Samantha Power, the United States ambassador to the United Nations, pointed a finger straight at Russia for crippling the Security Council in doing its job to secure peace in Syria as the White House continues its intense political campaign to use force against the government of Syria. It is trying to rally support to respond to what it says is Syria’s chemical weapons attack on Aug. 21 in a Damascus suburb.
Saying on Sept. 5 in a media stakeout at the UN, Power noted that for the last two and a half years, “the system devised in 1945 precisely to deal with threats of this nature did not work as it was supposed to.”
She went on: “It has not protected peace and security for the hundreds of Syrian children who were gassed to death on August 21. It is not protecting the stability of the region. It is not standing behind now an internationally accepted ban on the use of chemical weapons. Instead, the system has protected the prerogatives of Russia, the patron of a regime that would brazenly stage the world’s largest chemical weapons attack in a quarter century — while chemical weapons inspectors sent by the United Nations were just across town. And even in the wake of the flagrant shattering of the international norm against chemical weapons use, Russia continues to hold the council hostage and shirk its international responsibilities, including as a party to the Chemical Weapons Convention.”
Russia, along with China, has consistently shelved any resolution or minor statement by the council this year condemning any aspect of the war in Syria.
Power continued her campaign on Syria at the Center for American Progress in Washington D.C., on Sept. 6, 2013, where she spoke at length on the use of chemical weapons in Syria and why the US should act militarily to the Syrian government’s action. To read the speech, click here.
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Dulcie Leimbach is a co-founder, with Barbara Crossette, of PassBlue. For PassBlue and other publications, Leimbach has reported from New York and overseas from West Africa (Burkina Faso and Mali) and from Europe (Scotland, Sicily, Vienna, Budapest, Kyiv, Armenia, Iceland and The Hague). She has provided commentary on the UN for BBC World Radio, ARD German TV and Radio, NHK’s English channel, Background Briefing with Ian Masters/KPFK Radio in Los Angeles and the Foreign Press Association.
Previously, she was an editor for the Coalition for the UN Convention Against Corruption; from 2008 to 2011, she was the publications director of the United Nations Association of the USA. Before UNA, Leimbach was an editor at The New York Times for more than 20 years, editing and writing for most sections of the paper, including the Magazine, Book Review and Op-Ed. She began her reporting career in small-town papers in San Diego, Calif., and Boulder, Colo., graduating to the Rocky Mountain News in Denver and then working at The Times. Leimbach has been a fellow at the CUNY Graduate Center’s Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies as well as at Yaddo, the artists’ colony in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.; taught news reporting at Hofstra University; and guest-lectured at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and the CUNY Journalism School. She graduated from the University of Colorado and has an M.F.A. in writing from Warren Wilson College in North Carolina. She lives in Brooklyn, N.Y.