The Russian veto: saying “no” is not a policy
alarabiya / Amir Taheri
11-Feb-2012 (one comment)

Why did they do it? This is the question that many in the Middle East are asking about Russia’s veto of a United Nations’ Security Council resolution on Syria.

In itself, the veto is neither here nor there. The uprising in Syria is unlikely to end because of it. Even if President Bashar al-Assad manages to hang on a bit longer, his crippled regime would not be much good to Russia or anyone else.

Nor is Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s hastily arranged visit to Damascus a sign that Moscow is able to save Assad’s doomed regime. In fact, Moscow has been briefing journalists with the claim that Lavrov went to Damascus to persuade Assad to step aside. If Assad goes because Russia asked him to do, Lavrov and his boss would not feel excluded as they did over other events in the “Arab Spring”.
Thus, we should not interpret Russia’s move as a vote of confidence in Assad. The move may have other reasons.

In tactical terms, the veto could enable Vladimir Putin, seeking to return as president, mobilise his support base on the eve of an increasingly difficult election.

Putin is caught in a pincer one arm of which consists of the re-energised Communist Party while Vladimir Zhirinovsky’s chauvinist outfit represents the other.

The two hate each other but are united by anti-West sentiments. They see the Syrian revolt, indeed the “Arab Spring”, as an extension of the West’s sphere of influence. By taking an anti-West s... >>>

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Syrian people are being "putinized." Are Iranians next?

by FG on

How do you like my new verb?   "To putin" or "to be putinized" (meaning a non-Russian people gets slaughtered solely to assist Putin against a shaky political situation back home).  If Russia reversed it's positions on Syria, Assad and his top thugs would flee the country within days.


First reason: Domestic survival.  He does fear growing demonstrations at home and needs a foreign threat as diversion. (Note: Khamenei does the same thing.  It also explains why Egyptian generals are attacking foreign NGOS. It's called "diversion.")

Second reason: Successful popular revolutions in Syria and Iran are likely to encourage demonstrators in Russia.

If Assad falls, and Putin is still around he'll support any similar slaughter of civilians by Khamenei no matter how much the world complains.   This is why Iranians should root for a massive outbreak of demonstrations in Russia this spring. 

It's also another reason why the USA and West can't intervene too actively in Syria right now.  Doing so might truncate upcoming spring and summer demonstrations in Russia whose regime must go so that overthrowing tyrannies elsewhere become easier.