Steamrolling Hama … And The UN

Remember when Bill Clinton bombed Iraq because he wanted to do it before Ramadan in order to not offend Muslim sensibilities? (Muslim sensibilities apparently being fine with having Ramadan amidst the rubble). Well, yeah, funny story. Turns out the evil slimeballs running Syria don’t have that rule and are rolling through Hama, slaughtering civilians left, right and center. We’re not doing anything about it and, even if we could, we probably shouldn’t. Apart from putting a smart bomb up Assad’s ass — which might not be the worst idea — I don’t see that we can do anything other than burn money and kill people for no readily explained reason.

But, the UN has now moved into action and announced that will not take this lying down!

In its first substantive action on the uprising in Syria, the UN security council has condemned human rights violations and use of force against civilians by Syrian authorities.

Prompted by an intensification of the three-month-old bloody crackdown against anti-government protests, the statement was agreed after three days of hard bargaining. It ‘condemns widespread violations of human rights and the use of force against civilians by the Syrian authorities’. Syria’s neighbour Lebanon has dissociated itself from the text.

What’s notable is what the UN decided not to do. They didn’t call for a weapons embargo or for Assad to step down. They didn’t call for outside intervention. They just said they didn’t like what was going on. It’s like Assad used the wrong fork at dinner.

My UN sources inform me that if Assad does not stop greasing the treads of his tanks with children, they will be very very angry with him and will write him a letter telling him how angry they are.

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  1. Hal_10000 *

    But, the UN has now moved into action and announced that will not take this lying down!

    To be fair, though, the UN usually prefers to be bent over.

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  2. Section8

    but, but, but the UN has new rules and all. And since they are a pure as the driven snow there must be a good reason to show the blatant hypocrisy of this compared to the bombing campaign in Libya. Hell, maybe New Zealand will step up since bombing murderous despots (sometimes) is a cool thing now. Who knows.

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  3. AlexInCT

    Turns out the evil slimeballs running Syria don’t have that rule and are rolling through Hama, slaughtering civilians left, right and center. We’re not doing anything about it and, even if we could, we probably shouldn’t.

    If Syria only had oil. Then they would find a humanitarian reason, just like they did to deal with Libya…..

    But we all know that the only country they ever say started a war to steal oil was the US. Heh!

    Seriously, the UN is a sore on humanity’s ass. That so many take it seriously just tells me we should eventually kill ourselves off as the dominant species on the planet. We deserve it.

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  4. CM

    Plenty of oil in Syria.

    I generally agree with complaints over the apparant double-standard.

    However, there is no (or little) support from the Arab League for intervention measures in Syria. Whereas in Libya there was a direct appeal for help from the opposition and the Arab League had asked the U.N. Security Council to pass a resolution and to take action for a no fly zone. Western governments say they prevented an imminent massacre that Gaddafi had threatened to unleash in Benghazi. Gaddafi had lost control of more than a third of his country and his armed forces were brittle and poorly equipped. By contrast, Syria has a well-trained army with Russian missiles and combat aircraft, and suspected chemical weapons, making any Western military intervention a lot less plausible.

    There is also the key strategic consideration to ensure that Arab uprisings, and the rulers’ responses, do not destabilize the entire Middle East, threatening oil supplies to the industrialized world or triggering wider conflict.

    Western action could push Syria more tightly into the arms of Iran and risk retaliation by Syrian-allied Hezbollah forces in Lebanon either against Israel or European troops policing a southern Lebanese buffer zone. Western diplomats say they are also concerned at the risk of sectarian conflict in Syria, dominated for nearly five decades by an Alawite minority close to Shi’a Islam. Violence involving Sunni Arabs, Alawites, Kurds and Druze could embroil neighboring Turkey, Lebanon and Iraq.

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  5. CM

    The French turnaround and push for a negotiated end to the fighting in Libya signals a growing realization within NATO that foreign intervention is unlikely to serve either the interests of the West or of anti-government protesters facing brutal crackdowns by autocratic leaders determined to cling to power no matter the cost. It is however likely to raise questions about the reliability of Western support but sends a powerful message to protesters across the region like in Syria not to count on Western intervention if and when the going gets tough.

    That is a realization that has already made its mark in Syria where protesters in contrast to Libya have not called for military intervention despite the crackdown. Libyans called for foreign assistance in March when Mr. Qaddafi’s forces were on the verge of attacking their stronghold in the eastern city of Benghazi. The imminent attack and the calls prompted the United Nations Security Council to impose the no fly zone in a bid to protect the lives of civilians.

    With NATO hopes dashed that its bombing campaign in Libya would produce either a rapid rebel victory or a palace coup against Mr. Qaddafi serving as a lesson, the United States and Europe have opted for a much more quiet, long-term strategy in Syria that could emerge as a model for any future revolts in the Middle East and North Africa.

    The US and Europe have so far confined themselves to imposing economic sanctions, condemning regime brutality, calling on the president to create space for dialogue and protests, and enhancing the capability of Syrians to communicate with the outside world through the Internet. By doing so they have avoided the embarrassment they have so far suffered in Libya by demanding the resignation of a leader without the ability to impose their will.

    To be sure, there are major differences between Libya and Syria. Mr. Qaddafi’s 41 years in power won him few friends in the international community as opposed to Mr. Assad who may not be liked but is viewed as a devil with whom a certain degree of business can be conducted. The Libyan rebels moreover unlike their Syrian counterparts were able to take control of parts of the country and establish a clearly identifiable leadership.

    Libya nonetheless is increasingly being perceived as a failure with NATO members looking for a negotiated way out. In Syria, western nations have had to endure criticism from human rights groups who feel they are not doing enough to stop the bloodshed. Nonetheless, Western strategy in Syria is one of vocal condemnation with little downside and quiet assistance that aligns the United States and Europe with the protesters without the risk of creating expectations they can’t live up to.

    For what it is worth, the realization that foreign military intervention constitutes a strategy prone with risks also serves to preserve the original character of the Arab revolt: an indigenous people power uprising that thrives on its own power and perseverance, and that in Syria has shown remarkable resilience and determination as well as a willingness and ability to pay a very dear price.

    http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2011/07/11/157199.html

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  6. Section8

    I thought the UN had a Responsibility to protect. That’s the new rule and all things holy (as opposed to unholy US intervention), but now you’re saying it’s dependent upon organizations from neighboring countries like the Arab League? Because their interests wouldn’t at all be political right? Certainly no corruption in that group.

    That is a realization that has already made its mark in Syria where protesters in contrast to Libya have not called for military intervention despite the crackdown. Libyans called for foreign assistance in March when Mr. Qaddafi’s forces were on the verge of attacking their stronghold in the eastern city of Benghazi.

    1) Who speaks for the protesters in Syria? The dead ones can’t talk.

    2) Basically in the heat of a civil war it was up to the UN to take sides according to this paragraph above. This wasn’t that Qaddafi was planning to commit genocide, but was fighting a war against rebels. This looks more and more like politics dictates the morals at any given moment rather than the esteemed “morals” of international law. I’m sorry, I thought the world was above that, and the pick and choose method was just a barbaric American policy. You guys keep holding your heads up high though, the rest of us will just laugh.

    Even better.

    With NATO hopes dashed that its bombing campaign in Libya would produce either a rapid rebel victory or a palace coup against Mr. Qaddafi serving as a lesson

    A victory of what? Making a regime change in a sovereign nation? I thought they were carrying out the Responsibility to Protect, not decide who runs what for the Arab League and other nation’s interests. Keep rolling around in a pile of shit to clean yourself off if you’d like. It’s quite amusing.

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