Russia up in the Air over Syria

On May 15, 2013 a UN General Assembly Resolution, cosponsored by Arab countries, strongly condemning the ongoing violence and the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Syria and calling for the end of hostilities was adopted by a vote of 107 for, 12 against, and 59 abstentions. It was gratifying that a majority approved this nonbinding resolution, a text that was balanced and objective, but also disappointing that 71 countries did not do so. Among the countries voting "no" was Russia, whose deputy UN ambassador called the Resolution "very harmful and destructive." Using language that Winston Churchill once described as a "terminological inexactitude" he argued that recognition of the National Coalition of the Syrian Revolution, instead of the regime of Bashar al-Assad, as the legitimate representatives of the Syrians would undermine the "sovereignty of Syria." Russian policy regarding the conflict in Syria is a "puzzlement." In October 2012 Russia vetoed a resolution critical of...(Read Full Article)