Russia Is Now The Undisputed Master Of The Un Security Council
Russia NHL star Ovechkin psyched for Olympic torch moment
14 in Geneva to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons. Assad agreed to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons amid an international outcry over a sarin gas strike in the suburbs of Damascus last month – the world’s deadliest chemical attack in 25 years. Washington has blamed Assad’s forces for the attack, which it said killed more than 1,400 people, and President Barack Obama threatened a U.S. military strike in response. Russia and Assad have blamed the attack on rebels battling to overthrow him in a civil war that, according to the United Nations, has left more than 100,000 people dead. TOUGH NEGOTIATIONS In a speech to the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday, Obama sought to persuade world leaders to apply pressure on Damascus with a resolution that included tough consequences should Assad not surrender his chemical weapons stockpiles in a verifiable way. But by putting the Syria crisis back in the hands of the U.N. Security Council where Russia has the ability to block punitive action, the chances of U.S. military action appeared to recede even further. Obama faces tough opposition from a skeptical Congress and a war-wary public on the wisdom of intervening military in Syria. With rebel forces plagued by divisions, the Friends of Syria – a bloc of mainly Western and Gulf Arab countries plus Turkey -followed up Thursday’s announcement of the draft resolution with a pledge to boost aid to the opposition. Weapons shipments to the rebels have been inadequate to shift the military balance in their favor.
U.S., Russia Agree On Syria U.N. Chemical Arms Measure
The real story from this week’s UN General Assembly is that Russia, not America, is now the dominant power at the Security Council for the first time in the history of the UN. This dramatic shift in the power balance at the UN seems to have been completely overlooked by many of those covering the meeting, who are more interested in wittering on about the proposed Security Council resolution on disarming Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile (it won’t work)or Iran’s utterly transparent charm offensive (they are desperate to get the sanctions lifted) towards some of the world’s more gullible world leaders. But the key to this disturbing realignment in the global power structureis clearly visiblein the draft of the Security Council resolution on Syria, which entirely reflects Russia’s interests at the expense of those of the Western powers. America, Britain and France, the three Western members of the five permanent members of the Council, wanted the option to take punitive action against the Assad regime if, as most observers expect, Damascus does not fully comply with the U.N.’s requirements. (Nor has anyone considered how U.N. inspectors can be expected to examine and neutralise stockpiles of chemical weapons in the midst of a civil war.) But Russia is determined to prevent any form of military intervention in Syria, and to that end insisted that the resolution be watered down to the effect that, if Assad fails to comply, then the issue will be referred back to the U.N. where, as we know from history, it will be subsumed by the organisation’s bureaucratic complacency. In short, Russia has won the diplomatic battle, and the Western powers, after all their threats to bomb Assad into submission,have been made to look weak and impotent. Apply this paradigm to Iran and it is not hard to see why Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has decided to embark on a charm offensive with the West. Just like Syria, the Russians have no intention of allowing the Western powers and that includes Israel to take military action against Iran over its decade-long refusal to cooperate with the U.N. over its controversial nuclear programme, which most intelligence experts believe is designed to build atom bombs, rather than power stations. And with President Barack Obama desperate to avoid a confrontation with Iran, Syria or any of the regions other rogue states, the key to resolving the Iranian crisis lies in Moscow, not Washington or New York. And if that’s the case, then don’t expect Iran to give up enriching its uranium anytime soon. All the more reason for Iranian diplomats to smile warmly at their American counterparts.
commentPeriod:14! commentEndDate:10/12/13 5:59 EDT! currentDate:9/28/13 8:0 EDT! allowComments:true! displayComments:true! Russias NHL star Ovechkin psyched for Olympic torch moment (Dimitri Messinis/ Associated Press ) – Actress Ino Menegaki as high priestess, carries the Olympic Flame inside the ancient Olympic stadium after it was lit from the suns rays, during the final dress rehearsal for lighting of the Olympic flame at Ancient Olympia, in west southern Greece on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013. The flame will be transported by torch relay to the Russian resort of Sochi, which will host the Feb. 7-23, 2014 Winter Olympics. CAPTION By Associated Press, ANCIENT OLYMPIA, Greece Alex Ovechkin said he is thrilled to kick off Russias Olympic torch relay for the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi a mammoth effort covering the countrys nine time zones that will include a trip to outer space. Im going to be probably smiling all the time and Im going to remember this stuff for all of my life, the NHL star said late Saturday after arriving in Ancient Olympia for Sundays flame lighting ceremony. PHOTOS: Last week’s best news photos The 28-year-old Washington Capitals winger will be the first Russian to run with the torch on Sunday after 18-year-old Greek alpine skier Ioannis Antoniou will take it out of the ancient stadium in southern Greece, the birthplace of the ancient Olympics.