Monday, 6 February 2012

A Moral Blindness over the Syrian veto

Russia and China's veto on the UN resolution over Syria at the weekend has been roundly criticized in the West and there are some powerful reactions in the British Press this morning.

Writing in the Guardian,David Hearst says that for Russia and Putin,he says that:

The veto sets Russia on the opposite side of the table from the Arab League; it lifts the international responsibility for failing to staunch the blood flowing in cities like Homs off Barack Obama's shoulders, and assumes that burden itself. And if defecting Syrian soldiers are to be called "armed extremist groups", who exactly are the militias currently running Libya, whom Russia belatedly recognised as a legitimate authority? If Islamists are by their nature extremist, and in Putin's eyes they are, what does that make the elected transitional authority in Tunisia?

Meanwhile the Times' leader this morning calls the decision Moral Blindness

is a monstrous piece of hypocrisy. Both countries acted out of reflexive anti-Western motives. Both were concerned more to protect their interests and their clients than to exercise their global responsibilities for halting violence and maintaining peace. Both spouted inanities about non-interference in domestic affairs while knowingly giving carte blanche to the thugs in Damascus to continue the indiscriminate shelling of cities, the random shooting of civilians and the brutal torture of political opponents
Whilst in the FT,former cabinet minister Malcolm Rifkind and Shashank Joshi write that it is time to support the opposition in Syria

 The diplomatic route is now all but exhausted. Having staked so much on a lost cause, Russia will strive to avoid humiliation. On the other side, Saudi Arabia and Qatar are likely to deepen their co-operation with Turkey to bolster the Free Syrian Army and its notional political leadership. Those who oppose this, invoking the troubling experience of international assistance to the anti-Soviet mujahedeen, must ask themselves whether the status quo is any less likely to result in Syria’s dangerous disintegration.

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