I pick up a newspaper only when I have some time to kill, and I hope to find a diabolical sudoku to keep me busy while waiting. Monday I picked-up a copy of Me'tro, the Montreal city feel-good mc-rag for that very purpose, and a front-page headline glared at me: "La Russie au banc des accuses l'ONU pour des crimes de guerre en Syrie"!
"Russia is accused at the UN of war crimes in Syria".
Who are the accusers? The US, the UK and France, the three permanent members of the UN Security Council, and three foremost NATO members who have been waging or abetting wars of aggression in Africa, the Balkans and throughout the Middle East since 1989, ever since they thought they "won" the Cold War against the former USSR and began savagely warring their way to 21st-century global hegemony!
Three NATO powers who, having occupied and destroyed Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, decided to go and spread "Democracy by Bombing" in Syria -- when they were stopped in their (tank) tracks in October 2011 by a double Russia-China veto, the first ever used against NATO in 22 years since the end of the Cold War and the break-up of the USSR.
The same three NATO powers who have been bent to carry out an illegal "re'gime change" in Syria, a sovereign member of the UN, who have been illegally flying bombing raids over Syria, deploying boots on the ground, and aiding and abetting self-proclaimed jihadists of all stripes, including ISIS/Daesh, to overthrow the legitimate government of President Bashar al-Assad.
And who is the accused? Russia, which has legally intervened in Syria with the approval of the Assad government to defend Syrian sovereignty and territorial integrity, and to demolish Daesh and its affiliates, and embarrass their NATO & Allied patrons into proving to the world that they are serious about "Fighting Terrorism".
And Russia and Syria both have the backing of China, India, Iran and a host of states from the global south in this historic and momentous anti-NATO test case.
The US, the UK and France have not yet even begun to face up to their lies and war crimes in Afghanistan (which had nothing to do with 9/11), in Iraq (the proven lies of Bush and Blair, documented by the Chilcot Report), in Libya (Cameron and Sarkozy). The Afghanistan war of aggression was carried out under Article 5 of NATO's Atlantic Charter -- the Alliance rushes to the defense of any aggressed member country. But in this case, the majority of 9/11 aggressors were identified Saudi citizens. Afghanistan was the wrong country to attack, totally. Saudi Arabia would have been a more justifiable target, but the obscurantist human-rights violator and warmonger is a prize NATO ally!
Iraq, Libya, Syria were all targets of wars of aggression by NATO powers. And as the Nuremberg trials established after WWII, "a war of aggression is the mother of all crimes in that it opens the floodgates to all other crimes: massacres, rape, torture, refugees..."
These are the countries who are accusing Russia of war crimes in Syria! While Russia is embarked not on a war of aggression but on a war of defense, a war to uphold the UN charter and international law, and a real war against terrorism!
In the UN debate, Russia, in very diplomatic terms, accused the NATO powers of providing military aid and air support to the so-called jihadists in Syria. After US Ambassador Samantha Power duly recited in the Security Council her list of accusations against Russia, the State Department finally came out and denied arming the Syrian jihadist front Jabhat al-Nusra, but admitted unnamed allies of the US may be doing so!
US spokesman Mark Toner was reacting to a report published Monday in the German newspaper Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger. In an interview conducted 10 days before with an Al-Nusra commander in Syria, identified only as "Abu Al-Ezz" outside of Aleppo, Al-Ezz said that US allies were providing Al-Nusra with tanks and artillery. "The Americans are on our side," Al-Ezz reportedly said.
For good measure, the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova pointedly rebuked Samantha Power, who had accused Moscow of civilian deaths in Aleppo in the wake of the collapse of the ceasefire negotiated by the US and Russia.
"What Russia is sponsoring and doing (in Syria) is not counter-terrorism, it is barbarism," Power had said on Sunday in the UN Security Council.