Saturday, February 4, 2012

UN Security Council Vote on Syria

My twitter feed is aflame with folks upset that Chinese and Russian vetoes stymied the UN Security Resolution on Syria.  This raises one question and let's me be smug as well.

The question: what effect would the resolution have had anyway?  It would not have given the green light to the use of force as far as I can tell.  But it would have made the international community look like it was doing something and might have paved the road to another resolution that would have grant some legitimacy to intervention. 

The smug: I always like to poke at the Canadian students who are big fans of the UN--how can a collective body be seen as the legitimator of international actions when the veto by any one country (especially non or semi democracies) can stop an action.  Seeking permission from the UN to do something means having it be acceptable to China/Russia (or to US, when US is defending Israel, for instance). 

So, another day where the UN and the International Community appear ineffectual.  This would not be surprising in any situation but given the complexities of intervening in Syria, doubly not surprising.

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