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James Whitehead

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Were China and Russia justified in vetoing the UN resolution for Syria?

Given the media blackout surrounding Syria and the dubious fatality statistics, is it fair to suggest that the proposed resolution was rushed/ambiguous and left open possibilities for military intervention? Could it be argued that the USA should have been more prepared to negotiate the terms of the resolution? By vetoing the resolution, have China and Russia contributed to the continued bloodshed, or would the implementation of the resolution only have led to further deaths?

At this time, is Western intervention in Syria appropriate, given the current climate of Civil War?

Does intervention question the sovereignty of Syrian Government?

Is the US using Syria as a platform for an attack/action against Iran?

To what extent would you agree that sanctions proposed by the resolution should not have concentrated solely on e Bashar al-Assad's government, but rather look at calming both the militia and armed rebels groups?

To what extent would you agree that the USA government is hiding its true intentions behind the guise of "Human Rights"?

Is it fair to draw parallels between Syria and Libya?

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    Feb 9 2012: What is this life but a continuing education class. basically, I am aginst the "veto" system, because it weakens the action of the UN, and it is real sign of tyrany of the most powerful, or should I say, the tyrany of the most fearsome.

    I do not think that military intervention is adequate in Sirya, nor was it in Libya. Before flying and bombing populations and infrastructures in this country, one should ask about the outcome of the intervention in Libya. What is the conclusion there? I do not think that democratie is the answer, nor freedom.

    The occidental world should open in the UN a real democratic discussion on these subjects affecting the world peace and freedom. Unless, we attack the matters globally, nothing ever will be a success in these revolutions.

    We are in support of the people of Sirya because they have the right to choose their ruler, but what are we doing for the people of Saudi Arabia? When we will have an answer to that question, the siryan situation will find an happy solution. Let's note that before the protests started in Sirya, the siryan had 100 light years freedom than Saudies. No one is saying a thing there because the first to open his mouth will have the head cut.

    So let's face the truth, if it were to really solve the problem to the real benefit of the siryan, the UN should address "universal human rights" principle to all his members, including China and Russia. Then we'll see if they oppose a liberating action afterward.
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      Feb 9 2012: I agree! support the people..... but lets find a clear decision on the will of the people first, before crushing the regime and assuming thats what the population wants.

      I also agree with the open debate about world peace and freedom that we must put to the USA!! The UN claims to provide this forum for discussion but it is clear that it is insufficient in coming to agreement AND openly and honestly recognising the need to end conflict............ Perhaps some countries are too highly invested in these conflicts to genuinely want to see them end?
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    Feb 12 2012: YES. China and Russia are justified in my book.
  • Feb 12 2012: China and Russia are rightfully shivering in their own boots, knowing that the people of their countries are losing patience with the injustices and corruption and will be rising up to throw off the people at the top who are oppressing and exploiting them. In other words, those who vetoed the UN resolution are identifying with Assad, the man who is murdering his own people to keep himself in power, rather than caring about the hundreds and perhaps thousands of people being murdered by the tyrant Assad. Russia and China now share responsibility with Assad for the deaths of hundreds of Syrian people.
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      Feb 13 2012: Although Al Qaeda now support the rebel uprising..... hmmmm, Ayman al-Zawahiri re-forming Osama Bin Ladens old bonds with the USA?
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    Feb 11 2012: By vetoing the resolution, have China and Russia contributed to the continued bloodshed, or would the implementation of the resolution only have led to further deaths?

    Of course they continued the bloodshed , they still do that . The power is the most important thing in game now , not the bloodshed .

    To what extent would you agree that the USA government is hiding its true intentions behind the guise of "Human Rights"? As I said the power is what matters and nothing else , it's naive to think otherwise . But it is a normal thing to happen .
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    Feb 10 2012: Most of the countries at the frontline supporting military intervention are these ones who first sold to Sirya all the weapons Sirya is using to crush down his people. The one who are opposing the intervention are still selling weapons to Sirya. and yet no one has the courage to call them outloud ACCOMPLICES to the human tragedy taking place there.
    It is a very tricky situation, but how many of these are we to solve in the years to come? The bottom line is, we ought to revise the functionning of the UN and its missions. By doing so, we will reduce the influence of the US, Russia, France, United Kingdom, China, in making the decision for the world. A more equal world may evolve, as democracy is set there. Taht will be the greatest sign to show all the ruler of this world that things have changed for better.
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    Feb 9 2012: Syria is a country where Christianity, Islam and Judaism coexist in peace and respect each other since a long time.

    There is currently a rebel group in Syria which has it's unconditional support by the western media, just like in Libya, but this armed rebel group has failed to instill fear into the people's mind for now. In my opinion, what the medias are saying about Syria is pure propaganda in order to bring UN troops there to massacre the civilian population just like they did in Libya and kill (without proper justice trial) the Syrian Leader Bashar al-Assad just like they did with Kadhafi.

    Al-Qaida is a CIA rebel terrorist group, used like a pawn by the CIA to instill fear and bring a justification to war, wherever and whenever they want for whatever reasons.

    Wake up guys, it's all media propaganda the majority of the west believe without question, without research, they just believe it because they have been trapped by this group of extremely rich people manipulating the world to do their bidding.

    Syria is a country where Christians, Muslims and Jewish people lived together without conflicts for centuries, it's one of the most solid multicultural community of monotheistic religions.

    Allow this peace to stand, don't believe the lying main stream medias, they only serves their owners financial interests.


    China and Russia don't want a nuclear war to occur but they know that is what this series of wars in the middle east will ultimately lead to this, they are trying to help the world to stay healthy without a global nuclear conflict.

    DO NOT ALLOW ISRAEL TO BOMB IRAN, because this will pull the trigger of the FINAL CATACLYSM.
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    Feb 9 2012: 1. As I am sure you have noticed, China and Russia are playing a constant game of "ballancing" the decisions the U.S. makes. And by "ballancing" I mean in fact opposing without any other reason than maybe to assert their position as great powers whose decision weighs heavy. It's a game of image and international prestige.

    2. The West is not bound to intervene anywhere, unless there's interest of any sorts in the region, be it economical or military. The pretext to intervention is already at hand: "to avoid further bloodshed, maintain peace in the region and ensure a democratic system". It is only a matter of what will bring more benefits: intervening or not intervening?

    3. Intervention might generate the exact opposite and provide legitimacy to Syrian Government, and the blame will fall again on the U.S. for playing their imperialistic games.

    4. Syria is not the only strategic location in the region the U.S. could use for an eventual attack on Iran.

    5. The resolution was not intended to solve conflicts, the resolution was intended strictly to be ignored by the Bashar-al Assad's regime thus justifying intervention.

    6. I am not even going to answer that. History speaks for itself.

    7. I suppose one could draw a line between the two, though I am aware there are a lot of differences in the background of libyan and syrian uprisings.
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    Feb 9 2012: War and human rights in the same sentence?
    Hypocrites.
  • Feb 9 2012: We really never what the U.S. and the great britain are thinking , but we know that our best option.
    It is to save more and more peole regardless of I , you , we , They.

    I LOVE THE U.S. IN TERMS OF THEIR RESPECT TO HUMAN RIGHTS

    God bless you
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      Feb 9 2012: I agree that the Lybia resolution was hasty, which seems to support the veto, although as you correctly say for humanitarian reasons it is essential that a solution is found sooner rather than later.....Contradiction and Hypocrisy are everywhere! Perhaps the USA use "humanitarian reasons" as a means to their ends? perhaps they hide behind this sheild to gain support for altereor motives (im no conspiracy theorist but, hey, all the evidence points to this)
  • Feb 9 2012: If you're not looking for a philosophical answer, then chances are you're looking for a partisan answer which is rarely subjective. Maybe we do need to embrace the East meets West dilemma. There are intelligent, concerned, well-meaning individuals on both sides of that divide. What are the philosophical/experiential underpinnings which create that separation? How do we bridge that gap? If the only thing we consider is our version of reality, then conflict is inevitable.

    As for the Lebanon issue, the US did send troops into Lebanon to intervene in the civil war, with disastrous consequences and with no solution to the internal problems. As painful as it may be to stand on the sidelines and watch good people get hurt, imposition of a military solution by an outside force can cause more problems that it solves. Intervention may only work when all parties tire of the destruction and agree that an outside "referee" is desirable.

    Overall what I'm suggesting is a search for common ground, an understanding of interests and insecurities of our bargaining partners. Unfortunately, politics seems to demand a great deal of public posturing which works against cooperation.
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      Feb 9 2012: As you can tell, I am not well read on the Lebanon issue :-p

      I agree that military action from outside can (and most likely will) cause additional atrocities and create a more complicated road to recovery. Engaging in thoughts of the Utopian/Realist visions of conflict is a worthwhile practice, although (as you wisely mention) subjectivity is essential. We must take into account the individual scenario at question, and in the age of globalisation and interdependence, it would seem that too much is at stake and self-interest must be protected at all costs.... If we view things like this then it becomes clear that despite "advancements" in our society, national agenda and therefore corruption, are not blurred across the borders as we are led to believe
  • Feb 9 2012: I believe the answer to most of your questions is "I don't think so" - intervention, attack platform, sanctions against militia, hiding US intentions, and parallel between Syria and Libya.

    The answer to your opening question regarding the veto is self-evident; given their perceived self-interests, they were completely justified in their actions. We can discuss the validity of their perceived self-interests, but we can only do so from the vantage point of our own perceived self-interests.

    I think a more appropriate parallel might be between Lebanon and Syria with all that that implies.
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      Feb 9 2012: A slightly more philosophical answer than I might've hoped for, perceived self-interests and what not. It is clear that every nation has an agenda, whether that be advantages/disadvantages for intervention in the country at question or its reputation in the international community. However, I do find the "stuck in our own mentality" perspective to be both interesting and challenging to grasp, although we have to avoid the classic East meets West dilemma.

      With regards to the Lebanon-Israel war, we can see that a simple resolution calling for a ceasefire was enough to "end" the bloodshed, no military action needed, low and behold USA not calling for military action against Israel *yawn*.. If we are to draw parallels with Syria, could we not assert that the situation does not require a Western military presence (which c'mon lets face it would have happened with the resolution eventually) and through active diplomacy the situation may be "cooled". I don't think the USA's vision of the spread of democracy encourages much faith either... Even if elections were held, how many people would turn up to vote? how many of these would be extremists? would the elections not create huge groups of like-minded people congregating... either sitting ducks for a terrorist attack or setting the wheels in motion for violent clashes and protests?