Advancing a Free Society

Does the Russian Veto of the Proposed UNSC Resolution on Syria Vindicate Scott Horton and Walter Russell Mead?

Monday, February 6, 2012

Russia and China today vetoed a proposed UNSC Resolution (stories here and here) that would have condemned the abuses in Syria, demanded their cessation, required Syria to give free rein to League of Arab States’ institutions and Arab and international media, and called for an “an inclusive Syrian-led political process conducted in an environment free from violence, fear, intimidation and extremism, and aimed at effectively addressing the legitimate aspirations and concerns of Syria’s people.”  The Resolution also would have called on the Syrian authorities “to cooperate fully with the League of Arab States’ observer mission,” and it “stresse[d] the need for all to provide all necessary assistance to the mission in accordance with the League of Arab States’ Protocol of 19 December 2011 and its decision of 22 January 2012.”

The main reason that Russia gave for its veto is that it felted duped by the expansive interpretations given to the March 2011 UNSCR Resolution on Libya.  That resolution authorized “all necessary measures . . . to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, including Benghazi, while excluding a foreign occupation force of any form on any part of Libyan territory.”  NATO countries read this language very broadly to authorize aggressive military actions against Gadaffi’s forces everywhere in Libya and, in the end, to authorize regime change.  Once bitten, twice shy for the Russians, according to The Christian Science Monitor:

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