FROM THE REAL WORLD – AT 9:58 A.M. ET: President Obama is in Latin America for some "negotiations." Other "negotiations" begin in Turkey today over Iran's nuclear program. While everyone is talking, let us not forget that real actions are being taken in the real world:
(Reuters) - Forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad shelled the battered Syrian city of Homs on Saturday, killing one person, opposition activists said, in the first such shelling since a ceasefire began two days ago.
The United Nations Security Council is tentatively scheduled to vote on a Western-Arab draft resolution authorizing an advance U.N. team to monitor the fragile ceasefire which aims to end 13 months of bloodshed during the uprising against Assad.
It is still unclear if Russia, one of Assad's allies, can be persuaded to support the draft, which calls on Syria to allow access for a team of up to 30 unarmed military observers and threatens to consider "further steps" if Syria does not comply.
When will we ever learn that people like Bashar al-Assad use negotiations only to advance their own positions, not to settle conflicts. The ceasefire is already collapsing. And then there's this:
A German ship carrying Iranian weapons was stopped in the Mediterranean on Saturday, according to a report by Der Spiegel.
The ship, weighing 6,200 tons, was carrying weapons and ammunition to Tartus, Syria with the aim of arming President Bashar Assad's forces, the report said.
It docked a few days ago in Djibouti in the Horn of Africa, where it was loaded with weapons supplied by an Iranian cargo ship.
The ship was identified by Syrian defectors, who contacted the German shipping company. The company then ordered the ship to change course, and although it started heading toward Turkey is was eventually halted 80 kilometers southwest of Tartus.
The German government says it's looking into the report.
Der Spiegel quoted shipping agent Torsten Lueddeke of Hamburg-based C.E.G. Bulk Chartering as saying: "We stopped the ship after we received information on the weapons cargo."
COMMENT: Yeah, they stopped the ship after getting caught. There is a disturbing trade between Germany and Iran, and some in Germany, especially in commercial circles, have cozied up to the Iranian regime.
Let's remember these stories during "negotiations."
April 14, 2012