Could Russia help push out al-Assad?
June 4th, 2012
09:21 PM ET

Could Russia help push out al-Assad?

By Jill Dougherty

Last December, media reports surfaced in the Middle East that Russia had a plan to solve the Syrian conflict: have President Bashar al-Assad step aside for a transitional period and let his vice president, Farouk al-Shara, take over until elections could be held. Moscow would give al-Assad political asylum or find him a refuge.

Russian officials refused to confirm those reports but the plan got a spy-novel name - the Yemensky Variant - because of its similarity to the transition plan that led to the ouster of former Yemen president Ali Abdullah Saleh who handed over power to his vice president, clearing the way to elections.

Now, it appears, the "Yemensky Variant" is picking up steam.

After talking with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said "he (Lavrov) himself has referred to the Yemen example."

With Yemen, she noted in her comments while in Stockholm on Sunday, "it took a lot of time and effort with a number of countries who were involved at the table, working to achieve a political transition. And we would like to see the same occur in Syria."

"My message to the foreign minister was very simple and straightforward," Clinton added. "We all have to intensify our efforts to achieve a political transition and Russia has to be at the table helping that to occur."

Moscow, so far, has stood by al-Assad, while at the same time insisting it wants the killing in Syria to stop. It has vetoed two U.N. Security Council resolutions against the regime but says it supports the same six-point peace plan of U.N. Special Envoy Kofi Annan which includes steps toward a political transition.

The Obama administration says al-Assad must go, but Moscow says that can't be a precondition. Now, Hillary Clinton appears to be opening the door to more flexible timing, saying al-Assad's departure "does not have to be a precondition, but it should be an outcome, so the people of Syria have a chance to express themselves."

The Russians have been meeting with the Syrian opposition formally and informally, and a European diplomat says Moscow is looking for alternatives to al-Assad, should he step down or be removed from office.

American officials appear more skeptical.

"I do not see any movement or change in their position or policy that I would bet anything on," one senior official told CNN on background because of the diplomatic sensitivity of the issue.

Some Russia experts share that skepticism. Matthew Rojansky of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace told CNN, "I don't think they (the Russians) are going further than they have before."

Syria has long economic ties with Russia, which has supplied it with weapons. "All the invoices that are worth billions to Russia have Assad's name on them," Rojansky said, "and they want to know - if he goes, somebody's got to pick them up."

Russia, Rojansky says, might be willing to shift its position, "but only in the context of being the pivotal player in brokering a face-saving transition that also preserves Russia's economic and strategic interests."

If al-Assad's departure meant continuing the same basic regime and elite, who would presumably respect the same basic bargain with Russia that al-Assad did, Moscow might support it. But, Rojansky thinks, Moscow would never agree to Western pressure to hold elections or prosecute members of the old regime.

But could Russia actually convince al-Assad to step down? Rojansky said, "The only real leverage they have over Assad is his belief that they are his exit strategy."

Rob Malley of the International Crisis Group told CNN, "The Russians say they are not with Assad...and there's truth to that."

Moscow's support of the regime is fueled by many factors, including anger at the West, fear of Islamism, and fear of popular uprisings, he says.

"I'm not sure that the Russians really see an alternative to Assad at this point, Malley said. "They don't see the reason for an alternative for Assad because he is surviving, and as long as he's surviving any attempt to remove him could cause unintended consequences."

That said, the Russians aren't "dead set against keeping him in power," said Malley.

"I think they're dead set on preventing a chaotic transition, foreign interference, Western intervention and at some point they may conclude they're better off doing that by getting rid of Assad if they can."

It's a song, Malley said, that he's heard for some time now: "That (Moscow) might be willing to back somebody other than Assad but I think it does depend on them reaching the conclusion that Assad is a real liability. I don't think they've reached that conclusion yet and I don't think they're prepared to take the risk of tinkering with that."

"Everyone is "working on alternatives to Assad," another European diplomat told CNN, "but no one had yet come up with a viable alternative, and with every passing day the task is getting more difficult - not easier."

CNN's Tim Lister contributed to this report.

soundoff (137 Responses)
  1. Nate

    Sounds like the next step is simply proving that Assad is truly a liability to Russia, which I think will come with time (and obviously the cost of more innocent Syrian lives). There may be a hand full of things that we can do to speed up the perception that Assad is indeed a liability, sooner than later... thoughts?

    June 7, 2012 at 12:40 am | Reply
  2. Bob B

    The Russians probably could, but they would loose all those weapon sales.

    June 6, 2012 at 8:43 am | Reply
  3. gazzmab

    Russia just needs to look at Libya and Iraq tosee what will happen if they let NATO and the US get their way. Chaos and terrorism.

    June 6, 2012 at 7:58 am | Reply
  4. chuckhashman

    What is Russia waiting for?? This guy is killing his own people!!! Extremist Islam is overrated!! Support the moderates only This guy is killing his own women and children and going from house to house doing it!!! Assad is a cruel dictato!!!

    June 6, 2012 at 6:19 am | Reply
    • u pillai

      what about bahrain–seiing only those you want to see and ignoring others.Russia also learned the trick.

      June 6, 2012 at 8:20 am | Reply
  5. brigette will

    I think the terrain is most difficult in Syria, so instead of an outright military intervention a plan needs to be made to save lives now! Second, they need to persuade al-Assad to leave, perhaps to exile in Russia. That way the Russians can keep their accounts. I think the vice-president should take over asap!

    June 6, 2012 at 5:39 am | Reply
  6. rick1948

    Well duh. Of course, stop selling Syria weapons and he is gone.

    June 6, 2012 at 1:54 am | Reply
  7. fgmb

    I chuckle when I reflect back how Obama administration officials and the news media recently mocked Mitt Romney for stating that Russia is our biggest geopolitcal advisary. I hope they've woken up!

    June 5, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Reply
    • sez

      Yep well. Nuff said. Whats plan 3?

      June 5, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Reply
    • sez

      How this would be set up is to clear it through the UN wolfpack of course. I'm waiting for plan 3 of course.

      June 5, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Reply
    • sez

      Which may be totally unplanned and unrehersed of course. It's not prophetic. It may be a chain of small events with apocolyptic overtones knowing much about squirrels do business. Most people live in the woods by the way. I just thought I would tell you there is no food in the woods. Why people live in the forest I have no idea. I guess they like being "tree" people.

      June 5, 2012 at 4:42 pm | Reply
    • FEAR MONGER ALERT

      Parroting Romney's little campaign boogabooga propaganda does not make it a fact.

      As "geopolitical adversary," militarily Russia itself would never be a big threat – keep in mind, we still have those nukes and that deterrent works just as fine as it did back in the old days. As for their economic influence – wrong again. Brazil, India, Korea, Australia, Germany... and of course China are all our adversaries – in some cases, way bigger than Russia.

      But so what? None of this matters a bit. Russia is absolutely FAILING at the opportunity to drive Syria toward some peaceful solution – can't or won't cooperate with the rest of the global community. But of course you knew that. Russia has difficulty negotiating geopolitical deals because of a lack of willingness to compromise – which is a problem in diplomacy.

      Really – the rest of us adults are trying to make a serious decision. Read something.

      June 5, 2012 at 7:58 pm | Reply
      • sez

        Those suitcase nukes had me worried for a while. I mean imagine your checking into a hotel and the bellboy could load your luggage on a cart right along with a Russian suitcase nuke! I heard they did inventory but can you really trust that. Maybe someone counted wrong or went out to get a suntan while the radio was blaring someone could have slipped in there and got one of those suitcase nukes. I am gee golly suprised none of those have gone of yet. Must be Jesus taking inventory or maybe he's watching over us like the book says. Someone could get ahold of one of those and blow us all to glory. Hope I don't slip and fall on a cow pattie trying to get away from one of those.

        June 5, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
    • Andrey

      Oh attraction of known and wishful thinking!
      No, your greatest geopolitical adversary is ..... Canada! Do you feel better?
      Your greatest greatest geopolitical adversary is ...... Norway! It is getting better and better, isn't it!
      Great geopolitical thinking! Lame!

      June 5, 2012 at 8:01 pm | Reply
  8. sjdsh

    There is no reason for Putin to do anything Hilary asks. Does she forget what she has said and done? How about we talk the world into a 'no fly zone' over Libya, then turn it into a 'Kill Gaddafi Zone' ,carpet bombing for profit zone.
    Russia and China have protested strongly to Hillary & Obomba's 'deaf ears' for months now. Right During the election for Putin, Hillary says inciting words that the election was fraudulent. Putin responded by sending his Russian Aircraft Carrier Group to Tartus,Syria.So now Putin has 'deaf ears' to what Hillary is saying, and she is just a jumping up and down,spittin mad. She so easily forgets what she has done, Putin is not as delusional as Some leaders seem to be.

    June 5, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Reply
    • Walken1

      Way to go with your argument. Use Clinton's first name in a derogatory fashion and misspell the President's last name for same measure. You might have a point if you tried articulating it like an adult.

      June 5, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Reply
    • AlexShch

      Fortunately Putin and Lavrov judge facts, not emotions. So what Sec. Clinton said is irrelevant at this point. And so does the expression on her face.

      June 15, 2012 at 12:22 am | Reply
  9. ART

    Russia has the blood of the Syrian people on their hands

    June 5, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Reply
  10. NorCalMojo

    Putin is going to slam this one back at Hillary. Not smart.

    June 5, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Reply
    • ualv

      you're not smart

      June 5, 2012 at 1:46 pm | Reply
    • who's smart?

      actually, that's Putin's only strategy... as bad as that sounds... that's all he can do. He has proven that he has no control over Assad. No influence whatsoever. Thanks to Putin's bungling, more people will die. We could even see a Third World War over this mess... lol... just what the world needs to bring it out of the economic doldrums

      June 5, 2012 at 8:03 pm | Reply
  11. AmericanPeasant

    Wow Russia might pull through after all and stop propping Assad up. This Yemensky Variant might be a good idea. If they manage to get Assad to leave they could have elections too and bring some democracy to Syria.

    If this picture is recent then Assad even shaved off his Hitler moustache, maybe there is hope, or maybe they found a new stall tactic.

    June 5, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Reply
  12. sjdsh

    BREAKING: Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov denying all reports that Russia is or will be negotiating with the US on departure of Syrian President Bashar .

    June 5, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Reply
    • AlexShch

      rubbish. there is nothing to deny.

      June 15, 2012 at 12:24 am | Reply
  13. Yakobi

    All the more reason the U.S. should pull out of the completely impotent United Nations. It never accomplishes ANYTHING and is a gigantic waste of money.

    June 5, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Reply
  14. Dr Zeus

    Until recently, Russia thought they could prop up Assad and he would blast his way through this conflict, just like in '82. Now, they are starting to realize that this is probably not going to happen. So, in order to keep from losing everything in the ME, they are going to find a nice vacation home for Assad in Chechnya.

    June 5, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Reply
  15. Chuckie

    This article says it all. Nothing can be done. Let the slaughter rage on! This is the most pathetic example of international politics. The human species will never learn to overcome the instinct to kill one another.

    June 5, 2012 at 10:32 am | Reply
  16. Joe

    PUTIN is the big man in that area,he says piss_on the USA.

    June 5, 2012 at 9:58 am | Reply
    • Chuckie

      Putin will help Syria kill more civilians. They are effectively doing that right now.

      June 5, 2012 at 10:21 am | Reply
      • Joe

        yes and Iran will join in too.

        June 5, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
  17. B. Lewis Randolph

    The Yemnsky Variant has a good name however there is little to prove that this would ever gain traction. Even if Russia decided to provide or coordiante asylum for al Assad that does not mean that (a) the opposition would agree to Farouk al-Shara filling the void (he is still a regime loyalist and part of the greater Regime infrastructure) or (b) al Assad would agree to al-Sharah being the one to shoulder the mantle of responsibility of interim president (over the past 15-months reports indicate al Assad has increasing relegated al-Shara to the peripheriy – reminiscent of how Kennedy treated Johnson). So with no solid personality in the al-Shara corner it is dougbtful, for now, that al-Shara would be the one to further the "Yemensky" proposal. For this to work the Russians, Bashar, and some within the opposition would have to find a moderate that could be the bridge-builder. Currently there doesn't seem to be many that can bridge that divide.

    June 5, 2012 at 9:54 am | Reply
    • Andrey

      Really no use to speculate about this inexistent plan! It is complete rubbish!

      June 5, 2012 at 9:59 am | Reply
  18. Andrey

    I do not believe it. That is totally made up news. Russia do not agree with Liviysky Variant but it is not that stupid to repeat in Syria that crap that US has organised for Yemen. We all know what is going on there. Imagine the same thing but at bigger scale with some potential for chemical and biological WMD falling in wrong hands! That is stupid! CNN has totally fabricated the whole thing just for the sake of keeping Syrian issue afloat! How fee press it is!

    June 5, 2012 at 9:47 am | Reply
  19. Dennis

    YEs Russia can do it. America has to form an anti terror alliance with Russia and give them 1 trillion dollars. Sounds like a big amount but does not matter since America is not accounting for any money any way since they have stopped publishing the M-15 magazine. So give them black money CIA will do that and the rest would be taken care of.

    June 5, 2012 at 8:52 am | Reply
  20. Power of Reason

    Not a chance in hell.
    Assad is all in.

    June 5, 2012 at 8:34 am | Reply
  21. dpk65

    seal team 6 will stop the killing of Innocent people.

    June 5, 2012 at 5:09 am | Reply
  22. gliese42

    To put it another way,,,Could Obama oust the Bahrain Royal family and give everybody
    equal rights? The answer is ...NO

    June 5, 2012 at 4:58 am | Reply
  23. BoratObama

    Till US continue to arm, organize, train, finance insurgency It is useless to do something for Russia, except of arming Assad in answer.

    June 5, 2012 at 4:30 am | Reply
  24. robertd188

    The State Dept has said it is time for Assad to go. No one can condone the violence and atrocities that have happened. Russia probably fears a loss of an important ally. Not sure why the US is still somewhat hostileand antagonistic to Russia, possibly it's the same old ethnic discrimination that has always plagued this nation so profoundly.

    June 5, 2012 at 3:49 am | Reply
  25. Ross

    Guys, guys!!! finally figure out that Russia has not political power in the world. Russia is not Soviet Union now. There are Inner problems and power's degradation, corruption... Russians could not prevent an intervention in Lybia although Putin and his sword bearer Medvedev cried out: we must not bomb Lybia.
    The same thing was with Iraq, Afghanistan, Yugoslavia, South Ocetia...
    By the way Putin has bought a peace in Chechnya. Just bought... All the north Caucasus lives on account dotations (oil-money), which are stealed theirs officials...
    And finally Russia's raw material producing country and depend on oil and gas' prices. Candoliza was right telling: Russians can't dispose of theirs wealth. They have to share...

    June 5, 2012 at 3:22 am | Reply
    • Andrey

      Not enough power, but lots of common sense! Unfortunately I cannot say the same about US and EU!
      But of course it all does not have anything to do with this fabricated material CNN feeds you! I wish you have had more personal experience and more will to use your own judgment and not to buy whatever your corrupt mass media tells you!

      June 5, 2012 at 9:52 am | Reply
  26. ii2bcnii

    Russia will not oust Assad. To suggest so is ridiculous.

    June 5, 2012 at 3:16 am | Reply
  27. Brad76

    I think it's in Russia's best interest to do something about Assad. Otherwise someone else will and their naval base will be jeopardized.

    June 5, 2012 at 2:19 am | Reply
    • Stan

      "some else" aka US backed mercs are trying already to unsuccessfully destabilize the situation in order to justify US aggression.

      Us should really stop trying to take over smaller countries like this and concentrate on it's own problems.

      June 5, 2012 at 2:31 am | Reply
      • Gaunt

        Is there anyone alive that really believes this? No, the Syrian rebels are not 'US backed mercenaries', they are Syrians fed up with living under the bloody repression of a tyrannical, totalitarian dictatorship. And just like every brutal dictatorship in the world, when people start asking for reform and freedoms, the government stamps down with an iron boot.

        June 5, 2012 at 3:47 am |
      • Dr Zeus

        Russia is starting to realize they will have no more interests in the ME unless they move Assad to Chechnya.

        June 5, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • Andrey

      That naval base crap that you bought from CNN is simply ridiculous! Russia did not have its Navy in Mediterranean for decades! This base is not operational and is there simply because it costs money to demolish it and clear the territory! Simple as that! But why would you care: CNN told you so! Liberal Zombies!

      June 5, 2012 at 9:57 am | Reply
      • Yoshinobu Tokugawa

        On September 8, 2008, ten Russian warships docked in Tartus.[14] According to Lebanese-Syrian commentator Joseph Farah, the flotilla which moved to Tartus consisted of the Moskva cruiser and four nuclear missile submarines.[15] Two weeks later, Russian Navy spokesman Igor Dygalo said the nuclear-powered battlecruiser Peter The Great, accompanied by three other ships, sailed from the Northern Fleet's base of Severomorsk. The ships would cover about 15,000 nautical miles (28,000 km) to conduct joint maneuvers with the Venezuelan navy. Dygalo refused to comment on reports in the daily Izvestia claiming that the ships were to make a stopover in the Syrian port of Tartus on their way to Venezuela. Russian officials said the Soviet-era base there was being renovated to serve as a foothold for a permanent Russian navy presence in the Mediterranean. So, Andrey, You gat your facts straight, unless, being such a good conservative, menas you are getting paid by Grazhdanin Putin

        June 5, 2012 at 11:38 am |
  28. Stan

    Langley is getting desperate. I wonder what provocation they gonna try next.

    I'm betting they'll probably try to blow up their "Enterprise" aircraft carrier and blame that on Iranians....

    June 5, 2012 at 1:16 am | Reply
    • Brad76

      I've heard this theory, I highly doubt they would do something so underhanded and evil just to start a war. They better not anyway seeing as though everyone knows.

      June 5, 2012 at 2:26 am | Reply
      • Stan

        Yeah – look up on now declassified "operation Northwoods".

        In Operation Northwoods the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff called for hijacking jet airliners, attacking US military bases, blowing up US ships and wounding civilians in Miami, Florida and Washington, DC using paramilitary sniper teams. Page eight of the formerly Top Secret Pentagon plan stated that “casualty lists in US Newspapers would cause a helpful wave of national indignation.” The opening paragraph in the Baltimore Sun read “US leaders proposed in ’62 a secret plan to commit terrorist acts against Americans and blame Cuba to create a pretext for invasion.”

        honestly.....they are evil...

        June 5, 2012 at 2:34 am |
      • Stan

        also – provocations and false flag attacks are CIA's bread and butter – what do you thing they do for a living?

        We do know now that "Tonkin incident" never happened – still 60000 died in Vietnam war because of something that CIA lied to us about, and remember WMDs??? 200000 dead Iraqi civilians.... Ohh yeah – CIA is evil.

        June 5, 2012 at 2:36 am |
    • robertd188

      CIA are hired on as selfless heroes to their country, making sometimes the ultimate sacrifice. On a personal level I found their actions to be very strange, but not "evil". But my experience may be an exception not the rule.

      June 5, 2012 at 3:34 am | Reply
      • robertd188

        I meant the fact the CIA was very odd was an exception. And they are certainly not evil.

        June 5, 2012 at 4:03 am |
    • Gaunt

      Yeah Stan, because it is absolutely IMPOSSIBLE that a tyrranical Middle-eastern dictator used VIOLENCE to stamp down on reform and freedom seeking dissenters. I mean, no dictator on earth has EVER done that! It MUST be a giant global conspuiracy instead!

      June 5, 2012 at 3:49 am | Reply
  29. yuri pelham

    There must be more ways the US, UN, and NATO pretend to care. Also it is clear to me Russia is still the Soviet Union... just a bit smaller

    June 5, 2012 at 12:48 am | Reply
  30. Tex

    Let's stop pushing Israeli policies and calling it humanitarian aid.

    Israel is the enemy. Not Islam.

    June 5, 2012 at 12:44 am | Reply
    • yuri pelham

      Yup. Finally someone realizes Israel is responsible for Arab mayhem. What power for Israel. What insight for the insomniac... or perhaps it's morning where you are.

      June 5, 2012 at 12:51 am | Reply
    • Gaunt

      Israel has its flaws, big ones, and its policy problems. but lets not kid outselves here. Israel is the only tolerant, liberal democracy in the Middle East. Israel is the ONLY state in the middle east where you can worship whatever god you want without repression. israel is the ONLY state in the Middle east where women are treated as human beings.

      Israel provides more legally guarenteed rights and freedoms to its minority Muslims than ANY Muslim Dictatorship in the Middle east provides for its MAJORITY Muslims. For all the ranting and froting about giant israeli conspiracies, its worth emembering that israel has been invaded THREE times in the last 50 years. israel has made 3 opeace treaties and 39 cease-fires with the palestinians, and every one, every SINGLE one was broken by the Palestinians. israel has offered the palestinians 97% of what they want, and was refused.

      You can talk about the problems with israel all you like, and there are many. Just dont try and pretend it isnt VASTLY above any of its brutal, totalitarian, repressive dictatorship neighbours.

      June 5, 2012 at 3:54 am | Reply
    • robertd188

      Israel seeks peace with all nations. And to suggest Israel is an "enemy" of the US is ridiculous in the extreme.

      June 5, 2012 at 4:17 am | Reply
  31. Assad

    Only Russia and China can stop Unique Satan(US) and his terrorist!

    June 5, 2012 at 12:37 am | Reply
  32. americaisevil

    however much the world tries to appease america,sooner or later they will have to fight american hooligans.

    June 5, 2012 at 12:32 am | Reply
  33. Paul Martin

    putin could, but it is unlikely because assad's ruthless military genocide and reactions to those who dare dissent against his brutal dictatorial regime are NOT to different to what the russians and kgb which putin was a major player in did to the russians under stalin and still do under other diguises to this day !

    June 5, 2012 at 12:09 am | Reply
    • Jim Carry

      your comment is based on propaganda like CNN not experience

      June 5, 2012 at 4:40 am | Reply
  34. blessedgeek

    Not that they don't want to, but Russia and China does not have the moral vector or moment to push out despotic governments. They have chechnya and tibet – how are they able to justify pushing out assad? If they do, the vector and moment of those actions will rebound and swing around back at chechnya and tibet.

    They absolutely cannot afford to accelerate the angular momentum that would bore the same hole into tibet and chechnya as it would bore into syria.

    June 4, 2012 at 11:55 pm | Reply
  35. butch

    all russia has to do is turn the other way. nato would force out assad. that won't happen though. russia might not be in a cold war with america anymore, but they're sure as hell in one with nato.

    nothing will get done. assad will suppress this uprising and normal life will return to syria when the last of the rebels lay down their arms.

    June 4, 2012 at 11:44 pm | Reply
    • Andy in Oz

      Ahhh the Cold War was not just involving the US and Russia sorry to burst your bubble. As for NATO forcing him out.....NATO is not wanting to touch this situation with a 12 barge pole as far as I can tell, certainly not the US one iota.

      June 4, 2012 at 11:49 pm | Reply
  36. juan

    It is time an internacional body, like United Nations, demands some universal criteria for any one who may lead any institution, that way there´s an antecedent for common understanding thus taking out the guessing part of the "game" when interacting with other institutions on worldly issues.

    June 4, 2012 at 11:25 pm | Reply
  37. Steve

    The world still sees after shocks from WWI and WWII.

    June 4, 2012 at 11:12 pm | Reply
  38. aizen

    russia and china must stand firm...what is happening in syria is the work of foreign secret services and the massacres are done by those rebels...didnt lybia thought the west nothing?

    June 4, 2012 at 11:06 pm | Reply
    • americaisevil

      true

      June 5, 2012 at 12:41 am | Reply
  39. Catharsis

    Just figure out the right price and the russianpigpeople will sell Assad short

    June 4, 2012 at 10:48 pm | Reply
  40. dou44

    Just so the Russians keep the US-Israeli slime out of Syria.

    June 4, 2012 at 10:19 pm | Reply
  41. jqent

    You can expect the Russians to protect their investment, no matter what the cost in international condemnation. And they will play their cards shrewdly to preserve that investment, if Assad becomes too big a liability.

    June 4, 2012 at 10:17 pm | Reply
  42. Joe

    Fabrications. Russians said no such things. No, you cannot invade Syria because you said the Russians said this or that. As CNN is getting desperate, the CIA operation in Syrian must be failing.

    June 4, 2012 at 9:54 pm | Reply
  43. Stan Iverson

    What a stupid question! That is like asking: "is the killings in Syria wrong?". Duh!

    June 4, 2012 at 9:49 pm | Reply
    • Stan

      of course killings we wrong. But who was behind killings??

      In whose agenda did killings fit better? US is looking for any pretext to attack – I betcha that was US backed terrorists who organized those atrocities in Houla.

      June 5, 2012 at 2:02 am | Reply
      • Yakobi

        Duh, Stan, it's in Assad's best interest to kill the opposition to him. It's in Iran's best interest to keep Assad in power, and it's in Russia's best interest to keep selling Assad the weapons he's using to slaughter the populace.
        Your tinfoil hat is leaking.

        June 5, 2012 at 12:46 pm |

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