Herzog: “US must strike Syria to maintain world order”..UN Inspection a figleaf to justify air strike..Obama “could pause Syria attack plans”..RT: Syrian rebels plan chemical attack on Israel
The US must take action in Syria to send a message that Syrian leader Bashar Assad’s use of chemical weapons cannot be tolerated, Labor leadership candidate Isaac Herzog said Monday.
Herzog has built close ties with figures in the Syrian opposition over the past two years. He said he warned correctly at the start of the Syrian civil war that if the international community failed to intervene militarily, the situation in the war-torn country would deteriorate significantly.
“The rogue states have to be told that there are lines that cannot be crossed,” Herzog said.
“The Middle East sees the US as the leader of the free world, so the message of President Obama is reverberating loud and clear. He’s taking the lead and trying to get clear support, though he has been limited by Russian and Chinese vetos.”
Herzog stopped short of criticizing Obama for not attacking Syria already. He said Israel needed to take a back-seat role and continue cooperating with the US, as adverse developments continue in Syria.
“I can understand the president’s need to get support from Congress, but as an Israeli leader, there are moments when you don’t have any choice,” he said. “If the rogue states see that nothing will happen after Assad slaughters his own people with chemical weapons, the message will be that there is no world order.”
Herzog said he disagrees with those who believe an attack on Assad would help al-Qaida.
He said he believes the Syrian opposition would democratically choose leadership that would be secular and could bring stability.
The United Nations, which has remained deadlocked over Syria, is in danger of being craftily exploited to justify the impending air strike on Damascus.
The threat of double vetoes by Russia and China against an attack on Syria has shifted the focus to the U.N. team of inspectors whose report on the chemical weapons attack may be released either later this week or next week.
But the conclusions of the report are predictable – within the team’s limited mandate, as laid out by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The team is expected to only confirm the use of chemical weapons in Syria and leave unanswered the more important question of who used those weapons.
The Syrian government and rebel forces are blaming each other, with no positive proof on either side.
But the administration of President Barack Obama has repeatedly said the U.N. evaluation is “irrelevant” – and it knows more about the chemical weapons attack than the United Nations does and hopes to.
Still, European governments, and particularly France, have said they would not endorse a military strike until the U.N. report is released. French President Francois Hollande was quoted as saying last week his government would not act militarily before the U.N. inspectors presented their findings on the Aug. 12 attack in Syria.
According to one published report, the U.N. findings “would enable European governments to tell their constituents that there has been U.N. involvement before military action, and it would not appear to tie the Americans’ hands.”
Michael Ratner, president emeritus of the New York-based Centre for Constitutional Rights, told IPS many of those governments prefer to support the United States and will use the “fig leaf of the U.N. inspections” and its conclusion – assuming it states chemical weapons are used – to give that support.
“The claim will be that the U.N. is involved and somehow that means it’s a legal attack. Nothing could be further from the truth or law,” he said.
Without Security Council approval, an attack violates the U.N. Charter and is utterly lawless.
Against the backdrop of last week’s G-20 Summit, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and his representative for Syria suggested that any U.S. or allied military action on Syria would be illegal. According to the United Nations’ own press report:
He appealed that any decision that is made is done so within the framework of the UN Charter. The use of force is lawful only when in exercise of self-defense in accordance with Article 51 of the United Nations Charter and/or when the Security Council approves such action, said Mr. Ban. He appealed for renewed efforts by regional and international actors to convene the Geneva conference – with participation from senior United States, Russian and UN officials – “as soon as possible.”
That may or may not be true, but the fact that so many diplomats and journalists give so much credence to what the secretary-general says shows ignorance of the original intent of the United Nations and reflects the mission creep which blights the organization. Article 97 of the UN Charter declares that:
The Secretariat shall comprise a Secretary-General and such staff as the Organization may require. The Secretary-General shall be appointed by the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council. He shall be the chief administrative officer of the Organization.
In other words, his job is first and foremost as a manager. It is not his role to determine what international law is or is not. Alas, the current secretary-general, like Kofi Annan before him and Boutros-Boutros Ghali before him, has shirked his administrative duties while seeking to maximize travel. They have allowed corruption and bloat to run rampant through the organization while they engage in soapbox diplomacy for which they have no charge.
True, Article 99 suggests that “The Secretary-General may bring to the attention of the Security Council any matter which in his opinion may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security,” but he is not entrusted as the arbiter of international law. To allow Ban to, in his official capacity, make such declarations is to transform the UN from a discussion forum meant to promote peace to instead a dictatorial entity. That the time and money Ban spends on his jaunts around the globe wastes resources and contrasts so much with the UN’s notoriously slow and inefficient bureaucracy only underlines the secretary-general’s malpractice.
US President Barack Obama has said he will put plans for a US military strike against Syria on hold if the country agrees to place its chemical weapons stockpile under international control.
But he said he was sceptical the Syrian government would follow through.
As the US Congress debates authorising an attack, Russia on Monday proposed Syria relinquish its chemical weapons.
The US accuses Damascus of war crimes including use of chemical weapons, allegations denied by the regime.
The US president on Monday gave a series of television interviews aimed at building support among a US Congress and public wary of new military action in the Middle East.
A chemical attack may be launched on Israel by Syrian rebels from government-controlled territories as a “major provocation,” multiple sources told RT.
The report comes as Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrovproposed that Syria puts its chemical weapons arsenal under international control for subsequent destruction in order to prevent a possible military strike against the war-torn country.
Moscow also urged Syrian authorities to join the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. The offer has already been passed over to Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem, who met Lavrov in Moscow for talks on Monday.
“We don’t know if Syria will accept the offer, but if imposing international control over chemical weapons stored in the country can help to avoid military strikes, we are immediately going to start working with Damascus,” Lavrov said.
The Syrian Foreign Ministry has welcomed Moscow’s initiative, “based on the Syrian’s government care about the lives of our people and security of our country,” Muallem said later on Monday.
Meanwhile, US National Security Adviser Susan Rice made a statement saying that Damascus’ alleged “use of chemical weapons against its own people” posed a threat to US national security. “The use of chemical weapons also directly threatens our closest ally in the region, Israel,” she said, speaking at the New America Foundation in Washington.
fast moving story now..but to summarise..the g20 gave the players a chance to work out a new script..now they go down this line of planning via kerrys err..”mistake”? the UN get involved..syria doesnt comply fully and then they get to attack them..the people have to be very alert for this..dont underestimate the ability of these guys to trick the sheeple..they are the masters of deceit!