One would assume that a player of Hillary Clinton’s experience would not make such a public charge unless she had considerable confidence that it was true and that she was prepared for the blowback it might create.
That said, from the New York Times:
“The Syria conflict fell deeper into crisis Tuesday as Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton publicly accused Russia of supplying attack helicopters to the Syrian government.
Her accusation came as international cease-fire monitors in Syria aborted a fact-finding trip after they came under assault by an angry mob and gunfire, and the top United Nations peacekeeping official said Syria was already in a state of civil war.
Those developments — coupled with a newly released United Nations report that accused the Syrian military of using Syrians as young as 8 as human shields for troops — overshadowed fresh diplomatic efforts by Kofi Annan, the special envoy to Syria, to advance a peace plan that that has basically been ignored since it was put into effect two months ago….
Russia has repeatedly denied sending any armaments to Mr. Assad that could be used to crush the uprising against him. But Mrs. Clinton said the United States was “concerned about the latest information we have that there are attack helicopters on their way from Russia to Syria.” The shipments, she warned, “would escalate the conflict quite dramatically.” “
The Russians have been the primary obstacle to a more aggressive U.N.-led effort to remove the Syrian leadership. However, it is one thing to serve as diplomatic cover for the mass killings being carried out in Syria; it is another to provide the Syrian government with the weapons needed to conduct such massacres on an even larger scale.
And of course, all such things in the Middle East are not merely connected but hopelessly intertwined. Russian cooperation in the U.N. and elsewhere is essential in putting pressure on Iran to abandon its nuclear program. Iran and Syria are allies in supporting Hezbollah in Lebanon. And while the Syrian regime has been brutal in attempting to suppress the uprising of its own people, those likely to take power should the current Assad dictatorship topple are likely to be brutal in turn to Syria’s Christian and Alawite minorities.
Some problems can at best be managed, not solved, and at the moment Syria is probably the best example of such a situation.
– Jay Bookman