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.

You May Like

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
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?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs