Today as the world watches another massacre in Syria, we hear all the usual arguments for non-intervention amid the images of murdered civilians. Like the ignominious and murderous riot that took place in Srebrenica by the Serbian forces, we are seeing thousands butchered so that the Alawi rulers under al-Assad can continue their terror hold on the nation. The Russian TV channel RT has been broadcasting a news segment arguing that the Syrian assault against rebels is no different than the American repression of the Sunni uprising in Fallujah, Iraq (http://rt.com/...). Assessing this
assertion in the context of Putin's remarks in the FT recently (February 8th 2012), leaves one with the conclusion that the Russians are taking the position that the Allied efforts in Iraq were illegal and should have been stopped. Here he argues that interventions from outside a country aimed to stop the killing of citizens is fueling a
"culture of violence", but assaults against citizens by a nation's military, as in Syria or Russia in Chechnya, are positive anti-violence. The logic is certainly tortured, and unfortunately, so are the results.
Confusing, however, in this scenario, would be the attempt to fit Russia's invasion of Georgia into the argument. Should not Russia have abstained from getting involved? Was that not an internal matter between the Georgian government and rebels? Russia cannot have it both ways, either it recognizes its responsibilities in a consistent fashion on the world stage or it sinks to the level of the old authoritarian
remains of the 20th century. However, a sinister subtext is apparent in Putin's remarks and that is that none of the former Soviet republics are outside of Russia's true and real boundaries and therefore they can act with impunity in these nations without any expectation of international concern and certainly not international intervention.