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On Syria US in WaPo Credits Russia Shift to Ban Pre-Judging Report 

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 16 -- That Ban Ki-moon serves the US as Secretary General of the UN has been UNdoubted from his first day on the job. But now the US repays the favor, crediting Ban -- anonymously, of course -- with bringing about a shift in Russia position, how ever small, on Syria.

Today's Washington Post reports:

"As Kerry appealed to Lavrov, he mentioned a breaking story in the media. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, meeting with a women’s group in New York, had been quoted as saying that U.N. inspectors who had investigated an alleged Aug. 21 chemical attack outside Damascus had significant evidence that it had taken place and that it was massive, and would report their findings to the Security Council on Monday. The Americans 'sensed a small shift on the Russian side,' the official said, and Lavrov left the meeting, saying he was going to the nearby Russian embassy for consultations with Moscow. He returned and said he would stay for an additional meeting the next day."

  There's a problem, however, with this revisionist tale. As Inner City Press first reported, watching the closed session of the Women's International Forum on Friday, Ban's comments on the Sellstrom report that he had not yet seen were only in response to a question from the floor.

  That is to say, Ban would not have called the report he had not seen "overwhelming" unless the question was asked. So who did the questioner work for? Or, shouldn't the questioner be credited?

  The question to Ban was, why don't you strip Assad of Syria's seat as Gaddafi was stripped of Libya's UN seat? The answer, not given by Ban, is that Ban had nothing to do with that: it is the Credentials Committee of the UN General Assembly.

In the case of Libya, deputy Dabbashi and then Perm Rep Shalgam jumped ship and renounced Gaddafi whom they had for years worked for.

In the case of Syria, Bashar Ja'afari has not similarly jumped ship. No shift of seat is on the horizon. But the Washington Post reports none of this, just the US' post deal spin. We'll have more on this.


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