Why It’s Time to Nix the U.N. Veto

COMMENTARY | A request: Temporarily suspend your intensified regard for 2012 election year American politics; there is too much else going on today. Now fixate your sights on the daunting political dialogues defining some really terrifying global issues coming to surface this weekend. In Syria, where an oppressive regime is unleashing its violent wrath on protesting communities, action would appear to many as a virtual imperative.

And I’m not discussing action in the abstract sense. It was less than a year ago that the United Nations Security Council authorized NATO forces to ensure a fair fight in Libya, where the military and civilians were at ideological and material odds. As a consequence, the rebels ultimately found success in their fight with a wretched political leader.

Not surprisingly, given the intensity with which the Arab Spring commenced last winter, we are facing a similar global situation today. On Friday, the Syrian government reportedly murdered hundreds of its citizens in its most horrific attack all year. President Barrack Obama characterized the strikes as motivated by a “disdain for human life and dignity,” pointing a finger at Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

But words will not prevent the violence from continuing and unilateral U.S. action would be inappropriate. Inappropriate because intervening in Syria is the responsibility and obligation of the United Nations Security Council, a body that would love to act, but sadly cannot.

On Saturday, the Security Council voted on a measure to intervene and support the human rights of Syrian citizens. It was obstructed by China and Russia, who, much to the chagrin of the Western world, maintain veto power in that United Nations council. Should these dissenting voices really dictate the trajectory of a global military authorization effort?

Well consider this. Russia and Syria trade arms, leading many to understandably suspect a disgusting conflict of interests guiding their decision. China might have its own reason for selling out the citizens of Syria. A repeat offender in the human rights department, they cling to sovereignty rights as a way to justify its blatantly appalling policies.

As you can see, veto power obscures, distorts and corrupts. There is no reason for such a vehicle other than to perpetuate a tyranny of the minority on issues such as this one. The people of the world, rebelling or otherwise, clearly deserve better than this.

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