Several key points that the Russian UN Envoy raised in that interview needs to highlighted: 1) The fact that every time the ‘opposition’(FSA/SNC/et al.) have been asked to come to the ‘table’ with the Syrian regime, they’ve refused to!, and, 2) Any intervention leads to more bloodshed!
Now, take a gander at our UN Ambassador’s press conference shortly after the veto…
“The idea that a poorly organized, lightly armed opposition force could somehow get so close to the seat of power…” Yes, incredible. I mean, the notion that a force financed by the US, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, France, and UK and armed by UAE, Qatar, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia, and is assisted by the intelligence services of the US, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, UAE, France, UK, and Turkey would pull this off is just amazing. Who would have thought.
…What seems to be certain is that Assad’s inner circle won’t fold. On the contrary; it will respond with all guns – and tanks – blazing. It has already threatened to “confront all forms of terrorism and chop any hand that harms national security”.
The FSA and FSA-related gangs all rely on the same tactic; they get entrenched in residential neighborhoods, even in Damascus, and wait for the regime to attack. The regime’s tactic is monolithic; they tend to level any area, even ultra-urban, wherever the gangs are holed up. The result is inevitable; enormous “collateral damage” and massive internal displacement. This may start happening now in Damascus itself – assuming the FSA can keep their sleeper cells active, which they can’t.
And then there’s the newfound Western love story with suicide bombers.
Donald Rumsfeld’s former Chief of Staff at the Pentagon, Keith Urbahn, tweeted, “for once we should call a suicide bomber – the one that took out a major fraction of Assad’s cabinet – a martyr.”
It doesn’t matter that he got it wrong – it was not a suicide bomber but an IED. But there we have it – straight from a neo-con horse’s mouth (and plenty other conservative and liberal mouths as well).
If you use suicide bombers or IEDs to kill government officials of a “rogue state”, you can get away with it; you’re “one of our bastards”.
But don’t even try to do it against the Green Zone in Baghdad, or the Afghan government in Kabul, or against any of our “trusted” allies such as the House of Saud and King Playstation in Jordan; then you’re just an evil “terrorist”.
Exclusive new cables released by WikiLeaks reveal the United States’ heavy-handed efforts to help Israel at the U.N.
In the aftermath of Israel’s 2008-2009 intervention into the Gaza Strip, Susan E. Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, led a vigorous campaign to stymie an independent U.N. investigation into possible war crimes, while using the prospect of such a probe as leverage to pressure Israel to participate in a U.S.-backed Middle East peace process, according to previously undisclosed diplomatic cables provided by the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks. [...]
The new documents, though consistent with public U.S. statements at the time opposing a U.N. investigation into Israeli military operations, reveal in extraordinary detail how America wields its power behind closed doors at the United Nations. They also demonstrate how the United States and Israel were granted privileged access to highly sensitive internal U.N. deliberations on an “independent” U.N. board of inquiry into the Gaza war, raising questions about the independence of the process.
Although, FP did a great job of pointing out the more egregious points of our heavy-handed actions, in delving into the cables, they’d left out other significant points…
One in particular had to deal with the ‘Rome Statute’ of the ICC… To wit…
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR RICE MEETING WITH ICC PRESIDENT SONG
¶1. (SBU) (Begin summary) U.S. Ambassador to the United
Nations Susan Rice met with the President of the
International Criminal Court (ICC), Sang-Hyun Song on
Thursday, October 29. Song hoped that the United States
would participate in the ICC Review Process in Kampala in May
of 2010, and raised concerns that some Asian and Pacific
non-parties fear U.S. retaliation were they to become party
to the Rome Statute. (End summary.)
¶3. (SBU) President Song said that several Asian and
Pacific heads of Government had raised fears of U.S.
retaliation if their countries were to become party to the
Rome Statute. He said that they raised concerns that the
United States would cut aid if their countries did not sign a
bilateral “Article 98″ agreement. President Song said that
he would be grateful if the US Government were to allay these
unfounded fears. Ambassador Rice said that she thought that
the Bush Administration had abandoned those policies, queried
whether these countries were using these fears as an excuse,
but said that she would inform the State Department about
¶4. (SBU) Ambassador Rice asked President Song how the
Court is dealing with some African countries’ assertions that
the ICC is unfairly targeting African countries. Song said
that he tells Africans that the ICC is a judicial
institution, not a political institution, that three of the
four situations were referred to the ICC by African
countries, and that the fourth was referred to the Court by
the Security Council. He also notes that twenty five per
cent of ICC parties are African.
¶5. (SBU) Ambassador Rice also said that how the ICC
handles issues concerning the Goldstone Report will be
perceived by many in the US as a test for the ICC, as this is
a very sensitive matter. President Song took pains to
emphasize that, due to his role as an Appeals Judge, he could
not express an opinion regarding the allegations contained in
the Goldstone report and how it will be handled by the ICC.
He also noted, that, first of all, this is a matter for the
Prosecutor, and, secondly, there are various procedural
safeguards in place at the ICC.
To refresh ya’ll on the ICC, and, the Rome Statute… From Wiki…
The United States is not a member of the International Criminal Court (ICC). The ICC is a permanent international criminal court, founded in 2002 by the Rome Statute to “bring to justice the perpetrators of the worst crimes known to humankind – war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide”, especially when national courts are unable or unwilling to do so .
As of April 2011, 114 states are members of the court and another 34 countries, including Russia have signed but not ratified the Rome Statute. Other countries that have not signed or ratified the Rome Statute include India, Indonesia, and China. On May 6, 2002, the United States, in a position shared only with Israel and Sudan, signed the Rome Statute but formally withdrew its intent of ratification.
Positions in the United States concerning the ICC vary widely. The Clinton Administration signed the Rome Statute in 2000, but did not submit it for Senate ratification. The Bush Administration, the US administration at the time of the ICC’s founding, stated that it would not join the ICC. The Obama Administration has re-established a working relationship with the court and has called for continued “positive, principled engagement”.
During the September 24 morning meeting of the
UNGA General Debate, heads of state or governments from
Comoros, Ghana, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Rwanda, Lithuania,
Cyprus, Sao Tome and Principe, Sierra Leone, Panama,
Switzerland, Spain, Japan, Turkey, and Israel spoke. Common
themes were the global financial crisis; climate change;
implementation of the Millennium Development Goals; peace and
security; and United Nations reform, especially the Security
Council. Several speakers addressed Iran’s nuclear program. [...]
Israel: Denounces “terrorist regime of Iran;” rejects
Human Rights Council report on Gaza.
Prime Minister Netanyahu focused on two main themes
throughout his speech, Iran and Gaza. He called on member
sates of the United Nations to live up to the challenge of
preventing Tehran from acquiring weapons of mass destruction,
saying that, “the greatest threat facing the world today is
the marriage between religious fanaticism and the weapons of
mass destruction.” He asked if the international community
was willing to stop the “terrorist regime of Iran” from
acquiring atomic weapons, thus threatening world peace. He
denounced Iran’s assault on the truth while holding up a copy
of the minutes issued by the Nazis in 1945 instructing the
extermination of the Jews. He passionately asked, “Is this a
lie”, referring to the document. Netanyahu asked to the
group if President Obama paid tribute to a lie by visiting
the Buchenwald concentration camp. Halfway through the
speech, the Prime Minister changed focus to the report by the
Human Rights Council condemning Israel for its actions in
Gaza and said, “if this body does not reject this report, it
would send a message to terrorists everywhere: Terror pays;
if you launch your attacks from densely populated areas, you
will win immunity.” He called the report biased, unjust and
a farce, asking the international community, “will you stand
with Israel or will you stand with the terrorists?”
Then there’s this Cable, issued the day after the Goldstone Report was released to the UN…
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR RICE’S SEPTEMBER 16 MEETING WITH ISRAELI DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER AYALON AND SECRETARY-GENERAL’S COMMENTS AT SECURITY COUNCIL LUNCH ON GOLDSTONE REPORT
Summary: Ambassador Rice met with Israeli Deputy
Foreign Minister Ayalon on September 16, the day after the
release of the Goldstone report on violations of human rights
law and international humanitarian law during the Gaza
conflict. Ayalon termed the report “outrageous” and said it
gave Hamas a “free pass” on weapons smuggling into Gaza. He
pressed for U.S. leadership in response to the report. Ambassador Rice responded that the USG is still studying the
report, remains concerned about the fact-finding mission’s
mandate and many of the recommendations in the report. She
urged Ayalon to help us help them with progress on the peace
process, saying that the report can be more easily managed if
there is progress. Ayalon also described Israeli Prime
Minister Netanyahu’s recent visit to Moscow concerning the
S-300 system and said the Israeli government had told the
Russians that the transfer of the system to Iran would be
destabilizing to the region and could precipitate action.
After the meeting, Ambassador Rice hosted the Security
Council’s monthly lunch with the Secretary-General at which
the Secretary-General informed Council Perm Reps that his
staff was reviewing the report and he planned to engage the
Council on further courses of action. Both the UK and
Russian Perm Reps questioned Goldstone’s decision to release
the report in New York. End Summary.
¶2. (C) Ambassador Rice met with Israeli Deputy Foreign
Minister Ayalon, at his request, on September 16, the day
after the release of Justice Goldstone and the fact-finding
mission’s report on violations of human rights law and
international humanitarian law during the Gaza conflict.
Ayalon, accompanied by Israeli Perm Rep Shalev, Deputy Perm
Rep Carmon, Ayalon Advisor David Segal, and his Chief of
Staff Klarina Shpitz, termed the report “outrageous” and said
that everyone is looking for U.S. leadership on a response to
it. He criticized the fact-finding commission as “hardly
representative of the international community” and said that
the report gives Hamas a “free pass” on continued weapons
smuggling into Gaza. He questioned why Goldstone had to
release the report on the first day of the 64th session of
the General Assembly in New York, given ongoing efforts on
the peace process. He noted that the Israeli mission in
Geneva only received an official copy of the report “seconds”
before Goldstone’s press conference in New York on September
¶3. (C) Ambassador Rice responded that the USG is studying
the Goldstone report, that we remain concerned with the
fact-finding mission’s mandate and many of the
recommendations in the report, and that we will stay in close
touch with the GOI as we move forward in Geneva and elsewhere
in response to the report. She underscored that the USG’s
main focus is on the peace process and that we are working
towards progress next week to restart talks. She stressed
that among the best means to deflect and contain the
Goldstone report is demonstrable and early progress on the
peace process. She also raised that whatever the GOI can do
internally to emphasize its own judicial processes and
investigations would be helpful. In terms of next steps,
Ambassador Rice opined that she could not foresee a scenario
in which the Security Council referred the case to the ICC.
However, any member of the Council could well bring the issue
up for discussion, though it would likely not be done before
the Human Rights Council’s discussion on September 29. In
Geneva, she referred to the USG’s dual aims of countering
anti-Israel bias and focusing on genuine human rights
concerns. She said she hoped Israel will work with the U.S.
on both those aims. In terms of General Assembly action, she
noted there was a possibility of such action anytime.
¶4. (C) Ayalon responded that Israel would like to see a
trilateral meeting next week on the peace process, but he
voiced concern that the Arabs might “overplay their cards”
and demand more. Ambassador Rice noted that what happens in
New York is often not reflective of the reality out in the
region, though the Administration is trying to make it more
reflective of actual events on the ground. She asked Ayalon
directly to “help me help you.” She underscored that the
Goldstone report will not go away but it can be more easily
managed if there is positive progress on the peace process.
¶15. Ayalon offered his personal opinion that Goldstone may
have sought the New York stage for his press conference
because he has ambitions for a seat on the International
Court of Justice. Ayalon said that he hoped that the
Palestinians would not seek to try to use the Goldstone
report in terms of the peace process since that would “derail
Now, just last week I’d posted a diary stating the obvious…
…We also continue to fight for fair and normal treatment everyday for Israel throughout the United Nations system. The tough issues between Israelis and Palestinians can be resolved only by direct negotiations between the parties, not in New York. That’s why the United States vetoed a Security Council resolution in February that risked hardening both sides’ positions. We consistently oppose anti-Israel resolutions in the Human Rights Council, the General Assembly, and wherever they may arise.
‘Anti-Israel resolutions’… How about supporting some Pro-Palestinian resolutions for a change…?
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