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On Syria, Mood Has Changed, UN Front-Runner, Rwanda Like Exit?

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 27 -- Norwegian General Robert Mood, after having declined to renew his contract to head the observer mission in Syria which is being dismantled by UN Peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous, made this observation, dateline Oslo:

"In my opinion it is only a matter of time before a regime that is using such heavy military power and disproportional violence against the civilian population is going to fall."

   While prefaced with "in my opinion," the verdict within an hour was getting big play in Western media, akin to an endorsement late in a political campaign.

   But one wonders: did the UN say this about, for example, Sri Lanka's Rajapaksa government's use of even heavier military power killing 40,000 civilians, nearly all of them Tamils, in northern Sri Lanka in May 2009?

   The answer is, No. And the reasons, we posit, is because the UN did not think the government would fall. The UN in this view is like a casual sports fan coming to loudly root for the team it thinks is about to win.

   And in the nitty-gritty decision making of Ladsous' UN Peacekeeping, the goal seems to be not doing what is possible to protect civilians but rather to get out of the way, or look the other way, and let this overthrow take place.

   Even as the UN Security Council debated two competing draft resolutions to extended the mission in Syria UNSMIS, the UN under Ladsous had three planes deployed in Beirut, ready to pull all UN observers out.

  Some ask: how is this different from the UN's pull out from Rwanda, which the UN has had to live down and apologize for since 1994?

  As Inner City Press has noted before, Ladsous in 1994 was France's Deputy Permanent Representative at the UN, supporting the murderous Hutu government in the Security Council. Noting this historical fact and others has led Ladsous to refuse all questions from Inner City Press.

  And coming full circle, in his analogy how does Mood, the Oslo Oracle, compare with General Romeo Dallaire? We will continue on this. Watch this site.

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