A little thought experiment: imagine if Samantha Power had been running our foreign policy during WWII? In the quote below, replace Syria with USSR.
U.S. coordination with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad over the airstrikes: Syria, she said, is not a reliable partner. “You’re committing terror against your people, you’re the ones using chemical weapons and barrel bombs, etc. so we didn’t ask for permission — we just offered a notification.””
This admin runs foreign policy like Barney Fife.
I wonder if outgoing UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay who gave her final speech this week to the UN Security Council would have made more impact if she had held James’ head in front of them. I’ll return to Ms Pillay below. I find I grieve for James and his family is several ways. As a fellow Catholic, as a photo-journalist unlucky twice, and as a metaphor for the ongoing senseless barbarity that never ceases.
Why is no one willing to consider making the Ukraine a buffer state? The West gives up its idea to have it be a part of NATO and Russia allows the Ukraine to become, let’s call it, Finlandized.
Ask yourself that question. Look at the situation at large.
I don’t know what the answer is, but I have some ideas. I should not be surprised at Western/American recalcitrance and yet I still am, because the risks of this getting out of hand so far outweigh the rewards of having the Ukraine in the US orbit? When you think at it that way, it really is all about making sure Russia stays with its back against the wall.
I say all this as prefatory remarks to tonight’s Nelson Report which is just hard to digest.
Russian President Vladimir Putin made his position clear on the pending Obama administration attack on Syria in an interview with RT on September 4.
Putin can’t fathom why the Syrian government would initiate a chemical weapons attack. He said,
“I’ve already said I find it absolutely ridiculous that [the Syrian] government’s armed forces, which today are actually on an offense mission and in some regions have already encircled the so-called rebels and are finishing them off, that the Syrian army has used prohibited chemical weapons.”
When asked if he would support a military strike if proof emerged that the Syrian government initiated the attack, Putin said, “I wouldn’t rule it out” adding that any action would need United Nations Security Council approval.
New York, NY United Nations, February 6, 2003
Colin Powell at UN, February 2003
Part 1: Introduction
Thank you, Mr. President.
Mr. President, Mr. Secretary General, distinguished colleagues, I would like to begin by expressing my thanks for the special effort that each of you made to be here today. (Image:Wikipedia)
This is important day for us all as we review the situation with respect to Iraq and its disarmament obligations under U.N. Security Council Resolution 1441.
Last November 8, this council passed Resolution 1441 by a unanimous vote. The purpose of that resolution was to disarm Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction. Iraq had already been found guilty of material breach of its obligations, stretching back over 16 previous resolutions and 12 years.
Here’s a domestic stunner and one not so surprising from foreign policy/intel.
Mark Karlin at TruthOut and BuzzFlash just told us about this insanity.
Where’s the outrage? Some lobbyists get taxpayer funded pensions in 20 states By Mark Karlin
During a period of blaring “austerity” when a key goal of those with means is to cut pensions that have been fairly earned by public employees, it is astonishing to read that some lobbyists in 40% of US states get paid pensions from the public trough.
This one is not so surprising. Brian Downing provided the tip:
How America Spied on Europe at the UN DerSpiegelOnlineU.S. spy agency bugged UN headquarters (Reuters)
Imagine that. The wonderful, freedom fighters serving NATO-Gulf state interests by destroying Syria have a dark side. They captured Syrian troops then executed them. They are terrorists, dumb ones at that since the video is their undoing.
The UN high commissioner for human rights has called for an investigation into allegations that Syrian rebels executed dozens of government soldiers captured after a battle near Aleppo.
Navi Pillay said that images of the killings in Khan al-Assal in July were deeply shocking, and highlighted yet again the need to ensure those responsible for violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law on all sides are made to account for their crimes. Guardian 8/3
Christopher de Bellaigue on why sanctions on Iran have thus far been, and will likely continue to be, a failure:
The assumption is that the more Iranians suffer, the more their leaders will feel the pressure and either change course or be overthrown in a popular uprising. And yet, there is no evidence to suggest that this is probable, and the Iraqi case suggests the opposite. During the U.N. blockade, Saddam was able to blame foreigners for the nation’s suffering, and ordinary Iraqis—those who might have been expected to show discontent at his misrule—grew more and more dependent on the rations he distributed. Furthermore, America’s insistence that an end to sanctions was conditional on Saddam’s departure removed any incentive he might have had to cooperate with U.N. weapons inspectors. In 1997, he stopped doing so, with the results we all know.
This time, the U.S. is at pains to show that the Islamic Republic will gain a life-saving reprieve if it falls in with U.N. resolutions calling on it to stop enriching uranium. If that happens, Hillary Clinton said in October, sanctions might be “remedied in short order.” But Iran’s supreme leader dismissed her words as a “lie.”
Khamenei and those around him believe that sanctions policy is part of a bigger American project of Iraq-style regime change. There is some logic to this; recent western tactics against Iran include sabotage, assassination and diplomatic isolation—hardly indicative of a desire for detente. The most recent round of nuclear negotiations foundered, in part, on Iran’s growing conviction that the U.S. will make no significant concession on sanctions unless Iran drastically scales down its program of uranium enrichment. That seems unlikely to happen–not simply for reasons of image and prestige, but because, as American hostility sharpens, Iran may judge its nuclear program to be the best defense it has against the fate that befell Saddam.
h/t Trita Parsi