World View: Can Ban Ki-moon Prevent Russia from Destroying the United Nations?
- Turkey's warplanes shoot down Syrian helicopter
- U.N. team finds 'large scale' use of sarin gas in Syria
- Can Ban Ki-moon save the United Nations from Russia?
- Why are so many German professors against the euro?
Turkey's warplanes shoot down Syrian helicopter
A destroyed Russian-made helicopter that belonged to the Syrian army is seen at the Minnigh military airport (Reuters)
Turkey scrambled two F-16 jets on Monday and shot down a Syrian
Russian-made Mi-17 helicopter after warning it that it was
approaching Turkish airspace. The helicopter was shot down over
Turkey's airspace, but it landed in a ball of flames on the Syrian
side of the border. It's unknown what happened to the pilots, but
reports indicate that Syrian anti-government rebels shot them
dead after they ejected.
In June of last year, Syrian forces shot down a Turkish air force jet ("23-Jun-12 World View -- Syria shoots down Turkey's air force jet"). A furious Turkish Prime
Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed that the rules of engagement had
changed and that Turkey would use military force in response to any
incursion by Syrian aircraft. Zaman (Istanbul)
U.N. team finds 'large scale' use of sarin gas in Syria
A United Nations report concludes that on August 21, "chemical weapons
have been used in the ongoing conflict between the parties in [Syria],
also against civilians, including children, on a relatively large
scale," and that "surface-to-surface rockets containing the nerve
agent sarin were used in the Ghouta area of Damascus."
According to U.N. secretary-general Ban Ki-moon:
The report makes for chilling reading.
The results are overwhelming and indisputable. The facts speak for
themselves. The United Nations Mission has now confirmed,
unequivocally and objectively, that chemical weapons have been
used in Syria...
There must be accountability for the use of chemical weapons. Any
use of chemical weapons by anyone, anywhere, is a crime. But our
message today must be more than: Do not slaughter your people with
gas. There must also be no impunity for the crimes being committed
with conventional weapons.
This is a war crime. This is the most significant confirmed use of
chemical weapons against civilians since Saddam Hussein used them
in Halabja (Iraq) in 1988. The international community has a
responsibility to hold the perpetrators accountable and to ensure
that chemical weapons never re-emerge as an instrument of warfare.
The international community has pledged to prevent any such horror
from recurring, yet it has happened again...
It is for others to decide whether to pursue this matter further
to determine responsibility. We may all have our own thoughts on
this, but I would simply say that this was a grave crime and those
responsible must be brought to justice as soon as
At Russia's insistence, the U.N. team was forbidden from reaching any
conclusions about blame, but the report emphasizes the large volume of
chemical weapons that were used, that they were delivered by
sophisticated rockets, and that the rockets were launched from places
controlled by regime of president Bashar al-Assad. U.N. press release and Full U.N. Report (PDF)
Can Ban Ki-moon save the United Nations from Russia?
The laughable op-ed article by Russia's president Vladimir Putin that
the NY Times published last week contains the following:
No one wants the United Nations to suffer the fate of
the League of Nations, which collapsed because it lacked real
leverage. This is possible if influential countries bypass the
United Nations and take military action without Security Council
The League of Nations collapsed because it was paralyzed in the 1930s
by people like Vladimir Putin. Putin's policy since the 2011 Libya
action, as I've reported several times, has been to use the United
Nations as a tool to control Barack Obama and cripple American foreign
policy, and he's been spectacularly successful since then ("22-Apr-11 News -- Russia seeks to cripple Nato through Libya United Nations politics").
So Putin, who massacres his own people in Chechnya, invades Georgia
and annexes two Georgian provinces, all "without Security Council
authorization," and who provides weapons to the psychopath Bashar
al-Assad to promote mass slaughter, mutilation, and murder of his own
citizens, now lectures Americans on morality and preserving the United
Putin has used the United Nations to lead Barack Obama by the nose and
repeatedly humiliate him and the United States. In doing so, he's
also harmed the United Nations, making it look useless and impotent.
And now it looks like Putin is going to do it again. The U.N. team
report and Ban Ki-moon's statements make it clear that Bashar
al-Assad's regime launched horrific, massive sarin gas attack on
Syrian civilians on August 21, a major crime against humanity. But on
Monday, Putin's representatives were going full steam denying that the
U.N. report proves anything, and that the sarin gas attack was
launched by opposition forces, even though that appears to be
physically impossible. They were saying that under no circumstances
would they authorize military action against Syria, even though it was
only the threat of American military action that got Russia and Syria
to admit they had chemical weapons. But Putin isn't interested in the
truth; he's interested in crippling American foreign policy, using the
United Nations as a tool.
Putin's actions make this an existential crisis for the United Nations
itself. Ban Ki-moon must realize this, which is why, I believe, he
used such strident, condemnatory language in his statements on Monday,
going right up to the line of accusing the Bashar al-Assad regime of
new crimes against humanity, though not crossing it.
In fact, I'm not so sure that what happened on Friday was an accident.
As I reported ("14-Sep-13 World View -- Ban Ki-moon accidentally tells the truth about Syria"), Ban was giving a talk to a women's group at the
United Nations that was supposed to be private. But in fact his
statement, which accused the Bashar al-Assad regime of "many crimes
against humanity," was broadcast throughout the U.N. building. Was
this all truly an accident? Why was Ban making a statement like that
to a women's group? Could he really have been surprised that the
cameras were rolling?
Right now, Putin is controlling the United Nations agenda and
crippling American foreign policy. I believe Ban is well aware
of this and is looking for ways to take control away from the
Russians. Because if Russia is able to prevent any consequences to
follow from al-Assad's truly monstrous and gigantic crimes against
humanity, then nobody will trust the United Nations again. Russia Today
Why are so many German professors against the euro?
The arch-conservative Philip Plickert has a revealing comment in
Frankfurter Allgemeine explaining why so many German professors hate
the euro. The reason is largely psychological. Many of them had warned
against the adoption of a single currency in the 1990s but were
ignored at the time by Helmut Kohl, who considered them technical
morons with no sense of the political and historical understanding of
the project. It is no surprise, therefore, that they are offended now.
EuroIntelligence and Frankfurter Allgemeine (Trans)
KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan,
Syria, Bashar al-Assad, Damascus, United Nations,
Ban Ki-Moon, Russia, Vladimir Putin, Georgia, Chechnya,
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