30 August 2013 — Strategic Culture Foundation
The United States announced its plans to strike Syria pretty soon. Moscow reacted immediately. The Russia Ministry of Foreign Affairs statement was very resolute. «All of this makes one recall the events that happened 10 years ago, when, using false information about Iraqis having weapons of mass destruction, the US bypassed the United Nations and started a scheme whose consequences are well known to everyone», the Ministry said in a web-posted statement. It also emphasized that the decision to launch an intervention was made while ignoring ample evidence testifying to the fact that the action was a provocation staged by the so-called «opposition».
Moscow is calling on the West to abstain from actions that contradict internationally adopted legal norms. It’s very important to realize, that starting a West-supported war against Syria will result in gross violation of international law. First, it’ll be an aggression, the most serious international crime. Second, the use of force going around the United Nations Security Council will violate the basic international treaty – the United Nations Charter. This is the treaty that enjoys a priority over any other agreement. No matter that, UK Foreign Minister William Hague has already declared the action needs no approval from Security Council.
There is a West-fuelled pre-war hysteria going on, but not all are willing to be a part of it. Talking to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, UN special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi said this is a critical time and all parties, including foreign actors, should act in a responsible way in order not to repeat the mistakes of the past. In a press-conference on August 28 he put it in a more candid way saying he was against a military intervention as a matter of principle. Ban Ki-Moon emphasized two important points in his statement on Syria. First, speaking at the Hague, he urged members of the UN Security Council to look for a diplomatic solution, saying: «Give peace a chance, give diplomacy a chance, stop fighting and start talking». He also stressed the need to abide by UN Charter provisions. Second, he made a statement, that sounded a bit extraordinary in his case, mentioning the fact that the Hague international criminal courts activities should be kept in mind by those who are on the path of committing an international crime. It sounded very convincingly, no matter if he meant the United States of America and Great Britain or not. It’s well known who is going to perpetrate another international crime today.
At the same time it’s not well known what exactly happened in a Damascus suburban town on August 21. The low level of awareness is corroborated by the statements made by people who are to know more than anyone else. For instance, Brahimi said at the August 28 press-conference that, «these last few days, developments have been even more dramatic, with what has happened on 21 August last week. It does seem that some kind of substance was used that killed a lot of people. Hundreds. Definitely more than hundreds. Some people say 300, some people say 600, maybe 1,000, maybe more than 1,000 people. This is of course unacceptable. This is outrageous. This confirms how dangerous the situation in Syria is and how important for the Syrians and the international community to really develop the political will to address this issue seriously and look for a solution for it». (1) This is a ridiculous way of talking about established «details». It is clear that there is simply no solid evidence related to the events of August 21 to go upon.
The fact that the United States and Great Britain are in such great haste to expedite the events after the August 21 incident reveals their intent to interfere with the activities of the United Nations inspectors who have successfully started to investigate what happened on spot. The Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs said, «We have a naturally arising question: why our Western partners, who are now so worried about the risk of disappearance of the clues, were not at all worried about the preservation of material evidence, when they blocked the sending of UN experts to investigate the cases of use of chemical weapons in Khan al-Asal on the 19 March». I believe there is nothing to be surprised about. There was a certain method the West used to hamper the investigating of the March events, now it is resorting to other ways for the very same purpose. This extraordinary impulsivity to launch a military operation means only one thing: the West is trying to conceal the evidence of its own participation in the use of chemical weapons in Syria…
Early on August 28 Prime Minister David Cameron wrote in his Twitter post that the United Kingdom was going to submit its own draft resolution on Syria to the five member Security Council. (2) The timing for such an initiative gives one pause: the work of the United Nations inspection mission is not over and the Geneva-2 talks are ahead. A statement by UK Foreign Minister William Hague gives some clue. While admitting he had no evidence of the chemical weapons use by Syria, Hague said (please, attention here!) that it was Syria who had to prove it did not deploy chemical weapons.
The Cameron’s tweet on the draft resolution is of even more provocative nature, it says the draft condemns the use of chemical weapons by Assad’s regime. The draft is tabled to the UN Security Council, including Russia against the background of the fact that Russian experts had conducted their own investigation and the full dossier was submitted to the United Nations Secretariat on August 24. The evidence was well documented providing a proof that it was the «opposition» who used chemical weapons in the Aleppo district of Khan al-Asal. It actually means that Russia, the country that knows for sure who exactly used chemical weapons, should acknowledge that it’s the facts established by it are wrong and the crime was committed by others.