The U.N. Security Council’s role in France’s agony

“[There is great] emotional appeal of global jihad, particularly after the battlefield successes in Iraq and Syria last year of the Islamic State, to Europe’s Muslim population.” – Mathieu Guidere, French expert on terrorism, describing what was behind the slaughter at Charlie Hebdo in The New York Times, 1/8/15.

How did the ISIL Caliphate start? What caused the Syrian Spring to metastasize into the homeland of Sunni global jihadists? How could an insurrection against Bashar al-Assad that might have been contained in Syria lead to the displacement of millions, the deaths of hundreds of thousands and the despair of millions more suffering within Syria?

How did Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan become destabilized through hosting millions of Syrian refugees?

How did large swaths of Iraq and Syria fall into the hands of these fanatical, bloody ISIL jihadists?

And finally, how did jihadists end up massacring the staff of Charlie Hebdo and murdering an additional four people during a hostage crisis in a kosher supermarket in Paris?

There are many answers to these questions, but below are the words of some global leaders that point us in the right direction.

Their comments, which serve as answers to the above, were made in response to the July 19th 2012 U.N. Security Council resolution on Syria. During the session at the U.N., China and Russia blocked any international action to stop the mass murder of Syrian civilians by the Assad regime.

As Reuters reported:

It was the third time that Russia, a key ally of the Syrian government, and China have used their veto power to block resolutions designed to pressure Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and halt the 16-month conflict that has killed thousands…

…Western states that pushed the resolution reacted angrily to the Russian and Chinese vetoes.

“The effect of their actions is to protect a brutal regime. They have chosen to put their national interests ahead of the lives of millions of Syrians,” Britain’s U.N. ambassador, Mark Lyall Grant, told the 15-member Security Council after the vote.

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, called the Russian and Chinese moves “dangerous and deplorable” and said the Security Council had “failed utterly.” French Ambassador Gerard Araud called it a sad day for Syria…

…U.N. secretary-general Ban Ki-moon said he was “deeply disappointed.”

One will notice that French Ambassador Gerard Araud said it was a “sad day for Syria.” He could have substituted “France.”

Let’s face this head on. China and Russia, absolute dictatorships that are also Security Council members, that live and thrive on repression and domestic tyranny, did not want to see one of their own toppled. So Assad lived another day – only as the leader of a zombie state. He could only control some parts of Syria; his furious people and the emergent armed opposition forced him to let parts of his country go: government by triage.

So Assad lost control of the northern part of Syria that borders Iraq. True, it was not that simple: he had several allies by his side, including Iran and its sidekick Hezbollah. But he had the Sunni remnants of Al Qaeda in Iraq prepared to fight him, justifiably aggrieved as they were (see Frankenpuppets article) at then-Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s favorable disposition towards Assad. And of course there were the other armed and dangerous Islamic groups that were also in the mix.

However, the U.N. vote was seminal. The vote against intervention by China and Russia was accompanied by additional threats that these two had had enough of regime change. They had no problem with Gaddafi and Mubarak in power; they were not interested in the idea that despots could be deposed at the will of humanists and Western do-gooders.

The point here is this: Due in large part to the paralysis in the Security Council caused by Russia and China in 2012, Europe is now in a panic, fearing the influx of ISIL-trained Islamic killers. These jihadists have benefited from the power vacuum a Western intervention against the Assad regime could have prevented. The video of the slaying of Ahmed Merabet, the French police officer, tells you everything about the bloodlust that had been nurtured there.

Secretly, the Chinese and Russians are probably happy at the attack in Paris. They both have their own way of dealing with their Islamic fundamentalist insurgencies, and it is not the West’s way. The fact that one of the Charlie Hebdo killers was under surveillance for years but prosecutors “worried about making the charges stick” says it all. China and Russia have no worries like that. Their methods of repression are more direct. Their anti-terror forces are not handcuffed by niceties like civil rights and a court system.

The rational world can extend its sympathies to the people of France. But when the blood is wiped clean, the Western world should look carefully at its own security. Surrendering foreign policy as it was forced to do in Syria, which resulted in the death, misery and displacement of millions, is simply unacceptable. Now that we have seen the blowback in France it is infinitely more so.

When the blood is wiped clean in France we can also perhaps talk about the nuclear-armed submarines North Korea is developing for the follow-up attack to their cyber one. There is lots of Chinese overseas investment that will be underwater when one of these is let loose. The West has been begging China to put an end to this North Korean insanity. The blowback from Chinese defiance on this issue will sadly make the Paris slaughter look small.

If the rational world cannot get its act together, the irrational one surely will. That is the lesson to be learned from the failure of the U.N. Security Council to deliver what its title says it should. There simply cannot be any more vetoes of resolutions that could save the slaughter and misery of millions.

About the Author
Jonathan Russo has been observing Israel and its policies since he first visited in 1966. He is a businessman in New York City.