Since 1991, and United Nations Security Council Resolution 678, which authorized the US-UK attack on Iraq, which, in the words of Marti Ahtissari “destroyed the infrastructure necessary to support human life in Iraq,” the United Nations has been dragged into destructive “adventures” that have literally created the crises it is now trying to resolve.
In 2011, the UN Security Council Resolution 1973 authorized NATO’s attack on Libya. The attacks and sanctions in Iraq and Libya have so devastated both countries that it is impossible to resurrect a viable government in either country, and both remain incubators of terrorism which is spreading throughout the Middle East, Africa and beyond.
While Syria and Iran have been demonized by US-NATO powers, and until December 18, and the adoption of SC Resolution 2254, relentless efforts were made by US-NATO to repeat the same pattern of ravaging Syria by a military approach which resembles the scourge of Attila the Hun, the recognition of the limits of hegemonism is beginning to be shared by UN member states witness to this ill-advised militarism. This was stated, explicitly, when the Security Council celebrated the success of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action which confirmed Iran’s commitment to eschew efforts to construct a nuclear weapon. The Security Council meeting 7488, July 20, 2015, announcing this success was not, however, free of the contentious accusations and counter-accusations which characterize many important Security Council meetings. The Iranian delegate pushed back eloquently, stating:
“It is ironic that the Ambassador of the United States accused my government of destabilizing the region and of terrorism. The country that invaded two countries of our region and created grounds favorable to the growth of terrorism and extremism is not well placed to raise such accusations against mine. The feckless and reckless actions of the United States in our region over many years are at the root of many challenges that we are now facing in our neighborhood.”
On November 25, the Security Council held a meeting that addressed some of the tragic and deadly consequences of destructive UN authorized interventions in the Middle East. The meeting, 7566 on Peace and Security in Africa: Report of the Secretary-General on the Progress Towards the United Nations Integrated Strategy for the Sahel (S/2015/866) described the menace to surrounding countries and throughout the entire area that Libya has become following the US-NATO attack authorized by UNSC Resolution 1973. Following UN authorized “regime change,” Libya is an incubator of terrorism so lethal that the representative of Chad stated:
“The major source of the terrorist threat in the Sahel is Libya, which is engulfed in total chaos and where a multitude of heavily armed terrorist groups find safe haven and flourish. Moreover, the absence of a government of national unity that is capable of restoring security in the country is fueling the threat to security in the Sahel. In that regard, Chad is deeply concerned by the establishment and entrenchment of a Daesh stronghold in Southern Libya.”
Venezuela’s representative, Mr. Ramirez Carreno stated:
“These efforts should be focused on sustainable development in the region and not purely a military vision. It is only with sustained attention to the root causes of conflict – such as poverty, lack of access to basic services and education, can we ensure strong and sustainable peace and security.”
Ms. Hiroute Guebre Sellassie, Special Envoy of the Secretary-General to the Sahel powerfully addressed the root cause of the problem in her report:
“Up to 41 million young people under 25 years of age in Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and the Niger alone face hopelessness and are at risk of radicalization or migration. If nothing is done to improve access to education and increase employment, integration and opportunities for young people, the Sahel, I am afraid, will become a hub of mass migration and recruitment and training of terrorist groups and individuals, which, as Council members know, will ultimately have grave consequences for global peace and security.”
The United Nations is at a crossroads. There is increasing recognition of the disastrous consequences of the UN Security Council authorization of the US-NATO instigated military onslaught on Iraq and Libya. This is undeniable even by the US-NATO countries themselves, and even had there not been the Benghazi attack on the US Embassy, which led to the death of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, and three other personnel. Prior to the US-NATO attack, both Iraq and Libya were implementing progressive social programs, in many areas, and had viable state infrastructure, albeit somewhat independent of multinational corporate control. Both countries are now in a devastated condition that may be beyond repair.
The three Russian-Chinese vetoes of US-NATO’s attempt to gain Security Council authorization for yet another abhorrent military adventure, this time blowing up Syria, were sanctimoniously deplored by the West, as the cause of inactivity and paralysis at the Security Council. Now, with the December 18 adoption of Security Council Resolution 2254, affirming the imperative of a political solution as the only acceptable method of resolution of the crisis in Syria, the wisdom of the Russian-Chinese vetoes must be obvious. With Russia’s, China’s and Iran’s participation, it may be possible to salvage what was once an important country, Syria, and prevent the further noxious spread of chaos and terrorism throughout the region. Russia’s and China’s principled opposition to wanton militarism, opposition hitherto deplored by the West, may have served to halt the deadly march toward World War III.