A brilliant lecture by Philippe Sands QC, Professor of Law at University College London and barrister at Matrix Chambers given recently at the Brookings Institution in Washington D.C. about the legal implications of the crisis in Ukraine both in terms of focusing on the wrong side of the stick when it comes to crimes being committed and the double standards in applying legal protections from crimes against humanity and genocide; mainly when states choose to put nationalist interests above basic legal commitments to protect fundamental human rights. Of course the legal context of the conflict in Ukraine is just one of many dimensions that needs to be assessed; another is the strategic dimension that has been nothing short of a complete disaster for the U.S. as well as the EU and consequences are already beginning to materialise as I mentioned in previous posts because the cardinal point is this; it’s great to preach values/liberal ideology but without firm leadership with the confidence/power in being able to defend them – with a sledge hammer where necessary – the ability of the so-called western alliance to influence world order is significantly undermined which is precisely what’s happening. Putin may not be fighting for the right cause but he most certainly has the upper hand in his approach.
Finally I have to make a brief comment about the Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer decision to meet Putin; the excuse he puts forth is this; A duty out of a sense of responsibility to leave no stone unturned to bring about a cessation of hostilities. My simplistic answer is this; when there’s a huge sign – in German to avoid any excuses – suggesting there’s a gigantic Cobra under the stone waiting eagerly to bite your behind, it wouldn’t be a very bright idea to turn the stone, would it now? In other words when there is no sign of compromise having a conversation with an adversary is not only illogical but stupid – this said in the most respectful way of course – because it undermines not only yourself but the state and alliance you represent. That said hope your recover from the bite soon!
Anyway, I do hope you find this presentation useful/informative as I have.