A UN Farce in Syria
by DANIEL GREENFIELD
February 8, 2012
If anyone is to blame for Russia and China's vetoing of the Syria resolution in the UN Security Council, it's Barack Obama. Last year the United States and the Arab League brought forward a No Fly Zone to the UN Security Council. Instead of enforcing a No Fly Zone, Obama, Cameron and Sarkozy instead used it as an excuse for an invasion and regime change. If Russia and China refused to take another plan from the same suspects at face value, the blame lies with an administration that abused a No Fly Zone.
The message from Russia and China is fairly clear. Fool me once, shame on you. But don't even think about trying it twice.
A closer look at the whole process reveals the ridiculousness of it. The Security Council Resolution calling for peaceful democratic change was co-sponsored by Saudi Arabia, which is an absolute monarchy, and which recently used tanks to suppress protests in Bahrain. As the driving force behind the Arab League, Saudi Arabia was the key player in moving for regime change in Libya. Now it has rubber stamped regime change in Syria.
But why are we expected to take a call by one tyranny for the overthrow of another as a moral duty. As bad as the Assad regime is, Syria is marginally more open and democratic than Saudi Arabia is. And unlike Saudi Arabia, it isn't an Apartheid state that treats non-Muslims and women like dirt. If we were going to implement regime change on the basis of democracy and human rights, we would start with the Saudis.
Of the Muslim co-sponsors of the UN Resolution, virtually all of them have suppressed opposition movements and imprisoned political dissidents. Bahrain is another co-sponsor of the resolution and the only difference between it and Syria, is that Bahrain is a Sunni minority ruling over a Shiite minority, while in Syria it's the other way around. Kuwait ethnically cleansed the Palestinians back in the nineties. Turkey is still conducting an occupation and murdering Kurdish civilians. Libya doesn't have an actual elected government, but it's still somehow sponsoring UN resolutions for regime change in another country.
Of the nine Muslim co-sponsors that have actual governments... eight are monarchies. Most are even absolute monarchies. The only quasi-democracy on the list is Turkey which has prisons filled with dissidents, persecutes minorities and continues to deny its genocidal actions. Not to mention its violation of UN resolutions on Cyprus.
Muslim absolute monarchies are calling for implementing democratic change in Syria. Did monarchies which torture and execute dissenters expected anyone to believe that they were concerned because the Assad family was killing opponents of the regime? Two of the co-sponsors had been doing the same thing last year. One of the co-sponsors is busy torturing former members of its regime right now.
The UN Resolution was based around the Plan of Action of the League of Arab States based on an observer mission to Syria headed by General Mohammed Ahmed Mustafa al-Dabi. Al-Dabi headed up the Sudanese genocide, he is the pet thug of Sudan's indicted war criminal leader, Omar al-Bashir and helped create the Janjaweed rape squads.
Obama has been on the record opposing any military intervention in Sudan, despite the fact that an actual genocide did take place there. But now we are being led by the Gulf Cooperation Council members into another regime change plan. The loudest voice calling for military intervention is Sheikh Hamad Al-Thani, the fat smirking thug running Qatar.
Another of the Al-Thani clan, who serves as foreign minister, said, "We ask that the Syrian regime leave and hand over power. We are with the Syrian people, with their will and with their aspirations." The Al-Thanis, who rule in an absolute monarchy, are the last people to be cheering on the aspirations of the people. The Al-Thanis can't see the people from their palaces.
And who are the Syrian people anyway? Is it the Sunnis or the Alawites or the Christians? This isn't a civil war between a dictator and his people, no matter how often the media and foreign policy experts will repeat the lie, it's a religious conflict between a ruling Shiite splinter sect and Sunnis backed by Turkey and Arabian Gulf monarchies.
For all the talk of replacing Assad with an inclusive system based on elections, this will mean majority rule and the disenfranchisement of non-Sunnis, non-Muslims and women at the hands of the rebels handpicked by Turkish ruling Islamist party and the Emir of Qatar. Egypt's democracy led to an Islamist parliament. There is no reason to expect a Syrian election not to lead to the same thing.
Sheikh Hamad Al-Thani has already called for an invasion of Syria. Qatari special forces were the first on the ground in Libya, But as the usual the West will have to do the heavy lifting. Does the United States have an interest in removing Assad? It does, considering that Assad is an Iranian puppet and he helped kill quite a few Americans in Iraq. But removing Assad to replace him with the local Muslim Brotherhood leaders doesn't benefit anyone except the Brotherhood and its backers.
If Russia and China re reluctant to get fooled a second time, so are Americans who were never fooled a first time. The Libyan War was one of the most unpopular on record, and that was before the aftermath melted down into torture cells and Al-Qaeda flags. With the examples of Libya and Egypt before us, who's really up for a Syrian War besides the Saudis and the Emir of Qatar?
France's Sarkozy is tediously eager to crack the Gallic whip over another former colony, and he's dim witted enough to think that it will be French diplomats calling the shots, rather than officials from neighboring countries who actually have the contacts and the inside track, and who were backing regime change while Sarkozy was busy with Libya..
The UK's Cameron has dismantled chunks of the fleet and air force, but is still raring for another round of fighting. Selling spartan cuts to his own people, while fighting a new war every year would seem to be at odds with policy and elementary mathematics, but at least it's likely to create new jobs in the British defense industry if a new Syrian government begins ordering their equipment from the West instead of the East. But stimulating your defense industry by starting new wars every year is not sound economic stewardship.
Considering the amount of Russian arms sales to Syria, Moscow is protecting its own defense industry, if nothing else. But it's also protecting its access point to the Middle East. Russia has a naval base in Syria and Russia's aircraft carrier recently paid a visit to Tartus as a show of support for Assad.
But what did the Russian veto really come down to? The Russians attempted to introduce amendments calling for the Syrian opposition to disassociate itself from any armed attacks and blaming it for some of the violence. Had the NATO countries been willing to sign on, then the Russians would no longer have had an excuse for a veto. But rather than go that route, Rice bluffed the Russians, rejected the amendments and got shot down.
That can mean a number of different things. Either Rice really didn't care if the resolution passed. Bringing the resolution forward and letting the Russians shoot it down will score points with the rebels if they do win, and destroy the Russian connection. That's not an implausible scenario since Obama might not be racing to war as fast as Sarkozy might want him to. And if war becomes necessary then the same coalition which exploited a No Fly Zone for regime change will find another way to get it done. It's not as if anyone is going to hold them accountable.
But it's also an admission that the only purpose of all this is regime change. Placing blame on the rebels will challenge the absolute legitimacy required to topple Assad on their behalf. Russia knew that the backers of regime change could not accept a resolution that undermined the legitimacy of the rebels. Especially a resolution that would not have been the endgame, but the lead in to another one of the same.
This isn't the end of the push for regime change in Syria. Germany's UN Ambassador has been discussing how to move forward. And while the Assad regime is completely unsympathetic, its enemies are equally so. Absolute monarchies have no legitimacy when calling for democratic change and an administration whose head honcho built his rep on opposing military intervention is now swaggering around with one war under his belt and a second one behind his back.
The free world has no friends in Syria. None likely to take power anyway. And it has nothing at stake in a Sunni-Alawite civil war that will end with Syria as a puppet of Iran or a puppet of Saudi Arabia.
FamilySecurityMatters.orgContributing Editor Daniel Greenfield is a blogger, columnist and a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center. Born in Israel, he maintains his own blog, Sultan Knish.
Daniel Greenfield is a blogger, columnist and freelance photographer born in Israel, who maintains his own blog, Sultan Knish.