Shock waves from Syria crisis felt at UN General Assembly
By John J. Metzler
September 24, 2016, 12:22 am TWN
UNITED NATIONS -- The reverberations of the Syrian conflict continue to rock the U.N. General Assembly and Security Council as the shock waves of a churning war, a deepening political crisis and a widening humanitarian disaster plague both the region as well as the wider world community.
Syria has become a catchword for the growing global security disorder which has among its subchapters Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen and, this is just the Middle East.
Prime Minister John Key, of New Zealand who heads the Security Council this month, exclaimed, "The Syrian civil war is the most devastating conflict of the 21st century."
He added "After more than five years of violence, Syria has become a byword for failure."
But failure Key scolded, rested not only with the warring parties but with the world community for "failure to respond to the crisis early to prevent the tragedy and a collective political failure including by this Council, to do what must be done to end the conflict."
Britain's new Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson stated his case bluntly, "I don't think the people of the world are remotely fooled by what is going on in Syria. They know that it is not just a civil war.
They know it is a barbaric proxy war, and that is a conflict that is being fed, and nourished, and armed, and abetted, and protracted and made more hideous, by the actions and inactions of governments in this room."
Foreign Secretary Johnson added, "There can be no political process without a genuine cease-fire and there can be no cease-fire unless there is a genuine political agreement that we can have a transition away from the Assad government."
Over 400,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed thus far in the five-year conflict aimed at toppling the authoritarian Assad regime.
Yet Syria's short-lived cease-fire, brokered by the U.S. and Russia seemed in tatters as both sides were accused of airstrikes, which mistakenly hit the wrong targets.
American warplanes mistakenly hit a Syrian military position which Washington conceded was a horrible mistake.
Russia is accused of bombing a U.N. humanitarian convoy outside the besieged city of Aleppo.
Political pyrotechnics continued as both Russia and the U.S. traded accusations which evoked Cold War rhetoric; Sergei Lavrov blamed the chaos in the Middle East on "foreign military interventions."
Secretary of State John Kerry accused his Russian counterpart of living in a "parallel universe."
During the General Assembly's annual debate speakers offered a litany of proposals and plans concerning Syria which could solve the conflict and the burgeoning millions of refugees pouring out of this tragic cauldron.
French President Francois Hollande proclaimed, "Aleppo is a city of martyrs."
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May stated, "Clearly we need to continue our efforts to bring an end to the conflict and the appalling slaughter in Syria and get aid through to those who need it." U.S. President Barack Obama, in a wide-ranging and pedantic speech, dealt little with "Syria's tragic civil war and the mindless medieval menace of ISIL."