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On Syria, Ban's Pre-Spun Verdict Ready, ICC Whispers by Jarba Sponsors

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 15 -- After UN Secretary General passed judgment Friday on his Syria chemical weapons report before he even saw it, now the UN says the report will be released on Monday morning. (On this website: check it.)

But with the US - Russia deal already cut in Geneva, what impact can this UN report have?

  A scribe who already sponsored a faux UN briefing by Saudi-sponsored rebel Ahmad al Jarba breathlessly report that if the report points to accountability by the Assad government, there may be more discussion of a referral to the International Criminal Court, a Security Council permanent-member diplomat said.

  This sourcing is both comical and telling. Since the US already signed off on a deal that has no mention of the ICC, to imply this provision might be in the resolution is misleading or ill-informed.

 But also, the "permanent-member" can ONLY be France or the UK. And if they don't even dare say it on the record, what chance does it have?

  This breathless "analysis" has been offered free on other web sites, sort of like spam. Ban Ki-moon, who never asked for a Security Council meeting much less ICC referral for the killing of over 40,000 civilians in Sri Lanka, thought he'd promote his image or legacy by speaking Friday of "many crimes against humanity" and accountability.

But since Ban usually simply accommodates and then surfs (or serfs) behind what the US wants, this time he may have mis-read the landscape. His American head of political affairs Jeffrey Feltman was at the UN building on Sunday. But to what end? Watch this site.

Footnote: Much of the action now passes to Washington, with talk of new resolutions to authorize force in advance on Syria - or just on Iran. We'll have more on this.


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