Russia and China warn against Syrian intervention

posted at 10:01 am on August 27, 2013 by Bruce McQuain

As tensions rise over Syria’s alleged use of chemical weapons and it becomes obvious the US and some of its allies intend to act militarily, Russia and China are issuing warnings against any sort of  military strike:

Russia and China have stepped up their warnings against military intervention in Syria, with Moscow saying any such action would have “catastrophic consequences” for the region.

Says Russia:

Russian foreign ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich has called on the international community to show “prudence” over the crisis and observe international law.

“Attempts to bypass the Security Council, once again to create artificial groundless excuses for a military intervention in the region are fraught with new suffering in Syria and catastrophic consequences for other countries of the Middle East and North Africa,” he said in a statement.

Of course it is interesting that our Nobel Peace Prize winning president would, if he can manage it, bypass both Congress and the UN’s Security Council.  It seems eons ago that Mr. Obama was bashing then President Bush for supposedly ignoring the UN.  In September of 2009, he announced:

“We’ve re-engaged the United Nations… We have sought…a new era of engagement with the world.” He would “begin a new chapter of international cooperation” and he promised “we will work with the U.N.”

Of course, both China and Russia have made it clear they won’t approve a strike on Syria via the UN Security Council which complicates matters for our supposedly UN oriented President.

As for using every opportunity to engage in diplomacy with Russia to find a mutually acceptable solution?  Yeah, not so much:

Late on Monday, the US said it was postponing a meeting on Syria with Russian diplomats, citing “ongoing consultations” about alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria.

Hours later, Russia expressed regret about the decision. The two sides had been due to meet in The Hague on Wednesday to discuss setting up an international conference on finding a political solution to the crisis.

As for China, it has warned Western nations shouldn’t rush to judgement:

The official Chinese news agency, Xinhua, said Western powers were rushing to conclusions about who may have used chemical weapons in Syria before UN inspectors had completed their investigation.

Meanwhile in Washington, war talk is spooling up:

In the most forceful US reaction yet, US Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday described the recent attacks in the Damascus area as a “moral obscenity”.

He said the delay in allowing UN inspectors to the sites was a sign the Syrian government had something to hide.

He said Washington had additional information about the attacks that it would make public in the days ahead.

“What we saw in Syria last week should shock the conscience of the world. It defies any code of morality,” Mr Kerry said at a news conference on Monday.

“Make no mistake, President Obama believes there must be accountability for those who would use the world’s most heinous weapons against the world’s most vulnerable people.”

For Kerry this must be tough, since he has, in the past, referred to Bashar al-Assad as his “dear friend”.  And then there’s former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who had her finger right on the pulse of Syria:

“There’s a different leader in Syria now,” she told CBS’s Face the Nation, explaining, “Many of the members of Congress of both parties who have gone to Syria in recent months have said they believe he’s a reformer.”

Of course this desire to do something comes 2 years and 100,000 deaths after the start of the Syrian civil war.  Apparently those 100k dead weren’t “heinous” enough to warrant action previously. Just not enough death to invoke the thin rational of “R2P”.

Russia is certainly not buying into this rush to action by the UK, US and France:

But Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters on Monday the West had not produced any proof that President Assad’s forces had used chemical weapons.

He was responding to suggestions from some Western countries that military action against the Syrian government could be taken without a UN mandate.

Mr Lavrov said the use of force without Security Council backing would be “a crude violation of international law”.

Funny how the worm turns sometimes, isn’t it?  Interesting how a side that was lambasting a former president over supposed violations of international law are now silent as they watch as precisely what they  previously condemned becomes reality.

And you have to wonder – where are the anti-war protesters?


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Comment pages: 1 2


Schadenfreude on August 27, 2013 at 5:09 PM

For those trying to keep track-

the original poster ignorantly stated he could think of NOT ONE legitimate national security interest that would allow for action against Syria.

I gave seven of them just off the top of my head.

now reasonable people can differ as to whether those interests are WORTH the effort to achieve, I believe that it is.

but any strategic analysis shows that THERE ARE AT LEAST SEVERAL valid national security reasons to act against Assad.

to claim otherwise is just a Ron Paulian who believes in the same philosophy of the American Firsters back in the 1930s..

that did not turn out too well for the entire planet.

AirForceCane on August 27, 2013 at 5:14 PM

“They told me if I voted for John McCain, we would get an insane warmonger in the White House, and they were right, I voted for John McCain and we got an insane war monger in the White House”.

VorDaj on August 27, 2013 at 5:15 PM

AirForceCane on August 27, 2013 at 5:14 PM

Ignorantly stated?

So, if the President says “boo!” we all have to follow him, because our global prestige is at risk if we don’t?

All your other reasons/rationales were equally vapid.

I’ve been in the foreign policy game for decades, now retired, and still in contact with a number of former colleagues across all the services, and several agencies…and I cannot find among any of them, with their experience in the region, or dealing face to face with the Chinese or the Russians, being facile in the Moslem world, cannot find a single one who thinks this Syrian adventure is a good thing.

Now, among the appointees, the ones who scored well in the Plum Book, or had a relative or two help them up the governmental ladder, well, the tune is quite different.

I am not an America firster a la 1930’s. Not by a long shot.

And when there is adequate justification for going to war, clear concise, within the framework of an overall foreign policy, then have at it, make it quick, as deadly to the enemy as possible and fast.

But, where is the justification?

Only a short time ago Hillary was hailing Assad as a good friend, a progressive, a reformer…far better than Mubarak, you know.

And at a time when Assad was still killing Syrians the old fashioned way…in droves.

We still recognize the Assad government of Syria as the government of Syria, embassy and everything…

But, Obama drew a red line…so now we gotta go at it…because POTUS made a declaration of what he wants to do.

Our Constitutional republic does not allow for that…nor should it, ever.

But, I am the ignorant one…totally out of my league…anti-American, to boot…hate our military…probably voted for Gene McCarthy, too, back in the day.

Whatever floats your boat.

coldwarrior on August 27, 2013 at 5:29 PM

I think King Obama is using bombing Syria as a trial run for bombing Texas, a much bigger enemy of his.

VorDaj on August 27, 2013 at 5:29 PM

1. The United States should not commit its forces to military action overseas unless the cause is vital to our national interest.

2. If the decision is made to commit our forces to combat abroad, it must be done with the clear intent and support needed to win. It should not be a halfway or tentative commitment, and there must be clearly defined and realistic objectives.

3. Before we commit our troops to combat, there must be reasonable assurance that the cause we are fighting for and the actions we take will have the support of the American people and Congress.

4. Even after all these other tests are met, our troops should be committed to combat abroad only as a last resort, when no other choice is available.


VorDaj on August 27, 2013 at 5:39 PM

We are going to war…Obama is Syrious.

What sort of fool tells an enemy when and where and how one plans to strike…beforehand?

coldwarrior on August 27, 2013 at 5:56 PM

coldwarrior on August 27, 2013 at 5:29 PM

Your debate opponent sees only the positives while ignoring the downsides and very possible major negatives.

No doubt Assad is a bad guy allied with Iran and Russia.

However, a Syria run by jihadists could be much worse. Beyond the obvious, it could easily further destabilize an already unstable Iraq. And there is every reason to think the Islamists will prevail in a broken Syria unless we jump in with both feet and start doing some nation building, Comrade O style. Which will be called something other than “nation building”, of course.

So unless we can be certain that what comes after Assad is not worse and we are willing to do what is necessary to make that happen — and we can’t unless we get heavily involved — intervening militarily is just opening up another Muslim world Pandora’s box. The lessons of Iraq and Afghanistan are that we have no friends in the Muslim world. They will hate us no matter what we do or do not do.

farsighted on August 27, 2013 at 5:57 PM

I guess y’all haven’t heard of the “Heibian” (黑蝙) yet

DarkCurrent on August 27, 2013 at 6:04 PM

DarkCurrent on August 27, 2013 at 6:04 PM

Mainland version of Gungnam style?? :-)

coldwarrior on August 27, 2013 at 6:13 PM

DarkCurrent on August 27, 2013 at 6:04 PM

And still a very good photographer…love just walking through your pages of photos. Very good stuff.

coldwarrior on August 27, 2013 at 6:47 PM

farsighted on August 27, 2013 at 5:57 PM

Can you imagine AQ with Sarin and or VX?

dogsoldier on August 27, 2013 at 6:50 PM

the original poster ignorantly stated he could think of NOT ONE legitimate national security interest that would allow for action against Syria.

AirForceCane on August 27, 2013 at 5:14 PM

Legend in your own mind?

Care to update us on how we’re doing with Iran’s nuke program? You know, those nukes that kill in MILLIONS, not thousands like Sarin could? Care to let us know what it is exactly your idiot Hussein is doing about that? Care to remind us how he was funding Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and now that they have been kicked to the curb, thankfully, funding has stopped? Care to remind us about gun running to Al Qaida and training them with the weaponry, you know, those enemies of our that DID ACTUALLY ATTACK US on 9/11?

Are you really this stupid? Or simply devoid of any thought process?

You know what Stalin did with useful idiots like you once past their “use by date”? Mass extermination. Hussein is working off that manual, page by page. Just a heads up for you, idiots.

riddick on August 27, 2013 at 7:16 PM

What sort of fool tells an enemy when and where and how one plans to strike…beforehand?

coldwarrior on August 27, 2013 at 5:56 PM

LBJ did. Seems to be a Dem thing.

Oldnuke on August 27, 2013 at 7:45 PM

Can you imagine AQ with Sarin and or VX?

dogsoldier on August 27, 2013 at 6:50 PM

Yes, yes I can.

Oldnuke on August 27, 2013 at 7:46 PM

Well, we’ve lost former congressman Dennis Kucinich (D., Ohio.

Former congressman Dennis Kucinich (D., Ohio) said today that striking Syria would turn the United States military into “al-Qaeda’s air force.”

bluefox on August 27, 2013 at 9:10 PM

AirForceCane on August 27, 2013 at 5:14 PM

Even if we accepted all of your “valid national security concerns”, take a hard look at all sides in Syria and tell us which ones are “the good guys”. The unintended consequences (something Dems never seem to understand) of all you say about the potential value of deposing Assad, are that Syria would then be controlled by a different band of terrorists – ALL of whom still hate the US. Even if we solved some of your statted national security concerns by getting rid of Assad, we would have a whole new list of concerns with the people who take over.

We helped terrorist bands in Libya and look at how they repaid us – Benghazi.

dentarthurdent on August 27, 2013 at 9:16 PM

If Barack Obama decides to attack the Syrian regime, he has ensured – for the very first time in history – that the United States will be on the same side as al-Qa’ida.


bluefox on August 27, 2013 at 9:20 PM

And still a very good photographer…love just walking through your pages of photos. Very good stuff.

coldwarrior on August 27, 2013 at 6:47 PM

I’m just a beginner, but thank you very much!

DarkCurrent on August 28, 2013 at 9:45 AM

And how a side who formerly defended to the hilt a former President doing exactly that, now lambasting the next President for doing what they defended the last one for doing…
Fools, hypocrites, and charlatans, all around.
Genuine on August 27, 2013 at 10:39 AM

And here you are.

Dubya got Congressional approval before he attacked, has your boy followed the same procedure?
Bishop on August 27, 2013 at 10:55 AM

Considering that you had the ability to look back on his Libyan precedent when you voted in 2012, I truly hope you’ll field the Congressional approval question, Genuine.
Or were you just writing an incredibly elaborate spelling of “I don’t care, Obama is awesome”?
rogerb on August 27, 2013 at 11:50 AM

All done already, genuine?
Congratulations on fitting in so well.

rogerb on August 28, 2013 at 12:37 PM

Russia and China are such timid dogs, skulking with their tails between their legs even before the likes of B.O.

If Russia were serious in their threats, then they wouldn’t be talking about “catastrophic consequences in the region.” Pshaw! Who the heck gives a rat’s rear end about what happens “in the region?” Those are foreign barbarian hordes, not Americans. Putin is obviously all bark and no bite, otherwise he would threaten us, not the Middle East.

Until the Russians and/or Chinese threaten to nuke LA, DC, NYC, and Chicago, we can just ignore them. After all, how stupid would Americans have to be to fear countries that Texas alone could wallop?

TXJenny on August 28, 2013 at 8:38 PM

We need to pay attention to Russia, not so much China because they haven’t actually done much on the international stage, beyond their economic activities.

Russia could be an ally. They could help turn the balance of power in Syria and Iran. They have no love of islamic terrorists.

But that’s just our problem. When will we be free of Obama , Kerry and the other lunatics of the 60’s who still put flowers on the grave of Yasser Arafat?

virgo on August 29, 2013 at 12:54 AM

Comment pages: 1 2