EU sides with Russia’s Putin, urges against US ‘military solution’ in Syria

EU sides with Russia’s Putin, urges against US ‘military solution’ in Syria | JPost | Israel News.

09/05/2013 16:54
European Council President Herman Van Rompuy says only a diplomatic solution could end the “terrible bloodshed” in Syria, and military strike would not resolve the crisis, putting the EU at odds with President Obama.

European Council President Herman Van Rompuy speaks at a news conference

European Council President Herman Van Rompuy speaks at a news conference Photo: REUTERS

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia- Europe’s top officials warned against a military response in Syria on Thursday, aligning themselves more closely with Russian President Vladimir Putin than President Barack Obama in how best to respond to the chemical attack in the Syrian civil war.

While describing the Aug. 21 attack near Damascus, in which an estimated 1,400 people died, as “abhorrent” and a crime against humanity, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said a military strike would not help resolve the crisis.

“There is no military solution to the Syrian conflict,” Van Rompuy told reporters ahead of a summit of the Group of 20 countries this week in St Petersburg, when the 2-1/2-year-old conflict in Syria is expected to dominate debate along with discussion on the global economy.

“Only a political solution can end the terrible bloodshed, grave violations of human rights and the far-reaching destruction of Syria,” Van Rompuy said.

“While respecting the recent calls for action, we underscore at the same time the need to move forward with addressing the Syrian crisis through the UN process.”

His position, supported by European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, would appear to set the European Union at odds with the United States, since Obama has said he is prepared to launch military strikes once he has approval from the US Congress, where votes are expected next week.

It also suggests internal divisions within the European Union. France, which with Britain is the most influential of the EU’s 28 member states on foreign policy, has said it will support any military action taken by Washington.

British Prime Minister David Cameron was also keen to support military intervention, but he lost a parliamentary vote on the issue last week and Britain will not take part.


The position set out by Van Rompuy and Barroso effectively calls for the international community to work through the United Nations in determining the response to Syrian President Bashar Assad and his government.

That is not dissimilar to the line adopted by Putin, a firm ally of Assad, who has condemned the US rush to action and goaded US officials for the mistakes made in the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. Putin has also accused NATO of exceeding the bounds of a 2011 UN mandate for intervention in Libya.

Van Rompuy said he had no reason to doubt the credibility of the evidence presented by the United States indicating Assad’s forces released the chemical weapons. But he said it was essential to wait until UN experts had concluded an on-the-ground investigation into the attack with a report.

“I look forward to the information the UN secretary general will share with us on this matter later today,” he said. “It is important that at least a preliminary report is released as early as possible.”

EU foreign ministers meet in Vilnius on Friday and Saturday, when they will discuss the situation in Syria, among other issues. US Secretary of State John Kerry will join them and is expected to push the case for military action.

While France has made clear its support for a U”Only a political solution can end the terrible bloodshed, grave violations of human rights and the far-reaching destruction of Syria,” Van Rompuy said.S-led response, and Denmark has given similar indications, most other EU member states have either not spoken up or privately have expressed reservations about an armed retaliation.

Barroso said diplomacy, including renewed efforts towards a Syria peace conference in Geneva, was the only way forward.

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40 Comments on “EU sides with Russia’s Putin, urges against US ‘military solution’ in Syria”

  1. boudicabpi Says:

    Reblogged this on BPI reblog and commented:
    EU sides with Russia’s Putin, urges against US ‘military solution’ in Syria

  2. Luis Says:

    We are not at all surprised by those Europeans and their reaction regarding the horror photos, where hundreds of children and their mothers were shown dead, dead by poisoned gas, used by the Syrian Army. After 1943 – 1945 is anybody else surprised by the Europeans? Anyhow, this article is also very instructive :,7340,L-4426254,00.html

  3. Obama may well pussy out in the face of Russia and China’s threats

    • Luis Says:

      You are deadly wrong on this one. Nobody will pussy out from anything in the face of everything. The military strike in Syria will take place. The big question remains Iran and Israel after the US tomahawk missiles will start to fly over the entire region. If Iran will try Israel, they will be in for a big surprise. From the Israeli point of view, all this campaign can be a good opportunity to terminate its business with the uranians. May be this is the reason everybody is so scared from this incoming conflict. May be if they were less ”pussies” and deal with Iran in time and properly, nothing of all these today should have happen. May be if they weren’t so ”pussies” two years ago and act swiftly and incisively in Syria, tens of thousands of Al Qaeda weren’t in Syria now, fighting a bitter war.
      So, we already said that and even I don’t like to repeat myself, apparently I have to : ”Those who are trying to avoid a just war in a certain point of time and run from it, will get that war in its full power, straight in their faces, later.”

      • John Prophet Says:

        “everybody is so scared from this incoming conflict” and rightly so!!

        “May be if they were less ”pussies” and deal with Iran in time and properly” Who do you mean, Netanyahu or Uncle Sam?

        • Luis Says:

          We had the obligation to deal with that problem years ago, but the US said ” no ” time after time, promising Israel that the problem will be resolved by the US.

          • John Prophet Says:

            Understood, but if this get voted down, Israel can no longer say they held us back. If this fails, forget Iran. Israel then may rue the day it so easly let itself be held back.

  4. John Prophet Says:

    All non-Americans out there need to understand the American public has had two large wars and a financial crises that scared the pants off nearly everyone in the last 10 years. They are tired of seeing many counties (not all,but many) sitting on the sidelines taking potshots at American no matter what it does while sitting on their hands. The American taxpayer is saying enough. Time for the rest of the world to take care of itself and stop looking at Uncle Sam to solve its problems.

    • caliz in miami,fl Says:

      Amen.And were led into pointless wars that have made the situation in the middle east less secured.

    • Luis Says:

      No problem, John. Even the mighty Roman Empire has fall after one thousand years. May be America should think more of itself and less how to solve other nations problems. But you also shall start to get used to the new reality: the less international responsibility the US will assume, the less great America will be.
      Because America, the USA is what it is, because of that reason, the US carriers are near the Syrian coast and not Romanian carriers. In a certain point in time, Obama tried to do exactly what everybody in the US are feeling deep in their hearts : simply to come back home, trying to bring back a too much extended army and he is succeeding in doing that in the last couple of years.

      But, sometime History Events have a life of their own and strange things can happen in fateful days, triggering events even more grave. That what happened this time. A Syrian officer decided to make use of poisoned gas in a certain area in the suburbs of Damascus, in a rebel controlled zone. The things however gone terrible wrong and hundred of children were killed by this gas, while the whole aftermath of the event was closely filmed and photographed. Obama couldn’t stand anymore aside, behind his own red lines, already crossed by the Syrians. So he started to build an international coalition in an extremely hostile environment. The British parliament didn’t vetoed Cameron; the British parliament vetoed Obama, and there will be consequences for the British Nation after that veto was adopted.

      So Obama must look in some other direction and he decided – by himself – to address the Congress, for getting the legit umbrella and launching the long awaited limited military strike against Syria. And here we are today, in the eve of a great military event, which, we are hoping, will clean the tables for the years to come.

  5. Norm Says:

    Luis, I would like to “clean the tables for the years to come.” But the American people are not interested at this moment. Additionally, the threats from all sides are getting very complicated. The Russians are adding warships in the area and even the Chinese are sending warships. The Chinese and Russians are playing a very serious game and if they succeed will raise their influence with energy producing nations. Obama is the amateur. In this situation I am truly very worried because Obama is the commander in chief of all American armed forces and he is a loose cannon on the deck of a wooden ship. He is a danger to us all. After listening to him deny the red line assertion even the Russians must be worried that he is not a stable man.

    I am telling you that the American people, of all political stripes, are sensing big trouble, events out of control, a President that lacks the experience, knowledge or personality to command events. The American people are not interested in attacking Syria without knowing what will come after.

    • John Prophet Says:

      “Vladimir Putin’s warning that Russia could send a missile shield to Syria in response to a US military strike escalates concerns that Putin would undermine and potentially challenge any US action — as Obama tries to ‘engage’ the Russian leader during visit for G-20 summit”

  6. Louisiana Steve Says:

    Where Congress Stands on Syria….

    Still a lot of ‘undecideds’. Must be waiting for more evidence and a clear objective.

  7. John Prophet Says:

    When/if this fails, Netanyahu will face tremendous pressure to poop or get off the pot!!

  8. artaxes Says:

    No, my American friends.
    America is not tired because of two long wars. Let’s get that strait.
    America is tired because of the stupidity that followed two military victories with an extraordinary low amount of American casualties and obliterated enemy armies.
    After these astonishing victories America should have left those places with a clear message: “If you f**k again with us, we’ll come back and bomb again the crap out of you.”.
    Instead Bush and his Neocons started this nation building bullshit that cost much more American lives and much more American money than those two military campaigns.
    Of all places in the world they tried to implant democracy in an artificial postcolonial country, fractured along ethnic and religious lines, held only together by a brutal dictator and in country that was a tribal society.
    Both countries with a religion and traditions unfavorable to democracy and no democratic experiences and traditions in their history, this experiment was doomed to failure from the start.
    This is what cost you thousands of lives and trillions of dollars.
    Then came along the ‘Prince Of Peace’ who promised peace, prosperity and religious harmony and tolerance.
    No more of this ‘arrogant” treatment of other countries as in the past.
    And because in the liberal thinking, those people fighting you are not doing it because they hate your guts but because of something evil America did to them in the past, all he needed to do was to apologize and be nice and respectful to them.
    And because also in this thinking, Islam is a peaceful religion, he just needed to support the moderate muslims like the brotherhood to make peace with them.
    In this weird thinking peaceful was anyone that was not Al Qaeda.
    We know how well that worked as well as the famous ‘reset’ with Russia and Iran.
    Then came the ‘Arab spring’ and obavez, true to his ideology, ousted Mubarak from power in Egypt and thereby fanned the flames of this Brotherhood uprising which spread into Syria. He is a major cause of the Syrian civil war.
    The Americans are right to be sceptical of military intervention for all the reasons we all know.
    By drawing his stupid red line, he has put you in a position where it is more harmful for America to do nothing than to act decisively.
    If America does not act decisively your reputation and credibility is zero.
    Now, you may not care about it but others DO.
    Your enemies, not taking you seriously and laughing about you, will be emboldened and become more aggressive.
    Weakness invites aggression and as you will be perceived as weak, you will get more terrorist attacks.
    Your allies, having lost trust in you, will turn away and seek new friends amongst the bad guys.
    In the long run you will lose your allies and influence in the region and because neither the Saudis will trust you nor the Iranians will fear you there will be a nuclear arms race in the region with others joining the race. The region will become highly explosive.
    Now, you may not care about losing influence and control in the region (after all America is or will become energy independendent) but large part of the world economy depend on this oil and as all economies are interdependent it will affect you in a negative way if your enemies get control of this oil.
    By God, I don’t like obavez but that is the sad truth. This is the problem with elections. They have consequences.

  9. John Prophet Says:

    “but large part of the world economy depend on this oil and as all economies are interdependent it will affect you in a negative way if your enemies get control of this oil.
    By God, I don’t like obavez but that is the sad truth. This is the problem with elections. They have consequences.”

    Sir, all that you say may be true but, the US is turning inward, energy and technologically independent! We/I therefore pass the batton to you/yours….

    • artaxes Says:

      You can pass the baton all you want but If you think you can isolate yourself from the rest of the world you are sadly mistaken. That has never worked for America or for any other country.
      Why do you think America fought the Barbary wars in 1801?

      • Louisiana Steve Says:

        I don’t think we should isolate ourselves from the world, just the shitholes of the world.

        • artaxes Says:

          Steve, of course one should try to isolate himself from the shitholes.
          It’s your (the American people’s) decision to make and not mine.
          But I stand by my points. At this point it’s too late to isolate yourself without serious negative consequences for your country.
          I’m talking to you as a friend. And as a friend it is my duty to tell you the truth as I see it, even if it’s harsh.


          • Louisiana Steve Says:

            What serious negative consequences? Obama will look like the fool he already is? 🙂

          • artaxes Says:

            As bad as it is, he represents America abroad.
            His weakness will be seen as America’s weakness. The jihadis in Afghanistan and Pakistan do not make such fine distinctions as we are doing.
            With that said, and because I must leave, I wish all of you a good night.

          • Isaac Says:

            Well, if the entire world will pay the price of Obama’s mistakes, it’s all good. Considering the entire world was having a obasm without any damn reason. Time to pay the big price of the personality cult and celebrity politiks.

            OTOH, a resolution in favor of a war will send a better message to the rest of the world, sorf of “hey! Obomber is not a weak foolish leader after all!!!”, however, nobody in America wants a fuhrer or a king. The rest of the world can have it, in the long run they will lose.

            So, I say: let Obomber be the fool he is. Let him drown in inaction. Let him “vote present”. All it takes for America to be respected again is to have the opposite, a new Bush or something like that, just like going form Chamberlain to Churchill.

            Finally, I think the situation is dangerous because Obomber has to save his face. He put himself in this stupid situation, and there is nothing more dangerous than a foolish weak leader trying to cover his own fault. He might very well overreact and set the world on fire.

          • artaxes Says:

            Please don’t misrepresent my point. I don’t care about obavez’ image but about America’s image. Like it or not, he represents America to the outside world. Correct me if I’m wrong but it seems to me that you want the entire world EXCEPT America to pay for his blunders. And on what basis? How is it my fault that the German media hailed him as the Messiah? The media is not elected by me or by anyone else. No Obasm in the world could bring this guy to power and keep him there. Only the vote of the American people. I don’t blame all those who voted for him for ALL of his errors but they are certainly more to blame than the rest of the world. Don’t you think?

          • Isaac Says:

            No. The entire world includes America.

            Also, maybe You (in the same way as Me) didn’t elect anybody. Anyway, the entire world seems to have accepted the premise of “Democracy” (as opposed to “Republic”) thus accepting all the consequences of their elections, including the consequences of the game: you accept the majority results even when you are in the minority… democracy!

            Now-I repeat, maybe exactly you (just like me), maybe just maybe, happen to be a convinced republican (as in philosophy, not the Gop) and not a democrat, but we are all in the same sh*tty game, and we are all going to live the consequences. For some, it will be violence and death; for some, it will be just “more expensive gas”, etc.


            Long ago, somebody told me I was a “fascist” because I argued that, ultimately, everybody has to be worried about politics in a democracy. But the truth is that the normal course of democracy tends to statistm (be it imperialism, fascism or communism), thus making imperative for everybody to worry if they are in the minority part or the majority. The first thing any minority should do for their own sake, is to fight Democracy, the philosophical premise. Democracy is -like Erdogan said it, something nice at the beginning until the correct tyrant eventually takes it to the self-destruction.

            Long ago, somebody also told me: Democracy is good, maybe the degeneration of it -like Populism, is the bad. Still a flawed argument. Democracy allows exactly that degeneration. Democracy is what destroys a Republic, democracy IS what eventually destroys liberty. It happened the same in ancient Athens as in the European Union, the same as in Washington DC.

          • artaxes Says:

            Are you kidding?
            Your philosophical reflexions are an attempt to deflect from a totally invalid point and to justify the unjustifiable.
            in case you don’t understand i make things totally clear for you.

            You said: “Well, if the entire world will pay the price of Obama’s mistakes, it’s all good. Considering the entire world was having a obasm without any damn reason. Time to pay the big price of the personality cult and celebrity politiks.”

            What gave you the impression that the whole world had an obasm? It was the reporting of the world media.
            I live in Germany and if you think that Germany had an obasm it can only be because of the praises our media were singing to obavez.
            I hope that you see the folly of judging a people by the reporting of its media because the media does neither reflect the thinking of a people nor is it elected by it. How wise would it be for me to judge Americans by what I see on MSNBC and CNN?
            But even if it were true that the Germans were obavez’ most fanatical supporters in the world, it would have zero relevance because they could not and did not vote for him.
            This is why the world is in no way, shape or form responsible for obavez and his actions.
            The difference between you not voting for him and me not voting for him is that you at least had the opportunity to vote for an alternative. I didn’t.
            And that’s why I find your attitude so disgusting.
            Morality and law is based on one fundamental principle which is selfevident: Man can only be responsible and thus be held acountable if he has the freedom to choose.
            Remember the phrase “no taxation without representation.”?
            It is based on the same principle.
            No sir, the only one responsible for obavez is the American people.
            Either you are man enough to accept it or you are exactly like him when he said: “I didn’t draw a red line. The world did.”

          • Isaac Says:

            You’re right in that I can’t hold you personally resposible for things Obama do. My point is that it makes no difference, as long as the world holds the same premises that made Obama possible, it doesn’t matter, because if it weren’t him, it would be another. There is a system in place (democracy) and everybody is worshipping it .

          • Isaac Says:

            or -to an example- the problems of ancient people of Israel didn’t start when got bad kings, nor ended when they got good kings. Their problems started when they asked for a king (then good or bad doesn’t matter because it is a matter of time for the rotten apple to come)

  10. Norm Says:

    AR, I’am with you on much of what you write. But what is the Syrian plan? Certainly, most Americans instinctively understand that th Obama, Powers, Rice plan of a “limited” strike is ridiculous because only those 3 will be the only ones in the world that think it would be “limited”. Do we wipe Assad off the face of the earth? For Americans to support an action we have to see that it has a goal. Congress will give us BS.

    • artaxes Says:

      Honestly, I don’t know what their plan is.
      I tell what I think the plan should be:
      – Destroy as much of Assad’s chemical weapons and of his advanced weapons from the air.
      – Grant asylum to all the Christians in Syria.
      – If necessary conduct only strictly limited special operations on the ground to destroy his chemical toys.
      – Let them devour each other.

    • Louisiana Steve Says:

      Also, defend ourselves and Israel from Russian, Iran, Hizballah, etc. I always take threats seriously. A US attack directly risks lives in Israel. Hesitation may be wise to minimize loss of life. We’re not just defending a bunch of pilots and ships now.

  11. Luis Says:

    Hello everyone and a very good evening. Really. Here, in Israel, we are in the middle of our Holiday, Rosh Hashanah, The New Hebrew Year and its hot, but not so hot not to feeling the heat that emerges in our region. What, in the name of God, is happening? How do we got here? Putin, calling John Kerry, ” a liar”? Obama, calling Putin ” a bored student”? Are you hearing what am I hearing? And, are you seeing what I am seeing?

    Brothers, Syria is no longer Syria and this is the situation for the last couple of years. Syria is the battleground of Shiites (Hezbollah included), Sunnis, Al Qaeda, Salafists, Iranians, Russians, Alawites, Iraqis while the countries that are sponsoring all this gigantic war, are : Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iran, Russia and Turkey. Israel is the Joker (not from Batman, of course) here as it is the wild card. Israel can change the balance and the landscape in the region in a blink of an eye. It is a tiny country, but a real regional military power. Israel has serious problems with Iran, which is developing a nuclear arsenal and threatened Israel in the past with annihilation. Iran is involved in Syria beyond the neck and Syria is still at war – yes, it is – with Israel. Hezbollah, the Shiite division of the Iranian army is operating in Syria killing Sunnis, while its base is in Lebanon, still pretending to be the ”resistance” against Israel. The Russian are heavy involved in Syria, military and economically ever since the days of Assad, the father of the actual Syrian president. The Russians have build, in fact, over the years, the present WMD arsenal of the Syrian army. Now, side by side with the Iranians, they are trying to help Assad from falling and, as a result, the lost of Syria (from the Russian Iranian point of view).

    Brothers, I already can tell you right now, that is no need for being afraid that World War III might spark. This war is already here, but we didn’t noticed it. We start to feel that ”something is wrong” when the hostilities in Syria have begun. The number of countries involved, the number of factions involved, the scope and the scale of this war is now clear to us. But someone has to name it. Someone has to recognize it, for trying to deal with it.
    Too many interests are on the stake here and too many can lose too much in certain modes of action. The situation is dangerous as it is complicated and that is, gentlemen, even before Israel is to be going in, trying to defend its interests, too. Those events now have a dynamic of their own. Even though the US will decide not to act – with all the consequences in the short and long run for this country – this war will grow in scope and dimensions, because Israel will not stand idle for an indefinite period of time.

    Big wars are always starting little. A good fire brigade knows that and is fighting to extinct that little war, before it become big, consuming all in its way. But, tragically, no fire brigade was here, when this initial little conflict just sparked.

  12. Luis Says:

    One more note to our last comment : The World War III doesn’t have to be between the USA and Russia, as we have being used to think in the Cold War period. Instead, the actual Syrian war posses all the parameters for being characterized as an international war and not only a regional one. Because of the countries that are involved, the Syrian War its already an international war, while more countries are to be expected to take part in it( we are referring at France, Israel and the US. In this situation, this conflict might be considered as a ”world wide” conflict.)

  13. Norm Says:

    Luis, thank you for your post. You are correct in that we have been wishing to avoid American involvement in the conflict. Your point that a wider war has already started has not entered the American discussion, it should. I will do my little part to see that it does. Just remember that our President only thinks in terms of Republican Party and Democratic Party. His only goal is to win a Democratic majority in both houses of Congress in 2014. He is not competent to take on an international crisis.

  14. Louisiana Steve Says:

    Too much talk of war with all the wrong people. If the discussion were about engaging Iran, I’d say go in with guns a blazin’. All this other crap is just a horrid sideshow. The Iranians know it and will exploit it to no end. Pitting the US against Russia is the making of an Iranian wet dream.

    We’ve been in a state of war with Iran since 1979 and all we’ve done is make their checks bounce in a lot of banks. Those bastards have murdered thousands of our people and yet we continually go to ‘war’ with their proxies. Isn’t it about time they pay the price in Tehran? Isn’t it about time Israel faces this fact as well?

    So what are we doing at the moment? We’re digging in and getting ready to beat the crap out of Assad for doing what everyone expected of him in the first place.

    Look, we all have leaders with leadership qualities from one end of the spectrum to the other, some good, some bad. Yet, they all have one thing in common. They have ALL failed to take direct decisive action again IRAN. So whether its Obama, Bibi, Holland, or Cameron the mad Mullahs in Tehran as still laughing their asses off.

  15. Thunderbunny Says:

    Obama will fail in the congress, his butt handed to him and you can forget any unilateral American action.

    I’m no peacenik, but to have this pathetic failure of a president lead the USA (my home) into a potential world war over loss of his ‘face’ would be unmitigated horror.

    I’m against this abomination. I say NO to this ‘war.’

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