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On Eve of Syria Vote, Arab Spring's Gone Dry at Egypt Day, Rwanda & Bolton

By Matthew Russell Lee, News Muse

UNITED NATIONS, July 18 -- The Arab Spring has gone dry. This at least was the news from the Egyptian national day reception at that country's mission on 44th Street Wednesday night.

  Previous events at that mission have been raucous, and featured alcohol.  But as one attendee put it, with the Muslim Brotherhood in control, expect no more such receptions.

  On the eve of the re-scheduled vote on the Syria resolution, there were few optimists in or around the UN. Many predicted a double veto on Thursday at 10 am. Others suggested that the vote might be further delayed, to late Friday when the UNSMIS mission's mandate will run out.

  Analogies were made to Rwanda, where a UN mission under Chapter Six of the Charter cut and ran before the genocide began.

Another, asking to not be credited, suggested a solution was still possible, a la John Bolton, invoking Article 41 but not Chapter Seven. But P3 Permanent Representatives emerging Wednesday at 6 did not recognize the gambit. So might Russia play it?

To recap with (a bit) more substance: the issue as several non-Western Security Council members put it to Inner City Press is that the bomb-killing of Syria's Defense Minister changes things. One cynic asked, "So this bombing was done by defenseless people?"

Li Baodong of China told the Press the bombing was terrorist. Another Council source opined to Inner City Press, until now the Obama administration was just trying to fend off the Republicans until the election in November. Now it might not last until then. Then the Free Syrian Army won't own anything to the US, only to Saudi and Qatar.

Still another, referring to Inner City Press' story about plans to split Syria into three with Alawites taking the coast and Kurds another zone, said that scenario is getting closer.

Wednesday evening to the Security Council's credit it still continued working. It was 7:20 pm when the Deputy Permanent Representatives of, among others, the UK and China emerged from the Security Council. Some in their group told Inner City Press the meeting was about UNAMID, the mission in Darfur.

The General Assembly entrance had been locked for the night and they had to exit through the garage then a hallway without lights, with water from the rain and hail storm. It was a dark and storm night -- dry too -- with a double veto on the horizon. Watch this site.

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Click here for Sept 23, '11 about UN General Assembly

Click for Mar 1, '11 re Libya, Sri Lanka, UN Corruption

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These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

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