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Updated: August 7, 2012 01:19 IST

India must think before it acts on Syria

Prem Shankar Jha
Comment (39)   ·   print   ·   T  T  

Delhi must vote with its BRICS partners the next time a resolution comes up in the U.N. Security Council. That is the only way to help the West pull back from a sectarian war

On July 15, an estimated 7,000 rebel fighters owing allegiance to the Free Syrian Army invaded Damascus, the capital of Syria. In a Sturm und Drang operation, captured on amateur video by an observer whose harsh breathing reeks of fear, they raced towards the city in brand new pick-up trucks over barely marked desert tracks from Iraq and Jordan, waving Kalashnikovs in the air. Two days later, at 10.00 am, as a bomb planted in the defence headquarters killed four top generals in the Syrian armed forces and severely injured several of their advisers, they embarked on a reign of terror in Midan, killing anyone who was wearing a uniform or appeared hostile to them. Residents interviewed by the Syrian media after the army took Midan back said the attackers were Arabs, not Syrians, for they spoke a different kind of Arabic.

Surprise

The Arab League and the western powers convened a meeting of the United Nations Security Council within hours. But instead of demanding that the insurgents abide by Kofi Annan’s six-point plan, their draft resolution condemned Syria for using heavy weapons — in this case helicopters — against the marauders. Russia and China’s veto did not surprise anyone. But India’s decision not to vote with its BRICS partners and to toe the western line instead did.

Why did India do this? For it must surely have known even then that Damascus was only a curtain raiser for the battle that is now being joined in Aleppo. According to Syrian estimates, 12,000 FSA fighters have infiltrated Aleppo. Half of them are foreigners from Libya, Afghanistan, Chechnya and Sudan — in short, al-Qaeda.

If there is a bloodbath in Aleppo, the West is bound to table yet another resolution in the Security Council, this time seeking permission to use “other means” if necessary to topple Bashar al-Assad and “save civilian lives.” Will India again vote with the West? Before it does so, it would do well to remember that its own nation building project is still incomplete. So whatever conventions it allows or helps the West establish on the Right to Protect or Intervene may well come back to haunt it in the years that lie ahead.

New Delhi needs to bear this in mind because there are striking parallels between what Damascus is facing today and what Delhi faced in Kashmir in the 1990s. In 2011, Syria had been under the autocratic rule of the Ba’ath party for 48 years. In 1990, Kashmir too had been under autocratic rule for all but seven of the previous 40 years. However, in both countries the autocracy was a stable one. Young people in particular chafed under the Ba’ath party’s rule in Syria exactly as they chafed against “Delhi’s rule” in Kashmir. But while nearly everyone wanted a change, almost no one wanted it at the cost of a violent disruption of their lives. In neither case, therefore, was the state the first to resort to violence: On the contrary, both insurgencies had to be stoked, so the first to pick up the gun were the insurgents. In Syria this was done by Salafi/Takfiri Islamists who crossed the border from Jordan in March 2011 and holed up in the Omari mosque in Dera’a before launching targeted provocations, and attacks on police stations and government offices.

A third parallel is the intervention of hostile foreign powers bent on converting a domestic upsurge demanding political empowerment into a movement for secession or regime change. In Kashmir, Pakistan did this by disarming the JKLF cadres still in training in Muzaffarabad in 1990 and creating the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen. In Syria, Turkey and Qatar are funnelling money and battle hardened jihadis to start a sectarian war that will overwhelm the state.

Last and most important, like New Delhi, Damascus has been trying to prevent civil war by offering the insurgents the alternative of the ballot box. Mr. Assad began, on his own, by lifting all controls on the Internet in January 2011. Over the next six months, he first tried to negotiate peace with the Sunni zealots in Dera’a by sacking the governor and releasing 260 prisoners and 16 clerics, and promising to repeal the Emergency Laws and the ban on political parties that had been in place for 48 years. He fulfilled his first promise five days ahead of schedule on April 20 and his second three months later in July.

Mr. Assad also set up a drafting committee to frame a new, democratic constitution for Syria, but neither this nor his other reforms made the least dent on the hardening resolve of the West and its Arab and Turkish allies to force Mr. Assad and his regime out of power and install the puppet Syrian National Council in its place.

Despite this, Mr. Assad persevered with his attempts to make an orderly transition to democracy. As the task of framing a new constitution neared completion, he announced that the draft would be placed before the people in a referendum. Six weeks before the referendum, he offered an amnesty to all rebels and invited them to join in the voting. They could well have done so for the draft constitution not only required an election within three months of its passing but also contained a clause that would bar Mr. Assad himself from contesting the presidential election after his current term ended in 2014. But, egged on by the “Friends of Syria,” of whom India was regrettably one, they chose to boycott the elections and let the violence continue.

Sneering scepticism

The world learned virtually nothing about Mr. Assad’s efforts because the international media, which reported several of his pronouncements, did so with sneering scepticism and no attempt at analysis. But on February 26, 2012, 57 per cent of Syria’s electorate crowned Mr. Assad’s efforts with success by turning out to endorse the new constitution. The large turnout showed that the vast majority of Syrians still wanted a peaceful transition to a secular democracy, and did not mind Mr. Assad remaining in power to manage the transition. For the Free Syrian Army, whose leaders knew (just as LTTE leader Prabakaran did when forced to negotiate with New Delhi in 1987) that the return of peace would erode most of the support they enjoyed among the people, the only alternative that remained was to bring in foreign fighters in the name of jihad.

The result has been a dramatic rise in casualties after February. At the end of October 2011— eight months after the uprising began — the U.N.’s tally was between 6,000 and 7,000 deaths. By February, the figure had risen to 10,000-11,000. Today the minimum estimate is in excess of 20,000 dead. Christians and Shias have been the main victims in recent months. 50,000 Christians have been driven out of Homs, leaving less than a thousand behind. As a result, the number of doctors in the city has fallen from 850 to less than 50, and functioning hospitals from 45 to 5.

Attack on Christians

The killing of Christians has now spread to Damascus. When the Syrian army retook Midan, the FSA ‘rebels’ dispersed but did not withdraw. Instead they selectively attacked and killed the wealthy, educated Christians of Damascus. The first targeted attack took place on July 23. Another occurred over the weekend of August 4-5. U.N. officials in Damascus have reported a ‘terrible killing’ in the Christian quarter of Damascus. Another exodus is therefore in the offing: the Archbishop of the Syrian church told a U.N. official ‘que dieu me sauve’— only god can save us.

It is inconceivable that Mr. Assad initiated this escalation because his successful referendum in February and Kofi Annan’s six-point peace plan, which held the rebels equally responsible for the civilian deaths and did not endorse the western demand for Mr. Assad to step down first, had given him everything he wanted. From that point on, he had nothing to gain and everything to lose from violence. The western powers have their reasons for studiously ignoring his lack of motive, but Delhi needs to remember that they are not India’s reasons.

When the next resolution condemning the Syrian government comes up in the Security Council, there are two good reasons why India must vote against it. The first is to stand by the principle of national sovereignty that underpins the U.N. Charter and reassure its BRICS partners that it is not a fair weather friend.

The second is to give the West an escape hatch to avoid compounding its own mistakes. The recent horrifying rise in sectarian killings; the growing terror of Syria’s Christian population, the beheading of an international staff member of the Red Cross in Yemen, and the creeping spread of sectarian violence in Turkey, have triggered a spate of reappraisals in the New York Times, The Guardian, The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and other publications. These reveal a nagging anxiety that the West’s intervention is not preparing Syria for democracy but dragging the entire region towards a no-holds-barred Sunni-Shia jihad that will douse the candle of reason with blood for generations to come.

India has a unique moral position in the world today: it is a working democracy; it threatens no country and is almost completely free from sectarian conflict. A vote by it against military intervention in Syria will therefore carry disproportionate weight. It could give the West a face-saving way of pulling back from a sectarian war in which it will find itself aligned with the killers of Christians and the destroyers of the World Trade Centre.

(The writer is a senior journalist.)

More In: Lead | Opinion

India has thought very well and correctly at that too before acting on
Syria. The person who is sitting as the President there was planted by
his late father as a family successor and as such, he is an illegitimate
president with no mandate from the people. The people want him to get
out. He should get out.

from:  T.Sathyamurthi
Posted on: Aug 8, 2012 at 21:43 IST

Superb assessment by the author. western powers are taking liberty to attack in the name of Arab Spring. certainly it was legitimate to change regimes in favor of people of some countries, but using it for the destruction of entire region is not a right approach.

from:  Vikram
Posted on: Aug 8, 2012 at 18:18 IST


Excellent article. The Hindu should be proud of itself for presenting an article like to the Indian public. This not only exposes Indian govt's weakness in front of US and western govts,
but also how the Indian media is "bought" by the European and US media and govts.
None of the western press or the Indian press reported on Assad's efforts at transfer of power and constitutional work.
India should learn to think independently of US and the west.

from:  S Narayanan
Posted on: Aug 8, 2012 at 16:55 IST

It is a commendable and certainly truthful description by the author of events that have taken
place and are still taking place in Syria. The West's agenda are, destabilize the Middle East,
destroy any aggressive capacity that is there with Iran, giving power to Israel who would go
unchallenged for a long time in future, userp complete control on all energy resources in the
Middile East and creat Sunni Shia divide expecting a longstanding feud. A biproduct to this is
the containment of Islamic population which is growing in a rapid manner on the planet!
Sinister but very profitable! Government of India's first interest must be to protect the interest
of Indians and India. Playing poodle dog for minor mercies is not the right thing for the
country!

from:  Saratchandran
Posted on: Aug 8, 2012 at 16:01 IST

India's position on Sryia is absolutely correct, India can not align itself with BRICS nations on all issues. India is the only country suffering from terrorist activities by Islamic radicals not any members of BRICS, they don't even tasted it. India should do more in dismantling governments run by terror supporters. Ofcourse US has their own agenda so do we and so as other BRICS.

from:  kanakasabapathy
Posted on: Aug 7, 2012 at 22:57 IST

Frankly speaking I did not know the inside story & development there
after & the President Assad's actions towards referendum.I sincerely
thank The Hindu & Mr Jha for this well analysed article which will
definitly enlighten many like me.But the intervention by
western/foreign countries in the internal affairs of a sovereign state
is understandable. This we have seen how for their own interest they
kill innocent civilians of a country like
Vietnam,Afganisthan,Iraq,Libya etc.in the name of humanity & how they
shed crocodile's tear.Mr. Jha's suggestion to Indian Govt. is correct
& timely. I once again thank Mr.Jha I feel our opposition leaders
should also takeup this matter with the Govt. of India.

from:  Swapan Kr. Nag
Posted on: Aug 7, 2012 at 20:38 IST

This is brilliant! The West has an agenda, which is to weaken all opposition to Israel. Syria, Hezbollah, Hamas and Iran are all on the radar and Asad just happens to be unlucky to be the target. The US has been trotting out the battle against al Queda and infact, it is Al queda that is calling the shots in Syria. What would be sad is that Asad is replaced by Islamists who indulge in ethnic cleansing of non-Sunnis. With all their faults, the Baathists were secular and a pluralist in their approach. The blatant bullying going on in the Security Council and Russia/China are being portrayed as villians. India must stand for something and its current policy is wooly!

from:  gita
Posted on: Aug 7, 2012 at 20:26 IST

India has to be very careful as the western countries with Israel have their own agenda. Their wrecked economies and their printed money (they print the notes day and night) is now going new ways and today making Arabs kill Arabs, tomorrow Chinese kill Chinese and Indians kill Indians. The new slavery is starting! Divide and rule....have we all forgotten this? It is important to have a strong voice and a strong Non-Allignment Movement. We must be very careful and support Assad. Look what has happened to Libya. The terrorists and gangs rule and rape the land. Where are free health services and schools, that Ghadhafi provided?. Their new bad habits is blocking stations on the internet. It is not possible to view Sana, the Syrian news channel, as it is blocked, so that we may only des-informed by western media. Asians and good citizens of the world, be very careful.......

from:  Toni Law
Posted on: Aug 7, 2012 at 20:17 IST

Mr Jha's analysis is excellent. What India has to decide is if it wants to vote with its Morals or to vote for the winner.

from:  Sundar
Posted on: Aug 7, 2012 at 19:58 IST

Erudite article by Jha. Thanks to BRICS for not allowing NATO to intervene in the issue.

from:  Bharadwaj Sista
Posted on: Aug 7, 2012 at 18:55 IST

The West in always apply double standards policies. The West wants a puppet regime in Syria to weaken Iran. India is the weakest democracy on earth due large numbers of voters in sheer poverty and illiterate that helps the UPA regime to manipulate towards their favour. Further India is not a model as the political violence and lynching is a way of life. India should have their own policies but the ruling corrupt politicians may swing to any side in order for benefits and their own wellbeing. Mohandas Gandhi's India is a day dream and not a reality!

from:  Shiva
Posted on: Aug 7, 2012 at 18:13 IST

I have been reading Prem Shankar Jha for a long time. This is the first article by him which is written in a fair and unbiased manner

from:  Nakkeeran
Posted on: Aug 7, 2012 at 18:06 IST

The author is still stuck in the Cold War mentality, suggesting that India not vote
with the West but with China and Russia. Well Mr. Jha, India won't gain any
relevance if it votes with China and Russia, states which are even worse than the
West in the manner which they treat their "vassals", exactly what how they will see
India.

It is also absurd to try and claim that the Assad regime is resorting to violence only
as the last resort. Admittedly, there is a great risk of regional destabilization if the
West starts a new war in Syria. However, both sides are at fault. What we needed
was an all-out weapons embargo with China, Russia and Iran not allowed to deliver
to Syria and the West and other Arab states not allowed to arm the opposition or
funnel through jihadis.

India might have gained some respect if it had attempted to broker a dialogue in
wake of the first peaceful protests. But India neither has the will nor the ability to
do such a thing, and toes the line of the others!

from:  Vivek
Posted on: Aug 7, 2012 at 17:09 IST

For the West there are no permanent friends only permanent interests. It is very important for India to do the thinking more so when we have a leadership with no command over his whimsical minster/s and ministries and is only a puppet at the top.

from:  Rahul
Posted on: Aug 7, 2012 at 16:14 IST

Balancing national interests and fundamental values & morals forms the
cornerstone of one's diplomacy. One cannot condone the former's
dominance in the UNSC game between West and East. Therefore, the
proposition of "BRICS always" seems unpalatable tactically and
strategically. Rather, its the exhibition of leadership and discipline
in both the Syrian and domestic (Kashmir) forums that is urgently
required.

from:  Chanchal Rana
Posted on: Aug 7, 2012 at 15:23 IST

When a government is insensitive to the popular movement which starts peacefully and suppresses it with brute force, this is the natural evolution; like in neighbouring Srilanka the Tamil movement started peacefully but evolved in to a militant movement after the government suppression. Even a Gandhi can not do anything against a government who massacres its own people in thousands, brutally tortures and kills its innocent children even when the movement is peaceful. The one who starts the chain reaction is more guilty than the small players.

from:  Syed
Posted on: Aug 7, 2012 at 15:06 IST

As the author has potrayed why India should vote against any resolution against syria, I wonder if this lone author can get so much first hand information of what's happening in Syria, then why the western countries are supporting their own destructors. History should be remembered by these western countries. They support the so called rebel fighters and after few years wage war against the same uprisers to uproot them. Unless the Western countries learn this, with so many examples in front of them, the only sufferers are we, the people of Asia.

from:  srikanthssridhar
Posted on: Aug 7, 2012 at 14:57 IST

India should not at all support US/ western allies and Saudi backed
resolution which will only lead Syrian condition like Iraq and
Afghanistan and even Pakistan

from:  jawad
Posted on: Aug 7, 2012 at 14:51 IST

I would like to thank Mr. Jha and The Hindu for this excellent
article. It brings to the fore certain facts that have been hitherto
unknown to ordinary readers namely the efforts that Mr. Assad
undertook to bring peace. Media houses whether western or those
situated in the middle-east have united to project Assad as the
villain with none criticizing the disparate rebel groups causing
mayhem in the name of revolution. Appointment of Kofi Annan as peace
negotiator was too little too late for the damage had already been
done when the international community squandered the opportunity of
persuading Mr. Assad and nascent rebel groups to enter into
negotiation and bring about an orderly transition when the revolution
was just erupting. Adamant support by Russia and China for the Assad
regime and Western sanction of brutality perpetrated by the
revolutionists have compounded the problem. India should therefore
bring a sense of balance in this debate by mirroring the ground
reality at the UN.

from:  Mukul Kanti Dutta
Posted on: Aug 7, 2012 at 14:40 IST

Of larger importance is what will we Indian do with Iran??? USA is relentlessly pounding Iran with sanctions and in near future an armed attack is imminent. USA is doing all this for oil. It already controls Saudi, the next biggest oil deposit is Iran. Where will this leave us Indians?

from:  Sharma
Posted on: Aug 7, 2012 at 13:53 IST

It is true that the problems in Syria are the least about the democracy and most about geopolitics. This is about America and Iran, with Saudi seeking to bolster its wobbly stand as the voice of the Arab world. Qatar, buoyed by success from its Libyan backing, has suddenly realised that money brings influence, and influence brings power.
What no body is questioning is how again the US and Al Qaeda have joined forces in Syria.What the US did to Russia in AFghanistan, it is trying to do to Iran in Syria. The Shias and Sunnis are being pitched in a battle, and everyone except the Syrians gain by de-stabilisation.
The flaw in the geo-political equation is that the Shias get pushed even further into a corner and a new militant group is formed.
Time for the world to back off from Syria, and let them decide on their own, what they want.

from:  Dhairya
Posted on: Aug 7, 2012 at 13:51 IST

Unbiased and correct article. This so called uprising is no good for simple Syrians. Economic development will thrown 15 years back. Religious extremism is no good.

from:  Mikhail Istomin
Posted on: Aug 7, 2012 at 13:45 IST

What about the genocide by Assad. Why this blatant left wing line when the man has used military force against his own countrymen.

from:  Vineet
Posted on: Aug 7, 2012 at 13:41 IST


I disagree with Prem Shankar Jha. India is not Syria in any comparisan. India is a democratic country unlike autocratic Syrian leadership since the past 5 decades. The writer justifies the steps of Assad and fails conveniently the oppressions & crines committed by his party since the past 48 years. The public reaction is the comulitive effect of the past crimes committed by the regime. At last by now let our 'senior' journalist stop quoting irrelevant references of alqaida, jihadis,saudi, qatar for fast and quick attraction of the readers.

from:  Nazeer Ataullah
Posted on: Aug 7, 2012 at 13:31 IST

Excellent article. Well analyzed and such articles sets The Hindu apart from story writers and so called newspapers.

from:  Obulesu
Posted on: Aug 7, 2012 at 12:57 IST

I agree with you article ,India should vote against any west sponsered resolution .main culprits in this sectarian war are saudi and qatar.they are the sponsers of al qaeda .if this sectarian war goes out of control ,the whole region will get affected

from:  vinu arekkath
Posted on: Aug 7, 2012 at 12:22 IST

This is a surprising column which suggests to support Assad's government instead of condemning them. Since the war began, lives of innocents have perished and the rebel had to unite against the autocratic government. Veto from China and Russia in no way a good gesture to save the innocent lives which is crushed by the government backed forces. This fight is just a continuation of Arab up-rise but with more loss of lives due to incapable UN and selfish superpowers like China and Russia. I appreciate India's stand to support UN and not to ally itself to brute states! The author needs to look at the factors that lead to the resignation of Mr Kofi Annan as a UN envoy, before supporting the stand of BRIC (namely China and Russia).

from:  Varghese
Posted on: Aug 7, 2012 at 12:16 IST

Another boringly one sided biased article,with the US and the 'West' the usual villains,whereas those on the other side of the fence have the most laudable objectives and higher moral values. This is not a impartial analysis,where the brutal murderer in Damsscus comes off smelling like roses,while those who take the side of the underdog- the heavily ournumbered and out equipped opposition. The daily slaughter of civilian citizen does not seem to matter,but some crocodile tears are shed for those 'victims' who are apparently in Assad's corner. From the Syrian Ambassador in the UK,to the Prime Minister of Syria,have seen the writing on the wall,but it sesms like all that is important to Mr.Jha and other like minded opinionists in The Hindu is the sacred commitment to the BRICS countries (obviosuly, as their favourites the Chinese and The Russians are in the mix, and God knows that they have no self interests, and act only self sacrificially!!!). India should vote on ITS interests ONLY

from:  Ashok
Posted on: Aug 7, 2012 at 11:34 IST

I don't completely agree with authors perception of Assad moves.There is some element of truth in western media skepticism.After all ,we are living in the world of self-interest.While both sides committing culpable crimes ,it's appropriate to take a position of abstaining from voting and made it clear that we condemn violence from any side.
Coming to sovereignty issue ,it's source of power is people.If people themselves are in danger i think it is legitimate to intervene on the part of international organization.otherwise, we don't need such a body.

from:  srinivas
Posted on: Aug 7, 2012 at 11:32 IST

From what I can make out of the article is :
1. The western powers (principally USA) have their own agenda. It is NOT the killing of the population by its own government which is prompting them to go against Assad. They don't want the ultra orthodox muslims to win. This will cause unrest in Turkey, Iraq and other middle easter countries causing the oil prices to sky rocket.
2. China and Russia don't want US to have its way so that they will have some foothold in post pro Assad government.
3. India needs to act with conscience. China and Russia are the big brothers in BRICS and they need to be shown the mistake of the their actions. India should go for diarming the militia (pro and anti establishment), overthrow Assad under UN mandate and conduct elections within 12 months.
4. More talk and no action is going to cause more civillian deaths.
5. Finally comparing Damascus and Kashmir was in bad taste. Delhi was controlling the autocracy in Kashmir. Syrians had an independent one.

from:  mani sandilya
Posted on: Aug 7, 2012 at 10:43 IST

A good advice to our mandarins. But they may not listen. Our govt. is adopting a policy that 'West is right'. They won't mind the consequences. USA and its NATO allies invaded in the erstwhile Yugoslavia in the name of ethnic cleansing. Now the same force is helping ethnic cleansing. They want to subdue shias in Syria which will be a stepping stone to capture Iran. Turkie is eyeing on Kurdish area of Syria. It may boomerang on them in future. Koffe Annan resinged from his efforts from acompromise. We hope india will take the initiative joining with BRICS countries and arrive a compromise to stop the bllodshed in Syria.

from:  T.V.Padmanabhan
Posted on: Aug 7, 2012 at 10:22 IST

Nicely written.Our government looks like a satellite of western powers for short term goal of economic liberalisation.Same problem may happen to us!

from:  Atis
Posted on: Aug 7, 2012 at 10:07 IST

Everything stated in this article is outright lies spread by Syrian
Official Media. India should support democracy in Syria. I think the
author is a Bashar fan boy. Even the terms used in this article were
from Syrian Media (Eg: Salafi/Takfiri). Why he is turning a blind eye
towards the atrocities committed against humanity by the Bashar
regime? Bashar is ready to take any extreme measures to protect his
regime. And he is the one who is killing Christians. FSA fights only
against soldiers rampaging the Syrian cities and killing innocent
people. Even some of the former soldiers join FSA to fight against
Bashar. Russia and China are supporting Bashar regime because they are
doing the same thing in their countries against their citizens and
they don't want anyone to interfere for those innocent people.

from:  Rathish
Posted on: Aug 7, 2012 at 09:55 IST

For the West nothing matters but the end of the Assad regime for the simple reason that it has close ties with Iran. For the minorities in Syria, the Christians and the Shia this is the end of the world. For Al Qaeda this is a great victory. One has therefore to take all the big talk emanating from the West on the fight against terror with a pinch of salt.

from:  Hilary Pais
Posted on: Aug 7, 2012 at 09:34 IST

The best article I have read so far on Syria. Fair analysis. The international media is reporting "paid" news. God only knows, why the Indian media reports or relays the same "western" news.
This article is as much directed at the Indian government as it is at the Indian media.
Wake up Indian media. Wake and wake the govenment up.
I wish the Indian government leatn to think independently of the US.

from:  Satya Narayanan
Posted on: Aug 7, 2012 at 09:32 IST


I fully endorse the position suggested by Premshankar Jha, who has a good understanding of that region. India has to take a nuetral position with regard to Syria, otherwise it will be destroyed by external forces. We have to remember Kashmir is still a difficult issue and all the countries involved in Syria would shift their interests overthere, if they taste success in Syria.

from:  Reginald Mascarenhas, Melbourne University, Melbourne
Posted on: Aug 7, 2012 at 08:09 IST

your article lacks facts. You state alot of assumptions without the backup of facts. In reality, the truth is the opposite of what you wrote. If you live in Syria or know anyone that lives in Syria then you can understand that the syrian regime not only killed over 25k civilians (educate yourself by watching youtube videos for graphic proof) but the only christians were killed by Syrian secret police to incite hatred & blame towards the innocent rebels. It's sad that the US always supported India's economy but now that you stand with a ruthless dictator Asad of syria that kills the civilian population... I'm hoping the U.S.A will break all trade and economic ties with India, I will petition my Congressman and Senator. The world should not tolerate any country that stands with a butcher that kills the civilian population of Syria. Just look at the air bombing of Aleppo which is a heavily populated city... do you at least exercise common sense before you publish a fabricated article??

from:  Jay
Posted on: Aug 7, 2012 at 04:37 IST

The problem with Prem Shankar Jha's analysis and recommendations is
that it ignores the torture and terrorism carried out by Assad's
government for the past 10+ years. That a few nasty jihadists have
taken advantage of the present chaos in Syria is no surprise, but they
do not detract from the vast majority of Syrians who want change,
democracy and freedom. We have treated many refugees from Syria who
have been tortured by Assad. That India has not followed its so-
called BRICS partners Russia and China in enabling the murderous Assad
regime is all to her credit. The people of Syria started out with
peaceful protest and Assad's response was brutal attack, intimidation
and thuggery. Assad brought this on himself and on the poor people of
Syria who are suffering. Change will come and India is on the right
side of democracy and eventual peace.

from:  GE Poole
Posted on: Aug 7, 2012 at 04:05 IST

What a factual analysis ! Far away in America,I have to read only for unbius reports.
Common men hardly know the history and the inside story.
Certain India has the reputation as a nonaligned country and can do much to solve such a serious problem which ultimately can end into a sort of world war.
If India votes in favor of the UN resolution,the biggest problem will be to affect its friendship with China and Russia.

from:  Ashok
Posted on: Aug 7, 2012 at 02:53 IST
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