The failure of the ‘three card trick on Syria’ at the UN Security Council is good news for the developing world
Posted on February 5th, 2012
The vetoeing by Russia and China of a draft United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution that sought regime change in Syria marks a significant turning point in the voting patterns of these two permanent member nations at the UNSC.
The significance of the event can be gauged by the fact that since the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russia has only twice used the veto at the UNSC; once to block a resolution criticising Bosnian Serb forces and once to block a resolution on the finances of UN operations on Cyprus. The March 2003 Russian (and French, under President Chirac) threat to veto a Resolution on the Iraq invasion did not materialise due to the withdrawal of the draft by the US, UK and Spain and going to war without specific UN backing.
The almost violent reaction to the Russian veto by the US Ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice (who is likely be more ‘at home’ in a boxing ring rather than at the UN forum!), and by Hilary Clinton, gives the impression that the US has never vetoed any Resolution at the UN and they always speak in unison with the rest of the membership. As usual, they are lying through their teeth!
In fact, eight of the last 10 vetoes of draft resolutions at the UNSC have been by the US, with seven criticising the Israeli Government or its military, including one in December 2002 that criticised the Israeli killing of several UN employees and the destruction of the World Food Programme warehouse in the West Bank; in total, the US has blocked 36 draft resolutions on Israel. The US along with the UK, also vetoed draft resolutions on the racist regimes of Rhodesia, South Africa (10), and Namibia (eight). The US has been the only member who has blocked a Resolution 54 times!
In a nutshell, the current Russian veto is an angry reaction to the deceptive manner in which the US led western cabal has been abusing the UNSC processes to gain a degree of legitimacy to their illegal ventures such as the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the NATO led Libyan bombing campaign in 2011.
AN examination of the strategy deployed by the US to gain UN sanctions in both the Iraqi and Libyan operations reveals a pattern of deceptive behaviour based on the use of corrupt, compliant regional players or groups (the Arab League in this case) to claim ownership of loosely worded resolutions drafted by the UK and US officials, and their ‘creative’ interpretation almost immediately following the UNSC mandate to invade or bomb UN member countries using the military might of the west.
The usual by-play aimed at ‘twisting the arm’ of the UNSC through provocative and sanctimonious sounding statements about preventing the loss of life in subject countries and protecting human rights by the US and UK political leadership in particular, and emphasising the importance of the UN ‘standing up as one’ was deployed once again. The corporate media led by the BBC and Al Jazeera also played a leading role. Further pressure was exerted to expedite the approval process. The strategy clearly failed this time!
This is because Russia had been infuriated by the deceptive Western strategy of exploiting the fuzzy wording in the March 2011 UNSC Resolution 1973 (co-sponsored by Britain, France and Lebanon, with the US heavily involved in the drafting) on Libya “to protect civilians”, into a push to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi through a campaign of NATO air strikes. The UN approved bombing of Libya carried out by the US, UK, France NATO axis caused many more deaths than those alleged to have been committed by the so-called dictator they sought to oust!
The Russians and the Chinese would have also remembered the impassioned, lie-based presentation by Colin Powell at the UNSC on February 5, 2003, holding a model vial of the anthrax virus and computer-generated image of an alleged mobile biological weapons production facility, supporting the case for war against Iraq!
Russians and the Chinese were well aware that this ‘tried and tested’ formula was again being tried against Syria; but fortunately for the innocent Syrian civilians and the civilised world, the deceptive strategy failed due to the principled objections of Russia and China to be party to violate Syria’s sovereignty by allowing US or NATO led military intervention and regime change.
Russia’s UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin clarified their objections to the draft resolution when he said: “this is really a conflict between different political philosophies and different political strategies. The situation in Syria cannot be considered in the council apart from the Libyan experience. The international community is alarmed that the NATO interpretation of the Libya resolution is a model for future actions of NATO in implementing responsibility to protect … (and) this could happen again in Syria.’ Churkin also criticised the Europeans for refusing to include language proposed by Russia, specifically banning any military intervention in Syria.
Just as in previous cases, the cabal also had to give the appearance of regional backing to the draft resolution. They swore ‘black and blue’ that the resolution was based on an Arab League ‘peace plan’ calling for President Bashar Assad to step down; the corrupt and murderous sheikdoms of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Oman, the new Libyan dictatorship and Jordan dutifully lined up behind their masters the UK, US, France, Germany and Portugal for this purpose. Morocco volunteered to be the principal sponsor with Turkey also participating due to petty regional rivalries.
The sanctimonious denunciation of government violence in Arab appeals to the UNSC, however, did not truly reflect the conclusion of an Arab League report, by 160 Arab monitors, approved by the Ministerial Committee. The report is adamant that there was no organised, lethal repression by the Syrian government against peaceful protesters. Instead, it points to shady armed gangs as responsible for hundreds of deaths among Syrian civilians, and over 1000 among the Syrian army, using lethal tactics such as bombing of civilian buses, trains carrying diesel oil, police buses and bridges and pipelines. The report largely confirmed suspicions that the Syrian government is fighting heavily armed foreign mercenaries of The Syrian National Council, a Muslim Brotherhood outfit affiliated with both the House of Saud and Qatar, and the Free Syrian Army (of gangs). The report was ignored by Western corporate media and by Arab media including Al Jazeera, financed by either the House of Saud or Qatar and the Saudis and the Qatari regime forced the UNSC move.
The UK Foreign Secretary William Hague presented the League’ s ‘plan’ as the only ‘credible and viable’ way to stop the ‘horrifying violence’ in Syria, and asked “How long do Syrian families have to live in fear that their children will be killed or tortured, before the Security Council will pass a meaningful resolution?’ France called for an end to the ‘scandalous silence’ of the UN, and said it must ‘assume its responsibilities toward a suffering people’. Bleeding hearts indeed!
The draft resolution contained a paragraph (15) similar to the Iraqi and Libyan Resolutions that vouched “to review implementation of the resolution within 21 days and, in the event of non-compliance, to consider further measures”; enough to send shivers through the spine of any civilised human being!
High drama followed the tabling of the draft resolution, with the US State Department, the UN officialdom, the UK and French politicians, the NGO arm of the cabal, all aiming to minimise the time available to Russia and China consider the issues together with their real objectives by urging a quick vote: on Tuesday, Hillary Clinton and the foreign ministers of Britain and France joined Arab League officials in a ‘high-level’ meeting at the UN, urging council members to approve the resolution, attempting to add further pressure by reiterating that “Every member of the council has to make a decision, whose side are you on? Are you on the side of the Syrian people … or are you on the side of a brutal dictatorial regime?’ Qatar’s prime minister urged council members to take action against what he called Mr Assad’s “killing machine”.
Amnesty International’s UN representative Jose Luis Diaz called on Russia to stop its “unconscionable’ obstruction of UN efforts to help end the bloodshed in Syria. Martin Nesirky, the spokesman for the UN secretary-general, said that Ban Ki-moon hoped the international community, and the UNSC in particular, will respond to the violence in Syria with “a unified voice.’ “The need for action is because of the need to stop the killing’ Nesirky said.
Fortunately for the free world, China and Russia opposed the Arab League proposal that amounted to regime change. Russia’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov was cautious; he expressed concern about the resolution making too few demands of armed groups opposing President Bashar Assad’s regime and the “absolutely unreasonable demand that the government of Syria would withdraw from the cities and towns.’
Lavrov elaborated the Russian position: “While we’re concerned with the rule of law and human rights and democracy, let’s not forget that rule of law must prevail in international relations as well; the Security Council has “no charter powers for engaging in domestic affairs of member states.’ “We reject any attempts to use the UNSC instruments to feed the conflict in order to justify an eventual foreign military intervention.”
China stated their position that they…”resolutely opposed pushing for forced regime change in Syria, as it violates the United Nations Charter and the basic norms guiding the practice of international relations’
The vetoeing by Russia and China elicited the expected, hysteric reaction of the cabal: the new global ruler, the French President Nicholas Sarkozy said in a statement, “France is not giving up, France was in touch with Arab and European partners to create a “Friends of the Syrian People Group’ that would marshal international support to implement the Arab League plan. Having set up the ‘Libya contact group’ that illegally intervened to oust Muammar Gaddafi through arms supplies to the Bengazi underground and murderous bombing campaigns, this three foot wonder obviously has form!
The British foreign secretary William Hague condemned the veto. “More than 2,000 people have died since Russia and China vetoed the last draft resolution in October 2011,’he said after the vote. “How many more need to die before Russia and China allow the UNSC to act? The United Kingdom will continue to support the people of Syria and the Arab League to find an end to the violence and allow a Syrian-led political transition.”
Hillary Clinton reacted angrily: “What more do we need to know to act decisively in the Security Council? To block this resolution is to bear responsibility for the horrors that are occurring on the ground in Syria.”
The BBC, having reported one-sided ‘opinion’ under the guise of ‘news’ right through the UNSC debate on the draft, reached the nadir of unethical journalism when its UN correspondent Barbara Plett gave one of the most disgraceful analyses of the Russian approach in a column titled ‘At the Scene’.
Amnesty International declared that: “The decision by Russia and China to veto a weak draft UN Security Council resolution on Syria is a shockingly callous betrayal of the people of Syria. Human Rights Watch: “Vetoes by Moscow and Beijing are simply incendiary. … Vetoes by Russia and China are not only a slap in the face of the Arab League, they are also a betrayal of the Syrian people.”
Right through the debate, the Russian adherence to the principles of national sovereignty and honesty in international diplomacy was being portrayed in the western media as Russia safeguarding its ‘vested interests’ of arms sales to Syria and their Tartus naval base on the Mediterranean; the bellicose US ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, bleated that ‘opposition had come from countries who would rather sell arms to the Syrian regime than stand with the Syrian people.’
The hypocrisy in Rice’s attack on Russia is unbelievable on the face of the facts that the US is the leading arms trader of the world, making $170.764bn through the murderous trade and Russia only sells weapons worth $81.059 bn!
While the dogs were barking, the Russian foreign minister announced that he, together with Russia’s foreign intelligence chief Mikhail Fradkov, will meet with Assad in Damascus on Tuesday to discuss the Syrian unrest.
In the meantime, the House of Saud and Qatar and Bahrain, if they are so seduced by the prospect of ‘democracy’ in Syria, may want to give up all their American weaponry and allow regime change in their own countries for the sake of the slaves they rule over!