published Saturday, March 24th, 2012

Latest U.N. 'statement' on Syrian brutality an empty gesture

It is very nearly a mockery of the bitterly oppressed Syrian people that the U.N. Security Council considers it a measure of "progress" to have approved a "statement" calling for a cease-fire and a political transition in Syria.

About 8,000 Syrians have died in protests against the regime of President Bashar Assad. But the U.N. thinks it is accomplishing something by issuing a statement.

As if to underscore the meaninglessness of the U.N.'s actions, The New York Times pointed out that the statement "does not have the enforcement muscle of a formal Security Council resolution ... ."

What's more, it warns only of undefined "further steps" if Assad does not consent to the cease-fire and to a political transition.

What would make anyone at the U.N. -- much less the Syrian people -- believe that sort of thing is going to halt Assad's vicious crackdown against protesters?

Ironically, this type of empty U.N. gesture may actually make things even worse for ordinary Syrians. That's because it can create the illusion of progress -- while the slaughter of innocent civilians marches tragically on.

The United States is clearly not in a position to solve Syria's problems, much as we lament the bloodshed there.

But useless "statements" and condemnations by the U.N. only blunt the resolve the Syrian people are eventually going to need to fight for their most fundamental human rights.

That is doing them no favors.

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