Honestly, after Lybia, what did they expect? That their waxing about "poor unarmed Syrian civilians opressed and murdered by that evil dictator Asad" was going to be credible? The nonsense of it all id not lost on Daniel Greenfield, who writes:
If anyone is to blame for Russia and China’s vetoing of the Syria resolution in the UN Security Council, it’s Barack Obama. Last year the United States and the Arab League brought forward a No Fly Zone to the UN Security Council. Instead of enforcing a No Fly Zone, Obama, Cameron and Sarkozy instead used it as an excuse for an invasion and regime change. If Russia and China refused to take another plan from the same suspects at face value, the blame lies with an administration that abused a No Fly Zone.
The message from Russia and China is fairly clear. Fool me once, shame on you. But don’t even think about trying it twice.
I would, however, argue, like I did back in October, that the Russians and the Chinese were anything but fooled and that back then as well as now they knew exactly what they were doing. To them, Assad is a bigger asset then Ghadafi was and they acted accordingly. This simple notion of action being driven by national interest is something US/NATO can not swallow. But their musings replete with ideological cliches are among clear thinking people met with a mixture of bemusement and derision, as Caroline Glick notes:
Most US leaders have used rhetoric to explain their policies. But if you take the Obama administration's statements at face value you are left scratching your head in wonder. Specifically on Syria, if you take these statements literally, you are left wondering if Obama and his advisers are simply clueless. Because if they are serious, their indignation bespeaks a remarkable ignorance about how decisions are made at the Security Council.
Outside the intellectual universe of the Obama administration - where stalwart US allies such as Hosni Mubarak are discarded like garbage and foes such as Hugo Chavez are wooed like Hollywood celebrities - national governments tend to base their foreign policies on their national interests.
In light of this basic reality, Security Council actions generally reflect the national interests of its member states. This is how it has always been. This is how it will always be. And it is hard to believe that the Obama administration was unaware of this basic fact.
Sadly, Glick contradicts herself in the rest of the article by lamenting over Obama not "stopping Asad from killing the people of Syria". For a dose of reality we go back to Daniel Greenfield:
And who are the Syrian people anyway? Is it the Sunnis or the Alawites or the Christians? This isn’t a civil war between a dictator and his people, no matter how often the media and foreign policy experts will repeat the lie, it’s a religious conflict between a ruling Shiite splinter sect and Sunnis backed by Turkey and Arabian Gulf monarchies.
For all the talk of replacing Assad with an inclusive system based on elections, this will mean majority rule and the disenfranchisement of non-Sunnis, non-Muslims and women at the hands of the rebels handpicked by Turkish ruling Islamist party and the Emir of Qatar. Egypt’s democracy led to an Islamist parliament. There is no reason to expect a Syrian election not to lead to the same thing.
As the old saying goes, one should be careful what one wishes for because it may just come true. But how can one reason with people that do not learn not only from sayings but even from real-life experiance? The warnings similar to that of Greenfield will be either ignored or shouted down by screeching propagandists and later vindication will be scant consolation since the consequences of ideologically-driven ill-concieved policies will be to grave for people to dwell on past warnings.