By Li Hongmei, Special to Sina English
China and Russia vetoed a Western-backed U.N. Security Council resolution on Thursday that will slap sanctions upon Syria as the two countries oppose sanctions, especially military intervention, and want Syrian warring parties to meet for a dialogue.
China and Russia used their right of veto when voting on the Western draft of the resolution, which envisages sanctions against Damascus. And the result: 11 countries voting in favor, two against, and two more abstaining. It is the third resolution to be vetoed by China and Russia in nine months.
The Security Council comprises 15 members, five of which are permanent members with powers to veto resolutions.
The vetoed resolution would have extended a UN observer mission in Syria for 45 days. The mission has been largely ineffectual as its work had to depend on a ceasefire brokered by UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan, but which never materialized.
The Security Council still has time to negotiate another resolution on the fate of the unarmed mission before its initial 90-day mandate expires at midnight on Friday.
Western council members have said they are talking about a threat of sanctions on Syria, not military intervention.
But Russia had said it could not accept sanctions, and accused Western nations of being behind a resolution that sought to "open the path to the pressure of sanctions and further ... external military involvement in Syrian domestic affairs".
China also opposed any unilateral sanctions against a sovereign state, deeming the West-dominated resolution biased and one-sided.
The West definitely wants Assad to quit as it thinks that this will solve the problem at once and perhaps, once for all, thus, it insisted approving the resolution.
Washington seems to blame Syria’s Bashar Assad for the Damascus blast that killed four senior defense officials including Syria’s Defense Minister Dawoud Rajha.
“It is precisely because of the ongoing campaign by President Assad against his own people that we are seeing a situation that is getting worse and worse,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said on July 18, adding that “with Assad in power is what will result in greater violence and greater chaos”.
The UK Foreign Secretary William Hague echoed White House statement saying, “ this incident, which we condemn, confirms the urgent need for a chapter VII resolution of the UN Security Council on Syria.”
By a resolution he obviously meant a Western proposed one envisaging diplomatic and economic sanctions and even troops against Syria in line with the VII Chapter of the UN Charter.
The countries think that any means will do to make Assad resign - from political and diplomatic to terrorist attacks like the July 18 blast, that was modestly called an “incident” in the White House.
But, what if Assad quits? Will it bring peace to Syria?
Libya’s today can best testify Syria’s tomorrow. The current Libyan leaders are settling old scores with everybody who’s not satisfied with them including supporters of the former regime. The country is seeing torture and abduction.
Syrian opposition resembles its Libyan counterpart---they need to get rid of all political competitors to secure their power.
The analysts say that Assad’s resignation will make the situation even worse not only in Syria but in the neighboring countries. Libyan unrest triggered a crisis in Mali while Syria has the entire Middle East around.
Within the country, if the situation gets worse, Alawites, Christians and other religious minorities would likely be under threat. Thus, bloody ethnic and religious clashes will be inevitable.
In the neighborhood, Lebanon will also be hit as it is already seeing clashes between pro-Assad forces and Assad’s opponents. Lebanon has a lot of Christians and can have more if Syrian Christians have to flee.
Jordan has an extensive border with Syria which is also threatening its security.
Thus, if Assad quits the region will be in chaos and nobody knows when it will end.
The US and its allies are fully aware of this, but it is way beyond their concerns. What they like to see is not a united and stable Middle East. On the contrary, they incline to profit from a troubled situation, this turning out better to make Israel secure and Iran further isolated.
Thus, the pro-West bloc as well as Western domain of interests in the once hardline region would be enlarged.