Sunday, August 10, 2008

A quick glance around the warzone.

Right, it's time to dip my toe in the water of international conflict via the medium of favouring one side over another on said blog. Rather than rushing into a war zone with one of these, h/t and a click of the heels to the beefcake:

So I will tentatively dip my toe in the mess which is occurring in South Ossetia

According to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Russia's intention is to defend the many civilians of South Ossetia who hold Russian citizenship. In the 1990s, Russians who would like South Ossetia to be part of the Russian Federation, gave locals Russian passports. This is why Medvedev can talk about the Russian citizens his country wants to protect.

In purely legal terms, despite the declaration of independence in the 1990s, South Ossetia as a nation has never been diplomatically recognised. In a similar vein, the Taliban was never recognised as the government of Afghanistan and so when NATO troops descended on the country, it was not considered to be an international conflict but NATO troops fighting on behalf of the legally recognised Afghan government and, thus, an internal conflict.

Thus, the Georgian troops in South Ossetia are not hostile even though they are fighting with the separatists because the separatists are not defending their country. The Georgians, however, can be said to be defending their country by fighting the separatists: politics aside, of course...

Thus, if we have a quick look at Article 51 of the UN Charter we find it says:

Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this right of self-defence shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security.

Georgia (31 July 1992), Russian Federation (24 October 1945).

However, the Russian attacks are hostile because they are attacking the territory of another nation without grounds. There has been no attack on Russia by Georgia and preemptive self defence, even if there were any suspicions, are not permitted under International Law.

It is therefore my humble opinion that when the UN meets, their resolution should come down in favour of the Georgians and that they should see right through this offensive foreign policy of the Russian Federation.

The situation also highlights the lunacy of our energy policy: how can our politicians honestly think that we should be reliant on a country like Russia for our energy needs? We need the new Kingsnorth power station for one, and for a new nuclear energy programme to ensure we can have clean, cheap electricity we can produce ourselves.

I would like to add that I rather like Russian people and have asked them on many occasions what it's like having a government which is proud of the country they govern rather than one like ours which just wants to sell us to the easiest bidder at the earliest opportunity.


DC said...

You can use exactly the same argument for the Kosovo intervention - we (the West)are as guilty as the Russians. We weren't acting to prevent genocide or ethnic cleansing any more than the Russians are.

One man's freedom fighter, etc, etc. At the end of the day we were the ones to make the first modern day breach of national sovereignty.

Kosovo has now been widely accepted as an independent state but if the Serbs had marched into their province 6 months ago would the situation be any different to what Georgia tried a few days ago.

Trixy said...

We weren't trying to annex Kosovo which the Russians are.