Breakdown in Diplomacy at the UN Security Council. Who is Behind “The Most Terrible Crimes in the History of Humanity”, Syria or the US?

Former United States President Jimmy Carter: “The Rest of the World, Almost Unanimously, Looks at America as the Number 1 Warmonger”


US-NATO Diplomats at United Nations Security Council Resort to Slander in Response to Shameful Fact

Backflash to 1971

Washington D.C. White House tape recordings, April 25, 1971:

President Nixon: “How many did we kill in Laos?”
National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger: “In the Laotian thing, we killed about ten, fifteen thousand”

President Nixon: “See, the attack in the North Vietnam that we have in mind…power plants, whatever’s left, POL (Petroleum), the docks…and I think we ought to take the dikes out. Will that drown people?”
Kissinger: “About two hundred thousand people.”

Nixon: “I’d rather use the nuclear bomb. Have you got that Henry?”

Kissinger: “That, I think, would just be too much.”

Nixon: “The nuclear bomb, does that bother you? I just want you to think big, for Christ sakes.”

May 2, 1972

Nixon: “America is not defeated. We must not lose in Vietnam…The surgical operation theory is all right, but I want that place bombed to SMITHEREENS. If we draw the sword, we’re going to bomb those bastards all over the place. Let it fly, let it fly.”

Future Fast Forward. Today, July 14, 2014

The United Nations Security Council adopted, by consensus, Resolution 2145 facilitating the delivery of humanitarian aid to Syria. The resolution is not adopted under Chapter VII, and is technically, therefore, not authorization for any military action. Under “11.” The resolution “Affirms that it will take further measures in the event of non-compliance with this resolution or resolution 2139 (2014) by any Syrian party.” Any “further measures” will require another Security Council meeting, the outcome of which will depend on what “further measures” are proposed. The meeting did not involve any immediate or explicit threats of “regime change,” and did not involve any serious disagreement or debate, unlike the previous draft resolution, which was voted on May 22, 2014.

On May 22, 2014 the United Nations Security Council held its 7180 meeting on Syria, to vote on the French draft resolution S/2014/348 on ICC/Syria. The draft resolution invoked Chapter VII, which authorizes military action, and the draft resolution was vetoed by Russia and China.

Prior to this meeting, French Ambassador Araud held a press conference presenting the “Caesar” photographs, the authenticity of which was not independently confirmed. Ambassador Araud’s letter to the President of the Security Council stated: “These horrific photos suggest that some 11,000 Syrians have been tortured and executed in the regime’s prisons since the start of the conflict.”

During the press conference, the French Ambassador stated, unequivocally that “these were the most terrible crimes in the history of humanity,” a statement grossly discrediting the Ambassador’s knowledge of modern – or ancient history – and ignoring the enormity of the atrocities perpetrated upon more than 40 million Europeans by the Nazis during World War II, as well as the millions of Chinese civilians tortured and murdered by Japan during that same war, and insulting the intelligence of many members of the press in his audience. The Ambassador ignored, of course, the atrocities committed by imperialist powers throughout the twentieth century, and, indeed well into the present century. But the irresponsibility of his remark was not unique.

When a journalist from Lebanon reminded the French Ambassador of the atrocities and murder of a huge number of Algerian citizens, perpetrated by the French during the second half of the twentieth century, the French Ambassador accused the Lebanese journalist of being an “agent.” Confronted with the shameful truths about his country’s history, the Ambassador’s response degenerated to smear tactics. This was slander that would be legally actionable, in normal circumstances, but the Ambassador holds immunity. (Indeed, one seldom hears so many demands for “accountability” as one hears spoken by these diplomats who can never be held accountable.)

The French Ambassador then stated that viewing these photographs was the most terrible experience of his entire life. My own thought in response to that comment was that Ambassador Araud must have led a very sheltered and privileged life, exposed to very little reality.

This farcical press conference was followed by the Security Council meeting 7180 in which the U.S. Ambassador’s deceitful remarks betrayed either gross ignorance or deliberate indifference to the crimes perpetrated by her own government, and she indulged in wanton defamation of two of her colleagues on the Security Council. She stated, melodramatically:

“Today is about accountability for crimes so extensive and so deadly that they have few equals in modern history.”

One would expect the U.S. Ambassador to have greater knowledge of very recent heinous crimes for which her own government must be held accountable.

In 2008 “The Dark Side,” written by Jane Mayor documents the fact that: “U.S. held prisoners, some of them completely innocent, were subjected to treatment more reminiscent of the Spanish Inquisition than the Twenty-First Century. On July 11, 2008, The New York Times reported:

“Red Cross investigators concluded last year in a secret report that the Central Intelligence Agency’s interrogation methods for high-level Qaeda prisoners constituted torture and could make the Bush Administration officials who approved them guilty of war crimes, according to a new book on counterterrorism efforts since 2001…the Red Cross document “warned that the abuse constituted war crimes, placing the highest officials in the U.S. government in jeopardy of being prosecuted.”

On page 148 (The Dark Side):

“For the same reason that the White House could argue that Afghanistan was a ‘failed state,’ unbound by international law, it was also an ideal spot for secret CIA prisons. Several other allied countries, including a number of former soviet satellite states who were hoping to win U.S. favour for their ambitions to join NATO, also agreed to host ghost prisons. Although their leaders have denied it, multiple credible reports have identified Poland and Romania in particular as host countries, however. One year of the Afghan prison operation alone cost $100 million, which Congress hid in a classified annex of the first supplemental Afghan appropriations bill in 2002. Among the services that U.S. taxpayers unwittingly paid for were medieval-like dungeons, including a reviled former brick factory outside of Kabul, known as the ‘salt pit.’ In 2004, a still unidentified prisoner froze to death there after a young CIA supervisor ordered guards to strip him naked and chain him overnight to the concrete floor. The CIA has never accounted for the death, nor publicly reprimanded the supervisor. Instead, the agency reportedly promoted him.”

On page 153 “The Dark Side” recounts:

“John Yoo (a deputy chief in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel) stated: ‘Congress doesn’t have the power to tie the President’s hand in regard to torture as an interrogation technique.’ Yoo expanded on this theory when questioned about it by the director of Notre Dame’s Center for Civil and Human Rights, law school professor Doug Cassel. ‘If the President’s right to torture is so absolute,’ Cassel asked, ‘could no law stop him from crushing the testicles of the person’s child?’ Yoo responded: ‘No treaty.’ Pressed on whether a law rather than a treaty could prohibit the president from doing so, Yoo wouldn’t rule out the possibility that no law could restrain the president from barbarism.”

Recent U.S. perpetrated atrocities in Afghanistan, alone, were horrific enough for the highest officials of the U.S. government to be prosecuted for war crimes. Photos of Iraqi prisoners being bestially tortured by U.S. soldiers who looked on, laughing, caused revulsion throughout the world.

Under the circumstances, simple discretion and basic decency would have dictated that the U.S. Ambassador mute and restrain her remarks. Instead, in flagrant disregard of the crimes for which history will hold her own government accountable, she indulged in defamatory personal attacks against the two ambassadors who opposed her:

“Our grandchildren will ask us years from now how we could have failed to bring justice to people living in hell on earth. The history books may well depict photographs taken by “Caesar” of emaciated acid-scarred corpses juxtaposed with a photo of the two members of the council that prevented justice for the victims, such as Qusar, who longed to see the end of such horrors.”

Her egregious remarks leave her “hoist on her own petard,” as history books will be far more likely to show photographs of agents of her own government crushing the testicles of a child as a method of torturing his parent, juxtaposed with a photograph of her own face.

Former President Jimmy Carter recently stated that “more than any nation in the world, the U.S. has been involved in armed conflict and has used war as a means of resolving disputes…I listed 10 or 15 wars and I could have listed 10 or 15 more…The rest of the world, almost unanimously, looks at America as the No. 1 warmonger. That we revert to armed conflict almost at the drop of a hat.”

In an interview with David Daley on April 10, 2014, Daley remarked to President Carter: “John Kerry goes on “Meet the Press” after the Russian actions in Crimea and says, with a straight face, that “it’s the 21 Century, you can’t just invade another country anymore.” And I think a lot of us said, “Well, wait a second. That sounds a lot like something we did in Iraq, you know, during the 21 Century.

President Carter replied: “Right. We did. We do it all the time. That’s Washington. Unfortunately. And we have for years.”

Following the remarks by the U.S./NATO ambassadors at the May 22 Security Council meeting, 7180, Chinese Ambassador Wang Min replied:

“What is most urgently needed now is to urge the Government of Syria and the opposition to immediately implement a ceasefire and put an end to the violence in order to start a third round of negotiations in Geneva so as to advance the political process and embark on a political transition. In the current circumstances, to forcibly refer the situation in Syria to the ICC is not conducive either to building trust among all parties in Syria or to an early resumption of the negotiations in Geneva. It will only jeopardize the efforts made by the international community to push for a political settlement.”

Ambassador Wang Min continued:

“For some time now, the Security Council has maintained unity and coordination on the question of Syria, thanks to efforts by Council members, including China, to accommodate the major concerns of all parties. At a time when seriously diverging views exist among the parties concerning the draft resolution, we believe that the Council should continue holding consultations, rather than forcing a vote on the draft resolution, in order to avoid undermining Council unity or obstructing coordination and cooperation on questions such as Syria and other major serious issues. Regrettably, China’s approach has not been taken on board; China therefore voted against the draft resolution. I have already clearly elaborated my country’s position and explicitly highlighted the facts and reasons. Just now, the United States, the United Kingdom and other Western countries have made totally unfounded accusations against China. That is irresponsible and hypocritical. China firmly rejects the slander expressed by those Western countries against China.”

He ended:

“China attaches great importance to the legitimate concerns of all sides and of the Arab countries on the question of Syria. We remain willing to maintain close contact with all parties and promote active efforts to seek a political solution to the question of Syria and to maintain peace and stability in the Middle East region.”

The Russian Ambassador stated:

“It is difficult to discern the motives that led France to initiate the draft and put it to a vote, fully aware in advance of the fate it would meet…Why deal such a blow to P5 unity at this stage? Is it just to try once again to create a pretext for armed intervention in the Syrian conflict?…What justice can one talk about when the overriding policy is aimed at escalating the conflict? The draft resolution rejected today reveals an attempt to use the ICC to further inflame political passions and lay the ultimate groundwork for eventual outside military intervention. It should be noted that the so-called Caesar report (S/2014/244, annex), which was used to build up tension in the run-up to the introduction to the draft resolution, was based on unconfirmed information obtained from unverifiable sources and therefore cannot serve as a platform for taking such a serious decision.”

There have been honourable voices of dissent within the United States government (frequently just prior to the dissenter’s “resignation” from government):

May 19, 1967, just prior to his resignation, United States Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara stated (The Pentagon Papers, page 577, Bantam Books):

“There may be a limit beyond which many Americans and much of the world will not permit the United States to go. The picture of the world’s greatest superpower killing or seriously injuring 1,000 non-combatants a week, while trying to pound a tiny backward nation into submission on an issue whose merits are hotly disputed, is not a pretty one. It could conceivably produce a costly distortion in the American national consciousness and in the world image of the United States – especially if the damage to North Vietnam is complete enough to be “successful.”

Secretary McNamara’s main and most trusted adviser was the brilliant Assistant Secretary of Defense John T. McNaughton, who, early in May, 1967 wrote to McNamara:

“A feeling is widely and strongly held that ‘the Establishment’ is out of its mind. The feeling is that we are trying to impose some U.S. image on distant peoples we cannot understand (any more than we can the younger generation here at home) and that we are carrying this thing to absurd lengths. Related to this feeling is the increased polarization that is taking place in the United States with seeds of the worst split in our people in more than a century.”

Two months following McNaughton’s recommendation (just quoted above) to the Secretary of Defense, and one week before he was to be sworn in as Secretary of the Navy, John T. McNaughton, his wife and younger son were killed in a plane collision near Asheville, North Carolina. There remain disturbing questions about the midair collision. Shortly after a normal takeoff of the Boeing 727 carrying McNaughton and his family, a small red Cessna 310 suddenly came “out of nowhere” and crashed into the plane carrying McNaughton, killing everyone aboard. Harold Roberts, chief of the FAA tower at Asheville Airport said the Cessna 310 “was about 12 miles south of where it should have been.” According to the NTSB report, the pilot of the Cessna 310 should have been able to see the Boeing 727 at least 35 seconds before the collision (NTSB report PB177339). This should have been plenty of time for him to maneuver to a position below the flight path of the Boeing 727. It seems the actual pilot of the Cessna 310 directed the Cessna 310 into the flight path of the Boeing 727 causing a midair collision.

It should be noted that it was John T. McNaughton who invited Daniel Ellsberg to join the US Defense Department in 1964 as Special Assistant to Assistant Secretary of Defense John McNaughton.

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Articles by: Carla Stea

About the author:

Author and Geopolitical analyst Carla Stea is Global Research's Correspondent at United Nations headquarters, New York, NY.

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