Although UN Security Council Resolution 2178 about a global initiative against foreign terrorist fighters was passed unanimously by the UN Security Council, the countries gathered were divided on the role that the US has played in supporting international terrorism. One needs to get past the diplomatic jargon and the framework of the consensus to hear it. The crux of the matter is that the world faces an inquisitional mentality and that even dissenting UN members were forced to operate under the narrative and consensus that Washington has spun.
The United Nations Security Council held a high-level meeting on terrorism on September 24, 2014. UN Security Council Resolution 2178, which underscored the need to prevent the travel and funding of foreign terrorists, was unanimously approved and passed by its five permanent and veto-holding members — Britain, China, France, Russia, and the US — and its elected non-permanent members — Argentina, Australia, Chad, Chile, Jordan, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Nigeria, South Korea, and Rwanda — which have chairs for two-year terms.
The Syrian government hailed the passing of the resolution as verification of its claims about the nature of the anti-government forces that the US, Britain, France, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, Israel, and Lebanon’s perfidious Hariri-led March 14 Alliance have been supporting. Syrian Information Minister Omran Al-Zoubi hailed Resolution 2178 as a political victory for Syria on September 28, 2014.
The September 24 meeting was chaired by the US, which since the start of the month of September received the rotating UN Security Council presidency from Britain. Moreover, US President Barack Obama was personally chairing the session while US Secretary of State, US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power, and US National Security Advisor Susan Rice all sat behind him. The resolution had been circulated before the session and approved before opening remarks and statements were made.
Australia, Belgium, Britain, Bulgaria, Canada, Chad, Chile, France, Jordan, Kenya, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the former Yugoslav Republic (FYR) of Macedonia, Morocco, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Norway, Qatar, Rwanda, South Korea, Turkey, and Trinidad and Tobago were all represented by either their head of state or head of government. Archbishop Pietro Parolin, Vatican City’s Secretary of State (which is the equivalent of a prime minister) was also present, as was Herman Van Rompuy, the president of the EU’s European Council. Albania, Algeria, China, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Kazakhstan, Senegal, Serbia, and New Zealand were represented at the ministerial level while Egypt, India, Malaysia, Pakistan, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Spain, and the UAE were represented by cabinet advisors, special envoys, and lower ranking representatives. Syrian Ambassador to the UN Bashar Al-Jaafari was also in attendance.
UN Security Council Resolution 2178 is described by the US Department of State, in a factsheet it released on the same date (September 24, 2014), as a legally binding document that requires all countries to prevent foreign terrorist fighters from either entering or transiting their territories and to establish domestic laws to prosecute these foreign terrorists domestically.
UN Security Council Resolution 2178, itself, states that the UN Security Council “through the resolution, decided that all States shall ensure that their legal systems provide for the prosecution, as serious criminal offences, of travel for terrorism or related training, as well as the financing or facilitation of such activities.” It goes on to say that it has been decided that all member states of the UN “shall prevent entry or transit through their territories of any individual about whom that State had credible information of their terrorist-related intentions, without prejudice to transit necessary for the furtherance of judicial processes. It called on States to require airlines to provide passenger lists for that purpose.”
Although it is de-contextualized as Argentina, China, and Russia would all stealthily point out in diplomatic terms, the content of UN Security Council Resolution 2178 in principle was sound. Therefore, it got the unanimous support of the entire UN Security Council. In practice, it is a totally different story.
Liars in High Office: A Pageantry of Dishonesty
Almost the entire meeting about UN Security Council Resolution 2178 was a pageantry of hollow rhetoric and beautiful lies. The room was filled with soulless poets. Most the noble words by the gathering of careerists had no bearing with reality. The biggest state-sponsors of terrorism were in attendance in the chamber presenting themselves as champions of justice and as adversaries of terrorism. Aside from a few comments by countries like Argentina, Russia, and Syria, the entire meeting was almost totally a fiction.
Listening to the session, one could see which countries and governments were truly independent and which countries and governments were proxies and clients of Washington. The US vassals in the chamber all catered to Washington and Obama’s ego. Washington’s vassals took turns to acknowledge Barack Obama’s leadership ad nauseum. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Australia, Belgium, Britain, Bulgaria, Canada, Jordan, Kenya, Luxembourg, Nigeria, Norway, Qatar, South Korea, and the FYR of Macedonia all thanked Obama for his leadership like subordinates paying homage to their overlord. If Obama did not have to leave before they talked, the representatives of the Netherlands and Morocco would have most probably saluted him for his leadership too like the leaders of Norway and Canada did in his absence. Algeria, Chad, Pakistan, Senegal, and a few other countries also thanked Obama for calling for the high-level UN Security Council meeting, but their tone was not as obsequious as those of countries like Jordan, Qatar, and NATO member Bulgaria.
Washington’s puppets and subordinates all used the same talking points that the US Department of State had been pushing for days. Their statements could have very well have been written for them by the US Department of State. This was very clear in the case of the speech made on behalf of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan by King Abdullah II. Using trademark US Department of State dramatic language, he started by calling what was happening “the fight of our times.” The Jordanian dictator pushed the US points of global reach and — using the latest catchphrase that the US Department of State has taken a shine to — called for “a holistic approach” to fighting the ISIL and other terrorist organizations. Moroccan Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane also called for the same “holistic approach” that King Abdullah II was promoting. These statements were following in John Kerry’s footsteps after he had called for a “holistic global campaign” during an earlier UN Security Council meeting on September 19, 2014.
Abdullah II pushed for absolute submission and capitulation to Washington’s new crusade in his speech. With a ridiculously somber tone, he demanded immediate action and said that “there has to be a zero tolerance policy to any country, organization, or individual that facilitates, supports, or finances terror groups or provides weapons or promotes propaganda, whether through media outlets or misusing religious clerics, that incites and helps recruits fighters to these terrorist groups.” “Countries cannot comply in one theater while making mischief in another,” he added.
While the UN Security Council made several statements about stopping the purchase of stolen oil from Iraq and Syria, one of the key facilitators, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, sat in the room. Like Obama and Cameron, Erdogan pretended that NATO member Turkey had no role in the theft of Iraqi and Syrian resources. Instead, President Erdogan took the opportunity to claim that the Syrian government was behind the creation of the ISIL death squads. The next day, on September 25, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Al-Muallem would state that Turkey had not even stopped training and arming the death squads or stopped them from passing through the Turkish border into Syria.
Erdogan would also call for a no-fly zone in Syria. It would later be reported that this topic was discussed between Erdogan, Obama, and US Vice-President Joseph Biden.
Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani would speak after Erdogan. He too would not flinch throughout the meeting whenever the ISIL death squads and their funding were mentioned. Instead when it was his turn to speak, he pointed his finger at both Syria and Iraq as the sources of the terrorism problem. Ignoring the role that Qatar and its allies have played, the Qatari autocrat blamed both Damascus and Baghdad by saying that Syrian state repression and Iraqi state repression is what created the problems of terrorism.
Gjorge Ivanov, the president of the FYR of Macedonia, used the meeting to advocate for Euro-Atlantic expansion. President Ivanov called for the swift entry of his country and the entire western portion of the Balkans — meaning Albania, Bosnia, the breakaway Serbian province of Kosovo, Montenegro, and Serbia — into NATO and the European Union as soon as possible.
When it was Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s turn to talk, he brought up sanctions. The Dutch official used the UN Security Council meeting to emphasize the importance of sanctioning states that do not comply.
Argentina Exposes the Dirty Hands at the UN Security Council
Using somewhat of a Socratic approach, Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner questioned the hollowness and double-standards in the room. She did so diplomatically and in a very polite way without mentioning the US directly most the time, but she was clearly challenging the US and revealing its dirty hands. Along with the Syrian Ambassador to the UN Bashar Al-Jaafari, her statements were the harshest. She pointed out how Washington was creating international instability and that its campaigns to fight terrorism were really not showing any results and only feeding a cycle of violence. It is worth noting that anything she said that would indicate the guilt of the US in fueling terrorism and nurturing the ISIL was not included in the UN Department of Information’s text on the meeting.
Once she took the microphone, President Kirchner explained that Buenos Aires saw merits in UN Security Council Resolution 2178, but said that Argentina had several important questions and hesitations. Her questions were really criticisms of the US, at least partially. She started off by pointing out how in 2013 there was pressure on Argentina from the US Congress when it signed an agreement to cooperate with Iran to address the 1992 and 1994 terrorist attacks inside her country. She explained how Argentine dialogue with Tehran in 2013 was deemed unacceptable and that her country was slandered as a terrorist state, but how it has been okay for Washington itself to talk to the Iranians. After this, Kirchner mentioned that Al-Qaeda did not emerge overnight and was trained to fight against Moscow. Then she said that the Arab Spring was spearheaded by the same type of militants that have formed the ISIL, but that these combatants were presented to the world by the US as “freedom fighters” in 2011. Perhaps she was trying to point out how ISIL’s strength and reach has been deliberately exaggerated to justify US intervention, but she then told the entire UN Security Council that Argentina did not take the ISIL threats to kill her seriously.
Kirchner went on to point out how the US has presented one new threat after another. The threat to the world was Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction a decade ago, the threat then became the Iranian nuclear energy program, then it eventually turned into Syria, and it was the ISIL death squads at the current juncture of the UN Security Council’s meeting.
Very importantly, President Kirchner told Obama that Washington’s methodology and methods for fighting terrorism are not right and that military force is not the answer. She said it defies logic to use the same methods that are constantly failing and making things much worse instead of solving the problem. The US approach to fighting terrorism has only made terrorism proliferate and violence spread. Cristina Kirchner then said that Israel is also a part of the problem, pointing out that the Israeli massacres of civilians has only created anger and militancy in the Middle East. She then reminded the UN Security Council that the government of Syria in 2013 was presented as a great enemy, while the people fighting it were presented as “freedom fighters” by the US. The world, however, became aware and one one year later openly admits that those so-called “freedom fighters” are terrorists, she added. President Kirchner additionally asked President Obama and the UN Security Council who had armed these groups fighting inside Syria — an answer that everyone in the room knew the answer for — and then asked about the ISIL’s oil revenues and who is providing it with arms.
She concluded that Argentina will help fight global terrorism, but it had to be done in a legal framework and with respect for human rights — all of which were shots at Washington again. Looking at Obama, Kirchner concluded by pointing out that Argentine had a lot of untapped energy, but said she wondered if it was a curse because it seemed to her that all the countries with oil are riddled at problems — this was another hit at the US for its interference in the affairs of energy-rich nations.
It would be Syria that would partially answer some of Cristina Kirchner’s questions. Syrian Ambassador to the UN Bashar Al-Jaafari would point out that it was several of the member states gathered in the room that were disingenuously denouncing terrorism that in reality were the parties financially, technically, and diplomatically supporting the terrorists and death squads inside his country. He also pointed out how the Israeli ally of the US had downed a Syrian jet that was on a mission against the same terrorist forces that many of the gathered UN members claimed to be fighting.
Russia and China Diplomatically Point the Finger at the US
Although Russia and China approved UN Security Council Resolution 2178, they have very different agendas and made it clear that a global campaign on terrorism has to be led by the United Nations and the UN Security Council and not by the US government and Pentagon.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called for an end to double-standards. Lavrov also called for an end to the illegal trade of stolen Syrian and Iraqi oil and an end to the dissemination of weapons from post-Jamahiriya Libya. The Russian official called for a UN forum to be convened for the task of honestly analyzing how terrorism has proliferated in North Africa and the Middle East. He pointed to the NATO bombing of Libya and the support that some of the members of the UN provided for the anti-government fighters in Syria.
Sergey Lavrov’s point was simple. Russia was asking for the United Nations to look at the roots of terrorism and not just to respond to their symptoms by fighting terrorist groups militarily after they emerge as threats. Foreign Minister Lavrov was asking the UN Security Council to examine how the ISIL was created. In other words, he wanted the UN to acknowledge the role of the US and its allies in creating the death squads and terrorist movements ravaging Iraq and Syria.
Like his Russian counterpart, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi also called for looking at the root causes of terrorism. Foreign Minister Yi emphasized that the United Nations and the UN Security Council had to coordinate the “global war on terror.” Although he did not state it explicitly, what Yi meant was that Washington should not call the shots, because it would misuse the campaign for its own interests.
Taking a diplomatic jab at Washington like his Russian counterpart did before him, Wang Yi called for consistency and an end to double-standards. China’s main position was that international law and norms must be followed.
Who is a terrorist and who is not? Like so many international agreements and documents, such as the Geneva Communiqué concerning Syria (which was created on June 30, 2012), there will be different interpretations of Resolution 2178. The US and other members of the UN will use it to suit their own interests. There are no universal and categorical definitions of what foreign terrorist fighters are. For example, Washington could use Resolution 2178 to designate Hezbollah fighters inside Syria as foreign terrorist fighters while Russia and China will use it contest support for the militant separatists in the North Caucasus and East Turkistan.
The Beginning of a New Phase in the post-9/11 Inquisition?
South Korean president Park Geun-hye — the daughter of South Korean dictator, military strongman, and US puppet Park Chung-hee — stated that the US and its allies need to go after “cyber and nuclear terrorism” when it was her turn to address the UN Security Council. She advocated for tighter controls over the internet as a means of fighting terrorism. Prime Minister David Cameron also said that internet content and websites must be controlled, blocked, and removed. There was what appeared to be a general call for policing social media in the chamber for combating terrorism.
Rehashing the main points and entire sections of his speech to the UN General Assembly from two days earlier, on September 22, Cameron said that those he described as preachers of hate needed to be dealt with firmly. He clarified that this included “non-violent” people who believed that Muslims were being persecuted and said that the roots of the problems included the worldviews that the tragic events of 9/11 and the London 7/7 attacks were staged. Schools and universities would need to be cleared of groups and individuals that had these views.
David Cameron also declared that a new security regime was being put into place in Britain to seize passports, force restraints of movement on people evaluated as risks, and even keep citizens from returning to their own homelands. Canadian Prime Minister Steven Harper also said that Canada was doing the same thing and revoking citizenship.
Not only are the steps that Prime Minister Cameron and Prime Minister Harper presented unconstitutional in their own countries, they will be used by these self-declared democracies to hold their own citizens in undisclosed conditions or indefinite detention and imprisonment once they have their citizenships removed. Citizenship will be removed to evade and get around the legally guaranteed rights of citizens for due justice — non-citizens are not treated equally under the law. The revoking of citizenships can also be used to push and punish dissidents opposing and challenging government policies.
The so-called defenders of “freedom of speech” are also opening the door for more intrusive censorship, especially when Cameron advocates for going after individuals that believe that the US and British governments are involved in the murder of their own citizens. Moreover, David Cameron advocated for the removal of the beheading videos being uploaded onto the internet by the ISIL.
Cameron’s demands were made purportedly because of the violent nature of these videos. For many years, videos of this nature have been uploaded onto the internet and it has never been questioned by either the US or Britain or many of their allies? Why now, after all these years? Could it be because enough people are asking embarrassing questions about the videos and the circumstances behind them? This is why a campaign had started earlier in the US to prevent US citizens from watching the videos. The Times even conceded on August 25, 2014 in an article by Deborah Haynes that the video of James Foley was staged by writing it “was probably staged, with the actual murder taking place off-camera, according to forensic analysis.”
Believe or think otherwise that the beheading of Foley, which was seen on the video, was not his actual death, the point is that there is more to the demands for this type of censorship. Nothing was demanded when Nicholas Berg was executed in 2004 or after years of videos being posted of hundreds of Syrians being beheaded.
What is happening is a new phase of the inquisition or inquisitorial mentality that emerged after the tragic events of September 11, 2001 (9/11). No one is allowed to question the legitimacy of the witch hunts and increasing control over movement and lives that is being done in the name of fighting terrorism and security. “Fear and insecurity prevail over common sense,” is the way that Michel Chossudovsky fittingly describes the inquisitorial process.
While the whole structure of this post-9/11 inquisition is based on warped narratives and lies, everyone has to pay lip service to the same lies; everyone is forced to work within the boundaries of the consensus and boundaries drawn by the inquisition. This is exactly what happened on September 24, 2014 at the UN Security Council. The gathered world leaders paid lip service to the fight against terrorism without addressing those really behind it and supporting the death squads, which is why the meeting was truly a pageantry of lies and disregard. Even those that are opposed to US foreign policy were forced to criticize and challenge Washington within the framework of the consensus, never directly pointing the finger at it for being the author of the instability and death squads in Iraq and Syria.
Hypocrisy prevails in the United Nations and inside the UN Security Council. Only Argentina, China, Russia, and Syria raised their voices to challenge the false record being created to carry on the global inquisition. Buenos Aires, Beijing, and Moscow, however, all had to, more or less, challenge the US within the framework of the consensus that Washington was navigating and heavily influencing. While Syria was more open in its criticism, President Kirchner, Foreign Minister Lavrov, and Foreign Minister Ye were more subtle and diplomatic.
This article was originally published by the Strategic Culture Foundation in Moscow on September 30, 2014.