Russia and China have never made a secret of it. They are more interested in sovereignty than human rights. Considering the way that the US has weaponized human rights concerns recently, it’s hard to blame them. But as we watch the brutalization of East Aleppo, US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power’s cries of “Shame!” make a lot of sense. IF you ignore one of those very important things that nobody talks about. This video takes you back to 2011, and the US decision that made The UN’s impotence in Aleppo inevitable.
A certain UN resolution is pretty central to this video. Here it is if you’d like to review it.
Yeesh. This one is heavy. I was lamenting recently that my videos weren’t using clever editing, and didn’t have much emotional range. Coming across the Ambassador’s speech allowed me to deal with both of those issues. I really like the result, I hope you do to.
Lest you think I’m being unfair to Ambassador Power, a bit of explanation is in order. Power was initially famous for writing a book called The Problem From Hell: America In the Age of Genocide. She’s also famous for only seeing America as the solution to problems, and not making much allowance for the downsides of intervention. So far, so average. If I’d read the book, maybe I’d have a stronger opinion, but on that alone I’d be happy to see her make a speech like this. But she’s also been involved in the decision making on Syria from the get-go. She was an adviser to Obama when he was a Senator, and she was on the National Security Council before starting at the UN in 2013. So she was in on the ground floor with both Libya and Syria, and she’s had a hand on the meat grinder this whole time. She’s used her reputation as an international do-gooder to help destroy both of these countries. She’s not alone in that, but she’s the one using this particularly horrific moment to preach from pretended moral high ground. So no, I don’t think I’m being particularly unfair to her.
The topic of this video has bugged me for a while. It strikes me as one of the central blunders of the Obama administration, but nobody talks about it. I thought diplomacy was about being able to see things from the other guy’s perspective. This is right up there with NATO expansion as failures of understanding go…
Video Transcript after the jump…
Hello all. Samantha Power, the US ambassador to the United Nations has just issued a forceful condemnation of Russia’s actions in Syria. Let’s give it a listen.
This is pretty powerful stuff. And it gets to a great question. What’s happening to Aleppo is horrible. Why isn’t the UN Security Council doing something? It’s the Security Council that should be doing something about Syria. With their authorization, and direction a ceasefire could be enforced easily. This could all end tomorrow with a Security Council resolution. So why hasn’t it happened? Well the Security Council has five permanent members, and Russia and China have consistently refused to authorize any action . Why are they so shameless?
The answer is actually pretty simple. We screwed them. In fact Samantha Power screwed them.
I turn your attention to 2011. Back then another Arab dictator had the attention of the world. His name was Muammar Gaddafi, and he was supposedly preparing to slaughter the people of Benghazi. Russia and China bowed to world opinion, and let go of their traditional protection of state sovereignty. They agreed to Authorize action, in Libya, against Libya’s leader. They were promised that this wasn’t just a cover for regime change, and that it was necessary to save lives.
The language of the resolution was very clear. It was supposed to be a limited intervention.
Ambassador Power wasn’t at the UN yet back then, but she was on the US National Security Council and she was part of the decisions that followed.
I’m not going to burden you with the final pictures of Gaddafi, but he ended up beaten to death by the side of the road. NATO saved Benghazi and then went on to use this resolution to bomb Gaddafi’s regime out of existence. We did exactly what we promised we wouldn’t do. Libya still hasn’t recovered, and is now a base for ISIS among other unsavory elements.
So that’s why Russia and China have refused to take action. They can see through Ms. Power’s high minded talk. They know that authorizing humanitarian action in Syria means regime change in service to US policy.
There was a time when China and Russia were willing to be shamed into action. And we screwed them. Samantha Power screwed them. And that is why we look on helplessly as Aleppo burns.
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