The war of words between the US and Russia escalated dramatically today, when in response to an accusation by Samantha Power, the US envoy to the UN, on Sunday that “What Russia is sponsoring and doing [in Syria] is not counter-terrorism, it is barbarism”, the Russian foreign ministry – through an FB post by its spokesperson Maria Zakharova – responded that there is “nothing more barbaric in modern history” than what the US has done in Iraq and Libya.
As noted earlier, Samantha Power delivered an emotional speech before the UN, accusing Russia and Syria of attacks on aid workers, civilian infrastructure and residential areas; she omitted that armed groups, including Al-Qaeda offshoot Al-Nusra Front which is now directly supported by the US coalition following its public “reverse merger” with the terrorist organization, are in control of large parts of Aleppo and are using its population as human shields.
In any event, it was Russia’s turn to respond to the accusations which it did today, when Power’s use of the term ‘barbarism’ drew sarcastic remarks from Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova.
“Historically speaking… a barbarian is someone not belonging to an empire, and we have only one of those today,” she noted on her Facebook page. “As for the imagery… the world has seen nothing more barbaric in modern history than Iraq and Libya done the Washington way.”
As with Lavrov, Zakharova said that she believes Power’s remarks were meant to draw attention from the American attack on Syrian troops near Deir ez-Zor, which happened amid the ceasefire and almost resulted in the Syrian Army’s positions being overrun by ISIS troops which the US is supposedly seeking to eradicate.
While the US blames Russia for the collapse of the ceasefire after Russia allegedly attacked a UN convoy last weekend, Moscow blames the US for the failed truce, saying it was incapable of reining in rebel groups who would not commit to it, and would not agree to designating them as legitimate targets for counter-attacks.
As RT notes, Power, who received her current appointment in 2013, was among the most vocal supporters of the concept of “humanitarian interventionalism” – the use of military force on humanitarian grounds. The invasion of Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and the toppling of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya are both examples of such actions. In both cases, interventions meant to prevent human suffering actually caused huge tragedies in the long run.