Russia and China have again frustrated Western imperialist plans to intervene directly in Syria. By vetoing the Security Council resolution that would have paved the way for referring Syrian officials to the International Criminal Court, the West thought it could disrupt the government of President Bashar al-Asad through the backdoor now that their mercenaries are on the verge of defeat.
New York, Crescent-online
Friday May 23, 2014; 08:38 DST
Russia and China have once again thwarted Western attempts at the UN Security Council to intervene in Syria. A French-drafted resolution accusing both the Syrian government and the opposition of human rights violations as well as war crimes and crimes against humanity, was vetoed by China and Russia on May 22.
If approved, the Syrian government would have been referred to the International Criminal Court (ICC). The rebels operating in Syria would also have been referred to the court but for the Syrian government, the loss would be much greater.
The other 13 members, three permanent—the US, Britain and France—and 10 rotating members without veto power all voted in favor of the resolution.
The Russian-Chinese veto was the fourth used in blocking Western military as well as political intervention in the country torn by foreign sponsored violence. The principal instigators are the US, its European as well as Arabian allies like Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE. Turkey too is involved in destabilizing the country.
In defending his country and rejecting the resolution, Syria’s UN Ambassador Bashar al-Ja‘afari described it as “biased” and an effort to “sabotage any chance of peaceful settlement of the Syrian crisis led by the Syrian people themselves.”
Al-Ja‘afari also called on the Security Council to investigate French crimes against Syria. France as a colonial power had perpetrated massive crimes in the Levant even leading to the break-up of Syria before it was driven out of the region. The Syrian ambassador’s call was a sharp rebuke to the French drafted resolution.
A day before the vote (Wednesday May 21), Russian Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin called the French-drafted resolution a “publicity stunt”.
“The fact that the resolution is going to a vote we regard as simply a publicity stunt, which will have a detrimental effect unfortunately on our joint efforts in trying to resolve politically the crisis in Syria,” he said.
Syria has not ratified the Rome Statute that established the International Criminal Court (ICC) but if the matter were to be approved by the Security Council, then Syrian officials would potentially face arrest and prosecution at the Hague where the ICC is based.
The US does not accept ICC jurisdiction over its affairs but is quick to haul leaders of countries it does not like. Even with this resolution, it first secured the agreement of other members that the zionist regime would not be hauled before the ICC for its illegal occupation of the Golan Heights before it was presented to the Council, according to Reuters news agency (May 23).
The ICC has thus become a political tool in the hands of the West. Most of the leaders tried at the Hague so far are African and many see the ICC as an anti-African front.
Syria will hold presidential elections on June 3. Bashar al-Asad is widely believed to be the favorite because most Syrians see him as the only person at present who could bring peace and stability to the war torn country.
Had the Security Council resolution been approved, it would have dealt a severe blow to reconciliation efforts in Syria. In recent weeks, the Syrian government has made great efforts to broker local peace deals whereby rebels are allowed to withdraw from city centres—Homs is one such example—so that people can return to their homes.
Gradually, the rebels are losing the battle not least because there is much infighting between them. Their foreign sponsors have also realized that they cannot topple Asad by force.
The June 3 election will deal another blow to the mercenaries and their foreign sponsors.