When Lavrov Was Right 169

When NATO forces attacked Serbia in 1999, killing many civilians, in order to establish the current disastrous mafia statelet of Kosovo, Sergei Lavrov spoke very wisely at the Security Council.  He said:

              Attempts to justify strikes as preventing humanitarian catastrophe were not recognized by international law, he said.  The use of unilateral force would lead to a situation with devastating humanitarian consequences.  No considerations of any kind could serve to justify aggression.  Violations of  law could only be combated on the solid basis of the law.

Attempts to apply other standards to international law and disregard other laws created a dangerous precedent, he said.  The virus of a unilateral approach could spread… the Council alone should decide the means to maintain or restore international security.  NATO’s attempt to enter the twenty-first century in the uniform of an international gendarme set a dangerous precedent.

He was of course absolutely right.  Liberal interventionism and the right to protect were extremely foolish and dangerous doctrines.  When propagated by useful idiots, even at their most high-minded they were never more that a repetition of the old imperialist “civilizing mission” of military attack to eradicate barbarous practices.  In fact they were brutally utilized as an excuse for resource grab and personal enrichment.

The Robert Coopers of this world have been hoist with their own petard, because it was always inevitable that others would use the same excuse in areas where they had power, to do what the US and its satellites were doing where they could.  If you promulgate that might is right, you cannot complain when someone punches you.

But that does not make Russia’s actions in the Ukraine right – rather it makes Lavrov a complete hypocrite.  As Lavrov said to the Security Council,  “the Council alone should decide the means to maintain or restore international security”, and the security council voted by 13 to 1 against the Crimea referendum.  It is beyond argument that the man is massively hypocritical.

The truth is that the western powers and Russia are both vicious in the field of foreign relations and have little real care for ordinary people and their rights. Russian actions in military occupation of Crimea (far beyond keeping an agreed number of troops stationed in agreed bases) are indeed illegitimate and illegal.

Let me add two more hypocrisies in the Russian position.  It is an offence carrying up to 22 years in jail to advocate the secession of any part of Russia.  There is no sign of any referendum on self-determination for the people of Chechnya and Dagestan.  I do not believe that in a genuinely democratic vote, there is any political proposition which would ever get 97% of the vote.  You couldn’t get 97% of any group of people to vote for free ice cream.  Interestingly enough, Putin is claiming in the Crimea precisely the same percentage – 97% – that Hitler claimed in his Plebiscite in Austria to ratify the Anschluss.

The other thing I thought wonderfully ironic is that I saw two representatives of the “international observer group” on Russia Today this morning, one Polish and one Hungarian, and both were from fully paid up genuine fascist organisations.  The Hungarian has been saying it is most unfortunate that the BNP couldn’t make it.

For the other side of this coin – western hypocrisy – see here.





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169 thoughts on “When Lavrov Was Right

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  • nevermind

    God promised Noah that there will not be another flood is indeed bull-shit.

    Hmmm, this century bets are out at a rise between 29cm at best and 84cm if the melting of Greenlands eastern Ice cap accelerates this century.


    Invest in a precautionary Wash barrier and tidal energy scheme, a Thames estuary barrier with a lock system and tidal energy scheme, a slightly smaller Orwell estuary, a substantual Severn barrier with tidal energy and a lock system, etc. etc.

    If we do not invest to safeguard the realm at home, neglect to buy time, when time is already becoming precious, with options diminishing, we will loose much of our estern seaboard to the sea.

    Using estuary barriers and tidal energy schemes, we can probably build three of them for the price of two nuclear power stations, will make the proposed new PWR programme, with all its known and unknown dangers, obsolete.

    At least they will be able to blame Fukushima for their own possible accidental releases, because Japan is unable to deal with the magnitude of its situation, with suggestions of releasing the highly contaminated water into the Pacific….

    Tokyo Olympics 2020? I somehow don’t think so. Maybe they want to talk to South Korea, now, and be really nice, a partnership to hold it there.

  • Reluctant Observer

    What a disappointment this blog has become – it’s downgraded itself into yet another set of Official-Speak apologia for Western hypocrisy. One that has the almighty cheek to slander anyone not enthusiastically, unquestioningly, and immediately agreeing as fascists, Putin worshipers and BNP members.

  • CanSpeccy

    R.O. This blog hasn’t downgraded itself in the least. It’s always slandered anyone not perfectly PC as racist, fascist, Nazi, etc. It’s just that the humbug is more obvious now that it’s necessary to provide open support of racists, fascists and Nazis in Kiev.

  • Resident Dissident

    “But I certainly do not think that result would have brought a 97per cent majority – exactly Hitler’s plebiscite in Austria – in a region where abut 40% of the population is not Russian. I am amazed that none of the Putinistas exhibit no shame at the 97% claim.”

    Canspeccy at last says something sensible and then he tells us to ignore it – face palm!

  • technicolour

    Ah, ‘genocide in Leicester’ – that’s CanSpeccy. It’s happening there, didn’t you know?

    Having read all sides, I’m still inclined towards Craig’s (unanswered) question to Macky: why take sides?

  • jjb


    You keep reminding the annexation of Austria to Germany. And is and apt comparison as far as the obvious will of the people in both cases were. There were very few von Trapps indeed

  • technicolour

    Meanwhile, the ghosts of murdered and tortured Chechens laugh hollowly at the sheer expediency of those who claim a moral high ground and yet rely on their nemesis to supply a resolution.

  • John Goss

    Vlad be my Dad, that Moon of Alabama blog-post is a witty analysis of the Kerry/Lavrov agreement. Somebody’s written below.

    1 – 0 to Russia vs US


    Another way of stating the results of the referendum:

    1 – 0 Freedom vs fascism

  • technicolour

    CanSpeccy: it’s only obscure for people who are ignorant about Chechnya. I quite like your prose, but I suggest you brush up on your facts – much as you needed to do about ‘genocide in Leicester’. But failed to do, clearly.

  • John Goss

    Even John Simpson has acknowledged that Crimea will now be part of the Russian Federation. But this has been a bloodless change in geographical territory and it is a popular result so we should all be thankful.

    One of the problems with the United Nations is that the five permanent members have the power of veto. At one time or another they have all used it, though China and France less than the other three. Perhaps when the next international organisation comes along to replace the UN this will be taken into consideration. The trouble is we will probably have to wait for a world war before such a change will take place. Those interested in who used the veto when can find it here.


  • Herbie


    I’m saying that the US and its allies abide neither in international law nor convention, other than when it suits them.

    This is a sign of their might.

    The little people must therefore sing and dance a jig.

    But yes, I’d certainly throw the French and British from their permanent UNSC seats and replace with Germany and Japan.

    This would better reflect the current balance of world power.

  • ToivoS

    I see Craig is still babbling on about Putin trying to kill Yushenko. Two problems with that theory. One, zero evidence that the Russians had anything to do with his symptoms and two, really no evidence that Yushenko was even poisoned. Look up dioxin toxicity. No professional assassin would use it, it is not that poisonous.

  • ToivoS

    I can see why Craig likes the Kosovo precedence. The Kosovo people were allowed to have a referendum to leave Serbia — Serbians excluded from the vote. Good precedent for Scotland.

    Problem today is that both the UK and US claim the Crimean vote to secede from Ukraine violates international law because the rest of the country was excluded from the vote. To be fair, the good people of England, Wales and Northern Ireland should not be excluded from the vote for Scottish independence.

  • technicolour

    Ah, dioxins are not poisonous, that canard. Can’t remember which commenter tried this on most recently. Anyway, like radiation, not instantly, perhaps.

    Dioxins are highly toxic and can cause reproductive and developmental problems, damage the immune system, interfere with hormones and also cause cancer.


  • OldMark

    Lavrov and Putin are clearly hypocritical when they support a referendum in Crimea to legitimise a change in the status of that territory’s relationship with Ukraine, whilst denying the residents of their own contested territories, in Chechnya and Dagestan, the same opportunity. However, as the third paragraph of Craig’s post argues, the West has now been hoist with their own petard.

    The unipolar moment of the nineties and early noughties has clearly passed. The selective invocation of ‘international law’ as the arbiter of disputes, when it suits, was the modus operandi of the West in that era, but it won’t be for much longer.

    Russia’s actions to detach Crimea from Ukraine in recent days have necessitated the use of the Russian veto at the UN, which in turn has been followed by the announcement of sanctions against Russia by the US and EU. Did the actions of Turkey in its 1974 invasion of northern Cyprus elicit the tabling of a UN resolution by the US condemning this act ? Were punitive measures against the Turkish generals and politicians who authorised this act ever implemented ? After all, the Turkish invasion back then clearly breached the terms of the Cypriot independence agreement, to which Turkey was a partner-


    Perhaps the Neocon eminences, Habba & Res Diss, can explain why Russia’s actions in Crimea in 2014 are so much more heinous than those of Turkey in northern Cyprus in 1974.

  • DougtheDug

    Craig, I agree that the West is on very shaky moral ground when they condemn Russian actions in the Crimea when it was NATO air power which turned the tide in favour of the KLA in Kosovo and nobody in western governments makes any fuss whatsoever about the Israeli occupation and effective annexation of the West Bank in Palestine.

    However I’d be interested in your opinion on two points. Now the Budapest 1994 agreement which guaranteed the Ukrainian borders in return for giving up nuclear weapons has been voided by Russia do you think that Ukraine will try and reacquire nuclear weapons?

    And what is the prize in Russia’s annexation of the Crimea? They gain territory and a permanent presence in a naval base they already held but it’s at a cost of western sanctions and Ukrainian hostility and a very probable rearming of most of Eastern Europe against Russia. It seems a big risk for not a huge gain.

  • OldMark

    Herbie @11.42pm

    I second that; the UK’s status as a permanent member of the UN Security Council is an obvious anachronism.

  • Freedom begins at home

    Clearly Cameron (& Rifkind) are more concerned about their ilk, the recent Knesset like speech at Holyrood? Not in a million years, and CM may just turn out to be a very subtle gatekeeper judging from his Crimeanal behaviour.

    The Robert Burns Lament

    Fairweel to a’ ou Scottish fame,
    Fareweel our ancient glory;
    Fareweel e’en to the Scottish name,
    Sae famed in martial story.
    Now Sark runs o’er the Solway sands,
    And Tweed runs to the ocean
    To mark where England’s province stands
    Such a parcel of rogues in a nation.
    What force or guile could not subdue
    Through many warlike ages
    Is wrought now by a coward few
    For hireling trators’ wages.
    The English steel we could disdain,
    Secure in valor’s station,
    But English gold has been our bane
    Such a parcel of rogues in a nation.
    O would, or I had seen the day
    That treason thus could sell us
    My auld grey head had lain in clay
    Wi’ Bruce an’ loyal Wallace.
    But pith and power, till my last hour
    I’ll make this declaration,
    we’re bought and sold for English gold
    Such a parcel of rogues in a nation.


  • BrianFujisan

    you just Cannot make it up…. Who the Fk would believe it all

    ” Obama and the lawyers who drafted his executive order did not notice that the way the order is drafted it applies to Obama, to the unelected coup government in Kiev, and to the Washington and EU regimes. The order says that any person “responsible for or complicit in, or to have engaged in, directly or indirectly . . . actions or policies that undermine democratic processes or institutions in Ukraine” is subject to having his assets frozen.

    Washington and the EU are the only two governments whose personnel have undermined democratic processes and institutions in Ukraine by overthrowing the elected government and imposing an unelected one.

    Obama worshippers–yes there are still people that stupid–object when I call Obama the White House Fool. Yet, here is Obama or his lawyers proving that he is a fool by issuing an executive order that requires the property of Obama, Victoria Nuland, Samantha Powers, Susan Rice, the UK prime minister, the German chancellor, the French president, the EU Commission and any number of associated persons to be frozen by the US government.

    Of course, Obama’s executive order will not be applied to those to whom it is applicable. It will be applied to those to whom it is not applicable–authorities who permitted the Crimean population to exercise democratic processes in order to determine their own fate.

    Washington has stood democracy on its head. Overthrowing Ukraine’s democratic government and installing a puppet regime does not undermine democratic processes or institutions in Ukraine, but anything that allows self-determination to go forward in Crimea does undermine democratic processes.

    Clearly, the West can no longer be associated with democracy.”

    Obama Declares a National Emergency: Crimea Self-Determination Constitutes a “Threat To US National Security”

    By Dr. Paul Craig Roberts @


  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    DougtheDug writes

    “And what is the prize in Russia’s annexation of the Crimea? They gain territory and a permanent presence in a naval base they already held but it’s at a cost of western sanctions and Ukrainian hostility and a very probable rearming of most of Eastern Europe against Russia. It seems a big risk for not a huge gain.”

    I’d agree with that – and refer readers back to Craig’s lead-in post for the thread entitled “Putin’s Victorious Defeat”.

    Tovarish Goss (above) quotes “someone” as saying

    “1 – 0 to Russia vs US”

    Well, if people must be silly enough to portray these events as a match of some sort, I’d suggest it might be better to wait a little: the match is not over yet. The Cold War saw the USSR score a few goals – but what was the final score?

  • John Goss

    Brian, the Dr Paul Roberts’ article echoes my own opinion. I know there are dissenters, even those who claim to be on the left, but it cannot be argued against. Obama has turned democracy on its head.

    The United States has funded an illegal coup.
    The United States has tried to destabilise a legitimately-elected government.
    The United States has opposed a democratic referendum.
    The United States has imposed sanctions on a real democracy.

    It can be summed up broadly in the above terms.

  • John Goss

    “Perhaps the Neocon eminences, Habba & Res Diss, can explain why Russia’s actions in Crimea in 2014 are so much more heinous than those of Turkey in northern Cyprus in 1974.”

    They won’t do that OldMark because it does not involve targeting an individual, unless of course they can attack you for making the comparison. Or they might try this once just to prove me wrong. Bring them on.

  • Mary

    In memory of Rachel Corrie who was crushed to death on March 16, 2003, while trying to stop an Israeli Defence Force (IDF) armoured bulldozer from demolishing Palestinian homes in the occupied Gaza Strip.

    “Never Forget”: for Rachel Corrie
    By Gary Corseri

    Barely a woman, twenty three years old–
    Soft, vulnerable…. Surely, the Monster
    Will stop in its tracks!

    She steels her will,
    Thinks of the tank in Tiananmen Square–
    One little man stopping a tank!

    They will perceive her love-resolve:
    To die in a great cause is to mortar–
    Not martyr–the Cause!

    She must not die!
    Cannot break her parents’ hearts–
    Back home! (She sees them now!)
    If only they knew
    How she had grown!

    They would understand…
    This other love that held her now
    In place, this love of home and place,
    And the Other,
    Of the faces, the voices, the laughter…
    Olive groves and sun-scented skin;
    The love she’d found for dispossessed:
    Children, fathers, mothers–also of her,
    Belonging to her, because
    Everyone suffering was One.

    It was hard to explain… but the Monster
    Truck was coming now–remorseless Caterpillar,
    Sci-fi bulldozer to scoop her up!

    It would stop in its tracks!
    Because a man drove it!
    A man who would see her,
    In her orange jacket
    Like a bumble bee!

    He would see she had to
    Do it—stand there in its way
    (Though its iron mouth gaped,
    Though its hard lips snarled.)

    To save their houses, olive groves… to save
    Herself! And these other selves–part of her
    And part of the one who drove the Monster
    Closer now, with droning, cacophonous,
    Tank-like clanking,
    And the sun in its panes like eyes.

    It must stop, if she steels her will, is resolute,
    Peers in his eyes… surely… then… understand…
    He will–the suffering… the children… why she stood
    In its way–

    Barely a woman, bones against
    The iron tread, encircling,
    Winding, crushing, crackling,
    Bursting in sunburst light,
    In the dying light,
    For the sake of all.

  • Macky

    “Perhaps the Neocon eminences, Habba & Res Diss, can explain why Russia’s actions in Crimea in 2014 are so much more heinous than those of Turkey in northern Cyprus in 1974.”

    It was the US who gave the long awited & promised green light to Turkey to invade & annex half of the sovereign country of Cyprus; Britain as a Guarantor Power wazs/is legally obliged to defend/restore the 1960 independence constitution of the Republic of Cyprus, but 40 years later, the remaning Cypriot refugees are still waiting to return to their homes & properties.

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