Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Responding to the Syrian Crisis: Are There Shades of International Legitimacy?

00 Russia and USA. Syria. 31.08.13


Some Western states said that they possess conclusive information and evidence that the Syrian authorities were responsible for the alleged chemical attack in Ghouta. We can see that they’re preparing for a military option, including the massive build-up of armaments in the region. It’s difficult to understand these states’ true motives. After disastrous interventions in Iraq (without UN Security Council consent) and, then, in Libya (where the West abused the UN Security Council mandate) where they effectively failed to facilitate stability and interreligious and interethnic peace, they now seem to be repeating the same scenario. They’ve produced no reliable and persuasive evidence to confirm that anyone used chemical weapons, let alone who did it. Nor are there clear legal grounds for military action.

So far, the alleged use of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) looks more like an act of provocation… with those responsible seeking to turn it into a casus belli without presenting any proof to the public. Besides, the opposition’s version of events in Ghouta raises many questions. One has to ask, “Cui bono?” We see no rationale in government forces using chemical weapons just at the very moment when the UN fact-finding mission arrived in Syria. At the same time, it’s clear that those involved in the incident wanted to sabotage the Geneva peace talks. One can’t help but recall that the government declared its readiness to negotiate some time ago, whilst the opposition, notably, hasn’t followed suit. Today, we can’t help seeing some external players as deliberately undermining the very prospect of a peaceful political process. We hope that common sense will prevail sooner rather than later. Russia is determined to continue efforts aimed at bringing the conflicting parties to the negotiating table.

The latest vote in the British Parliament on Syria provides convincing proof that the international community is tired of “constructive ambiguities” and ambivalence in matters of law and order in world politics. Furthermore, it’s too serious a matter to outsource it to groups of countries or “coalitions of the willing”. Acting outside international law at one’s own risk and expense is costly. Additionally, instead of helping solve problems, it aggravates the situation, and turns out to be counterproductive and self-defeating. It also looms large in domestic affairs as the weapons of mass distraction topic at the time of the war in Iraq.

Like national law and order, it’s something concrete, not a collection of abstract ideas or good intentions (of the kind that pave the road to Hell). Besides, it’s about due process and establishing facts first, and that means gathering evidence and reporting it to the UN Security Council for consideration and decision-making. Political expediency has no place in this process underpinning the international legitimacy of any action. Whether it sounds like too little or quite a lot… this is a minimum requirement for keeping the world an orderly place. Moreover, this is precisely what Russia demands of her Western partners as regards the presumed use of chemical weapons in Syria. We aren’t asking for any more, but we’ll settle for nothing less than that. Unfortunately, some drew the wrong conclusions from the end of the Cold War, which allegedly lowered the threshold for the use of force. It’s high time that those people stop deluding themselves. War is a serious business, and we have to treat it as such.

30 August 2013

Aleksandr Yakovenko



Editor’s Note:

The “end of the Cold War” revealed factions in the USA who’re arrogant bullies and self-centred juvenile selfish brats. To put it bluntly, the USA didn’t “win” the Cold War… ignorant and self-preening simpletons conflated the end of the Cold War with the collapse of the USSR. The last twenty years showed the vacuity of American “ideals”… it’s been one military intervention after another… the USA refuses to admit that there are those who don’t want its perverted consumerism and fallacious “democratic ideology” (an ideology that it spat on with the illegitimate installation of the Bush junta after Bush lost the popular vote, and, thus, really lost the election (this negated all American criticisms of foreign elections… American elections proved to be MORE corrupt than those found abroad!)). Too many Americans have died in senseless adventures around the globe. It’s time to end it… in any case, there’s no more money and the forces are knackered to the point of mutiny. In any case, reflect on this… Republicans and Democrats, the Right and the Left, and peaceniks and soldiers all agree… NO WAR in Syria!



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