Assad's friends at the UN ride to his rescue
Russia and China - two nations that sell arms to Syria and have extensive commercial ties - have vetoed a rather mild UN resolution that threatened sanctions and an arms embargo if President Assad didn't stop targeting civilians.
Predictability, the reasons given by both nations were - shall we say - unique:
Russia's UN envoy, Vitaly Churkin, said the European resolution was "based on a philosophy of confrontation." The threat of action was "unacceptable," he added.
Many opponents raised the air strikes in Libya and fears that it could be renewed in Syria to justify their votes.
China said it exercised its veto because the resolution would have "blindly" pressured the Arab nation and not helped.
"Some countries submitted a draft resolution to blindly impose pressure and even threatened sanctions against Syria. This would not help to ease the situation," Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said in a statement.
US ambassador Susan Rice called the comments a "cheap ruse by those who would rather sell arms to the Syrian regime than stand with the Syrian people."
Rice called on the council to impose "tough, targeted sanctions" and an arms embargo against Syria.
China introduced a draft resolution that condemned the "violence" on both sides. Well, sure. Those civilians armed with clubs going up against Assad's tanks should be reproached for not getting in the way of the machine gun fire and dying like all the other demonstrators.
Interesting fall out from Obama's decision to push the Libyan war on the UN. It appears that some member states are not willing to have a repeat of the "Responsibility to Protect" fiasco that created a humanitarian crisis (and perhaps an Islamist government) in Libya.