While I interpreted Obama’s “red line” for attacking Syria -its use of its strategic weapons – as a free pass to the Syrian government to use all disposable means to fight the foreign supported insurgency, Russia and China seem to have a different, or additional, interpretation.
They both seem to allege that this “red line” on the use of chemical weapons is just a trick to justify an open military attack.
The Russian did so in a more diplomatic tone:
Lavrov said at the meeting with [China’s State Councillor Dai Bingguo] that Russia and China base their diplomatic cooperation on “the need to strictly adhere to the norms of international law and the principles contained in the U.N. Charter and not to allow their violation”.
Russia has also expressed concern about Syria’s chemical arsenal, saying it had told Damascus that even the threat to use it was unacceptable.
But Lavrov said on Monday that the Security Council alone could authorize the use of external force against Syria, warning against imposing “democracy by bombs”.
The Chinese response came through an editorial of its official news agency Xinhua: The tone is quite direct:
Once again, Western powers are digging deep for excuses to intervene militarily in another conflict-torn Middle East country, as U.S. President Barack Obama warned Monday that the use of chemical weapons by Syria’s government would change his “calculus.”
With the hypocritical talks of eliminating weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and protecting civilians in Libya still ringing in the ears, such “red line” threats seem to have almost become a signal for the United States and some of its Western allies to sharpen their weapons before exercising interventionism.
The Xinhua writer goes on with a general description and critique of “western” foreign policy behavior:
Apart from being ineffective to bring real peace, military interventions by the United States and its Western partners are always interests-driven and highly selective.
It is not difficult to find that, under the disguise of humanitarianism, the United States has always tried to smash governments it considers as threats to its so-called national interests and relentlessly replace them with those that are Washington-friendly.
That easily explains why both Iraq’s Saddam Hussein and Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi, who once worked closely with the United States, were later depicted as brutal dictators with the people’s blood dipping through their fingers.
Right now, as conflicts between government troops and rebel forces still rage in Syria, nations around the world should continue to build on the progress that has been achieved by outgoing international envoy Kofi Annan and his team.
Any attempt to scrap the chances for a political settlement and to turn Syria into the next testing ground for Western weapons must be guarded against and ruled out.
It is not often that one hear such truths in official media of big world policy players.
It is obvious now that Russia and China have joined in a general fight to stop the international lawlessness that the “west” got used to after the breakdown of the Soviet Union. Let’s hope that they this aim and restore the principles of Westphalia and the UN Charter.
Source: B from Moon of Alabama