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Russia was never secretly allied with the Iranian-led Resistance like the “5D chess” conspiracy theorists claimed, but it also never “sold out to Israel” or whatever like the “doom & gloom” ones alleged either.
The US-led Western strikes against the Yemeni Houthi rebels Thursday night were entirely foreseeable after the latest UNSC Resolution on the Red Sea passed the day prior. Russian Permanent UN Representative Vasily Nebenzia even warned that this New Cold War bloc would likely exploit that document’s passage even before the vote took place, which is why he proposed several amendments that would shatter Western credibility in that event, but they weren’t approved. Here’s what he said:
“We should not have any illusions about the true goals of the authors of the resolution. This is not about ensuring the safety of navigation in the Red Sea at all, but an attempt to legitimize (post factum) the actions of the aforementioned ‘coalition’ and have Security Council’s endorsement for an unlimited time.
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This conclusion obviously follows from the current language of OP3, which introduces a certain ‘right of states to defend their vessels against attack’, which does not exist in international law. This innovation looks extremely doubtful from both legal and political points of view.”
He then had this to say after the document passed due to his country declining to veto it:
“We should like to emphasize once again that this resolution cannot be regarded as legitimizing the actions in the Red Sea of the so-called ‘coalition’ consisting of the United States and its satellites. We note that OP3 cannot create a ‘right of states to defend their vessels against attack’, which does not exist. All activities under this paragraph, as stated in the paragraph itself, must be carried out strictly within the framework of effective international law.
The Permanent Representative of the United States accused us of playing politics. There is no need to recall a variety of misinterpretations of UNSC resolutions that Washington has indulged in. Under the pretext of protecting civilians, American-led NATO troops destroyed Libyan statehood. By distorting the provisions of the Security Council sanctions resolutions on Yemen, they intercepted weapons in the Arabian Sea, which were then sent to the Ukrainian armed forces.
From the words of the US Permanent Representative, it follows that the United States equals defense of commercial vessels to self-defense. In fact, the US exposed itself by voting together with Great Britain against the amendments to PP9 (on not setting precedents) and to OP3 and showed that the purpose why they promoted this draft resolution was to have a free hand at interpreting the ‘right to defend vessels’ with reference to self-defense.”
In other words, Russia sensed what was coming, but still abstained from the vote instead of vetoing it.
The reasons are complex and it’s not expected that most members from the Alt-Media Community (AMC) will support them, especially those who are super passionate about Palestine, but they should nevertheless be shared in order to clarify its policymaking calculations. For starters, it’s false to claim that Russia supports the Houthis as proven by its earlier endorsement of the UNSC joint press statement condemning that group’s attacks against civilian vessels, which was analyzed here at the time.
This happened less than a week after a top AMC influencer strongly implied the exact opposite by hinting that President Putin approved of these attacks as a way to redirect more global shipping towards the Northern Sea Route with all that would entail for bolstering his country’s geo-economic position. Russia’s support for the earlier UNSC joint press statement and abstention from the latest UNSC Resolution despite accurately predicting the military consequences of its passing debunks that innuendo.
The second point is that while Russia acknowledges that the Houthis’ attacks are a response to the latest Israeli-Hamas war, which Nebenzia reminded everyone of after the earlier UNSC joint press statement and following the latest UNSC Resolution, it’s also false to claim that it supports Palestine over Israel. This analysis “Clarifying Lavrov’s Comparison Of The Latest Israeli-Hamas War To Russia’s Special Operation” debunks that false perception which was also pushed by the aforesaid top AMC influencer.
These two false dogmas about Russian policy towards those interconnected conflicts had the effect of misleading many among the AMC after top influencers like the previously mentioned one and others laundered them through their works over the past three and a half months. That’s why it came as such a shock to them that Russia abstained from the latest UNSC Resolution, which the West exploited to attack the Houthis despite Moscow accurately predicting the consequences beforehand, instead of vetoing it.
Only after those dogmas have been dispelled can one better understand the final point about why Russia didn’t have the political will to veto that document even though it’s against what the West just did. The “politically inconvenient” fact is that Russia couldn’t realistically stop those previously impending strikes even if it was as pro-Houthi and pro-Palestinian as the AMC falsely portrays it as just as it couldn’t stop NATO’s 2011 War on Libya. Direct military intervention against the West would have led to World War III.
Since its hands were tied in both cases, and especially considering that it officially condemned the Houthis’ attacks against civilian vessels in the earlier UNSC joint press statement, it was best from the perspective of Russia’s soft power to abstain than veto and be made a fool out of by the West. It’s one thing to abstain on the grounds of partially agreeing with some of a certain text enough to not veto it, and another entirely to veto that text but then be unable to enforce compliance with international law.
Had Russia vetoed either UNSC Resolution and then failed to follow up by forcibly punishing the West for exploiting both documents to attack Libya and the Houthis, then it would appear incomparably weaker in the world’s eyes than if it abstained, warned about a certain scenario, and was then proven right. Those who recently expected Russia to start World War III in support of the Houthis were under the influence of wishful thinking (“5D chess”) narratives that should never have been published in the first place. `
As was explained last summer when “Analyzing The Arrest Of ‘Doom & Gloom’ Conspiracy Theorist Igor Girkin”, “’5D chess’ imbues believers with the feeling that their side is ‘invincible’ and that ‘victory is imminent’, which therefore inevitably leads to cognitive dissonance whenever undeniable setbacks occur and can thus result in deep disappointment with time. Those who experience the latter then become much more susceptible to ‘doom & gloom’ (‘D&G’) conspiracy theories.”
The relevance of that insight to Russia’s abstention from the latest UNSC Resolution, which was exploited by the West to attack the Houthis, is that those who were preconditioned to falsely expect it to veto such a document might now more easily fall under the sway of those who falsely claim that “Russia sold out”. Russia was never secretly allied with the Iranian-led Resistance like the “5D chess” conspiracy theorists claimed, however, nor did it “sell out to Israel” or whatever like the “D&G” ones alleged either.
The reality has always been that Russia is strategically partnered with Iran but not allied just as with China, and it never “sold out” to Israel because its interests have always largely but still imperfectly aligned on a lot of issues that the Mainstream Media and the AMC felt uncomfortable talking about. Upon dispelling the preceding dogma, one can therefore better understand why Russia didn’t veto the latest resolution even if they disagree with its decision, which helps clarify its policymaking calculations.