Syrian official: UN resolution shows US lost

posted at 8:41 am on September 27, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

It’s difficult to argue with that assessment, too. Yesterday afternoon, Samantha Power bragged that the UN Security Council agreed to impose a chemical-weapons disarmament regime on Syria, with Russia and China on board:

Power then made this statement:

That depends on the definition of “ready.” The actual UNSC resolution does not include an option to resort to force under Chapter VII, as McClatchy reported afterward:

U.S. officials said the resolution deems Syria’s chemical arsenal a threat to international peace and security and makes it legally binding for President Bashar Assad’s government to comply with an expedited plan to hand over the weapons to international authorities for destruction.

The tricky part, however, is in language about what happens should Syria fail to fulfill its end of the deal, which includes refraining from the use or transport of chemical weapons, and allowing international authorities unfettered access to related facilities.

U.S. negotiators gave up the demand of military force, authorized under Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter, as a consequence for noncompliance, compromising with the Russians on softer wording that says the Security Council would be “authorized to impose measures under Chapter 7,” according to diplomats and news reports.

That means no punitive measures would kick in automatically. Instead, chemical weapons authorities would have to report any alleged violations to the Security Council, which would have to determine whether Syria had in fact failed to comply with the resolution. And even after that, the Security Council would have to agree on the appropriate punishment under Chapter 7, which allows for measures other than military action.

Translation: The mechanism for responding to alleged noncompliance gives Assad’s chief ally, Russia, at least two opportunities to block punitive consequences at the Security Council.

An even clearer translation: the US lost. Despite Power’s claims, the UN isn’t “ready” to impose anything under Chapter VII.  Russia made sure of that.  It will take at least one vote at the UNSC and possibly two for the UN to be “ready” to act under Chapter VII, and it’s a safe bet that Russia will exercise its vetoes in either or both cases to make sure no one attacks Syria — at least not under the auspices of the UN.

That brings us to the Syrian lawmaker, Issam Khalil, who declared victory to the Associated Press.  Khalil points out that this is essentially the deal that Russia had pushed all along — and to which Bashar al-Assad had already agreed:

A Syrian lawmaker says the draft U.N. resolution on Syria represents a failure for U.S. diplomacy since the text doesn’t spell out possible military action over Syria‘s chemical weapons.

Issam Khalil told The Associated Press on Friday the U.S. failed to “impose its will” and have the draft invoke Chapter 7 of the U.N. Charter.

Khalil says the text is “more similar” to the original Russian initiative that Syria had already accepted.

The bluster about military strikes ended up netting the US nothing … except egg on our faces.  Now we have the Russians leading Western diplomacy, Assad as an essential player in securing chemical weapons, and all the incentives for both to string this out as long as possible.

This must be what’s known as smart power.


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Yes leading from behind!

watertown on September 27, 2013 at 8:44 AM

Drive-Thru voter in America responds to this report….

Does it get my fries and drink to me in the van any quicker? No?, then what difference does it make?

PappyD61 on September 27, 2013 at 8:45 AM

This must be what’s known as smart power.

It is if you are Russia or Syria.

Not so much if you are a lazy stupid rat-eared SOB too damned ignorant to see just how feckless and worthless he and his State Department has been for almost five years now.

Happy Nomad on September 27, 2013 at 8:45 AM

Obama doesn’t have time to deal with small nuisances like Syria anymore. Operation ObamaCare is on schedule to begin carpet bombing our wallets, savings accounts, and job security on October 1st. We don’t have the ability to fight a two front war right now.

NotCoach on September 27, 2013 at 8:46 AM

Epic fail

Obama has an awesome foreign policy team
-delusional libs

cmsinaz on September 27, 2013 at 8:50 AM

US lost

We seem to be doing a lot of that since Obama came on the scene.

Bitter Clinger on September 27, 2013 at 8:52 AM

Shorter version;

As long as you use your CBW to kill Christians and Jews, we don’t care.

Now, if you don’t get back to the serious business of being a True Islamic Great Leader, we’re going to have a problem.

Sincerely,

The UN

The One

clear ether

eon

eon on September 27, 2013 at 8:52 AM

Samantha Power actually showed up to do her job?

Will miracles ever cease?

Bitter Clinger on September 27, 2013 at 8:54 AM

Yes leading from behind!

watertown on September 27, 2013 at 8:44 AM

You gotta put your past in your behind.

Shy Guy on September 27, 2013 at 8:57 AM

Samantha Power actually showed up to do her job?

Will miracles ever cease?

Bitter Clinger on September 27, 2013 at 8:54 AM

Hey there isn’t a Charlie Chaplin festival every week.

But more to the point. Why the hell is the United States Ambassador to the United Nations using social media to brag about a UN resolution?

Happy Nomad on September 27, 2013 at 9:06 AM

Samantha Power actually showed up to do her job?

Will miracles ever cease?

Bitter Clinger on September 27, 2013 at 8:5

4 AM

That was doing her job ?

More like, she got jobbed.

Jabberwock on September 27, 2013 at 9:08 AM

And the network media leads the political reports with Bono’s “splendid’ impression of Clinton for the fourth day. “Aren’t the Clintons so great”?

Priorities.

Bensonofben on September 27, 2013 at 9:10 AM

Assad still in power.
Assad still has chemical weapons.
Assad has nothing to fear from the UN.
Did I mention Assad is still in power?
Russia has more influence in the Middle East.

So to sum up:
Obama lost.
Obama lost.
Obama lost.
Putin beat Obama.

albill on September 27, 2013 at 9:14 AM

The draft UNSCR establishes that #Syria’s use of CW is threat to international peace & security & creates a new norm against the use of CW.

— Samantha Power (@AmbassadorPower) September 26, 2013

A “new norm against the use of CW?” Power just contradicted BO, who said the use of CW wasn’t his red line, that it was the world’s red line. Wouldn’t be a “new norm” if that was the case.

Syzygy on September 27, 2013 at 9:15 AM

Power is spectacularly misnamed.

MTF on September 27, 2013 at 9:17 AM

Samantha Power actually showed up to do her job?

Will miracles ever cease?

Yup, she ceded the issue to the UN where no action will ever be approved regardless of Syria’s actions.

Turning over American power to the UN is her job and she did it.

Yay?

EA_MAN on September 27, 2013 at 9:22 AM

A Syrian lawmaker says the draft U.N. resolution on Syria represents a failure for U.S. diplomacy since the text doesn’t spell out possible military action over Syria‘s chemical weapons.

.
LOL The ink isn’t even dry on the agreement yet and Syria is poking its fingers in Øbama’s eye! Ø might be ready to be president along about 2017, when he is no longer eligible.

ExpressoBold on September 27, 2013 at 9:23 AM

So the administration threatened military force in order to gain an agreement that they won’t use military force? Smart. Power.

Arbo on September 27, 2013 at 9:53 AM

Lost or not, we are not helping AQ? American people won.

anikol on September 27, 2013 at 10:10 AM

Everyone else fully realizes how badly we lost this one.

Does the administration even know that we lost?

krome on September 27, 2013 at 10:10 AM

Saudis cant build a pipeline through Syria- Saudis lost.

anikol on September 27, 2013 at 10:12 AM

Yes indeed! “Smart Diplomacy”.

Now Barry can PIVOT to the economy. Again.

GarandFan on September 27, 2013 at 10:56 AM