Russia And China Say Not So Fast
A resolution to address the violence in Syria has failed, vetoed by Russia and China. My twitter feed is buzzing with outrage. Susan Rice and Hillary Clinton are buzzing with outrage. Russia and China are now complicit in whatever violence follows, they say.
And without any sense of irony, Susan Rice called Russia’s opposition to the resolution a “cheap ruse by those who would rather sell arms to the Syrian regime than stand with the Syrian people.” (ahem, Bahrain?!)
All week, there has been wrangling over the language of the resolution. This is a direct consequence of the US and its western allies exploiting the UN resolution to establish a no-fly zone in Libya for the real motive of imposing regime change. This from the link:
The resolution referred to “targeted measures” – instead of sanctions – if the clampdown in Syria continued.
But Russia’s UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said that draft was based on “the philosophy of confrontation”.
He said the threat of an ultimatum of sanctions against the Syrian authorities was “unacceptable” and that the approach went “against the principle of a peaceful settlement of a crisis on the basis of a full Syrian national dialogue”.
He repeated Moscow’s concerns that a resolution could lead to a Libyan-style foreign military intervention in Syria and said pressure should also be put on the Syrian opposition movement to refrain from violence and disassociate itself from “extremists”.
But Mr Churkin added that Moscow would like the Syrian regime to be “quicker with implementing the promised changes”.
China’s UN ambassador Li Baodong said that Beijing opposed the idea of “interference in (Syria’s) internal affairs.”
He added that “sanction or threat of sanction does not help resolve the question of Syria” but “may further complicate the situation”.
Do Russia and China give a shit about dead Syrians? Of course not. But neither does the US. This is geopolitics, and the US is getting its my-way-or-the-highway attitude rebuffed because of past deceits.
It’s also incredibly difficult to determine what’s actually happening on the ground in Syria. Initial reports of 200 dead from last night’s attack are already being revised.
And the opposition to the Assad regime is NOT comprised of relatively non-violent civilians occupying some square. It’s an armed insurrection comprised of military defectors, who call themselves the Free Syria Army. This piece looks at how, in recent months, the Free Syria Army have turned to guerilla tactics against the regular army.
After more than ten months of a deadly crackdown on anti-government protests in Syria, members of the Free Syrian Army – out-armed and out-numbered by Syrian military forces – are now engaging in a classic military manoeuvre by drawing their enemy into urban areas they know well. In neighbourhoods where the population is on their side, fighting in the streets works to their advantage, as they can easily hide inside homes.
Yeah, civilians are going to be getting killed in Syria, just like they’re getting killed across the Middle East. Sometimes, when it serves US interests, those deaths get amplified, and sometimes they get conveniently omitted.
10 years ago Syria was declared to be part of the Axis of Evil by the Bush regime. That hasn’t changed.
And here’s something else that hasn’t changed: Geopolitics is a deadly game played by the leaders of Nations, and civilians are just pawns. In death, civilian body counts can be used as leverage to pressure certain outcomes. That’s what I think is happening here with this UN posturing, and that is what I find to be truly disgusting.