"Worrisome Security Council Presidential Statement on Syria : Information Clearing House":
Russia and China won concessions, but not enough. Interviewed on Kommersant FM radio, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov's comments left unanswered questions. He said:
"It is true that some people have taken up arms to defend their homes and families, but that's not the whole story."
He also described a plot to replace Assad with a Western/Saudi/Qatar-backed Sunni regime. In addition, he criticized Assad, saying:
"We absolutely do not justify the Syrian leadership. We consider that (it) reacted incorrectly to the rise of nonviolent protest, that despite the promises that were made in response to our numerous appeals, they are making many mistakes, and those steps being made in the proper direction are happening late."
Look, what's Russia and China to do? Both of them together, short of nuclear war, could not beat the US in an all-out war. They have technology and ammunition, etc., but not nearly what the US can bring to bear. They both also are concerned about their own economies, which are interdependent upon the West, where the US still leads. Both Russia and China are being extra careful about Syria. They, especially the Russians, will cut deals with the West (with the US) and will not make it clear to the world exactly what those deals are. They are all definitely playing chess with the world and will try to avoid world war in the process.
Frankly, Sergei Lavrov's statement is correct. Assad should have engaged in radical reforms even before the Arab Spring, whether contrived or not, hit Syria. The people protesting in Syria were ready and willing, most of them, to allow Assad to continue on as leader provided he radically reform Syria. It would have been better for Assad to try and fail against the old guard than to have done what he has. He had already done plenty of neoliberal garbage rather than real reforms. He should have done the real reforms and not the neoliberalism. Everyone gets it backwards.