The decision by Russia and China, two permanent UN Security Council members, to veto the draft resolution that would have laid the groundwork for sanctions against Syria is still sparking lively discussion. Damascus welcomed the decision by Moscow and Beijing to block the UN Security Council draft resolution, emphasizing that Russia and China had sided with the people against injustice. Western politicians, for their part, sharply criticized the common stand taken by Russia and China.
The harshest criticism came from representatives of the United States. Although France, Britain, Germany and Portugal had submitted the draft resolution that Russia and China formally rejected, the most severe comments came from US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. It looks like she is prepared to defend to the end the supposed benefits of the “Western project” for arranging how people live in Syria.
During a visit to the Dominican Republic, she said the countries that decided to veto the resolution will have to explain their reasons to the Syrian people and all who struggle for freedom and human rights around the world. State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland expressed the hope that the number of countries willing to tighten the noose around the Syrian regime would grow.
Strangling the Assad regime at any cost—a motive they do not even bother to hide—can have disastrous consequences both for the region and for the entire world. It is, in fact, a spark that could ignite a third world war.
Russia and China are preventing a big war in the Middle East for an obvious reason—if the coalition intervenes in Syrian affairs, that intervention will automatically stretch into a war between Syria and Israel. Nor would Iran remain on the sidelines; it would side with Syria. That would mean the beginning of an unpredictable and protracted military conflict.
A conflict in the Middle East, where the interests of many powers are intertwined and where there are threshold nuclear states, could escalate into a global confrontation. Those currently feeling dizzy from the success of the “Libyan scenario” need to understand that.
The draft resolution rejected by Russia and China was based on a philosophy of confrontation and did not take into account that the Middle East is a real powder keg. It was marked by a one-sided condemnatory bias against Damascus, but it did not address the Syrian opposition, which has also resorted to violence and has even started adopting terrorist methods. The Western states have actually taken matters in Syria to the point where a full-scale ethnic and religious conflict could erupt.
The Assad regime is evolving, but the West does not want to accept that. It is essentially insisting that he be removed by force. As the Chairman of the State Duma International Affairs Committee, Konstatin Kosachev, pointed out:
“There are a number of legislative initiatives for abandoning the one-party system, holding democratic elections and allowing the media more freedom. It would be unwise to deny the opportunity to move forward in an evolutionary, not a revolutionary, fashion. That would not be in the interests of the Syrian people. That is the significance of the stand Russia and China took in the Security Council. Artificial outside pressure on political processes in Syria can only provoke new bloodshed, new unrest and new tragedies.”
A Syrian collapse due to civil war would have a disruptive impact throughout the Middle East. Russia and China have offered the Security Council their own version of the document as an alternative. It stresses that Western military intervention in the conflict between the government and opposition in Syria is a non-starter.
Prof. Sergey Luzyanin – Deputy Director of the Russian Institute of the Far Eastern Studies.
Source: New Eastern Outlook