A Dozen Countries the United Nations Doesn't Need
How hard was it for the 193 member states of the United Nations General Assembly to vote in favor of Thursday's resolution condemning human rights violations in Syria? The violations are obvious, and horrific. Since last March, Syria's regime under dictator Bashar al-Assad has been trying to exterminate open dissent by jailing, torturing, shooting, and shelling its own citizenry. With the Syrian government using heavy weapons against its own people, the death toll is now estimated at roughly 7,000.
If any of the UN's member states had hesitations over the details of the resolution, which calls for Assad to make way for a peaceful transition to a democratic and pluralistic system, they could comfort themselves that General Assembly resolutions are nonbinding.
The resolution passed, by a vote of 137 to 12, with 17 abstentions (and the remaining 27 presumably out to lunch). By standards of the UN General Assembly, that's a triumph. But it still means that with Syria's totalitarian regime trying to keep its dynastic grip on power by murdering its own people by the thousands, 29% of the members of the UN General Assembly could not bring themselves to condemn the process.
That's quite bad enough. But then there are the dozen states that didn't just abstain, or duck out of the room, but actively voted against the resolution. The UN, as far as I can discover, has not yet gotten around to posting the voting record. But the BBC has done us the favor of providing a roster. One of those states is Syria itself, which is represented at the UN by the same regime that is butchering its own people -- and among its international depredations boasts a horrendous record of terrorist bombings and other variations on murder in Lebanon and Iraq, and support for terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah, in Gaza and Lebanon.
On the next page is the full dirty dozen, on this voting roll of dishonor: