ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Paris prêt à l’usage de la force
by Hassane Zerrouky
Translated Sunday 2 September 2012, by Bill Scobleand reviewed by
Giving way to pressure from the right and from the Atlanticist wing in his own party, François Hollande has gone beyond endorsing Barack Obama’s positions. He wants to be in the front line.
It’s no surprise that President François Hollande announced, in the speech delivered to the 10th conference of French ambassadors, that he would recognize a provisional government “to become the legitimate representative of Syria,” and this, when the Syrian opposition, in its ideological and political diversity, is having a hard time uniting, and is fighting in a disorganized way against the Assad regime. The formation of this provisory government, together with the creation of “buffer zones” inside Syria, towards which France is working, “in concert with its partners” Hollande emphasized, are certainly dictated by the need to get around (if necessary) the UN Security Council, where the Russians and Chinese are accused of blocking any resolution sanctioning the regime.
“The gridlock in the system leads to getting around it,” François Hollande warned in an allusion, aimed at Russia and China. Thus it is enough for this provisional Syrian government, should it come into existence and be recognized by the Great Powers, to call for international aid for military intervention to be legitimized, without UN approval. Finally, the use of chemical arms by the Syrian regime “would be a legitimate cause for direct intervention by the international community,” the French president added.
Thus, in giving way to pressure not only from the right wing, but also from the Atlanticist wing of the French Socialist Party, both of which have been pushing him to become more involved so that France “will maintain its ranking” in the world, François Hollande does not wish to content himself with endorsing the positions put forward by President Barack Obama on August 20; no, he wants to be in the front line in the Syrian affair. “France is a world power. /…/ When she remains silent, she falls behind,” he repeated.
An Afghan-style scenario
One thing is certain: military preparations are gathering steam. Officially, France, exactly like the United States and Great Britain, and even Germany, is neither furnishing arms to nor financing the Syrian rebels. France is delivering only viewing devices and encoded communications systems. Nonetheless, it is an open secret that behind the Syrian front in Turkey, American, German and French instructors are training and guiding the men of the Free Syrian Army. And that in the shadow of the Turkish and Western intelligence services, which are very active along the Turkish-Syrian and the Jordanian-Syrian borders, the jihadists’ existence is mentioned only grudgingly to maintain, against all evidence, that they are few in number; this is a matter of reassuring American, British, and European public opinion – that the jihadists are gaining a certain influence within the “resistance” to the Bashar regime. Paris, just like Washington and London, knows, however, that the Saudi Arabians and the Qataris are encouraging, financing and arming these jihadists, whose transit from their home country to Syria via Turkey is ensured by Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
In the end, everything leads one to believe that a scenario is being set up, a scenario which curiously reminds one of Afghanistan on the eve of the fall of the pro-Soviet Najibullah regime in 1991-1992, with Turkey and the oil kingdoms of the Gulf in the front line and the United States and its allies pulling the strings. And with Iran in the sights in the hidden agenda of Washington and its allies.
A call for funds from UNICEF
The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) is demanding $54 million (49 million euros) for the Syrians who have taken refuge in Jordan, in order to “meet the pressing needs of health, protection, water and hygiene.” Around 17,000 refugees, half of whom are children, are living in the Zaatari camp near the Syrian border. For its part, in a communiqué, the Jordanian government has asked for up to $429 million to cover the vital needs and “other indirect costs” of the refugees, should the conflict in neighboring Syria last for a long time. UNICEF expects “to have 70,000 people in the Zaatari camp by the end of the year.”