United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon called for an end to arms shipments to both sides in Syria’s brutal war between Western-backed rebels and the Bashir al-Assad dictatorship before the conflict spirals out of control. In a speech at the UN General Assembly, however, President Obama promised to continue supporting the jihadist rebellion with U.S. taxpayer funds until the Syrian regime surrenders. Other governments were divided on whether diplomacy or military intervention would be most appropriate.
The UN boss demanded that government leaders unleash international “action” to bring the war to a halt, saying the 18-month-old conflict had become “a regional calamity with global ramifications.” As part of his “state of the world” speech on September 25, Ban declared that the Syrian situation was growing worse by the day — tens of thousands have already died — while representing a threat to global peace and security.
“The international community should not look the other way as violence spirals out of control,” he said, calling on the UN Security Council to take action immediately while acknowledging that both sides in the conflict were responsible for human-rights abuses. "We must stop the violence and flows of arms to both sides, and set in motion a Syrian-led transition as soon as possible."
The UN Security Council has been divided on the issue, with the veto-wielding Russian and Chinese governments — citing the bloodbath in Libya and sovereignty concerns — rejecting Western powers’ demands for overt military intervention to depose Assad. UN-Arab League Joint Special Representative for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi is reportedly trying to broker an end to the conflict after a previous bid led by former UN chief Kofi Annan failed.
"The crisis is no longer limited to Syria; it is a regional calamity with global ramifications," Ban said in his speech, warning that the situation on the ground was deteriorating quickly. In an apparent nod to the self-styled “International Criminal Court,” the UN chief added: "It is the duty of our generation to put an end to impunity for international crimes, in Syria and elsewhere."
President Obama, on the other hand, did not call for an end to the violence and bloodshed. Instead, he spoke out in favor of the Western-backed Syrian rebels — many of whom are actually al-Qaeda-affiliated foreign jihadists seeking to create an Islamist dictatorship — and vowed to continue supporting them in a bid to topple the ruling dictatorship. Assad, he added, must fall.
"Together, we must stand with those Syrians who believe in a different vision — a Syria that is united and inclusive, where children don't need to fear their own government, and all Syrians have a say in how they are governed, Sunnis and Alawites, Kurds and Christians," Obama declared after Ban’s speech. "That is what America stands for. That is the outcome that we will work for — with sanctions and consequences for those who persecute, and assistance and support for those who work for this common good."
Obama also threatened that the U.S. government would “do what we must” to prevent the Iranian regime, which is reportedly helping to prop up Syria’s Assad, from acquiring nuclear weapons. The threatening rhetoric came despite the fact that since 2007, the consensus view of the U.S. government’s intelligence community has been that the Islamic Republic stopped seeking to build nuclear bombs almost a decade ago.
Other government representatives at the UN had widely different views on Syria. Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, a “former” communist who has admitted to participating in terrorism, told the UN General Assembly that her government supported Ban’s idea. "There is no military solution to the Syrian crisis,” she opined. “Diplomacy and dialogue are not just our best option: they are the only option."
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who told American reporters that he wanted a “new world order” without U.S. government “bullying,” had a different proposal for dealing with the Syrian conflict. He suggested the formation of a “contact group” of 10 or 11 governments to help mediate a peace deal acceptable to all sides. “I will do everything in my power to create stability, peace and understanding in Syria,” he was quoted as saying.
On the other side of the spectrum were governments demanding immediate international military intervention to support the rebels in Syria. The “Emir” of Qatar, for example, suggested that because the UN was not acting, Sunni Arab dictatorships should join forces to intervene "out of their national, humanitarian, political and military duties and do what is necessary to stop the bloodshed ... in order to guarantee a peaceful transition of power in Syria." The Qatari regime, citing inaction on Syria, previously called for an end to Security Council members’ veto power.
The new Socialist president of France, Francois Hollande, called for direct UN military intervention on behalf of the rebels. "How many more deaths will we wait for before we act? How can we let the paralysis of the United Nations to continue?" he wondered. "I know one thing is certain, the Syrian regime will never again take its place in the council of nations. It has no future among us."
Western and Sunni Arab governments hoping to oust Assad have been funneling weapons and cash to the rebel fighters as the battle rages on and the death toll grows. American diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks, however, showed that the U.S. government had been showering opposition forces with millions of taxpayer dollars for years — long before open conflict erupted.
The general consensus among pro-regime change governments in the West is that the so-called “Syrian National Council” — a Muslim Brotherhood-dominated umbrella organization with a leadership that is intimately connected to the Bilderberg group, the Council on Foreign Relations, and other establishment power brokers — should take power. On the ground, however, much of the fighting is being done by Western-backed jihadists and al-Qaeda types hoping to impose Sharia law.
Meanwhile, tens of thousands of innocent civilians have been killed in the crossfire as the brutal dictatorship and the out-of-control foreign-backed rebel groups vie for ultimate control of Syria. Christians, who found one of the region’s final shelters in the nation under the brutal but secular despot, are being “ethnically cleansed,” according to analysts and human rights observers on the ground.
At last year’s UN General Assembly, Obama was celebrating international military interventions from Libya to the Ivory Coast, where international forces helped Muslim militias brutally overthrow the government and install a Muslim central banker. Since then, Libya has spiraled out of control, as evidenced by the recent murder of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and the ethnic cleansing of blacks. In the Ivory Coast, the new regime has started a vicious crackdown on the media and opposition that has been widely condemned around the world.
Despite Obama having been elected as the president of a constitutional republic founded by men who openly abhorred democracy as “mob rule,” he claimed at the UN that the world was making progress toward what he called “true democracy.” But as the Obama administration’s vision of “progress” marches on, the body bags are continuing to pile up. No matter what happens in Syria or at the General Assembly — critics called it the “annual UN despot lecture” — the violence and chaos will not be coming to an end anytime soon.
Photo of Ban Ki-moon: AP Images
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