In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

China, Russia offset West’s actions in Syria

Posted by seumasach on June 1, 2012

Global Times

30th May, 2012

The Houla massacre may drive the situation in Syria to a new phase. “Only Russia, China can stop carnage in Syria”, an opinion piece published by CNN on Monday, claimed that China and Russia’s support for Bashar al-Assad is the reason for the Syrians’ suffering. This kind of rhetoric is not new. Western media has been taking this tone ever since China and Russia double-vetoed the Syrian resolution in the UN Security Council.

But the reality is quite the opposite. If someone has to take responsibility for Syria’s problems, that can only be the West. It has been adding fuel to the flames since the beginning of the Syrian crisis, driving the situation out of control. Tragedies like the one that recently occurred in Houla are predictable in this messy situation. The US and European powers should primarily be held morally accountable for this.

China and Russia have called for the crisis to be solved by peaceful means, as this is obviously the least painful path toward a transition. Western powers, however, insist that there can be no solution until Assad leaves. This is actually calling for bloodshed, rather than peace. It will force parties in Syria to decide their fate through war.

The West has been dominant in the development of the Syrian situation, while China and Russia act as the balancing power. If the latter are gone, Syria will no doubt slip into a full-scale war. China and Russia care most about peace in Syria. But the West only wants to achieve its political end for Syria and the Middle East, so that it prioritizes the ouster of Assad, while leaving a peaceful outcome behind.

The West’s approach on Syria is forceful. It began with political and economic sanctions aimed at isolating the Assad regime. And at the same time, it gave support to the opposition to create a power shift within the country.

But the regime is not rootless. Half of the Syrian population remains loyal to Assad, and eradicating this support will cost the Syrians dearly. The West’s strategy is built upon Syrians’ flesh and blood. It is a political kidnapping of the destinies of over 20 million people.

If a country is allowed to intervene in another country’s domestic affairs at will, our world will be plagued by a long series of wars driven by subversions of regimes. No matter how history judges them, it will be a nightmare for people of this age.

The West should not expect China and Russia’s cooperation if it insists on dictating its own values and mindsets to the world by any means it can. It will instead find China and Russia standing in its way.

The West has not really tasted any victory in the post-Cold War era. Although it managed to overthrow a few powerless regimes, the gains were only short-lived, as resentment against the West still exists in these countries. Afghanistan and Iraq are left with no solutions, while Egypt and Libya’s futures hang in the air. In these already escalated circumstances, China and Russia should both persuade Assad to refrain from using heavy firearms and prevent or delay the West’s militarization of the opposition. China and Russia never expect any compliment from the West. But both China and Russia know from their heart that their efforts will benefit the Syrian people and the international community’s pursuit of peace.

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