I commented yesterday on how the U.S. is acting to escalate the conflict in Syria while hypocritically accusing Russia of the same, with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton criticizing Russia for sending helicopters to the Assad regime. I already pointed out that Clinton was lying, but here’s a little more info.
As a Pentagon official put it, talking to the New York Times, “She put a little spin on it to put the Russians in a difficult position.” Yes, “a little spin”. Turns out Syria had owned these helicopters for a long time, having bought them in the ‘80s and ‘90s, and signed a contract to have them overhauled and repaired in Russia. So Russia was just returning these old helicopters that Syria already owned in accordance with the contract.
Russia didn’t take too kindly to the hypocrisy of the U.S. criticizing it for this while itself helping to arm the rebels and thus escalating the conflict and violence. Foreign Minister Sergey V. Lavrov returned, “We don’t supply Syria or anyone else with things that are used in fighting peaceful demonstrators, unlike the United States, which regularly supplies the region with such special equipment—one such shipment went to one of the Gulf countries recently, but for some reason the Americans consider this to be in order.”
The reference was probably to Bahrain, where the U.S. has its Fifth Fleet based and where it has helped the autocratic regime suppress peaceful demonstrators with violence, including by arming it and giving Saudi Arabia a green light to send in its own military to help suppress the demonstrations. The U.S., of course, has long helped provide the despotic Saudi regime with the tools required to suppress its own population. The list is long.
The Iranian foreign minister similarly responded to Clinton’s hypocrisy by saying, “They have some of their forces operating inside Syria.” He was presumably referring to rebel groups the U.S. is helping to fund and arm as a proxy in an effort to overthrow the Assad regime. “They say they want to prevent massacres but at the same time send weapons—these are double standards.”