Friday, February 10, 2012
Russia & Syria
Recently, Russia and China vetoed the UN resolution on Syria in the Security Council, thereby stemming the tide of yet another NATO-led intervention. However, the manner of their combined public posturing indicates two deliberately manipulative and repressive states buttressing the atrocities of another. While it would be true to say that the Russian foreign minister Lavrov's statement - that the continued perpetration of violence in pro-Qadhafi areas in Libya, like Sirte, at the moment proves that armed intervention leads to a cycle of violence - may have great validity, his usage of the concept of 'sovereignty' and his exhortation to Syrians to resolve the conflict 'independently' are evidently emanations from one repressive state directed at another. While Russia and China continue to consistently repress pro-democracy movements within their sovereign territories, they also seem to be able to expeditiously use terms such as 'sovereignty' to undermine the legitimacy of protests in Syria. The politicking inherent in the diplomatic maneuvers should appear visible to anyone. It is impossible, in the world of realpolitik, to trust any one state actor without due vigilance and skepticism. The fact that Assad's forces killed another 58 people in the city of Homs on the day of the Russian announcement of diplomatic rapprochement (taking the overall death toll to 6,800, according to the Syrian Observatory) strongly indicates the hypocrisy of the efforts. It is impossible to conceive of sovereignty and independence in such a conflict, because the balance of power is overwhelmingly skewed.