World View: Kofi Annan's Syria Peace Plan Collapses

This morning's key headlines from

  • Syria's Assad says that the world has 'misinterpreted' him
  • Egyptians cooperating with Israel to fight Sinai terror
  • Venezuela's Chavez returns again to Cuba for cancer treatment
  • Ethnic violence growing in southern Libya between Tibu and Arabs
  • Easter Sunday church bombing in Nigeria kills 16
  • Mali's deposed president resigns, and sanctions are lifted
  • N. Korea gives bizarre press conference to show off its long-range missile
  • The 'Golden Age of Overseas Aid' is over

Syria's Assad says that the world has 'misinterpreted' him

Syria had announced that it had "accepted" Kofi Annan's peace plan, and Syria's ambassador to the U.N. had said so quite clearly. But on Sunday, Syria's foreign ministry said that it's position had been "misinterpreted." Syria isn't going to agree to any peace plan until:

  • Opposition lays down arms
  • Opposition turns over all weapons to government
  • Opposition signs a written statement of surrender
  • Turkey signs a written statement of non-interference
  • Saudi Arabia signs a written statement of non-interference
  • Qatar signs a written statement of non-interference
  • Needless to say, none these things will happen while the regime of Bashar al-Assad is conducting mass slaughter of innocent Arab civilians, exterminating them as if they were cockroaches. In fact, this whole peace plan has actually been counterproductive, as it's given al-Assad the impetus to conduct even bloodier slaughters.

    I've referred to this whole Kofi Annan "peace process" as farcical several times. What still amazes me is how Kofi Annan and these other politicians make total fools out of themselves by pretending that this farcical plan ever even made sense. The sheer stupidity of politicians is not to be believed -- except that we see it every day.

    Al-Assad has also made a fool of the Russians, who have been counting on the Kofi Annan peace farce to help them save face, as they've become the major defender of the slaughterer-in-chief. It will be interesting to see how Russia weasels out of this situation.

    I haven't said this in several years, but it's worth repeating now: It's like we're all in a movie theatre watching a bad movie, and we'd like to leave, but all the doors are locked, and we can't get out of the movie theatre.

    This is the way the world works. The United States has intervened in many places since they became Policemen of the World following World War II. You can argue that some of those interventions should not have taken place, but they were always for benevolent reasons, to protect the world from a new world war.

    The politically correct thing to say is that "the United Nations should be the one to intervene as policemen of the world." Have they ever done that? It takes a nation like the U.S. to be willing to act unilaterally, or with a "coalition of the willing," to intervene effectively. The United Nations is completely worthless and useless. Independent and Arab News

    Egyptians cooperating with Israel to fight Sinai terror

    After several terrorist attacks on Israel launched from the Sinai Peninsula in recent months, the Egyptian government announced on Saturday that, in cooperation with Israel, it has started deploying troops in the northern Sinai Peninsula. According to Egyptians sources, a total of 2500-3000 soldiers will be introduced gradually. Israel's agreement was required for this deployment because the Israel-Egypt peace treaty signed in the 1970s forbids deployment of Egyptian army forces in the Sinai. Egyptian sources also say the campaign was launched because the situation in Sinai is likely to pose a serious threat to the security situation inside Egypt itself. In recent weeks, there have been numerous reports of attacks by armed Bedouin and other militias active within Sinai, even against Egyptian soldiers. Haaretz

    Venezuela's Chavez returns again to Cuba for cancer treatment

    Venezuela's President Hugo Chávez has only been home for three day, but on Sunday he returned again to Cuba for another cancer treatment. According to Chávez:

    "I have to continue this battle for life. ... Through faith in the Risen Christ! We shall live and overcome!"

    Prensa Latina (Cuba)

    Ethnic violence growing in southern Libya between Tibu and Arabs

    When Muammar Gaddafi was in power in Libya, he always knew how to keep tribal conflicts from growing out of control: He'd send out his helicopter gunships and slaughter the belligerents. But Gaddafi is gone, and most of Gaddafi's weapons stores have made their way into the hands of various militias and terrorist groups. In the Sabha region of southern Libya, the dark-skinned indigenous African Tibu (or Tubu) tribe is fighting with lighter-skinned Zuwaya Arabs. The fighting has eased since the Transitional National Council (TNC), Libya's interim government, sent 300 soldiers to quell the fighting, though there are claims that Tibu fighters are infiltrating the region from Niger, Chad and the Sudan. Reuters and Jamestown

    Easter Sunday church bombing in Nigeria kills 16

    A car bomb killed at least 16 people and wounded dozens more in the northern Nigerian town of Kaduna on Easter Sunday, after security officers stopped the vehicle carrying it from approaching a church. No group claimed responsibility for the attack, but it's thought that it was perpetrated by the terrorist group Boko Haram, which has attacked Christian churches in the past. Later in the day, there was a "minor explosion" in the central town of Jos, where no one was killed. Reuters

    Mali's deposed president resigns, and sanctions are lifted

    Mali's president Amadou Toumani Touré, who was driven from office in a coup two weeks ago, has officially resigned. Under an agreement with the coup leader, Amadou Haya Sanogo, Sanogo will resign and  former Malian speaker of parliament Dioncounda Traore will serve as president with a transitional government until elections are held. With the apparent restoration of constitutional government, ECOWAS -- the Economic Community of West African States -- says that it will remove the harsh sanctions it had imposed, blocking all travel in and out of the landlocked Mali nation. However, the situation in northern Mali is still uncertain, with both Tuareg rebels and jihadist groups controlling different regions. VOA

    N. Korea gives bizarre press conference to show off its long-range missile

    North Korea invited Western journalists to a bizarre press event at top secret launch site for the long-range missile it plans to launch in mid-April. The purpose of the press event was to convince the West that the long-range missile is perfectly peaceful, and that they have no intention of loading it up with a nuclear weapon and targeting the U.S. west coast or other countries that it dislikes. The missile test violates an agreement that North Korea signed just a couple of months ago, agreeing to stop developing nuclear technology and related long-range missile technology. The U.S. has said it would cancel previously announced food aid if the launch is not canceled. BBC

    The 'Golden Age of Overseas Aid' is over

    According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), aid flows from "rich" countries to "developing" countries fell in 2011, for the first time in 14 years, because of the financial crisis. However, even in good times, promises are made but not kept, as has been the case with the extravagant promises made at the G20 meeting in 2005. (Long time readers may recall that I used to mock these aid promises as political shows.) Guardian


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