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After Syria Report, P3 Call on Their Friends, Dodge on ICC, US Left Behind

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 16 -- The Syria question and answer sessions at the UN after Secretary General Ban Ki-moon unveiled his already-flashed chemical weapons report were tellingly one-sided, and with a major question repeatedly avoided.

Do the US, France and the UK want to refer Syria to the International Criminal Court in the Security Council resolution they are proposing? And if so, why didn't the US negotiate for that in its Geneva deal with Russia?

Ban Ki-moon took only three questions: the first went to the host of Saudi-sponsored Syria rebel boss Ahmad al Jarba, Pam Falk of CBS, 2013 President of UNCA.

  Next was UNCA board member Tim Witcher of Agence France Presse, who has complained to the UN about the way French UN Peacekeeping official Herve Ladsous was asked a question by Inner City Press.

  Samantha Power of the US took two of the same question questions as Ban, combined with a third who pre-spun Ban's report. The question arose: is ICC indicted Sudanese president Omar al Bashir coming to New York for the General Debate?

  Power, flexing her "Problem from Hell" muscles, said it would be better for Bashir to go present himself to the ICC in The Hague. But Power and the US Mission said nothing when UN official Ladsous met with Bashir in July. And Power did not answer the question, does the US want an ICC referral for Syria?

  UK Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant to his credit did take the ICC question, although he largely dodged it. Inner City Press asked if the UK wants an ICC referral, and if the "Framework Agreement" between the US and Russia makes that less likely. By the UK transcript - which called the question half inaudible - Lyall Grant responded:

Inner City Press: Do you think the Framework Agreement makes it less likely... (inaudible)
PR Lyall Grant: I donít want to go into detail of what is in the resolution and is not in the resolution. There will need now to be some days of negotiation of the text and I hope that those will take place in private and in confidence.

  France Deputy Permanent Representative took friendly questions, many in French, and did not on camera take Inner City Press' ICC question. But Inner City Press said the question, "yes or no," and afterward the Deputy's colleague approached Inner City Press to say that yes, France wants the ICC in the resolution.

  The spin wars continue, more and more open, in Ban Ki-moon's UN. Watch this site.


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