In the past six days, Russian & Syrian warplanes have killed 460 civilians, including 100 children, & injured thousands. There’s a lot of media coverage about how Russia is blocking a UN resolution calling for a ceasefire & portraying Trump’s UN ambassador Nikki Haley as an antiwar champion dismayed that Russia is delaying humanitarian aid & medical evacuations from Eastern Ghouta. It’s all a switch & bait routine. If the UN wanted to function in a democratic way & get something done, it would dismantle the Security Council which is an organizational recipe for big power, militarist dominance.
The Security Council, a World War II anachronism, has 15 rotating temporary member states representing global regions & five permanent members (US, UK, France, China, Russia) who hold veto power over resolutions. All five permanent members have the most powerful militaries in the world, are nuclear powers, & among the world’s largest arms exporters. Combined, they spend over US$1 trillion a year on the military. It’s like putting the fox in charge of the chicken coop writ large. Why should five militarist states be allowed to control matters of war & peace when their political interests are dominated by war, occupation, genocide?
Russia is blocking a Security Council ceasefire resolution to stop the slaughter in Eastern Ghouta by demanding paramilitary groups fighting the Assad dictatorship comply with the truce. There are paramilitary groups fighting on both sides, as part of the Syrian revolution & as part of counterrevolutionary forces. All of them are being trained & armed by the five permanent member nations of the Security Council or their allies. Antiwar forces don’t have to sort that maelstrom out or become military strategists to understand how we should respond. We must take our stand demanding the immediate cessation of Syrian, Russian, & US coalition bombing of civilians & the immediate, unconditional withdrawal of all foreign military forces–overt, covert, mercenary–from Syria.
Photo is White Helmet rescuing a child in Eastern Ghouta.
(Photo by Abdulmonam Eassa/AFP/Getty Images )