to see great promise in harmonizing the integration vehicles between the Eurasian Economic Union and the European Union.


Ladies and gentlemen, one more issue that shall affect the future of the entire humankind is climate change. It is in our interest to ensure that the coming UN Climate Change Conference that will take place in Paris in December this year should deliver some feasible results. As part of our national contribution, we plan to limit greenhouse gas emissions to 70–75 percent of the 1990 levels by the year 2030.

However, I suggest that we take a broader look at the issue. Admittedly, we may be able to defuse it for a while by introducing emission quotas and using other tactical measures, but we certainly will not solve it for good that way. What we need is an essentially different approach, one that would involve introducing new, groundbreaking, nature-like technologies that would not damage the environment, but rather work in harmony with it, enabling us to restore the balance between the biosphere and technology upset by human activities.

It is indeed a challenge of global proportions. And I am confident that humanity does have the necessary intellectual capacity to respond to it. We need to join our efforts, primarily engaging countries that possess strong research and development capabilities, and have made significant advances in fundamental research. We propose convening a special forum under the auspices of the UN to comprehensively address issues related to the depletion of natural resources, habitat destruction, and climate change. Russia is willing to co-sponsor such a forum.


Ladies and gentlemen, dear colleagues. On January 10th, 1946, the UN General Assembly convened for its first meeting in London. Chairman of the Preparatory Commission Dr. Zuleta Angel, a Colombian diplomat, opened the session by offering what I see as a very concise definition of the principles that the United Nations should be based upon, which are good will, disdain for scheming and trickery, and a spirit of cooperation. Today, his words sound like guidance for all of us.

Russia is confident of the United Nations' enormous potential, which should help us avoid a new confrontation and embrace a strategy of cooperation. Hand in hand with other nations, we will consistently work to strengthen the UN's central, coordinating role. I am convinced that by working together, we will make the world stable and safe, and provide an enabling environment for the development of all nations and peoples. Thank you."

Discurso (2)

Acá se baja el discurso del presidente de la Federación Rusa, Vladimir Putin, en ocasión de la 70 Asamblea General de la Organización de las Naciones Unidas:


No podemos todavía transformar el formato en un archivo de lectura. En cuanto podamos lo hacemos. 

Los indios de mierda son bastante felices, tío

Una o dos veces por semana, el diario español El País insulta a los latinoamericanos con algún artículo específicamente diseñado para demostrar nuestra subnormalidad, nuestra sub-humanidad. Se sabe que esta condición, posiblemente hereditaria, nos vuelve incapaces de hacernos cargo de nuestros territorios, empresas o riquezas naturales. Por suerte cada tanto vienen ellos a enseñarnos cómo se hace; tenemos entonces los casos exitosos de Aerolíneas, YPF o Telefónica, esta última todavía bajo la atenta mirada de los señoritos de Madriz. En estos últimos días le ha tocado el turno a Paraguay. A tal efecto, han publicado una sesuda nota de esa joya del periodismo, John Carlin. Johnny escribe con ese desparpajo del blanquito recorriendo sus posesiones en Africa, a la vista de los pigmeos, pobres diablos tan petisos y encima roñosos. Para iluminarnos sobre la vida y obra de los paraguayos, Johnny viajó a la tierra guaraní para ver con sus propios ojos qué tan felices son. Esto es lo que nos cuenta:  

Título: La conquista de la felicidad

Subtítulo: Paraguay es el país más feliz, según una encuesta. También es uno de los más injustos

Epígrafe: La ignorancia es la dicha (Thomas Gray, poeta inglés)

Texto: La felicidad se ha vuelto una industria. No parece pasar un día sin que algún departamento de gobierno, o universidad, o filósofo, o economista, o bloguero proponga lo que pretende ser un análisis nuevo o un plan práctico para alcanzar el sueño que todos anhelamos. Hagan una búsqueda en Amazon: hay 14.384 libros sobre la conquista de la felicidad.

Pero, ¿qué pasa si la felicidad existe no solo en nuestras mentes o corazones sino en un lugar? ¿Y qué tal si ese lugar es Paraguay? Sí, Paraguay, un país encerrado en el centro geográfico de Sudamérica al que han acudido comunidades alemanas, irlandesas, estadounidenses, australianas, finlandesas desde hace 150 años —o más, si incluimos a los misioneros jesuitas del siglo XVII— convencidos de que aquí descubrirían la utopía; un país que durante los tres últimos años seguidos ha sido, según unas encuestas globales que hace la reputada agencia Gallup, el más feliz de la tierra.

Viajé a Paraguay a ver si daba con el secreto y me encontré con una tierra que parecía tenerlo todo. Prácticamente vacía (siete millones de habitantes; casi dos veces el tamaño de Alemania), la tierra es tan fértil que los mangos se pudren en el suelo, dan aguacates de comer a los cerdos, exportan más carne que Argentina y el agua de sus grandes ríos es tan abundante que no solo supera todas las necesidades agrícolas y humanas sino que, gracias a la represa gigante de Itaipú, dispone de casi diez veces más electricidad renovable —y eterna— de la que requiere su población.

En la teología tradicional indígena, la guaraní, existe el concepto paradisíaco de “la tierra sin mal”. Pareciera que la hubiesen encontrado. Pero rasqué un poco y vi que a los humanos les quedaba algo por hacer.

Resulta que, en la ausencia de un sistema de justicia remotamente serio, la corrupción permea las instituciones políticas y estatales de arriba abajo, de los jueces a los policías, de los ministros a los funcionarios. Resulta también que los pobres son cada día más pobres y los pocos ricos más ricos, entre ellos el actual presidente y magnate tabacalero Horacio Cartes, que, según me contó uno de sus conocidos, confesó una vez que se metió en la política en parte porque no sabía ya qué hacer con sus millones.

Pero entonces, si Paraguay es uno de los países más injustos, más corruptos y más desiguales de la tierra, y si estamos casi todos de acuerdo que la injusticia, la corrupción y la desigualdad son los grandes males que nos azotan, ¿por qué sus habitantes dicen que son tan felices?

En primer lugar, como escribió un columnista paraguayo hace un par de semanas, porque “una de las características más connotadas de nuestra idiosincrasia” es “la obcecación”. Con la mirada puesta en la imaginaria tierra sin mal, muchos se niegan a ver el mal real que les rodea. El ejemplo más sorprendente que encontré fue el del héroe patrio, Francisco Solano López, el aniversario de cuya muerte en 1870 es el gran día de fiesta nacional. El autodenominado mariscal López fue un déspota cuyo endiosamiento y tiranía no sería superado por ninguno de los dictadores latinoamericanos que le siguieron. Durante sus ocho años en la presidencia, López ordenó la tortura y ejecución de miles, familiares cercanos incluidos, y condujo a su país a una guerra demencial contra Argentina, Brasil y Uruguay que acabó con el 85% de la población paraguaya, dejando al país sin hombres. Hoy las avenidas principales de Asunción, la capital de Paraguay, llevan el nombre de López y su Lady Macbeth, la no menos siniestra concubina irlandesa del dictador, Elisa Lynch.

La segunda razón por la que los paraguayos creen ser felices es la costumbre que tienen, relacionada con la de no examinar con mucha atención el pasado, de vivir en el momento. Me lo explicó un empresario llamado Víctor González durante un recorrido en coche por la campiña que rodea Asunción. Mientras veía con mis propios ojos la extraordinaria riqueza de la tierra y la aparente serenidad —mate en mano— con la que vivían sus habitantes, González, me dijo que en guaraní, idioma que casi todos los paraguayos hablan, no existe una palabra para “mañana”. La que más que se aproxima al concepto es “Koera”, que significa “si es que amanece”. Lo cual se traduce en una actitud de no agobiarse por lo que pueda pasar en el futuro, mentalidad que González, que hoy es rico pero se crió en una chacra familiar pobre, recuerda con nostalgia.

Comentaban González y otros paraguayos con los que hablé que la infelicidad viene cuando uno genera expectativas que no puede cumplir. Esto mismo lo han demostrado estudios de la Universidad de Harvard, tesis que se demuestra en Paraguay con un dato dramático: cada día se suicida, como promedio, un joven de entre 15 y 25 años. Cada uno de ellos resuelve que mejor que el mañana no amanezca porque, en la gran mayoría de los casos, son gente de familias pobres rurales cuyos padres aspiran a más, que se mezclan —por ejemplo trasladándose a la periferia de Asunción— con jóvenes que poseen camisetas Lacoste, o zapatillas Nike, o teléfonos móviles de última generación. La felicidad de repente consiste en adquirir artefactos previamente innecesarios, ven que no pueden y, corroídos por una envidia lacerante, acaban con sus propias vidas. Está claro que Gallup no entrevistó a este particular sector de la población, como lo es que los que sí entrevistaron han preferido apartar la vista de estas desgracias.

¿Qué lecciones sacar de la experiencia paraguaya? Que la felicidad es posible si uno cierra los ojos a los inevitables males de la vida, si uno vive en el presente, si uno se conforma con lo esencial para poder vivir y logra el enorme lujo de no tener que preocuparse por el dinero. Pero falta un ingrediente para que Paraguay sea el paraíso terrenal. Antes de que los que viven afligidos por la crisis u otras penas en el resto del mundo sigan los pasos de los soñadores utópicos de antaño sería imprescindible pedir una cosa a la minoría de ricos que gobiernan Paraguay: que instalen el sine qua non de una democracia, el Estado de derecho; que la justicia sea igual para todos. Cuando llegue ese día, sí, vayamos para allá. Todo lo demás lo tienen.

domingo, 27 de septiembre de 2015

Vladimir Putin anuncia mañana las nuevas reglas del Gran Juego

Pará un segundo de idiotizarte con los Pumas y el Mundial de rugby. Mañana habla Vladimiro en las Naciones Unidas. Si escuchaste (y te gustó) el discurso de Francisco, sospechamos que vas a escuchar, y te va a gustar, el discurso de Putin en la misma Asamblea..

Acá van varias noticias. La primera es la más reciente nota de Pepe Escobar para RT:

Título: All eyes on New York for Putin the Great

Epígrafe: It's the ultimate geopolitical cliffhanger of the season: will US President Barack Obama finally decide to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin, either this Friday or during the UN General Assembly next week in New York?

Texto: Russia's game changer in Syria - not only weapons delivery but also the prospect of actual intervention by the Russian Air Force - has left the Beltway reeling.

Syrian Minister of Foreign Affairs Walled Muallem has made it clear to RT that direct Russian involvement in the fight against ISIS/ISIL/Daesh and those "moderates" (US neocon designation) of Jabhat al-Nusra, a.k.a. Al-Qaeda in Syria, is even more important than the arms delivery.

Washington, meanwhile, remains mired in a geopolitical black-hole as far as Putin's strategy is concerned. The Obama administration's response will hinge on how Putin's speech at the UN will be received across the world, and how the frantic diplomacy related to the Syrian theatre of war will fare.

It's naïve to interpret the Russian military build-up as a mere show of force, an invitation to the Americans to finally sit down and discuss everything from southwest Asia to Ukraine.

It's also naïve to interpret the move as Moscow's desperation for some kind of dialogue, any dialogue. There are no illusions at the Kremlin. Obama and Putin exchanged a few words in Beijing late last year - and that's it; no official visits, no detailed meetings.

What's certain is that Putin's latest chess move carries the potential to smash to pieces the Obama administration's post-Maidan "strategy" of isolating Russia. Thus the predictable fear, loathing and paranoia permeating the Beltway.

Old Cold War 2.0 habits die hard - if at all. Washington may extend the proverbial "financial support" to failed state, bankrupt Ukraine, and the pressure over the EU to keep sanctions throughout 2016 will remain. US 'Think Tankland' keeps frantically spinning that the Obama administration is "not ready" to deal with Russia.

Well, at least the White House and the State Department seem to have finally understood that those Sukhois and surface-to-air missiles now in Syria are there to protect the Latakia air base. It was up to the Pentagon to elucidate a clueless John Kerry; these are for "force protection".

The new batch includes 4 Su-30SM multi-role combat jets; 12 Su-25 ground attack jets; 12 Su-24M attack fighters; and six possible Ka-52 attack helicopters. According to IHS Jane's, these provide "a significant capability to target rebels opposed to the Syrian government and to secure the Latakia homeland of President Bashar al-Assad."

The elucidation came after Pentagon supremo Ash Carter and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu held a 50-minute phone talk. The fact that this was their first phoner in more than a year tells everything one needs to know about the Obama administration's "diplomatic" skills.

Inevitably, Kerry had to change his tune; the weapons do not raise "serious questions" anymore. Now Kerry is essentially saying Moscow has the right to turbo-charge its peace-for-Syria drive, and the White House is not fussy about Assad's departure date anymore, as long as there is a "transition".

Watch the chessboard

Putin is bound to deliver a showstopper at the UN. Spare a thought for the Obama administration's foreign policy 'muppets', including the neocon cell at the State Department. Putin, under the glare of global public opinion, will frame the absolute defeat of ISIS/ISIL/Daesh as the key geopolitical issue of these times; he will commit Russia to it; and he will propose for the "West" to join in.

Scenario 1: Washington and its EU minions decide to support the Russian drive, or at least have the US-led coalition of dodgy opportunists work side-by-side with Russia - and Iran. This means helping Damascus to win a real war against ("Caliphate") terror. "Assad must go" may even go afterwards. But he'll go as a winner. The Obama administration - as well as Sultan Erdogan, Qatar, the House of Saud - will be held responsible all across the world for prolonging a tragedy that could have been resolved in 2012. And Russia will be recognized as the ultimate defender of civilization against barbarism.

Scenario 2: Washington and the EU minions refuse to act side-by-side with Russia, and continue relying on the appalling performance of the coalition of the dodgy opportunists - for instance, as in Erdogan bombing Kurds and not ISIS/ISIL/Daesh, and the French staging puny airstrikes invoking "self-defense" (I'm not making this up; it's the official Elysée Palace version.) The whole world will interpret it for what it is; the NATO-GCC combo is not really interested in smashing the Salafi-jihadis. Imagine the cataclysmic diplomatic/geopolitical fallout of five years of NATO-GCC enabling hardcore jihadis.

And there's of course the coda; if the Syrian Arab Army/Russian military push against ISIS/ISIL/Daesh works, guess who'll take the credit.

So Putin wins on both scenarios. Forget about the relentless demonization, the new Hitler-Stalin memes. 'Putin The Great' will be no less than a Slavic Perseus - the slayer of the jihadi Medusa.

The great power is back

But there's more, much more. Whatever the scenario, 1 or 2, Putin is simultaneously masterminding a Ukraine endgame, which involves the end of sanctions, probably by 2017. The nations that really count in the EU want to scrap them. And scrap them they will if Putin does what they can't possibly do; smash the "Caliphate" that is sending wave after wave of refugees towards Fortress Europe.

Here I examined how any possible peace in Syria will be Putin's fault. Now imagine the consequences. Russia back as the real indispensable nation - in the Middle East and beyond. And Russia back as a great power - period.

Some signs of intelligent life in the EU can see it coming. Enter Helene Carrère d'Encausse, Russia-expert historian and member of the venerable Académie Française since 1990, of which she's the perpetual secretary. Madame d'Encausse clearly understands how Putin sees himself as the heir of Peter The Great; a great modernizer.

And even as he recognizes Europe is not the center of the world anymore, Putin is not an adversary of Europe. Nevertheless, he firmly believes that for the Americans and Europeans Russia is a country that can be treated with disdain. That must be imperatively reversed.

'Putin The Great's' project is to make Russia regain its status of a great power. When he was elected to the presidency in 2000 - I remember it well, I was in Moscow covering it - Russia was in total chaos, perpetrated by unbridled neoliberalism. Putin got Russia back on track.

What he wants most of all - contrary to superficial drivel reigning in US 'Think Tankland' - is not to remake the Russian or Soviet empire; but to get rid for good of the humiliation of the 1990s - the decade of plundering - and make the nation proud again. Just check his popularity level; 85 percent of Russians - and counting - agree.

Madame d'Encausse refers back historically to Count Sergey Uvarov, the imperial statesman behind Tsar Nicholas I, who defined the doxa in Russia in the mid-19th century as "orthodoxy, autocracy and national genius." She emphasizes this is the heart of Putin's ideology.

National genius, in this context, refers to a sense of social justice and a very Russian spirit of solidarity. Putin always emphasizes this spirit, which is an essential component of what it means to be Russian. And it is all tied up with nationalism. We just need to re-read Dostoevsky, for whom "the Russian nation is an extraordinary phenomenon in the history of human genius."

And then, of course, there's Islam - an immensely complicating factor.

There are over 20 million Muslims in Russia. Putin recognizes that Russia is also a Muslim state; it's in fact multi-confessional, and most Russian Muslims are Sunnis. Putin clearly identifies ISIS/ISIL/Daesh as a Sunni crusade against Shi'ites. At the same time he maintains very good relations with Shi'ite Iran and the Allawites in Syria. And he realizes that Sunni republics, former Russian and Soviet possessions, are at the gates of Russia.

So Putin has to continue analyzing Islam by taking into account both internal and foreign policy. What he clearly identified is that a Salafi-jihadi "Sunnistan" in "Syraq" is a very serious threat to Russia's national security. Aleppo is virtually next door to Grozny.

Sure, 'Putin The Great' harbors great ambition. But first things first; he cannot possibly allow the resurgent great power to be infiltrated and corroded by Western-enabled barbarians at the gate.

Comment: Pepe has posted an update to the above on his Facebook page:

IMPORTANT UPDATE : The White House announced a while ago that the coin FINALLY dropped on Obama and he WILL talk to Putin at the UN General Assembly.

And now a senior adviser to Assad is saying that the US and Russia have reached a "tacit agreement" on ending the mess in Syria.

Quick recap. Putin started by refusing "Assad must go" as a prerequisite for peace negotiations.

Then he turbo-charged the military build up in Latakia - both the Pentagon and the White House DID NOT see it coming.

So this is what Putin accomplished even BEFORE Obama saw the light and decided to talk:

Forget about a Libya-remixed NATO war on Syria.

Forget about a Sultan Erdogan no-fly zone over areas controlled by Damascus.

And out with the old world order. THIS is how the new world order works, and Russia is also driving it.

Putin's speech on Monday at the UN will be about "the joint struggle against terrorism" (as branded by TASS).

Expect abundant apoplexy in the Washington/New York axis.

While the UK remains committed to Washington's line of 'removing Assad', the German government has taken Russia's position:

'Merkel admits Syrian conflict cannot be resolved without Bashar Assad ': http://www.rt.com/news/316435-merkel-talks-involve-assad/


Ahora bien, en relación con los dos escenarios planteados por Escobar, los hechos de las últimas horas parecen hablar en esas direcciones. Acá van dos noticias de Russia Today. La primera, en castellano, habla de un cambio de actitud en el Reino Unido. La segunda, en inglés, sugiere que los franceses, siempre ambiguos, optaron por bombardear, esta vez sí, a los terroristas. Habrá que ver:

Título: "Un gran cambio político": Reino Unido está dispuesto a colaborar con Rusia en la lucha contra el EI

Texto: Reino Unido está listo para colaborar con Rusia en la lucha contra el movimiento yihadista del Estado Islámico, según el primer ministro británico, David Cameron, citado por RIA Novosti.

La colaboración entre Reino Unido y Rusia en la lucha contra el grupo terrorista Estado Islámico supondrá un gran cambio para la política británica, según 'The Telegraph'. La presencia de David Cameron en la 70.ª sesión de la Asamblea General de la ONU se enmarca en un gran plan para recabar apoyos internacionales, el de Rusia incluido, para derrotar a las fuerzas terroristas del Estado Islámico, un objetivo que hoy es prioritario.

Reino Unido dejará de considerar la salida de Bashar al-Assad como condición indispensable para alcanzar la paz en Siria, informa 'The Telegraph'.

Este sábado una fuente diplomático-militar informó que Rusia, Siria, Irán e Irak han creado un centro de información con sede en Bagdad para coordinar la lucha contra el movimiento yihadista del Estado Islámico. Según la fuente, este centro tendrá por objetivo la recogida, elaboración, generalización y análisis de información actualizada sobre la situación en Oriente Medio en el contexto de la lucha contra el Estado Islámico.


Título: France carries out first airstrikes against ISIS in Syria

Texto: France has carried out its first airstrikes on Islamic State positions in Syria, the Élysées Palace said in a statement.

"Our country thus confirms its resolute commitment to fight against the terrorist threat represented by Daesh [Islamic State]. We will strike each time that our national security is at stake," the French Presidency said in a statement, cited by Reuters.

Earlier this week France announced it may carry out airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria as an act of self-defense.

“We are part of the coalition in Iraq [against ISIS],” France’s President Francois Hollande said at a news conference. “We started reconnaissance flights [in Syria] to enable us to consider air strikes if they were necessary and they will be necessary in Syria.”

France announced last week it may carry out airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria as an act of self-defense and had already began reconnaissance missions over Syria.

“We are part of the coalition in Iraq [against ISIS],” French President Francois Hollande said at a news conference. “We started reconnaissance flights to enable us to consider air strikes if they were necessary and they will be necessary in Syria.”

Hollande's foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, said airstrikes in Syria were justified due to a series of Islamist terror attacks in Europe.

“Due to this threat we decided to start reconnaissance flights to have the option for airstrikes, if that would be necessary. This is self-defense,” the minister told the Belgian media.

Reports about France considering airstrikes against Islamic State (formerly ISIS/ISIL) in Syria first emerged in early September, when Le Monde cited an anonymous “high-level source.”

Le Monde added that the change of policy could be caused by Europe’s refugee crisis, and the inability to push back Islamic State.

Meantime Russia's president, Vladimir Putin, has been urging other countries to set aside "double standards and selfishness,” and to unite to defeat Islamic State.

Russia has long insisted on the creation of an international anti-terrorist coalition, to coordinate the efforts with the Syrian Army in combating the jihadists on the ground.

The US State Department has slammed Russia for the construction of an air base in Syria, but has not criticized France’s announcement that it was preparing to carry out air strikes against ISIS in Syria.

In late August, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop called for more European countries to join airstrikes against Islamic State, claiming that bombing would relieve the refugee crisis.

Bishop said that 40 percent of refugees trying to enter Europe are coming from Syria, suggesting that additional strikes would help reduce that number.

Australia is taking part in the effort and is already bombing ISIS positions in Iraq, but has not agreed to an US request to expand its own operations against jihadists into Syria.

Civilian deaths from the airstrikes against ISIS are on the rise. A non-profit organization, Airwars, which tracks the international airstrikes against ISIS, has said that at least 459 civilians were killed by the US-led coalition’s bombing of supposed ISIS positions. As of late August, the coalition has launched more than 5,800 airstrikes in both Iraq and Syria.

Moscow is continuing to supply Syria with weapons in accordance with already existing bilateral contracts. At the same time, Russia is boosting its counter-terror cooperation in the Middle East. Russian media reported on Saturday that Russia, Iran, Iraq and Syria had agreed to establish a joint information center to coordinate the campaign against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIL/ISIS).

About 220,000 people have being killed during the ongoing conflict in Syria, qwhich started in 2011.

Troops loyal to the Assad government are fighting a number of enemies, the most powerful of which are Islamic State and the Al Nusra Front. Only two countries, Russia and Iran, internationally support the Syrian authorities, while Arab nations and particularly the Persian Gulf monarchies are backing what they call “moderate” Syrian rebel forces.