BRICSview: The “red line” called Syria

BRICSview: The “red line” called Syria


The US and its allies have destroyed Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya. A better representation of international opinion (read: non-western countries like the BRICS) does not want to see Syria fall as the next victim of illegal regime change.


by Peter Lavelle

Is there such a thing as a BRICS foreign policy? The quick and easy answer is “no.”

BRICS : Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa

At this point the BRICS do not have a unified and foreign policy agenda. However, the members find much common ground around the issues non-inference in the affairs of sovereign states, that the rule of international law should apply to all, and the use of force against a member of the international community should have the sanction beyond what is called the “Washington Consensus”.

Russia’s view on Syria embraces all these tenets and encompasses a BRICS-like foreign policy approach.

Over the past two years we have been repeatedly reminded of “red lines”, as expressed by Washington, Tel Aviv, and European capitals when it comes to the crisis in Syria. What is lost in all of this is how Syria itself is a “red line” for international law and yet another example of how forced regime change pursued by outside powers is a dangerous exercise of the law of unintended consequences.

In the case of Syria, the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus is given warnings – sometimes in the most vague terms – of certain consequences of specific actions. The use of chemical weapons is the most outstanding “red line”. If Assad uses chemical weapons, we are told the West and its allies, particularly Israel, can do whatever they deem necessary against Assad (regardless of international law).

The only notable and evidential use of Syrian chemical weapons points to anti-regime rebels. Apparently, if rebels use chemical weapons, western-Israeli ‘red lines’ do not apply. Then there is the issue of legitimate self-defence.

”]Like Assad or not, he is the international recognised leader of Syria and he has every right to protect the sovereignty of his country. This is a policy area the BRICS and most of the world feel very strongly about. Russia has a history of selling weapons to Syria – all legal and sanctioned by internationally accepted contracts.

Russia’s commitment to remain within the bounds of the law is at the centre of its relationship with Syria and other countries in the region. Israel’s threat to intercept and apply force against Russian vessels carrying weapons bound to Syria in international waters is illegal under international law. Though this is not a “red line” for any one in Washington and Brussels.

Israel’s bombing of Syria is done with impunity. If a non-NATO country or a country not in sync with the “Washington consensus” committed such an act of naked aggression it would be considered a casus belli. If anyone of the BRICS attacked another country without warning while not at war with that country, the “Washington Consensus” would bristle with words of condemnation.

There are other double standards. This is at the same time the EU voted not to renew an arms embargo on Syria. Now independent EU governments can provide arms to groups in Syria as they please (though providing arms to non-state actors is itself illegal under international law).

We are probably witnessing the worst international crisis since the end of the Cold War and Syria is the epicentre. Sides have been taken. The US, the EU (for the most part), Israel, Turkey and Saudi Arabia (and its Gulf allies) demand regime change.

Additionally, whether they admit it or not, they back the Sunnis from all over the region fighting Assad. Syria is the battlefield for this sectarian war. Does the West understand that it is a powerful enabler to a sectarian conflict that could last decades and result blowback as we have witnessed in Boston and London. Does it understand that it is enabling some of the worst elements of radicalism that is so fundamentally alien to the vast majority of Muslims?

Add to this the unwillingness of Russia and other countries to allow the West to once again determine who has the right to rule. The US and its allies have destroyed Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya. A better representation of international opinion (read: non-western countries like the BRICS) does not want to see Syria fall as the next victim of illegal regime change.

For the Syrian people what is happening in their country is now all about survival. The more outside powers involve themselves against Assad, the worse the situation becomes. Though beyond this horrific tragedy being played out on the ground is the hubris of others.

Syrians at a refugee camp in Jordan. The UN refugee agency said the number of Syrian refugees could increase by two or three times by the end of 2013, calling on international support for the nations housing the fleeing Syrians. (Muhammad Hamed/Reuters)

Syria is also an epitome of how the West continues to hijack and mismanage the global political order. The West and its allies claim the right to define a “red line” when it suits a geopolitical purpose and at the expense of international law. This is why Syria is a “red line” all of its own.

Countries like Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa simply will no longer idly watch a country be torn to pieces and a region dangerously destabilised. This is the beginning of a meaningful BRICS foreign policy.


Peter Lavelle is the host of CrossTalk, a debate programme on Russia Today TV network. He is a senior journalist based out of Moscow.

He is an author, columnist and commentator.


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  1. The problem is: Brazil is part of BRICS, the monetary basket trying to escape the dominion of the private banking cartel, led by the City of London, the Federal Reserve, and Israel, its Geo-political actor in the world. In fact, in the last 20 years the extreme poverty rates have dropped precipitously in Brazil, but the scheming of hedge funds, like those that set off the "Arab Spring" in Tunisia are hard for the politicians to control. I suspect a contrived economic event to destabilize Brazil and bring it back into the fold. Now that Chavez is dead (cancer gun), it looks like South America is being brought back into the fold.

  2. By Ami Kaufman |Published June 16, 2013 Israeli financial daily:


    Ben Bernanke may replace Stanley Fischer as head of Israel Bank Israel’s largest financial daily, Calcalist,reports today [Heb] on rumors that the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, will replace Stanley Fischer as head of the Israel Bank.


    Amnon Atad, a veteran reporter who is known for his extensive behind the scenes knowledge of the Bank of Israel, discusses the possible “mother of all surprises” that Prime Minister Netanyahu may be preparing. Atad writes:

    “There is another option, at this point only a rumor, that explains the smell of surprise now spreading in the air: to appoint Federal Reserve head Ben Bernanke to the job. It could be an imaginary speculation, with low chances of actually happening, but one must remember that Bernanke is the only import option that would garner wall to wall agreement. Ben Shalom Bernanke is very much a “Fischer compatible.” He’s also a well known and experienced economics professor, Jewish, and speaks Hebrew. Bernanke is supposed to finish his term in January 2014. Netanyahu can now announce his appointment to head of the Bank of Israel and that he will begin in half a year, and until then the deputy head Karnit Plog will fill the position.”

  3. Wonderful thought of the BRICS uniting to preserve the sovereignty of Syria. However action speaks louder than words. Therefore China and India especially need to take some strong clear action to support Syria. My inexperienced  mind would say-boycott all goods from the US, UK and France. Send back their diplomatic staff. Do not deal in the dollar. Do not allow US ships, and aircraft to land in their countries. China and India are nearly 40% of the worlds population, and losing their trade should make a difference. Will the leadership of these 2 countries be honest enough to stand tall?

    • Among other problems, I see the involvement of India as a very bad sign. Sorry Raj, but India is so utterly and obviously Israel's bumboy and deeply corrupted at thetop that it is certain to be on the wrong side of anything. China whilst they may look good compared to the Zionist States of America, is yet a brutal and inhuman regime, and does nothing for purely altruistic reasons. Probably no state does, however Russiai s our last hope, given it's Christian revival and obvious benefits of rising to fill the moral vacuum which is yawning like a bottomless chasm before the international community. Allah protect Syria and all good Muslims against the fake puppet Salafist, Takfiris and their wahhabist instigators and send the filthy lying deceivers to hell.

      • My apologies Randhir, I made an error with your name, it was no deliberate. Nor do I relate India's sad situation with anything but sorrow, but I don't see how it can be denied. That rubbish false flag at Mumbai where those Chabad-Lubavitch Jews so openly pulled off a false flag with help from RAW, sort of gave the game away to anyone who was watching with their eyes open.

        • As an Indian, I couldn't agree with u more. India country is in a sad state of deep moral and financial decline.
          2. Peter Lavelle's article is a wonderful one.  NATO/US  think they are the authors of the rule book and the world. So far only Russia has had the courage to stand upto them.
          3. Don't the Muslim countries see the 'divide and rule' policy of the West. Why can't they stay united?
          4. The last hope is for the American public to put their foot down..and say NO to war. I know this sounds like a 'pipe dream'.  Till then we can but pray for peace. Insha-allah.

    The pity of BRICS is that it has not embarked upon an expansion both of their membership and their policies. This leaves them in limbo so to speak at a time when decisive action is required in so many places. This makes the default decision maker Israel, but in the guise of the US. Situation normal then.
    The value BRICS could be to the world is obvious, I would think. 
    Membership by Iran would ensure its safety because not even the Israeli terrorists and their cat's paw, the USA would attempt to dislodge a BRICS supported government from their rightful position as a member of an "independent" group given the prestige and protection that such membership would bring.  However, there never seems to be any effort to expand their influence, to encourage membership. Nor is one seemingly able to offer them support as their administrative capability seems even worse than those of secretive big corporations in that they do not encourage any contact with their offices at all, strangely located in the UK. I thought it must have been a misprint but no, they are located in the land of Agents Hague and Cameron, worshippers at the altar of the Rothschild's Zionist philosophy of ‘all for Israel’ and damn the rest, including their own country, the UK.
    Those two Agents are perhaps not a good example being Zionists in British clothing. Just look at their daily ramblings in support of Israel’s claim on Syrian land for example through the support of  al Qaeda to achieve this. Mind you, it has cost a lot of British lives in the making, Iraq, Afghanistan but they are personally relatively safe in their own offices. As was Blair before them and the British people don’t seem to mind a lot of casualties.
    But it could be much more effective than it is. For example it could offer the same bribery and corruption as has been used on the new and emerging power in the UK, the UKIP, whose recent statements show quite clearly that they have lost their purity of thought by making statements accepting the Palestinian status quo and all that means. You do have to pay those Zionists. They do understand the mind of a politician, any colour, any creed. Even Nigel Farage, once seen to be a man of some courage and potential, is just another politician, like the rest of the rabble. And all his pollied toe the Zionist line. So much for independence.
    But a more visible, more energetic BRICS could encourage those nations who need some guidance and support hopefully seeing some merit in the alliance and its values, about  which we all seem to be a little unclear. One would think for example, that some of the members of the EU Parliament, with just a matter of time before it dissolves into a big almost empty building with a two or three country membership and lots of vacant seats.  Germany will still be there, Germany and….?. Who knows. A fertile ground I would have thought as the future for the EU does not take into consideration the needs of the smaller, less affluent countries. But as members of BRICS, they could have a voice and not be dictated to every day by Germany and of course, the banksters.
    If one reads of the BRICS objectives, they do seem to be all commercially and business oriented and do not stress the importance of being something other than part of the "Washington Consensus", such a distinction being a badge of honour in 2013, with the final and recent disclosure about the manufactured and carefully cultivated Obama. He is a much more rhetorical person then was the dim-witted Bush but his  values appear to be the same  now seen as a man with feet of clay, a liar and cunning to boot. He has become the perfect tool as with almost all his predecessors. Just  another president on the Jewish payroll.
    So as disappointing as all these new disclosures are, ‘yes, we can’ becoming ‘no, we can’t ‘ and  expected in the Zionist owned US, it is still disappointing because there is no apparent awareness among the masses of Obama's frailty, or if there is, it is well hidden..
    All the  things that BRICS could be to so many countries who may need someone to respect or a new set of values perhaps, are very slow to grow. There have been five BRICS Summits and little to show for it.
    The last thing the world needs is another meaningless flash in the pan

  5. Lets not forget that Yugoslavia and Somalia, as well as the Sudan were destabilized and then torn to pieces by  "the west".  Sudan will make an excellnet colony for Israel because it has resources and is actully very nearby.