Friday, March 18, 2011

Russia's disgraceful surrender at the UNSC (UPDATED)

On March 10th I wrote the following on this blog:
Russian TV has shown a statement of Foreign Minister Lavrov who declared that Russia opposes any type of military intervention in the Libyan conflict.  The Eltsin years are over and I don't think that Russia will back down from this. So no UNSC resolution authorizing any US/NATO military intervention will be passed.
Sadly, it turns out that I was wrong, very wrong.  Yesterday evening the Russian representative at the UNSC, Vitalii Churkin made some excellent comments about the proposed resolution only to then proceed to abstain thereby letting the resolution pass!

It is absolutely mind boggling that Russia would revert to exactly the kind of spineless surrenders which used to characterize its foreign policy in the Eltsin years.  Does the Kremlin really want another Bosnia only this time in the Maghreb?

The first worrying sign was Russia's betrayal of Iran at the UNSC followed by a reneging on the committment to deliver S-300 air defense systems to Iran.  The betrayal of Libya is arguably even worse, both in moral terms and in the severity of the consequences resulting from it:

a) The US and NATO have now a de-facto free reign to do whatever the hell they want not only over Libya, but also in Libya.  The UNSC resolution speaks of "all necessary measures" to protect civilians.  We know what that means - anything the Pentagon wants it to mean.

b) Given that the US and NATO have now an open-ended and unrestricted authority to do whatever they want, it is clear that whatever regime replaces Gaddafi will be vetted and approved by the USraelian Empire.

c) Just as in Bosnia, the Empire is now supporting the party which is loosing the conflict.  No, not out of a deep sense of compassion, but because it is easy to make this party into a proxy for the Empire.  In other words, what this resolution does is make the anti-Gaddafi forces fully dependent on the Empire.

d) This resolution will make very little difference on the ground, at least in its no-fly zone aspect.  If the Empire is serious about regime change in Libya - and it is - it will have to wave the "all necessary measures" part to intervene militarily.  Russia will then condemn and complain.

It is hard to imagine a more hypocritical stance than Russia's.  It would have been more honest to openly support the resolution.  Needless to say, Russia's credibility as an ally will suffer even further from this cowardly abstention.

You might ask 'well, what about China?"  To this I will answer that at least China does not lecture the US Empire like Russia does, neither does China pretend to be in any way an 'alternative global power'.  China's stance has always been the same: oppose intervention on principle, keep a low profile on international issues, and deal with economic issues.  That is, I think, far more honest and dignified than Russia's disgraceful grandstanding.

The resolution itself is phenomenally hypocritical.  The Gadaffi regime is blamed for using military force against its own people while Bahrain has been invaded by a an international gang of Wahabi stormtroopers who immediately proceeded to engage in an orgy of atrocities against the Bahraini people.  But, of course, Bahrain is an Imperial colony so a bloodbath there does not matter to the UN.  I won't even mention the slow-motion genocide of the Palestinian people by the "Jewish state of Israel".  Only Libyan victims matter to the UNSC.

What is particularly appalling is that in the bad old days, the USSR and Libya had very close ties.  Yes, the Soviet regime was in many ways loathesome, and so was Gadaffi's Jamahiriya - but in spite of that many Russians and Libyans forged close ties and real friendships.  Now that the Soviet regime is gone and Gadaffi is on his way out, I would have hoped that Russia would do the right thing and care for the Libyan people.  Instead - Russia simply handed them over the the Empire.

To say that I am utterly disgusted would be an understatement.

The Saker

UPDATE1: According to RT, "Russia warns of "full-scale military action" following Security Council vote on Libya".  Oh yeah?!  Then why the hell did you not veto this resolution Mr Churkin?!  How utterly disgusting...