If the UN cannot wield its influence in Syria, should the US?

As the fighting – and the executions – increased throughout Syria at week’s end, the United Nations General Assembly could only manage to pass a nonbinding resolution calling for an end to the violence.

In response to the vote, Russia said it was a setback to any progress in Syria and China also criticized the West for its condemnation. Given Russia’s obstinence and refusal to back away from supporting Bashar al-Assad’s regime, it was not news to learn that Russia had reached an agreement to secure much-needed fuel from Syria. The deal will permit Syria to send crude oil to Russia in exchange for refined oil products.

The Economist, however, argues that even Russia is reconsidering its support for Assad despite all the evidence to the contrary. In testimony before Congress, Martin Indyk of the Brookings Institution sought to distinguish Syria from other Arab uprisings in Egypt and Bahrain in calling for US involvement.

“In Syria, however, there is no such tension between American strategic interests and American concern for the human rights of the Syrian people. Both would be well-served by the prompt removal of the Assad regime, especially because its continuation in power will not only cause immense suffering to the Syrian people, but also because the longer it stays the higher the likelihood of a descent into chaos that could cause severe damage to our other interests in Syria and the wider region,” he maintained.





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