The First Legally Binding Decision Against Syria Fails At the U.N. (By Ehsani)

After nearly three months of negotiations and concessions, the U.S. and its European allies were dealt a blow at the UNSC.  Even after they agreed to a steady watering down of the language in the final text, both Russia and China still vetoed the UN resolution on Syria. This was a repeat of the same double veto by Russia and China back in 2008 against Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe.

This would have been the first legally binding resolution by the UNSC against Syria. The demand was that Syria immediately end violence, allow fundamental rights and freedoms, lift all media restrictions and allow unhindered access for human rights investigators.  The resolution would have allowed the UNSC to review Syria’s implementation of the above demand within 30 days, and “to consider its options, including measures under Article 41 of the Charter of the UN.”

Rather than admitting that this was a slap on the face to the sponsors of this resolution, France said that the veto showed a “disdain for the legitimate interests that have been fought for in Syria by protestors since March”. Susan Rice of the U.S. called the veto an “outrage” that utterly failed the Syrian people.  The British Ambassador also talked about the impact of this veto on the Syrian people saying that there “will be a great disappointment to the people of Syria and the wider region that some members of the council could not show their support for their struggle for basic human rights”.

Ambassador Rice accused Russia and China of wanting to sell arms to the Syrian regime rather than stand with the Syrian people. Russia’s Ambassador did not take too well to the accusations.

This White House thought that they found a winning formula in Libya. The U.S. would use force but only if it had the U.N. Security Council’s imprimatur, and only if it had clear commitments that the UNSC gave its blessing.   Once the Arab League also comes on Board, the road for a military assault is largely baked in the cake.

Mr. Obama had long favored a more multilateral engagement strategy.  The more unilateral attitude of the Bush administration was often criticized by the new team at the White House.  Such a low-key multilateralist strategy makes it easier to convince other states to support the use of military force to protect civilians.

This strategy was best described by Edward Luck, the senior vice president at the International Peace Institute when he said the following of the U.S. engagement in Libya:

“Historian have to look backward at the fact that the United States not being in the vanguard may have been helpful in the sense that it didn’t look like a U.S. effort to dominate Libya and intervene in the Islamic world,” Luck said. “It made it easier for others to get on board.”

While the Obama White House thought that they had a winner in Libya, both Russia and China were adamant that Syria does not become another Libya.  Russia’s opposition of the resolution was because it was “based on a philosophy of confrontation” that contained an ultimatum of sanctions which was against a peaceful settlement of the crisis. China’s Ambassador, on the other hand, said that his country wanted to see speedy reforms but opposed the resolution because “sanctions, or threat of sanctions, do not help the situation in Syria but rather complicates the situation”.

The sponsors of the resolution met the above with disappointment and outrage. Indeed, the U.S. Ambassador was so outraged that she decided to exit the hall once Mr. Jaafari of Syria warmed up and found his stride. Mrs. Rice’s exit coincided with the reminder that the U.S. used its veto 50 times in support of Israel. By this time, the U.S. Diplomat knew that it was time to cut her losses, leave the room and call it a day.

Comments (112)

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101. jad said:

Haytham biggest mistake is that his writings in the last couple days of publicly supporting violence, calling for more armed gangs attacks and for shamelessly supporting genocide by calling for bombing innocent Syrians are actually putting him in the danger of being prosecuted under the Canadian law, for supporting violence and for calling of killing others out of political disagreements.

Dear Haytham,
A super friendly advice from someone who actually care, watch carefully of what you write, even if you write it in Arabic, especially under your full name, in Canada we have a very clear line between the freedom of supporting any political party we want and supporting ‘violence’ solutions, ‘criminal’ activities against others and advocating genocide, be very clear and smart of what you write.

Advocating genocide

318. (1) Every one who advocates or promotes genocide is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years.
Definition of “genocide”

(2) In this section, “genocide” means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy in whole or in part any identifiable group, namely,
(a) killing members of the group; or
(b) deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction.

(3) No proceeding for an offence under this section shall be instituted without the consent of the Attorney General.
Definition of “identifiable group”
(4) In this section, “identifiable group” means any section of the public distinguished by colour, race, religion, ethnic origin or sexual orientation.

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October 5th, 2011, 4:53 pm


102. uzair8 said:

Condolences to the Grand Mufti of Syria تعزية لسماحة مفتي سورية د. أحمد حسون

Shaykh Muhamad Al-Yaqoubi offers his sincerest condolences to the Grand Mufti of Syria Dr. Ahmad Hassoun upon the loss of his young brilliant son, Sariyah Hassoun, who was assassinated today. Sh. Al-Yaqoubi considers the Syrian regime fully responsible for the loss of all innocent lives including this one. The regime which killed Hamza Khateeb and Zaynab Husni and accused protesters of killing them, is capable of killing more and making more accusations.

Sh. Al-Yaqoubi, after offering his condolences and sympathy to the Mufti for this tragic loss, would like to repeat his call to him to resign and join the Syrian people in their uprising, to speak up the truth as he tried when the demonstrations started. We know that his eminence started re-thinking his position to take people’s side; this tragedy should not turn him back. May Allah send his Mercy on the young Sariah and all our martyrs.

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October 5th, 2011, 4:53 pm


103. NK said:


The Syrian regime and its militias do not fit this description

(4) In this section, “identifiable group” means any section of the public distinguished by colour, race, religion, ethnic origin or sexual orientation.

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October 5th, 2011, 5:11 pm


104. Tara said:


The most plausible story behind Zaynab is that she was indeed kidnapped by the shabeehas, not to force her brother to surrender but rather to stage a sinister plot against the support of the international media and the HRW of the revolution in order to portray them as biased and perhaps part of the conspiracy against Bashar   She was kept alive and was not tortured.  The family was led to believe by the hospital officials that the body of an unidentified defaced and mutilated girl was Zaynab.  The goal was to get the story out.  After all the regime reputation has already been trashed by multiple similar examples, a set up like that might be the only way to cast a doubt in regard to it’s brutality.  The news media across the globe did what is expected from a sensational case like that and reports and dwells on the brutality of the Syrian regime.  All of the sudden, on Tuesday, Oct 4th, the day when the UNSC is supposed to meet in regard to a resolution condemning the Syrian regime,  Zaynab appears on the state TV alive and well, coerced under the threat of torture to say she ran away because her brothers were beating her.  She declined providing info in regard to her whereabouts and states that the reason why she came clean is “her concern in regard to what to name to future children she may have when she gets married”.  

The evidence:

1- the mother was told by nobody else other than the regime that the body is Zaynab’s
2-the timing of the interview is very suspicious
3-it is very odd for an 18 year old from Bab alsbaa in Homs not only to run away, but also to find a family that gives her safe haven and does not call her parents with her whereabouts for more than 2month especially in the current circumstances.
4-the reason provided on camera by Zaynab for her going to the authority on is very suspicious unless she is coerced under torture or threat of killing her parents to do so.  Remember, her own brother was murdered by the regime yet she chose to contact the authority instead of her own mother and then asked her mother’s forgiveness.  This does not makes sense.  She is more likely to be forgiven by contacting the family directly rather than appearing on state TV. 

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October 5th, 2011, 5:12 pm


105. jad said:

My point was about promoting genocide for Syrians in general not the ‘regime’, nice try!
Can you go and kill only the ‘Syrian Regime’ without killing any innocent Syrian in your mission?

I’m glad to hear that you don’t care for justice or law, you prefer the short cut..just killing everybody who doesn’t agree with you.
What do you care, you don’t live there so for you it’s acceptable to let all the Syrians inside Syria to be subjected to all kind of violence and bombing as long as nothing happened to you…Very humane!

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October 5th, 2011, 5:50 pm


106. NK said:


You’re putting words in my mouth, I merely pointed out your intimidation attempts towards Haytham are baseless, legally.

I never stated my opinion regarding military intervention in Syria, because I believe this is something that Syrians living in Syria must decide on their own, those of us living outside the country should stay out of it.

By the way the same concept applies to you.
What do you care, you don’t live there so for you it’s acceptable to let all the Syrians inside Syria to be subjected to all kind of violence, torture and humiliation by a murderous regime as long as nothing happened to you…Very humane!

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October 5th, 2011, 6:09 pm


107. jad said:

“I merely pointed out your intimidation attempts towards Haytham are baseless, legally.”
Intimidation!? Defending Haytham! how funny! He can defend himself very well, he doesn’t need NK help, besides, I’m just using the law of the country he lives in to tell him that calling for violence is something illegal, what’s the intimidation in that? He needs to become politically mature, it helps him.

Give me the comment that I wrote here on anywhere else that supported the violence in any shape by anybody being of the regime, the radicals or the international community toward Syrians, if you can’t find any then please don’t use this cheap shot on me, use it on someone else.

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October 5th, 2011, 6:22 pm


108. NK said:


You are against intervention, you made this abundantly clear in many many comments, here’s one of them.

You live in the west, no ? In Canada if I’m not mistaken, but regardless, you live outside Syria. Thus you should support whatever the Syrians living in Syria decide, even if they decide it’s in their best interest to seek help from the U.S to protect them from the Assad death squads. They are the ones being killed and tortured, it’s their choice.

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October 5th, 2011, 7:11 pm


109. louai said:

Yes it could be a plastic figure I cant argue with that , I actually didn’t see the video , I stopped watching videos after I saw the poor public sector employee was hanged and his body beating publicly ,it affect me so much seeing this kind of staff ! but I didn’t expect that some one could go that far fabricating specially that there are many vanished people from Homs , we hear every day of girls and men get kidnapped and later they found dead so if some one want to film a mutilated body they don’t have any lack of resources to do so .

I heard more than ten explanations from the revolutionaries point of view as how Zainab appeared to be alive , none of them admitted being so receptive to what ever being posted on youtube ,they do not care about any credibility unfortunately ,the international media trying to distance themselves from this story by not reporting the resurrection of Zainab or by pointing out that they copied the news from HWR .

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October 5th, 2011, 7:53 pm


110. sam said:

Ambassador Rice accused Russia and China of wanting to sell arms to the Syrian regime rather than stand with the Syrian people. Russia’s Ambassador did not take too well to the accusations…..

If that isn’t the pot, calling the kettle black, i dont know what is……Nevermind the billions of tax dollars that we (U.S.) dont even have, goes to slaughter arabs by the hand of Isreal, they turn around and sell the technology. This world is going to the gutter!!!!! Susan Rice!! Lets worry about americans, and not syrians, isrealies, palestinians, lybians, etc. etc. etc. America first baby!!!!!!!!!!!!

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October 6th, 2011, 5:02 pm


111. Gus said:

I feel sorry for the virtual revolutionists but someday they are going to face reality

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October 7th, 2011, 2:23 pm


112. ken penethby said:

China and Russia could not show their support for the Syrian peoples’ struggle for basic human rights…

Unfortunately, China and Russia don’t know what basic human rights are. The Resolutionbn should have spelled what these men in words of one syllable – the maybe – just maybe – the light might dawn on them that people don’t like being told what to do by the same family for decades on end and or being punished for complaining about government corruption.

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October 10th, 2011, 4:15 am


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