Russia’s UN veto gives Syria ‘license to kill’

Bloomberg reports: Failure by the United Nations Security Council to deliver global condemnation of Syria gives President Bashar al-Assad room to continue his 11-month crackdown on protesters.

While 13 countries in the 15-member Security Council voted yesterday to adopt a proposal by Western and Arab countries to end the bloodshed, Russia used its veto to block the draft resolution against its top Mideast ally. Taking Russia’s lead, China also cast a veto.

Assad stands to benefit from the collapse of the resolution a day after reports that security forces killed 330 people in the city of Homs, one of the bloodiest attacks since protests began last March. This is the second time Russia has blocked attempts at the UN to hold Assad accountable for a conflict that the UN says has killed more than 5,400 people.

The veto gives Assad a “license to kill,” Qatari Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Khalid Al Attiyah said today at a security conference in Munich. “Yesterday was a sad day,” he said. “This is exactly what we feared.”

Syrian Ambassador Bashar al-Jafari told the council after the vote that the “killing was carried out by terrorist opposition to send you a misleading message in an attempt to influence the vote.”

Tony Karon notes: [T]he willingness of Beijing and Moscow to break with their Western counterparts among the Permanent Five (veto-wielding members of the U.N. Security Council) on Syria also casts a shadow over the Obama Administration’s efforts to isolate and pressure Iran over its nuclear program.

Russia and China have long made clear that their perception of the Iran issue is quite different from that of the Western powers — while they believe Iran is required to comply with its NPT obligations, they don’t believe Iran is developing nuclear weapons or that it’s program poses a threat to international security, and they have demanded a greater emphasis on dialogue with Tehran in resolving the issue and addressing its underlying strategic rivalry.

The Obama Administration has worked hard to win Russian and Chinese support for a limited set of Security Council sanctions, even though both countries have bluntly rejected compliance with the unilateral measures against Iran’s energy sector adopted by the U.S. and its European allies.

The Syria vote served up a reminder of just how unlikely it is that the Security Council will pass any significant escalation of sanctions against Iran, much less provide legal authorization for the military option President Obama insists has not been taken off the table.

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5 thoughts on “Russia’s UN veto gives Syria ‘license to kill’

  1. dmaak112

    Having supplied the insurgents with arms, we are now complaining about deaths? Hypocrisy at work.

  2. Ian Arbuckle

    Thank heaven for Russia and China. Since when has regime change been the business of the security council? And if it is why single out Syria, why not add Bahrain, or Saudi for countries that kill dissidents.

    If the world is supposed to be supporting the Arab League, how about reading their report which was approved by a vote of 4 to 1 and does not confirm the NATO – GCC contentions. See what the the people who went to find out, found out!

    “There was no organized, lethal repression by the Syrian government against peaceful protesters. Instead, the report points to shady armed gangs as responsible for hundreds of deaths among Syrian civilians, and over one thousand among the Syrian army, using lethal tactics such as bombing of civilian buses, bombing of trains carrying diesel oil, bombing of police buses and bombing of bridges and pipelines.

    “Once again, the official NATOGCC version of Syria is of a popular uprising smashed by bullets and tanks. Instead, BRICS members Russia and China, and large swathes of the developing world see it as the Syrian government fighting heavily armed foreign mercenaries. The report largely confirms these suspicions.”

    “The Syrian National Council is essentially a Muslim Brotherhood outfit affiliated with both the House of Saud and Qatar – with an uneasy Israel quietly supporting it in the background. Legitimacy is not exactly its cup of green tea. As for the Free Syrian Army, it does have its defectors, and well-meaning opponents of the Assad regime, but most of all is infested with these foreign mercenaries weaponized by the GCC, especially Salafist gangs.”

    To read the report in full just Google search:
    League of Arab States Observer Mission to Syria
    Report of the Head of the League of Arab States Observer Mission to Syria for the period from 24 December 2011 to 18 January 2012

    You’ll find a PDF from Columbia U

    Rea, Exposed: The Arab agenda in Syria in yesterday’ Asia Times Online.

    Saudi Arabia and Qatar are not interested in human rights of innocent protesters calling for democracy!

    One does not have to backing the dictator Asad to know that the NATO-GCC is just another “regime change” of the month, a warm up for Iran. And is anybody thinking about who will stitch Syria together after Asad? Do you think it might look like Libya or Iraq but worse?

  3. pangloss

    I’ve enjoyed the hysterics of the Clinton Rice tag-team. Hilarious. Wonder where they might have been during some of these:
    US et pals shot themselves in the foot – maybe the head – when NATO blow the last UN resolution over Libya but no one is suppose to say that I guess.

  4. bernd rust

    Susan Rice should not be surprised. Russia and China are parroting the numerous
    USRAEL vetos in the past 40 or so years that gave Israel a “license to kill”. This is
    called “blowback” or “unintended consequences” of ones own actions, or as Donald
    Duck – err, pardon, Rumsfeld said, “shit happens”.

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