Author: As-Safir (Lebanon) Posted February 6, 2012
What happened in the UN Security Council Sunday night [the veto by Russia and China of a resolution condemning Syria] was not a victory for the Syrian regime against the just demands of its people. [The Syrian regime’s] delay in responding to the absolute rights of [its people] is [totally] impermissible.
The Syrian people did not take their case to the UNSC, because they do not view it as a standard of justice. Based on its recent history, and [its handling of] the various Arab rights issues referred to it under the titles “the land of Palestine” and “the Palestinian people’s right to their homeland”, [the Syrian people] know that the [UNSC] has always supported the Israeli aggressor against [Palestine’s] rightful owners, and the domineering West against the rights of the weak peoples of the earth.
Due to the [Syrian] regime’s unjustified procrastination in fulfilling its vague promises of commencing the implementation of the awaited reform, the “Syrian issue” has been seized upon by [proponents of] international intervention, with the documented complicity of Arab officialdom. The [Syrian regime’s] procrastination has had painful repercussions for security, the economy, and society. In fact, it now threatens the heart of [Syria’s] national unity, which had - throughout the political fluctuations and upheavals - remained steadfast, protecting the homeland through [the Syrian] people and the people through their unified Arab identity.
This is not the first time [the UNSC has acted in favor of Western interests]. There is a dangerous precedent with devastating consequences for the future of the [Arab] nation. [Qatari Emir] Sheikh Hamad, who sees himself as the Machiavelli of the century, along with former Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa, requested - on behalf of the Arab League, whose only function has become to adhere to this center of Gulf decision-making - the legitimization of an international military intervention in Libya over “Qaddafi’s oil” [ignoring the possibility that] the Libyans [could be subjected] to a civil war.
The first experience [overthrowing Libyan leader Mu’ammar Qaddafi through UN-approved intervention] was a historic success; and so Sheikh Hamad wanted to repeat it. [But] the new [Arab League] Secretary-General, Nabil al-Arabi, gave Hamad a hard time before finally agreeing to repeat this outrage. [Hamad and Arabi] headed to New York, where Sheikh Hamad was the first to pledge to compensate the losses [resulting from a potential military intervention in Syria]. [Political] talk shows and news bulletins on Sheikh Hamad’s TV station [Al-Jazeera] referred to billion-dollar bribes promised to [states] with vetos.
But the issue under discussion at the UNSC was too critical for Sheikh Hamad to dictate and [states’ positions] were too firm for him to purchase. [The Russian-Chinese veto] came despite the successful efforts mobilized against [Syria] to pass the “Arab [League] draft resolution” [aimed at] disciplining an “Arab state” through an international resolution that would undermine [Syria’s] independence and open its doors to foreign intervention, dragging it into an endless and destructive civil war. The two allies - i.e. Russia and China - [share common] interests and a long history of common struggle against the forces of US hegemony. [They] have realized that their constant enemy [the US] - which continuously seeks to place them in the “House of Obedience” [a provision in Islamic law that allows placing disobedient wives under house arrest, here indicating that the US seeks to contain Russia and China] - still continues its open war against them and any friendly [country] with which they have common interests. [The US does so] by besieging them on multiple fronts and dragging them into a series of confrontations in various arenas leading into their backyards, thus ensuring that they are constantly on the defensive.
The Security Council has turned into a court for disciplining all that stand opposed to US will, and all that aspire to take charge of their [own] destinies by liberating their national wealth. The influential foreign ministers of countries with bloody colonial histories - [including] the United States, whose soldiers have just returned from Iraq following the complete destruction of its state project; Britain, [to which] several Arab countries, including Palestine, are indebted; and France, whose [accomplishments in] Algeria, Tunisia, and even pre-Qaddafi Libya have not been forgotten, even if the Syrians in particular have - [the foreign ministers of these countries] have all been depicted as pioneers of freedom, champions of the popular revolts. [Revolts] that overthrew sultans and dictators, and brought the revolution to New York - which only grants visas to revolutionaries in exceptional cases, out of an eagerness to maintain its influence at the United Nations.
All these giants pontificated, and spoke of others. They glorified and voiced their utmost appreciation for the heroism of the Syrian people - whom they knew only as an opponent [to their own] attempts at domination.
After guaranteeing a “consensus”, they were surprised by two vetos: The Russian and the Chinese.
The veto not only saved the dignity and right of the Syrian people to their country, it also saved the dignity of two great countries that have long suffered, and are still suffering from the besiegement - by the US in general, and the West in particular - of their right to be active international powers, and to help poor countries build their economies and protect their national independence on their own.
In this sense, the veto has protected the dignity and identity of Syria, which Sheikh Hamad seeks to discipline. It has also reinforced the dignity and identity of Libya.
As for the relationship between the regime and the people of Syria, it is not the specialization of the UN Security Council, nor does the solution lie in its hands. The solution remains, first and foremost, in Damascus.
Presumably, the promised solution will see the light within days, not weeks or months. The regime has wasted precious time. The procrastination and delay have led to the spread of devastation and destruction; doubled the number of casualties, including both soldiers and civilians; damaged the national economy; tarnished Syria’s reputation, and its exceptional Arab achievements throughout its long independent history.
The regime itself must undergo change, and [it should do so] quickly and decisively. [During this critical period] hesitance is lethal - and wasting time would be a serious crime.
But the greatest sin would be for the regime to feel reassured and protected by the veto. The people are the [Syrian regime’s real] source of protection, whereas the veto provides the [regime] with time to fulfill its promises of reform...no more!
Read More: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/politics/2012/02/reform-is-the-solution-whereas-t.html
Talal Salman founded As-Safir daily, which would reach the second largest circulation of Lebanese newspapers after An-Nahar. He was the spokesman of the "Islamo-progressive" left wing during the Lebanese civil war.
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