Thursday, July 26, 2012

Syrian Crisis Evokes U.S.-Soviet Cold War Competition

An interesting report at the Los Angeles Times, "As Syria diplomacy falters, U.S., Russia trade verbal blows":
BEIRUT -- The Syria crisis has at times taken on the trappings of a Cold War conflict, featuring a steady flow of nasty invective between Washington and Moscow, a pair of global heavyweights unable to agree on a way to stop the carnage.

On Wednesday, as battles continued to rage across Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov took another swipe at his Western adversary, lambasting Washington’s failure to condemn last week’s Damascus bombing, which took the lives of four of President Bashar Assad’s top security lieutenants.

“This is a direct justification of terrorism,” Lavrov said of the U.S. reaction, Interfax reported. “What should we make of this?”

Asked later about the comments, Victoria Nuland, U.S. State Department spokeswoman, was unapologetic. She distinguished between an attack against civilians and one targeting officials of Assad’s government.

“We condemn all terrorist attacks, all bombings of targets, of civilians,” Nuland told reporters in Washington. “I would note that these were not civilians. These were the organizers of Assad’s military campaign who lost their lives.”

As the superpowers exchanged rhetorical blows about Syria, international diplomacy seemed close to running its course.
PREVIOUSLY: "U.S. to Focus on Forcibly Toppling Syrian Government," and "Vitaly Churkin, Russian Ambassador to U.N., Blasts Western Nations for 'Propaganda' on Syria, Defends Moscow's Veto of Sanctions Resolution Against Assad."