Bryan Fischer Award Nominee: Russia

The Bryan Fischer Award is given to those who suffer from a breathtaking lack of self-awareness, accusing their opponents of their own worst sins. Today’s winner is Russia, which reacted to President Obama’s talk of possible air strikes against ISIS in Syria by declaring it a violation of international law.

Russia said on Thursday air strikes against Islamist militants in Syria without a U.N. Security Council mandate would be an act of aggression, raising the possibility of a new confrontation with the West in coming weeks.

“The U.S. president has spoken directly about the possibility of strikes by the U.S. armed forces against ISIL positions in Syria without the consent of the legitimate government,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said.

“This step, in the absence of a U.N. Security Council decision, would be an act of aggression, a gross violation of international law.”

Ed Morrisey responds sarcastically:

Gee, I must have missed the UN Security Council resolution that granted Russia sovereignty over Crimea, and the invitation to send armor and infantry into eastern Ukraine. For that matter, perhaps the Kremlin could be kind enough to point us toward the UNSC resolution that authorized the Russian invasion of Georgia in 2008 and the seizure of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as well. After all, Vladimir Putin’s regime appears to be an expert on international law, so …

But he doesn’t point out the obvious, which is that the United States is every bit as hypocritical in such situations. In fact, as I pointed out when John Kerry condemned Russian action in Crimea as a violation of Ukraine’s sacred sovereignty, we have zero credibility in saying anything remotely like that. Russian exceptionalism is no less ridiculous than American exceptionalism.

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  • John Pieret

    the United States is every bit as hypocritical in such situations

    Which might have been Russia’s point. After all, its support of Assad has all been about not having “radical” (for varying definitions of the term) Islamists taking over Syria and destabilizing the entire Middle East. And why not go to the Security Council? Would any of the permanent members veto authorization?

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  • Who Cares

    I think there is a better (at least a lot cleaner and clearer) example of them being hypocrites then the Ukraine which has devolved into a proxy war between the west and Russia.

    The better example would be South Ossetia where they moved in to crush the Georgian army in an attempt to protect South Ossetia.

  • lorn

    I would think that seeing as that Iraq is still considered a sovereign nation and that it has explicitly asked for help, and tacitly approved of the attacks on ISIL, I would think we are covered. I wouldn’t think the Russian intervention in Ukraine, given that the separatists they are likely to cite as giving them clearance are not a sovereign nation, isn’t so well covered under international law.

    Ukraine isn’t going to get the Crimea back. Ukraine received the Crimea in fluke of historic coincidence, and epic shortsightedness and likely drunkenness. Russia gave up the Crimea thinking the Soviet Union, and Ukraine’s satellite status, was everlasting. It was like signing over the vacation house to your four-year-old nephew to avoid taxes. It was a formality that would be settled in a friendly patron state court. At least until the Soviet Union unexpectedly went the way of the dinosaurs. So now the nephew has moved into the vacation home and is holding wild parties. The UN may not approve but the fact of power politics is that, because Russia is in effect the police on the beat in the area, Crimea is going to stay Russian. If/when Russia backs out of Ukraine the world will call it a fair enough deal.