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Tensions Escalate in Showdown at UN Security Council Meeting

Russia and Syria had to go it pretty much alone at today’s meeting of the UN Security Council. You would think that they might have gotten some diplomatic support from China, but no, the statement given by the Chinese ambassador was disappointingly wishy-washy.

Altogether some twenty speeches were made. The most disgustingly inflammatory rhetoric (besides that employed by US Ambassador Nikki Haley, which of course is a given) came from the ambassadors of France and The Netherlands, with the French representative being perhaps most over the top. Accusing the Syrian government of “stoking terror,” the French official claimed that events over the weekend, including the alleged chemical attack in Douma, had brought the world “face to face with the destructive madness of a Machiavellian regime which seeks to destroy its people completely.”

While Trump described Syrian President Assad as an “animal” in a tweet over the weekend, Haley went one better, conjuring up the term “monster.” She also said Russia’s hands are “all covered with the blood of Syrian children.”

All the members of the Security Council condemned the use of chemical weapons, yet regrettably not a single one of them, with the exception of Russia, had the temerity to criticize the US for its policies of trying to overthrow the governments of other countries. Astonishingly this held true even with the representatives of the African countries which spoke: not a one of them dared criticize the US.

And also, tellingly, not a single nation, with the exception of Russia and Kazakhstan, questioned the veracity of claims regarding the chemical attack, all appearing to regard the mainstream media and the White Helmets as impeccable sources of truth. The ambassador from The Netherlands even praised the White Helmets by name.

And yes, also immune from criticism, of course, was Israel. Israel’s attack this morning on a Syrian air base was mentioned at the outset of the meeting, in comments by Stefan de Mistura, but the only criticisms of it were voiced by Russia and Syria. (And with regard to the latter, Syria, it should be mentioned, is not a member of the Security Council, although Syrian Ambassador Bashar Jaafari was allowed to address the meeting.)

Jaafari’s speech was excellent–better than that of Russian Ambassador Vasily Nebenzya, who, though hot under the collar, seemed at times a little naive about Western intentions and even used the term “Western partners” at one point.

For me, however, the most striking thing about the Security Council meeting was the level of insanity and group-think that were on display. Group-think is a behavior we normally associate with Washington, but here we see a stunning exhibition of it at the international level, with all the nations in the US orbit–France, Netherlands, Britain, and even the African countries–rigidly adhering to the lies told about Syria, almost as if  under a hypnotist’s spell.