The PPP has shamefully buckled to external pressure and joined the obsequious Arab League in supporting Anti-Assad resolutions. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto would be turning in his grave as the despicable stand taken by the Zaradri coterie. The founder of the PPP sent fighters aircraft to defend Damascus in 1973 and guarded the citadel of Islam. Haafez Al Assad supported his friend ZAB to the very last. Today the Zardari cabal stands against those who sheltered Murtaza Bhutto and many Palestinians.
Ellen Barry Has written an article in the NY Times titled “As Nations Line Up Against Syrian Government, Russia Sides Firmly With Assad” in which she laments the fact that Putin has taken a stand firmly in favor of Assad.
“There are not many world capitals today where President Bashar al-Assad of Syria can count on unstinting support. But diplomats who passed through Moscow this week hoping to secure Russia’s help in forcing him from power were met with cold refusal” she writes. Western powers dislike the resurgence of Russian defiance an they dislike any country that has taken a rejectionist stand against Israel.
Ellen correctly describes the situation “Moscow entrenched itself as Mr. Assad’s political bulwark on Friday, declaring that it would, with China, oppose a Security Council resolution calling on Mr. Assad to step down. A deputy foreign minister, Gennadi Gatilov, told the Interfax news agency that the resolution was “doomed to failure” unless the demand for Mr. Assad’s ouster was dropped and a call for opposition forces to renounce violence was included.”
There seems to be consensus in Pakistan in building relations with Moscow. Several high level trips have set the ground work beyond detent.
Ellen highlights the fact that Moscow is still supplying Assad with $550 million worth of fighter planes.
“I do not understand why we should justify ourselves for that, constantly blush, turn pale, be damp with sweat,” Mr. Ryabkov told the radio station Ekho Moskvy on Thursday. “We are acting within our rights.”
However Ellen and other Western observers fail to notice the history– that Russia stands by its friends through thick and thin and the seminal fact that Russia has a naval base in Syria which it does not want to give up.
The reality is that Moscow is “deeply distrustful of the West’s intentions both in Russia and in the Middle East. He has accused the United States of orchestrating uprisings in both regions.”
It is also true that Beijing feels the same way. That’s why it is holding the line in Syria.
Moscow and Beijing feel betrayed by the antics in Libya. 35000 Chinese operatives had to leave Libya because of the Western campaign against Qaddafi.
“Libya is a particular grievance. Mr. Putin seethed over the aftermath of the United Nations resolution establishing what was supposed to be a no-fly zone in Libya, which China and Russia last March agreed not to veto. Many in the government contend that President Dmitri A. Medvedev was deceived by Western allies who then used the resolution to justify airstrikes to drive Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi from power.”
“We were naïve and stupid,” said Mr. Satanovsky, an influential analyst. “The Chinese were the same. Trust this: That was the last mistake of such type.”
Ellen brilliantly describes the other reasons for Russian recalcitrance.
She says “Some Russian analysts warn that if Mr. Assad falls, it will lead to a broader war pitting Arab nations against Iran. Mr. Satanovsky said that Russia could see “maybe hundreds of thousands, maybe millions of refugees coming from Iranian territory into Azerbaijan and Russia” if that were to occur, as well as ethnic violence against Christian minorities and the spread of terrorism. He said Russia supported not Mr. Assad, but stability.”
“After Egypt, Tunisia, Iraq, Afghanistan, why should Russia once more look at all this with the idea that everything will be all right..This is not a choice between good and bad, this is a choice between bad — which we have now — and terrible and apocalyptic.”
These are the thoughts of Moscow encapsulated by Ellen.
Other countries are watching. In Pakistan, Washington has conducted more than 250 drone strikes against the citizens of an “ally”.
While the Pakistani parliament evaluates its relationship with Washington, Pakistan is building bridges with Moscow. With Islamabad’s membership in the SCO imminent–Islamabad is leaning away from the US. There are reports that Moscow will be selling arms to Pakistan–first under the umbrella of “Anti-terror”. Mr Putin is slated to visit Islamabad in September and will ink energy and mining deals–including an upgrade of the Russian built Pakistan Steel Mills.