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Russia and China Provide Cover for Assad's Syria

From The Star:

Gulf Arab countries, led by Qatar’s Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, have stepped up their criticism of the Syrian regime and recalled their observers from the Arab League mission to Syria. It is expected that they would favour a United Nations resolution advocating military intervention. But don’t expect much to transpire. As the death toll continues to rise above 5,000 Syrian lives, it is time to come to terms with the likelihood of a protracted stalemate. Unlike the dramatic and rapid overthrow of other Arab regimes, the Syrian impasse will continue as suspicions and divisions among world powers produce continued inaction.

Russian and Chinese support for the Syrian regime will ensure two powerful Security Council vetoes to any resolution calling for armed intervention and toughened economic sanctions. Both believe that they were duped last year by western and NATO parties in the implementation of UN resolution 1973, which was meant to defend Libyan civilians but led to the overthrow of the Gadhafi regime. These two rising economic powers are adamant about putting western states in their place. They refuse to see the UN used as a vehicle to legitimize U.S. and European foreign policy interests.

The decision on Syria is closely related to that on Iran. As western governments push for a tougher UN sanctions regime for an alleged nuclear weapons program, the Russians and Chinese will refuse to go along and jeopardize their military and economic ties with Iran.

Moreover, these two states view proposed UN resolutions on Syria and Iran as tactics having a common western goal: to produce regime change throughout the region.

At the same time, Russian and Chinese support for the Syrians complements their own perverse narrative on the root cause of domestic opposition on the streets of Moscow and Tibet: “Western powers are funneling ideas and money to insurgent movements, leading to foreign sponsored terrorism and protests.”

This all-too-familiar-line is repeated continuously by Syria’s Bashar Assad. Support for protestors’ rights to demonstrate is interpreted as interference in the sovereignty of these countries.

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