Russia House

editorial

2018-04-19
An ex-British Navy chief raises alarm bells about the governments Syria story live on the BBC
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2018-04-19
Britain admits OPCW did not confirm 'essential evidence' on origin of Skripal poison
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2018-04-19
An Alternative Explanation to the Skripal Mystery
An alternative explanation to the mystery surrounding the poisoning of Russian double-agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter may involve a possibility that neither the British nor Russian governments want to talk about, as Gareth Porter explains.

By Gareth Porter
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2018-04-18
'US knew there were no toxins & risked nothing' - chemical experts on Syria strike
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2018-04-18
Russia Ostracized By Washington, But What About Wall Street?

By Kenneth Rapoza
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2018-04-18
Donald Trump must address American people

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2018-04-16
The West Gets Russia Wrong Because the Media Are Peddling a Pack of Lies
" ... if you have been visiting Russia periodically, every few years, as I have for many decades, you will have found that it has been changing at breakneck speed."

By Dmitry Orlov

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2018-04-16
On the Reaction to the U.S. Strike in Syria

By Gilbert Doctorow Special to Consortium News
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2018-04-16
Western Media's conundrum - why is 'bad guy' Putin so popular at home?

By Steve Keen
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2018-04-13

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Russia House

2017-12-28

UN Members Show Spine in Rebuffing Trump

By Paul R. Pillar

When North Korea began the Korean War with an invasion of South Korea in June 1950, the armed response was waged under the flag of the United Nations thanks to the Soviet Union having absented itself from the Security Council. The Soviets were boycotting the council to protest the fact that Chinas seat had not been given to Mao Zedongs communists, who had won the Chinese civil war the previous October. With no Soviet veto in the way, the Security Council quickly passed the resolutions necessary to bestow U.N. sanction on the U.S.-led military resistance to the Norths aggression.
The Soviets came to realize that they were not going to get support for their contention that the absence of any of the councils permanent members should prevent the council from conducting business. The Soviets resumed their seat and began vetoing further resolutions on Korea. To get around this obstruction, U.S. diplomats led by Secretary of State Dean Acheson persuaded enough other delegations at the U.N. to have the General Assembly, where there are no vetoes, assert the power to take action on matters on which the Security Council was unable to act. That assertion, known as the Uniting for Peace resolution, passed the General Assembly in November 1950.
The General Assembly has used this power sparingly, in recognition of how it twists somewhat the division of responsibilities envisioned in the U.N. Charter. The power is appropriately looked at as a last resort in the face of obstructionism by any of the veto-wielding permanent members of the Security Council.
The most recent use of the power came this week, with the General Assembly passing a resolution essentially identical to one that the United States had vetoed three days earlier and had been supported by all 14 other members of the Security Council. The resolution was the international communitys response to the Trump administrations declaration that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and stated intention to move the U.S. embassy there.
The vote in the General Assembly was 128 countries in favor, nine against, and 35 abstentions. Besides the United States and Israel, the only no votes came from some of the Pacific microstates among whom the United States usually gets support when the support is meager (Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, and Palau) as well as Guatemala, Honduras, and Togo. Among those casting yes votes were major U.S. allies such as Britain, France, and Germany.
It is appropriate and unsurprising that the resolution gained such strong support even in the face of the U.S. administrations threats and bullying. The resolution does not criticize the United States by name. It instead calls on all members to comply with Security Council resolutions regarding Jerusalem and reaffirms that the status and governance of the city constitute a final status issue to be resolved through negotiations in line with relevant U.N. resolutions. Far from being a usurpation of the Security Councils role, the General Assemblys action is a declaration of respect for the Security Councils own prior resolutions, in the face of U.S. flouting of those resolutions.
More Spine Than Usual
Among the principal takeaways from the General Assemblys action is that an international sense of justice and fairness matters. Many states reject the notion that might makes right, which is how the Israeli government has treated its relations with the Palestinians, and how the Trump administration approached its lobbying on this resolution.
Another conclusion is that, notwithstanding how much the Israeli government and its supporters in Washington would like to think that Arabs dont care about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict anymore and that the only thing that matters to them these days is to confront Iran, that is not how Arab governments (and certainly their constituents in the street) think. Every Arab state supported the resolution. Non-Arab Muslims also care about Jerusalem. Every Muslim majority state except Turkmenistan (which was absent) voted for the resolution.
The administrations threats and bullying did not work. The crude tactics included U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haleys rhetoric about taking names and Donald Trumps bombast about cutting off U.S. aid. Among the Arab states that supported the resolution were the two states Egypt and Jordan that receive more U.S. aid than anyone other than Israel. The very crudeness of the tactics, and the offense taken to bullying, probably made the tactics counterproductive.
More generally, the result of the vote is one more illustration of how much less is the capacity of the United States to push the rest of the world around than those Americans of an assertive nationalist stripe seem to think. This discrepancy between reality and uber-nationalist belief predates Trump and has existed at least since the post-Cold War unipolar moment that was barely a moment, if that. Trumps policies and rhetoric have caused international confidence in the United States to plummet to even lower depths. The United States pushing ability has dropped along with the confidence.

"consortiumnews.com"