Monday, February 27, 2012

spring II

So Hillary Clinton is mad at the Russian and Chinese governments because they vetoed her UN resolution against the Syrian regime. For their trouble, she called em "despicable," among other things.

"They are setting themselves not only against the Syrian people but also the entire Arab awakening," Clinton said of China and Russia, which have resisted Western and Arab calls to push Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from power.

China's defense of its policy was also vehement.

"This is totally unacceptable for us," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a daily briefing.

"China has always determined its stance on the Syrian issue proceeding from the peace and stability of Syria and the Middle East, and from protecting the long-term, fundamental interests of the Syrian and Arab peoples."

It's hardly surprising that a couple of late-industrial-age governments like Russia's and China's would side with a Wal-Mart autocrat like Bashar Assad, and against the people who are fighting for democracy. The Chinese authorities, especially, are the very picture of paternalistic authoritarianism, their command economy and obsession with order having resulted in a basically Stalinist set-up.

As for Hillary Clinton, her resolution, even though it was squelched, would have appeared a lot more serious if it had specified some kind of consequences for Assad continuing to shoot unarmed protesters and bomb civilians. Probably the last thing we need right now is another middle-eastern intervention, but what's to prevent us from arming the Syrians? For free?

Non-violent, civil-disobedient protest usually works, but sometimes it doesn't. And when you're already in a gunfight, you need a gun.

Like the rest of the world-wide movement rumbling in waves across the face of the earth right now, the Syrian revolution is about ending dictatorship and beginning democracy. At the moment Syria is the front line of unfinished business from 1848.

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