• In Le Monde, Christophe Ayad takes at face value the video confessions of the Iranian engineers captured by the Free Syrian Army, which he would not have done in the case of other hostages held anywhere else in the world. They are passed off as Revolutionary Guards acting under cover, which would be corroborated by their attire and the presence in the video of a sniper rifle. The author happens to inform his readers a few weeks after the release of the Paris-Match report displaying the "proof of life" photo of the hostages (see our survey: "Le fiasco des barbouzes français à Homs," by Boris V .). Christophe Ayad admits that the engineers were then dressed as civilians. It follows that their cladding on the video is staged. The author doesn’t bother to point out that the same goes for the Dragonov rifle. Indeed, in the same Paris-Match report, this weapon is used by the members of the brigade who kidnapped the Iranians.

• Also in Le Monde, Peter Harling of the International Crisis Group (ICG) notes that it is impossible to predict how the Arab revolutions will evolve. To avoid the worst, he adds, it is necessary in the first place to diminish the tension. Consequently, this is not the time to attack Syria. After that of Gareth Evans, this is the second open forum in three days to have been written by ICG and disseminated by Project Syndicate (two George Soros organizations), postponing the war on Syria to a later date.

• The Tribune de Genève asserts that the Russians must be given more time to accept a compromise. After the forthcoming presidential election, Putin may drop Assad. It is therefore urgent to wait.

• In the Diario de Noticias, Lumena Raposo, repeats the allegations of El Pais: Syria allegedly released top Al Qaeda theoretician, Mustafa Setmarian Nasr al-Suri, to grate the United States.

• The National Post editorial warned against the vicious spiral that would be triggered by a war against Syria and recommends waiting until the regime falls apart on its own, which will not take long. This neo-conservative Canadian daily also publishes a letter from a university president assuring that Bashar Assad is not a tyrant, but a reformist held captive by his generals. It would therefore be counterproductive to ask for his resignation.

• Mona Amami reports in USA Today that Hezbollah’s support for the al-Assad administration Assad is likely to alienate a portion of Arab public opinion. The inferred conclusion is always the same: the United States has no interest in reversing the Syrian regime immediately.

• The editor of the New York Times Iran column, Rick Gladstone posits that a reversal of President al-Assad would have serious consequences for Iran. Provided that this regime change comes from within.

• Several media, including L’Orient-Le Jour, reproduce excerpts from the Arab League Observer Mission plucked out of context, reaching the conclusion that the observers were incompetent and lacked the proper means, while glossing over the substance of their work.

• In a statement to L’Orient-Le Jour, the French Foreign Minister, Alain Juppe, invites Syrian Christians to back away from a regime that has no future. There is a certain coarseness in threatening a religious community by offering to save its material interests if it reneges on its principles.

• In the Daily Star, Michael Young wonders whether, to have used their veto, the Russians watch same TV channels as we? It does not occur to him that the Russians have other sources of information and therefore a different view of events.

• The Chinese press dedicates its headlines to the veto, underlining that Beijing defends fundamental principles (sovereignty of peoples, non-interference in internal affairs) in keeping with the letter and spirit of the Charter of the United Nations, which the West obviously pays little attention to.

Attached documents

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