Diplomatic Blowback 81

Here is something you won’t find in any western media. Part of the actual Russian speech or “Explanation of Vote” for their veto of the UN Resolution on Syria. It is worth reading. It is my own translation from the website of the Russian mission to the UN. There will be an official UN translation circulated in New York, but there will not be major differences:

“The situation in Syria cannot be considered without reference to events in Libya. The international community should be alarmed at statements to the effect that the implementation of Security Council resolutions on Libya, as read by NATO, provide a model for future NATO action for the implementation of the “responsibility to protect”. One can easily imagine that tomorrow this “exemplary model” of “joint defence” can start to be introduced into Syria.

Let me be clear to all; Russia’s position with regard to the conflict in Libya in no way stems from any special ties with the Gadaffi regime, to the extent that several States represented around this table had a great deal warmer relationships with the Gadaffi regime than Russia. It is the people of Libya who have determined the destiny of Gadaffi.

Im the view of Russia, in that case members of the UN Security Council twisted the provisions of Security Council resolutions to give them the opposite of their true meaning.

The requirement for an immediate ceasefire instead resulted in large-scale civil war, with humanitarian, social, economic, and military consequences which have extended far beyond Libya’s frontiers.

The no-fly zone resulted in the bombing of oil installations, television stations and other civilian targets.

The arms embargo resulted in a naval blockade of the West coast of Libya, including for humanitarian supplies.

The “Benghazi crisis” has resulted today in the devastation of other cities. Sirte, Bani Walid, and Sephi.

This then is the “Exemplary model”. The world must abolish such practices once and for all.”

This post of mine said almost exactly the same thing, and incidentally is both my most viewed and most linked post this year. The fact is that what the Russians say is precisely true. NATO action in Libya went way beyond what the Security Council had actually authorised, which was a no fly zone to protect civilians, a ceasefire, and negotiations between the parties.

Having absolutely abused UNSCR 1973, plainly NATO was seriously damaging the ability of the Security Council to work together in future, and making quite certain that China and Russia would not for many years agree to any SC Resolutions which might be open to similar abuse. I know the American Envoy to the UN, Susan Rice, and have in the past worked with her and had great respect for her; she was genuinely committed to the fight against apartheid. But her histrionic walkout in reaction to a Russian statement which was both plainly true, and an eminently forseeable result of Amercia’s own rash actions, was just pathetic.

Allowed HTML - you can use: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

81 thoughts on “Diplomatic Blowback

1 2 3
  • Courtenay Barnett

    The whole situation from Libya to Syria is quite tragic.

    The Libyan situation, in particular, would cause one to laugh if it were not all so tragic. A country is in peace; some dissent existed; no massacre was occasioned; NATO intervenes and massacres and destroys the country and its established government; then NATO pronounces victory:-


  • mary

    This MediaLens contributor has collated this list of all the NATO aggression in Libya. An amazingly long record.
    NATO Rejects Every Attempt Made to Declare a Ceasefire in Libya – PLEASE READ
    Posted by Plus Ultra on October 6, 2011, 2:38 pm
    This is a list of key ceasefire moments that I have been collating over the last few months. It really does portray the west as entirely callous and acting against all good conscience. A sobering read:

  • conjunction

    In response to John Goss and Quelcrime, NATO members to my knowledge have never even whispered about invading Syria for all sorts of very good reasons. All they are talking about is a resolution.

    It seems to me that most of the anti-NATO arguments are along of the lines, ‘Look what they did in Iraq. Therefore everything they do, or could ever do, is wrong.’ Really, we have to be a bit cleverer than that.

  • John Goss

    Conjunction. My last two posts went flying into the ether so I’ve put brackets round the link which I think might be causing the problem, so you’ll have to cut and paste. This video runs for 18 minutes and is worth watching to the end. But because people have restrictions on their time if you just watch the first three minutes, or even start at 1 min 30 seconds and you will see that Syria is indeed on the US/NATO hit list, and should have come before Iraq.
    [Mod: sorry, no idea what held this comment or the two before it, which I’ve deleted because they’re duplicates.]

  • John Goss

    Craig, I’ve just looked at your former link and just love that sentence; “I suffer from that old springing eternal of hope, and am therefore always in a state of disappointment.” How can depression make you laugh. But it did. And thank God: because otherwise it would make you cry – and it will.

  • alan campbell

    “The US in contrast brown noses dictators on the other side of the world, like Karimov & the House of Saud. Is that preferable ?”

    No. It’s just as bad.

  • alan campbell


    I bet you never thought you’d find yourself agreeing with Con Coughlin!

  • glenn

    Every heard of the logical fallacy known as “poisoning the well”, Alan?
    Ever heard of the “one club golfer”?

  • alan campbell

    “Every heard of the logical fallacy known as “poisoning the well”, Alan?”

    Thankfully not.

  • Quelcrime

    From AP
    “Medvedev said in televised remarks that the authors of the resolution had refused to include a Russia-proposed provision saying there should be no foreign military interference in Syria.

    “That means only one thing: our partners at the U.N. Security Council aren’t excluding the repetition of the Libyan scenario, although in private conversations they said that they understand that Syria is not Libya,” Medvedev said at a session of the presidential Security Council. “The proposed text would have allowed to again resort to weapons.””

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Wrt the earlier point about Susan Rice and ‘good people’ working for this or that govt/state, well, of course there have been ‘good people’ working in all regimes. Believe it or not, there were even a few members of the SS who helped some Jews escape the gas chambers, etc. It’s the system – individuals can be psychopaths or as humane as the system allows, but there will always be a range of people in any regime. the other side of this would be to say that of course bad things are contributed to/committed not only by evil people. Politics is complex. Rice is fronting an imperial power. Was Agricola ‘good’ or ‘bad’? And what about Asoka? Akbar? Their civil servants? Who knows? Naturally, once someone is in a senior position in any political apparatus, it’s likely that they’ll hav traded-in a substantial portion of their conscience. My father-in-law knew Inder K. Gujral, who was Prime Minister of India for a period in the late 1990s – fellow-socialists, though one ended-up in Pakistan – and he could’ve told you that Gujral was indeed a decent man. But I’m sure he’ll have had to compromise his decency on more than one occasion; think of, say, Kashmir, etc., it’s impossible to do otherwise once someone is at that level.

  • colin buchanan

    Thanks for this invaluable post! The Russians will nonetheless be delighted by the mess NATO have got themselves into. I predict that the Libya debacle leads to the fall of Cameron, the dissolution of NATO and the refoundation of the UN.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    @ All,

    The majority here also hopes:-

    “I predict that the Libya debacle leads to the fall of Cameron, the dissolution of NATO and the refoundation of the UN.”

  • Levantine

    rogerh – 6th October 2011
    “As for Syria, I cannot understand why Assad made the mistake of severe repression. There are plenty of ways to give the illusion of democracy without giving up real power. Perhaps the Russians will help Assad re-establish his severely dented credibility. Syria certainly does not need NATO sticking its nose in. Then there is the question of just how free do we Westerners (and Easterners) want oil-producing countries to be?”
    I’ll tell you; my knowledge is better than that of Western commenters. The severe repression in Syria during this turmoil was a responsibility of low-level security cadre without experience and training for this kind of situation, which is domestic armed conflicts, especially in urban environment. For, there are two kinds of protesters: one group are not protesters at all but terrorists who murder in cold blood, mutilators of bodies, like in Libya. It’s not that “Assad made the mistake,” but Western media are lying through their teeth.
    There are also genuine protesters. Last time I checked their leaders followed the negotiation in Damascus with partying alongside the regime people.
    Some people need reminding that Assad is an ophthalmologist by choice who left London because of his patriarchal background. He is elected and apparently popular. Since when is that compatible with tyranny? How does that qualification differ from double-speak?
    Yes, there are ruthless, repressive elements in the Syrian regime. Aren’t they present in the security organs of every state? Especially so in underdeveloped countries like Chile, Brazil and Argentina? Does that make Michelle Bachelet, Dilma Rouseff and Cristina Kirchner “criminals” for Craig Murray, and he has “no time” for them, and let’s hope they get eliminated? Just how stupidly presumptuous can some people get?

  • Levantine

    I know that video, but thanks for posting it.
    I came back as I haven’t finished. Anyone with a moderate interest in Assange and the Dalai Lama can find that they run their organisations undemocratically, which is especially significant because those organisations are fairly small and with much fewer responsibilities than governments. To regard, as Craig does, these two people as some kind of humanists who deserve to be honoured, while condemning state leaders for every single blemish in their countries is a very bad performance, to say the least. He risks being seen as a useful idiot.

  • Quelcrime

    Anyone with a moderate interest in Assange and the Dalai Lama can find that they run their organisations undemocratically, which is especially significant because those organisations are fairly small and with much fewer responsibilities than governments.

    Yes, but also…they’re not governments (not sure what you mean by ‘the Dalai Lama’s organisation’ in this context). How do the arguments for democracy in government apply to a small website like Wikileaks? Someone sets up an organisation and recruits some staff to help run it – is this comparable to a large body of people choosing a government to manage their country?

1 2 3

Comments are closed.