Letting Down Lebanon

(New York Times) Syria is getting away with murder in Lebanon, and the UN Security Council is letting it happen. The resolution the Council passed last Thursday extended the UN investigation for another six months, but it failed to impose serious penalties on Syrian officials who continue to obstruct a thorough investigation. Some Council members, including the U.S., would have liked to do more to honor the urgent requests for help delivered last week by Lebanon's prime minister, Fouad Siniora, but they ran into a wall of apologetics erected mainly by Russia, China, and Algeria. This watered-down resolution will do little to convince Damascus or anyone else that the international community is capable of taking effective action against a regime that exports terrorism and tramples with impunity on a neighboring country's sovereignty. The will to impose consequences on Syria seems to have all but evaporated and no serious consequences will result any time soon. Syria's deadly meddling in Lebanon presented an ideal opportunity for the Security Council to show it was capable of taking effective diplomatic steps to defend vulnerable member states and punish brazen international terrorism. It is too bad that Russia, China, and Algeria failed to recognize the fundamental issues at stake.

2005-12-20 00:00:00

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