It’s so sad to watch what’s been going on in Syria for the past year and a half. The United Nations response to the ongoing massacre of civilians by the Syrian army and government-backed militias has been just pathetic beyond words. Nobody other than Khofi Annan ever believed that the “treaty” he brokered was worth the paper it was printed on, yet the media felt compelled to talk about it as if it were anything other than a play for time by the Assad regime. It seems as though the estimated number of civilians killed by the government is revised upwards every day.
And where is the Security Council? Dithering. Sitting on their hands because Russia and China have a veto. Russia openly backs the Assad regime, and was caught trying to ship them weapons recently. China is keeping a little more quiet, but has indicated that it would veto the use of force in Syria.
It sure looks as though Russia and China back the Assad regime in Syria because they fundamentally support a government’s right to massacre its own people if the people pose a threat to the ruling regime’s grip on power. China doesn’t wish to be held to account over its actions in Tienanmen Square and elsewhere; and, well, Putin just may need to conduct his own putdown in the near future here.
Principles of Global Power
In the book, I suggested that the UN should make some changes to its organizational structure; and that in the process, it should question
whether the existence of a Security Council with exclusive permanent membership and veto power granted to just a few countries is beneficial to the world as a whole.
The book also stated that:
The prevention of crimes against humanity is perhaps the only legitimate purpose for invading another country unprovoked.
A UN Peacekeeping Force on Permanent Standby
Finally, I argued in the book, and reiterated my position in an earlier post, that the United Nations must assume responsibility as an international police force, with a fast-response team dedicated to protecting civilians in conflict zones and times of unrest. The United States has assumed this role for too long, and we cannot afford to continue. But the United Nations has been completely ineffective, all because Russia has a veto on the Security Council.
How long will the world continue to stand around watching while the atrocities in Syria continue to spiral out of control? Will the world wake up and restructure the United Nations in the wake of this disaster? It’s a dark time, but there is always hope.