News / USA

Power: No Viable Syria Path Via Security Council

U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power speaks to the press following a U.N. Security Council meeting, United Nations Headquarters, New York, Sept. 5, 2013.
U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power speaks to the press following a U.N. Security Council meeting, United Nations Headquarters, New York, Sept. 5, 2013.
Margaret Besheer
U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power declared Thursday that the United States has abandoned efforts to work with the United Nations Security Council on Syria and accused Russia of holding the 15-nation panel "hostage."
Addressing news media following a briefing of Security Council members on U.S. intelligence regarding an August 21 chemical attack in Damascus that killed 1,400 civilians, Power said she sees "no viable path forward" on the Syria crisis in the Security Council, which has been paralyzed on the issue for more than two years.
She said President Barack Obama has formulated with some U.S. allies a planned response to the recent attack, which Washington says was perpetrated by the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Her remarks come a day after Obama cleared his first hurdle in winning Congressional approval for a possible military strike on Syria. Power told reporters that the United States has tried every avenue in the international body to get action on Syria since 2011, but has been blocked by Russia, whom, along with China, has already vetoed three Security Council resolutions that would have punished Assad's government.
She said the United States believes the U.N.’s most powerful organ should live up to its obligations and act, but that the system has failed.
"Instead, the system has protected the prerogatives of Russia; the patron of a regime that would brazenly stage the world's largest chemical weapons attack in a quarter century, while chemical weapons inspectors sent by the United Nations were just across town," she said.
In a sign of the increasingly tense relations between Washington and Moscow, Power accused Russia of holding the Security Council hostage and of shirking its international responsibilities, including as a party to the international convention banning chemical weapon use.
Obama, who is currently in St. Petersburg attending the G20 summit, has no plans at present for one-on-one meetings with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, and photos of the two leaders’ initial greeting indicated a cooling of their relationship.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is also at the G20 along with his special envoy on Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi. Ban said the recent allegations of chemical weapons use and the deteriorating humanitarian situation urgently require world leaders to address the situation in Syria.
"That is why I have asked Joint Special Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi to join me in St. Petersburg, to press for the early convening of Geneva II conference," he said. "There is no military solution, there is only a political solution which can bring peace and end this bloodshed right now."
Power said that it would be difficult to get the parties to Geneva in the wake of such "a monstrous gas attack." She said a military response to the August 21 attack would not suggest that there is a military solution to the conflict, and she underscored that there is no long-term solution for Syria that does not include a political solution.

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Comment Sorting
by: Rudy Haugeneder from: Canada
September 06, 2013 1:56 PM
Unfortunately, the United States president and government cannot be trusted either. Obama promises a short period of strikes against Assad's Syria, just like he did in Libya. But says georgedixon1 in a comment he posted on The Hill yesterday:
See: Obama on Libya March 18, 2011 ABC News: Obama: U.S. Involvement in Libya Action Would Last 'Days, Not Weeks' (It lasted 7 Months)
"We are not going to use force to go beyond a well-defined goal, specifically the protection of civilians in Libya," Obama said.
March 22, 2011
The Hill White House denies regime change is part of Libya mission
March 28, 2011
Obama's Speech at the National Defense University
"There is no question that Libya -– and the world –- would be better off with Qaddafi out of power. I, along with many other world leaders, have embraced that goal, and will actively pursue it ..."
October 24, 2011
CBS News: "Qaddafi apparently sodomized, then killed, after capture."
August 27, 2013
The Hill: White House: We're not seeking 'regime change' as goal in Syria.”

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
September 06, 2013 11:33 AM
My question to Mr. Ban Ki Moon is, what is the repercussion for violation of use of banned chemical weapons in war? The UN should clap their hands for Assad for it and close the chapter? What does political solution mean and achieve in this matter? Russia simply wants to show how helpless the US and EU can be without Russia and/or China. But it boils down to the president of the US. How were issues like this treated during past active governments of the USA? The cacophony of voices in the country itself (USA) shows signs of incoherence, of a populace disenchanted by the reality of political group headed by a weak president.

by: Igor from: Russia
September 06, 2013 12:00 AM
Samantha Power is spreading lies. What we need now are not their empty words but credible proof and the proof (if any) must be presented to all UN members. The West cannot attack any country with its false evidence created by CIA...We must thank Russia and China for preventing the violations of international laws by the USA and its allies.
In Response

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
September 06, 2013 11:19 AM
And also thank Syria for opening our eyes to the new reality of war. Thanks for all the revelation - that the UN is useless, that America is at its lowest credibility level, and that Mr. Obama has not the confidence of the American people. It is even more gratifying to understand that the US has been too weak and naive not to understand the use of chemical weapons in its pursuit of al qaida which it should have smoked out or defeated long ago applying chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. It should be an opener to the reality of war - war is not a game but a deal of death - use whatever is at your disposal to defeat your enemy. Period. A precedence has been set; there should be no more restrictions. By this failure, the UN should ensure that the restriction of WMD affects no other country. The new reality is: if you want to go to war, use whatever weapon is available to you. If you're unable to withstand a fallout of war, then avoid it by all means, including subjugation to more powerful kingdoms, as it was done in the Barbarian days.

by: Regula from: USA
September 05, 2013 9:41 PM
Samantha Powers doesn't know what she is talking about. The moment the world disagrees with the US's illegal Nazi wars, she thinks the world holds the US/UN hostage. The worst use of chemical war was by the US in Vietnam: Napalm, agent orange, thrown on civilians to starve them, 5 million victims; Iraq: White phosphorus dumped on civilians in Falloujah, DU and uranium bombs causing the highest rate of birth defects ever in the world, i million dead.

The press reported that Saudi Arabia will pay for the strikes: Obama isn't hiding anymore that the civil war in Syria was instigated by the CIA/Mossad and financed by the Saudis as a prelude for war on Iran. Assad is fighting to save his nation and his people from al Qaida et al. The US wants sells itself as a mercenary bomber in support of al Qaida, to keep an illusion of influence in the Middle East and a war on Iran possible for no better purpose than to keep the most tyrannical terrorist of the world well greased: the US military industrial sector. The chemical weapons attack, staged likely by Bandar bin Sultan and the CIA/Mossad is only a very thin veil. There are no freedom fighting rebels, only power struggles. Al Qaida/alNusra will win that struggle. They are better fighters. Instead of a secular nation state, Syria will become an islamist religious state, not unlike Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, but with a change of kings: the house of al Qaida instead of the house of Saud, in Syria and in Saudi Arabia, a little bit later.

America will lose the last rest of credibility and decency. The world population despises the USA. And the people of the world have the last word, not the politicians.

In Response

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
September 06, 2013 11:05 AM
If only to put Iran out of that region, the US is doing well. If al qaida has been a proxy of the US keeping the US war machine steaming, then we're in for a big surprise. Who knows, it may be the working of the CIA/MOSAD (I know it's NOT the MOSAD of Israel, it must be another one) that bred Osama bin Laden, after all we know that the CIA used him to defeat Russia in its campaign in the region, and it is the CIA that found and killed him. Why not the organization formed by bin Laden? In other words the US has been in a form of secret alliance with Iran which funds all the terrorists - sunni or shia? You are saying that the USA is indirectly funding global terrorism using islamist proxies?

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