Thursday, March 21, 2013

Responsibility to Protect from a bar stool

There seems to be a lot of loose talk about Syria.  Most of it ignores the well established principles of international law, and the UN Security Council.  People, including Americans, agonize about their "national interests" without actually considering their obligations under the body of international law to which they have subscribed.

A retired Canadian general, Lewis MacKenzie, argued that the road to Damascus lies through Moscow.  It's a no-brainer.  As it happens, NATO members of the Security Council have no brains except for Germany.  There was an opportunity in Libya (Resolution 1970) to get the Security Council to work as many hoped, with a unanimous resolution (including China and Russia) referring alleged leadership crimes to the International Criminal Court, and imposing various economic restrictions.  Then, panic set in and a Tonkin Gulf type resolution (1973) rammed through (with 5 abstentions) authorizing various things, interpreted by NATO to mean blowing up Libya as it saw fit even though NATO had no idea what its plan was and even more important, how anybody would know when the goals of the non-plan had been achieved, apart from Ghaddafi being raped with a bayonet on TV.  NATO brushed the sand off its hands - a job well done - and went home.  The subsequent disaster in Libya and Mali seems not to register on the NATO consciousness even at the brain stem level (possibly NATO's only level), and the idiot non-savant Susan Rice railed against Russian intransigence having just given Russia every reason to distrust the intentions of NATO and its friends in the Middle East. 

Meanwhile, NATO seems to be keen to arm the Syrian "rebels" who are just as unknown as the Libyan "opposition."  NATO knows fuck-all about Syria but obviously weapons are required by the "rebels", and therefore supplied without any legal justification whatever, either directly or through a Gulf petro-monarchy (Pepe Escobar's accurate label).

This isn't just irresponsible, it's criminal