08 July 2014

The ‘Syrian Vote/Veto’ undressed the self-righteous

Can eyes that choose not to see Gaza, Iraq and Afghanistan have tears for Syria?
The United States of America and its allies are a trigger happy lot. They are also heavily invested in hanging people.  Sorry, that’s a crass claim.  There is a caveat to all this: selective.  They are ready-’n-able to shoot some people, invade some countries, drag some people to the International Criminal Court (ICC) and push through UNHRC resolutions on some countries.  That ‘some’ implies ‘some others’.  There are nations and individuals whose track records on the very same counts are as or more horrendous than that of the ‘some’.   For reasons of ‘interest’ are left alone.  Anyway, of the ‘some’, the country that was in censure-focus recently is Syria. 

The USA wants to hang Bashar Hafez al-Assad, the President of Syria.  The USA wants to take Syria to the ICC. The USA tried.  The attempt was vetoed, again for ‘interest-reasons’, this time of Russia and China. 
Let there be no tears and let there be no hurrahs here.  None of it is about human rights and the protection of the same. None of it is about democracy, justice or peace.  It’s just global politics.  Let’s not kid ourselves that it is otherwise. 

Old hate though it is, the theatrics certainly have their benefits.   Shows people up.  Yields a good laugh. 
Let’s start with what Britain’s UN Ambassador, Mark Lyall Grant had to say after the vote: ‘The effect of their actions is to protect a brutal regime. They have chosen to put their national interests ahead of the lives of millions of Syrians.’  The ‘they’ here are of course Russia and China. 

When, ever, did Britain do anything that put their national interest behind anything else, lives of millions included?  Wasn’t Britain the key ally in the US-led illegal invasion of Iraq (Britain’s Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said by way of confession that it was illegal), putting the national interests (of Britain) ahead of the lives of millions of Iraqis?  Isn’t it this same ‘national interest’ that prompted the tag-along with the US in the matter putting millions of Afghan and Pakistani lives at risk?  ‘Come, come Mr Grant, you can’t be serious?’ did someone ask?  Well, the fact is, Grant is serious.  Lying comes easy.  Partial blindness is second nature.  Selectivity is a cultural trait. 

The same goes for the US Ambassador to the UN, who called the Russian and Chinese moves ‘dangerous and deplorable’ and said the Security Council had ‘failed utterly.’  Rice knows that the Security Council has had a long utterly-failing history.  Whisper ‘Israel’ and that should do.  All those US moves have been dangerous and deplorable.  Indeed it is not just the Security Council that has failed vulnerable peoples all over the globe courtesy Washington’s veto option but the entire UN system. 

The French Ambassador Gerard Araud called it a sad day for Syria. Well Monsieur Araud, did you or your predecessors ever feel sad on those days that turned into weeks and these into months and years for countries like Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan? What are we to make of your sorrow, your tears, then, Monsieur Araud, pray tell us?

The US representative claims that the draft resolution was about accountability for ‘crimes so extensive and deadly that they had few equals in modern history’.  Really?  Had this individual heard about Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the ‘Road of Death’ in Iraq, where US fighter jets killed thousands of fleeing soldiers, and the US sponsored sanctions regime on that country which killed approximately half a million children? 

There’s more humor.  The representative is reported to have recalled that ‘the International Criminal Court had been able to act when extraordinary crimes had been committed in the past’ and had asked why the Syrian people did not equally deserve international justice.  We don’t know if anyone responded, but there is an easy answer: ‘because your country does not believe in justice or in the equality of its dispensation, can we move on already?’ 

Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson’s intervention before the vote takes the cake.  He says, ‘for more than three years, the Council had been unable to agree on measures to bring an end to the brutal war that hurt not only Syrians, but the entire region.’ 

‘The Syrian people had a fundamental right to justice, and the United Nations had a duty to defend it, he emphasized, warning ‘if the Council could not agree, the credibility of the entire Organization would continue to suffer’.

Correct, the Syrian people do have a fundamental right to justice and correct, the UN has a duty to defend it. The same goes for people in Gaza.  The same goes for people in Iraq.  The Council has not been able to do anything to end the brutality that hurts both the people resident in these unhappy regions and those in the region and all thanks to whom?  Why, the United States of America, didn’t Eliasson do his homework?  As for the ‘credibility’ of the ‘entire organization’, doesn’t Eliasson know that the word ceased to qualify for tagging to anything that has to do with the United Nations?

The French representative, speaking after the vote, is reported to have said that the resolution ‘appealed to the human conscience and was not a political gesture.’  When did France (or the USA or the UK) ever have a conscience (we can stick to contemporary machinations, recent history or pick the last 500 years to look for this thing called ‘conscience’ in the policy preferences of these countries)?  When, indeed, were they ever apolitical, did anyone ask? 

Monsieur Araud had earlier said that the failure to adopt it would amount to an insult to humanity.  Well, humanity has been insulted enough by acts of omission and commission by France and its ‘besties’ in the West.  Assuming that the world can’t remember is the Mother of all Insults to Humanity, one has to conclude.

So we have hysteria and anger coming from the USA, Britain and France. Need we say anything more than ‘Oh dear!’ considering their respective track records on these matters?  These are war mongers, notorious ones too. 

As for China and Russia, there are certainly no saints in this drama.  The above mentioned individuals are not off-mark when they point fingers about ‘national interest’.  The only problem is that the finger-pointers don’t have a moral leg to stand on. 

So can we just conclude, ‘move along, move along, there’s nothing to see here, folks’ as the police does when curious people gather at a crime scene?  Or should we just laugh and tell these respectable and self-righteous individuals that there’s a wonderful cartoon doing the rounds in social media depicting an American (of the US) asking the question, ‘Why do you hate us?’ and answering it himself thus: ‘Why do you hate us? All we want to do is invade your country, drone strike your women and children, steal your natural resources and install a vassal king who will be useful to our imperial ambitions and then call you a terrorist if you resist.’? 

So the ‘Syrian’ vote/veto, it clearly put the US, Britain and France in a funk, made them trip over words and struggle to cover up nudities.  The bottom line is that the only thing to draw from these Security Council deliberations is knowledge of process and machination.  That, and ample reasons to guffaw.  



Kalinga said...

Great Stuff Malinda. Well said.