A United Nations’ Security Council resolution aimed at ending Syria’s rampaging bloodshed was vetoed by Russia and China last Saturday. With the two permanent Security Council members blocking the resolution, we can hardly expect the tragic deaths of innocent citizens - who have been calling for an end to the despotic rule of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad - to come to a halt any time soon.
The veto by Russia and China is receiving heavy criticism from the international community because they most likely feared a potential reduction of arms sales to Syria and weakened influence on the Middle East. Russia and China’s action deserves denunciation for turning a blind eye to the regime’s inexorable crackdown on pro-democracy activists.
Syrian government troops killed over 260 people living in the city of Homs, a stronghold of rebel forces, on the day when the UN resolution to rebuke the merciless repression was put to a vote in the Security Council. That clearly showed the regime’s brazen intention to keep suppressing its people. It knew the resolution would fail. That raises the dire prospect that Bashar al-Assad will only intensify his efforts to slaughter the rebels as his father Hafez al-Assad did in 1982, when a number of them took to the streets to protest his tyranny.
The international community was able to oust Libyan leader Muammar el-Qaddafi off his 42-year-old throne thanks to a unanimous UN Security Council resolution. However, a different picture is unfolding with Syria, with which Russia has been pursuing a $4 billion arms sales deal. Aside from Russia’s effort to block international intervention in Syria, China, too, strives to avert the collapse of the Assad regime, fearing it may diminish China’s influence in the Middle East.
Now the international community must persuade and pressure Russia and China to change their actions. If they persist in having their way, the rest of the world must come up with ways to force Assad to step down without the cooperation of Russia and China.
For example, the global community can give positive consideration to the idea of providing weapons to the Syrian rebels. Furthermore, the United States, the EU and Middle Eastern nations should push ahead with air raids on Syrian troops to disrupt their ruthless attacks on civilians, just as the NATO-led alliance did in Libya. Dictators’ atrocities must be stopped. The international community must stand up to a massive anti-humanitarian crime once again.