samedi 24 décembre 2016

Vladimir Poutine: Obama and Clinton should have lost with dignity

Vladimir Putin’s annual news conference - December 23, 2016


Yevgeny Primakov: Yevgeny Primakov, Mezhdunarodnoye Obozrenie [Global Review], Rossiya 24, VGTRK.
Mr President, the world is going through a period of fundamental change. We saw the expression of popular will, when people vote against old political concepts and old elites. Britain voted to leave the European Union, although it remains to be seen how the Brexit issue will pan out. Many say that Trump won because people voted, among other things, against the old establishment, the people they have become sick and tired of.
Have you discussed these changes with colleagues? What will a new global landscape look like? Do you remember what you said at the General Assembly when the UN celebrated its 70th anniversary? You said, ‘Do you understand what you have done?’ Where are things headed? We are still locked in a confrontation. You have mentioned the exchange about who has the strongest army. At his farewell news conference, Barack Obama, who is still your colleague, said that 37 percent of Republicans sympathise with you and hearing this Ronald Reagan would have rolled over in his grave.
Vladimir Putin: Hearing what?
Yevgeny Primakov: That 37 percent of Republican voters sympathise with you.
Vladimir Putin: Really?
Yevgeny Primakov: Yes. And if Ronald Reagan had heard it, he would have turned in his grave.
By the way, we as voters very much appreciate your power and that you can reach as far as Ronald Reagan. Our western colleagues often tell us that you have the power to manipulate the world, designate presidents, and interfere in elections here and there. How does it feel to be the most powerful person on Earth? Thank you.
Vladimir Putin: I have commented on this issue on a number of occasions. If you want to hear it one more time, I can say it again. The current US Administration and leaders of the Democratic Party are trying to blame all their failures on outside factors. I have questions and some thoughts in this regard.
We know that not only did the Democratic Party lose the presidential election, but also the Senate, where the Republicans have the majority, and Congress, where the Republicans are also in control. Did we, or I also do that? We may have celebrated this on the “vestiges of a 17th century chapel,” but were we the ones who destroyed the chapel, as the saying goes? This is not the way things really are. All this goes to show that the current administration faces system-wide issues, as I have said at a Valdai Club meeting.
It seems to me there is a gap between the elite’s vision of what is good and bad and that of what in earlier times we would have called the broad popular masses. I do not take support for the Russian President among a large part of Republican voters as support for me personally, but rather see it in this case as an indication that a substantial part of the American people share similar views with us on the world’s organisation, what we ought to be doing, and the common threats and challenges we are facing. It is good that there are people who sympathise with our views on traditional values because this forms a good foundation on which to build relations between two such powerful countries as Russia and the United States, build them on the basis of our peoples’ mutual sympathy.
They would be better off not taking the names of their earlier statesmen in vain, of course. I’m not so sure who might be turning in their grave right now. It seems to me that Reagan would be happy to see his party’s people winning everywhere, and would welcome the victory of the newly elected President so adept at catching the public mood, and who took precisely this direction and pressed onwards to the very end, even when no one except us believed he could win. (Applause).
The outstanding Democrats in American history would probably be turning in their graves though. Roosevelt certainly would be because he was an exceptional statesman in American and world history, who knew how to unite the nation even during the Great Depression’s bleakest years, in the late 1930s, and during World War II. Today’s administration, however, is very clearly dividing the nation. The call for the electors not to vote for either candidate, in this case, not to vote for the President-elect, was quite simply a step towards dividing the nation. Two electors did decide not to vote for Trump, and four for Clinton, and here too they lost. They are losing on all fronts and looking for scapegoats on whom to lay the blame. I think that this is an affront to their own dignity. It is important to know how to lose gracefully.
But my real hope is for us to build business-like and constructive relations with the new President and with the future Democratic Party leaders as well, because this is in the interests of both countries and peoples.

jeudi 22 décembre 2016

"There were no green buses in Gaza" : Former UK ambassador to Syria debunks Aleppo propaganda (BBC)

BBC Radio Interview with former UK Ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford, December 21st, 2016

Source:,34 to 39,54)


Presenter : Peter Ford was the UK's Ambassador to Syria from 2003 to 2006. Peter Ford, do you think it's time for a re-think?

Ford : Absolutely. It's way overdue. We have clung for too long to the illusion that the so-called 'moderate opposition' would overcome Assad. Surely now, with the Government's recovery of Aleppo, the veils should fall from our eyes and we should look reality in the face: Assad is not going to be removed by force of arms or at the negotiating table. What Britain should do now is three things: we should stop supporting a failed and divided opposition; we should start to try to help the people of Syria by lifting sanctions; and we should be working with the Russians on an overdue political settlement.

Presenter : But the political settlement as we know for many leaders in the Western World does not include Assad in its calculations. Boris Johnson for example, the Foreign Secretary, in September of this year saying he can have no part in the future government of Syria because as long as Assad is in power in Damascus, there will be no Syria to govern. Downing Street [the home of the UK's Prime Minister] saying just earlier this month "the barbaric cruelty shown by the Syrian regime forces shows that President Bashar Assad (sic) has no place in the country's future.

Ford : Yes, but this is absurd. It's quite absurd. Assad is in control of over 80% now of the populated area of Syria. There is no reason why, in the months to come, he and his forces will not take the remaining 10, 15 and eventually 20%. He will then be in total control of the country. Of course there will be remaining groups who are not happy, after which, in the whole of recorded history has there ever been a protracted civil conflict like this that left everybody happy under one ruler? There is no Syrian [Nelson] Mandela. There is no leader. Could we even put a name to one opposition leader who would step into Assad's shoes? It's absurd. It's grotesque. It shows that Boris Johnson and Theresa May have lost grip on reality. Now Donald Trump is coming in and if he carries out what he said he'll carry out he will normalise relations with Russia, he will prioritise the fight against ISIS in Syria, and he will stop working for the overthrow of Assad. When are we going to smell the coffee?

Presenter : Well, you have said that you are deeply concerned by Britain's continued support for the so-called moderate armed opposition and indeed there have been complaints, there have been allegations of abuse on that side of the War as well. Nevertheless, if you leave aside President Assad and you sak "ok, let him continue through the future diplomacy concerning Syria", wouldn't that be condoning him and all he's done up until now? Chemical weapons, for example, against his own people?

Ford : Look, tonight there is a Christmas Tree in the centre of Aleppo and celebrating people. I think if Assad were removed, and the opposition were in power, you would not be seeing a Christmas Tree in Aleppo. The demonisation of the regime has been taken to ridiculous lengths. Even the end of this crisis with the green buses; there were no green buses in Gaza, there were no green buses when NATO was bombing Yugoslavia to smithereens. This Aleppo campaign has been handled in its final stages with relative humanity. We've seen not what some allege to be a meltdown of humanity but a meltdown of sanity. Where are, where's any evidence of the alleged atrocities, of the Guernica, of the massacres, the genocide, the holocaust?

Presenter : Well, I think you'll find many people will disagree with that as they have seen people fleeing Eastern Aleppo; the allegations that people have been attacked, prevented from leaving the city. You know there will be these allegations and they will be investigated. In the meantime there's criticism of both sides, yes indeed, but you are violently disagreeing with an awful lot of senior figures in governments across the World who say - and I just conclude on this - that there is no place for President Assad in the future of Syria. Just again, complete your thought and we will conclude the interview in just a few seconds.

Ford : Well, this flies in the face of reality. Who are they going to put in Assad's place? To try to continue to overthrow the regime in Syria, as we've overthrown regimes elsewhere - in Iraq, and Libya - leads only to more suffering on the part of the ordinary people.

Presenter : Peter Ford, UK Ambassador to Syria in the 2000s, thank you very much indeed.

dimanche 18 décembre 2016

Bashar al-Assad's message to Syrians after the liberation of Aleppo

December 15th, 2016


Transcript :

What happened in Aleppo can be described as follows: time and History are linked,but people don't remember time, they remember History. And time turns into History when the great events around the world decide to turn time into History.

We say before the birth of our Master Jesus Christ, and after his birth. We say before the revelation to our Master the Prophet of God, and after the Revelation. History is not the same before and after these major events. We differentiate the world political situation before the fall of the Soviet Union and after, as well for the two World Wars, etc.

I think that after the liberation of Aleppo, we will talk about the situation in Syria and in the world as different before the liberation of Aleppo, and after its liberation. Here, time turned into History. Aleppo turned time into History. The people of Aleppo by its resistance, the Syrian Arab Army by its courage and sacrifices, and all the Syrian citizens who stood by Aleppo, their country and homeland, all those that stood by truth.

History itself is being drawn, bigger than all the congratulations that we could address, people are glad all over the world, and this happiness and these congratulations are all around the social networks. I will not repeat these congratulations, but stress that what happens is the Book of History, being written by every Syrian. This book is not written from today, but has been written since 6 years, when the war on Syria started.