Thursday, 5 May 2011

Syria's U.N. Admirers

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The 'international community' rewards the regime for killing civilians.

Bashar Assad's regime has murdered at least 500 Syrians, and perhaps hundreds more, in putting down its democratic uprising. So what does the United Nations do? Nothing, except hold out the prospect of a seat on its Human Rights Council for the Syrian regime.
Welcome back to the looking glass moral world of Turtle Bay. The Security Council this week couldn't muster the votes to issue a mild press release—the weakest of tools in a meager tool box—about the bloody crackdown in Syria. The Russians, Chinese and Indians blocked the way. Instead we were treated to the sight of the Syrian ambassador, Bashar Jaafari, grandstanding about America's alleged role in arming the obviously unarmed demonstrators being slaughtered by his regime's security forces.
The U.N.'s admirers at the White House consider the Security Council to be the supreme decision-making body in international affairs, and last month U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice hailed the council for "taking swift and meaningful action to try to halt the killing on the ground" in Libya. She should have added that the action, which came barely in time to stop the annihilation of Benghazi, was an aberration. Moammar Gadhafi had lost enough friends in the club of dictators to allow the no fly zone resolution to pass. Mr. Assad remains a rogue in good standing with Moscow and Beijing, and he has nothing to fear from the Security Council.
Meanwhile, Yukiya Amano, chief of the U.N.'s nuclear watchdog agency, admitted for the first time this week that a Syrian site bombed by Israel in 2007 was a secret "nuclear reactor under construction." Syria has long denied any nuclear plans at the site, and it hasn't cooperated with the U.N. nuclear agency since June 2008.
No matter. Syria's stature at the U.N. hasn't suffered. The Arab League last week supported Syria's bid to join the Human Rights Council, following the U.N.'s Asia group. A General Assembly vote is due next month, and on current trend Syria will take its seat on the body that purports to monitor the depredations of the world's rogues. If the regime kills more Syrians, maybe it'll become chairman.

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