Western lynch mob on Russia ties itself up in absurd knots

Finian Cunningham
Finian Cunningham (born 1963) has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages. Originally from Belfast, Ireland, he is a Master’s graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England, before pursuing a career in newspaper journalism. For over 20 years he worked as an editor and writer in major news media organizations, including The Mirror, Irish Times and Independent. Now a freelance journalist based in East Africa, his columns appear on RT, Sputnik, Strategic Culture Foundation and Press TV.
General view of the session of the Human Rights Council at the United Nations in Geneva © Denis Balibouse
The Western lynch mob-like campaign to ‘get Russia’ goes on, with the gathering this week of the United Nations Human Rights Council. By trying to suspend Russia from the council, the flagrant intent is to discredit and further demonize.

The 47-member UNHRC, based in Geneva, is the United Nations’ premier inter-governmental forum on human rights. Members are selected on a rotational basis. On Friday, 14 seats on the council are up for renewal.

This week 80 mainly Western non-governmental organizations associated with human rights reportedly urged the UNHRC to drop Russia’s membership, citing allegations of war crimes committed during military operations to capture the Syrian city of Aleppo.

Among the anti-Russia lobby were US-based and George Soros-funded Human Rights Watch. Notably, billionaire financier Soros is an open advocate for regime change in Russia.

The campaign to undermine Russia at the UNHRC was preceded last week when Britain – also a member of the council – convened a summit in Geneva. The council issued a resolution which pointedly condemned bombing of civilians in Syria, and implicitly laid the blame on Russia and allied Syrian state forces.

Russia’s permanent representative in Geneva Alexey Borodavkin rebuked the UNHRC for a one-sided, politicized statement, which he said sought to solely impugn Russia and Syria. He noted the rank hypocrisy of the United States, Britain and France, along with Gulf Arab states, which lobbied for the resolution.

These states have been arming and funding terrorist groups in Syria since the eruption of the war in March 2011. They are also sending their air forces on illegal bombing raids across the country – in the name of “fighting terrorism” – which has resulted in hundreds of civilian casualties and the destruction of social infrastructure, such as roads, bridges, public buildings and residential homes.

In recent months, warplanes dispatched by the US, France and Belgium (the latter two current members of the UNHRC) have carried out air strikes on Syria causing dozens of civilian casualties.

So, of course, Western-orchestrated claims against Russia over alleged human rights violations in Syria are patently hypocritical and belie their own criminality.

The contrived effort to delist Russia from the UNHRC has the same hallmark as other Western media campaigns to discredit Moscow, such as the banning of Russian athletes from the Rio Olympics on dubious drug-abuse charges, or the pseudo-probe into the downing of the Malaysian airliner in 2014 over Ukraine, or overblown claims that Russian aggression is threatening the security of Europe. We can also include baseless accusations made by shadowy US intelligence agencies that Russia is hacking into computer systems to somehow disrupt the American presidential elections next month.

The UNHRC debacle is one strand in a bundle of psychological operations aimed at isolating, demonizing and delegitimizing Russia.

Perhaps the knock out absurdity in the latest rush by the Western lynch mob is the relation of Britain and Saudi Arabia, both of which are current members of the UNHRC seeking renewal of their seats.

That Saudi Arabia – widely seen as the most repressive regime on Earth – is even a member of the prestigious Geneva council is due to Britain engaging in underhand vote rigging to help its oil-rich ally gain a seat, according to documents released last year by WikiLeaks.

A Saudi-led military coalition continues to slaughter thousands of Yemeni civilians by bombing schools, hospitals, mosques, marketplaces, funeral halls, factories and residential homes. Human rights groups like HRW and UN agencies are well aware of this Saudi campaign of mass murder in Yemen. It is also well documented that US, British, French and German weaponry worth billions of dollars is assisting the Saudi regime in its war crimes. That makes these Western states fully complicit.

Germany, for example, which is also a current member of the UNHRC, has seen its arms exports to Saudi Arabia jump by 250 percent over the past two years, according to a report last week.

Britain, the ringleader of the media campaign to denigrate Russia in Geneva, has sold over $4 billion worth of armaments to Saudi Arabia since the oil kingdom launched its aggression on its southern neighbor in March 2015. Even while Saudi Arabia is committing the most egregious crimes against humanity, the British government continues to send Royal Air Force pilots to help train Saudi counterparts, brazenly denying that there is any breach of international law.

There is little or no protest from the 80 NGO rights groups about these applicant states to the next cohort of the UNHRC.

The hypocrisy and double standards of serial human rights violators make their condemnations against Russia null and void.

Importantly too, is to not merely rebut the accusers as hypocrites, but to also elucidate the anti-Russia claims as fabrications.

The information that Western governments, rights groups and media base their claims of Russia bombing civilians is garnered from entirely dubious and partisan sources. Endless reports on Syria and the battle for the northern city of Aleppo broadcast by multibillion dollar Western news organizations are based, incongruously, either on claims issued by the British-located so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, or by “activist” groups within terrorist-held east Aleppo, which are funded by Western governments, such as the purported “rescue workers” of the White Helmets and the Aleppo Media Center.

In other words, Western governments, media, rights groups, and, sadly, UN agencies are promulgating an anti-Russia narrative that is recycled terrorist propaganda.Good proof of this is seen on the TV station called “Free Syria” broadcast across the Middle East and North Africa on Saudi-owned satellite platform ArabSat.

Free Syria is a crude propaganda channel funded by the Saudi monarchy. It features jingoistic images of Saudi King Salman, along with Saudi troops, warplanes and tanks.

Free Syria also features links to the militant group Ahrar al-Sham, which is implicated in countless terrorist crimes along with Nusra and ISIS. Bearded militants are routinely shown firing mortars while shouting Islamist slogans.

Another regular contributor to the images and “reports” on this Saudi-funded, terrorist-supporting channel are the White Helmets and the Aleppo Media Center. Thus, on this publicly available “Free Syria” channel what we see in stark reality is how state sponsor, terrorist networks and propaganda machine come together in a self-incriminating amalgam.

What is even more damning is that the same “information” is disseminated – albeit in a more polished form – through Western news outlets, such as CNN, BBC, France 24 and a gamut of supposedly respectable newspapers, like the New York Times and British Guardian.

It’s an astounding feat how reality can be so inverted. Russia’s military is legally justified in assisting the allied sovereign government of Syria to defeat a covert war to topple the state. That war is a criminal enterprise fueled by Washington, London and Paris through the deployment of myriad terrorist proxies.

And to add insult to injury, these terrorist-sponsoring rogue states then turn around and accuse Russia at a UN Human Rights Council based on propaganda sourced from their terrorist proxies.

The utter insanity of it all. But maybe the Western lynch mob will eventually get hoisted on their own coiling ropes of deception.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.