13/06/2013

'US seeks evidence on use of chemical weapons in Syria’

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'US Begins Agent Orange Cleanup in Vietnam'

August 9, 2012

DANANG, Vietnam—Vo Duoc fights back tears while sharing the news that broke his heart: A few days ago he received test results confirming he and 11 family members have elevated levels of dioxin lingering in their blood.

The family lives in a two-story house near a former US military base in Danang where the defoliant Agent Orange was stored during the Vietnam War, which ended nearly four decades ago. Duoc, 58, sells steel for a living and has diabetes, while his wife battles breast cancer and their daughter has remained childless after suffering repeated miscarriages.

For years, Duoc thought the ailments were unrelated, but after seeing the blood tests he now suspects his family unwittingly ingested dioxin from Agent Orange-contaminated fish, vegetables and well water.

Dioxin, a persistent chemical linked to cancer, birth defects and other disabilities, has seeped into Vietnam’s soils and watersheds, creating a lasting war legacy that remains a thorny issue between the former foes. Washington has been slow to respond, but on Thursday the US for the first time will begin cleaning up dioxin from Agent Orange that was stored at the former military base, now part of Danang’s airport.

“It’s better late than never that the US government is cleaning up the environment for our children,” Duoc said in Danang, surrounded by family members sitting on plastic stools. “They have to do as much as possible and as quickly as possible.”

The US $43 million project begins as Vietnam and the US forge closer ties to boost trade and counter China’s rising influence in the disputed South China Sea.

Although the countries’ economic and military ties are blossoming, progress on addressing the dioxin legacy has been slow. Washington still disputes a claim by Hanoi that from three million to four million Vietnamese were affected by toxic chemicals sprayed by US planes during the war to eliminate jungle cover for guerrilla fighters, arguing that the actual number is far lower and other environmental factors are to blame for the health issues.

That position irks the Vietnamese, who say the United States maintains a double standard in acknowledging the consequences of Agent Orange. The US has given billions of dollars in disability payments to American servicemen who developed illnesses associated with dioxin after exposure to the defoliant during the Vietnam War.

In 2004, a group of Vietnamese citizens filed suit in a US court against companies that produced the chemical, but the case was dismissed and the Supreme Court declined to take it up.

Until a few years ago, Washington took a defensive position whenever Agent Orange was raised because no one had determined how much dioxin remained in Vietnam’s soil and watersheds, and the US worried about potential liabilities, said Susan Hammond, director of the War Legacies Project, a US nonprofit organization that mainly focuses on the Agent Orange legacy from the Vietnam War.

“There was a lot of the blame game going on, and it led nowhere,” Hammond said by telephone from Vermont. “But now at least progress is being made.”

Over the past five years, Congress has appropriated about US $49 million for environmental remediation and about $11 million to help people living with disabilities in Vietnam regardless of cause. Experts have identified three former US air bases—in Danang in central Vietnam and the southern locations of Bien Hoa and Phu Cat—as hotspots where Agent Orange was mixed, stored and loaded onto planes.

The US military dumped some 20 million gallons (75 million liters) of Agent Orange and other herbicides on about a quarter of former South Vietnam between 1962 and 1971.

The defoliant decimated about five million acres (two million hectares) of forest—roughly the size of Massachusetts—and another 500,000 acres (202,000 hectares) of crops.

The war ended on April 30, 1975, when northern communist forces seized control of Saigon, the US-backed former capital of South Vietnam. The country was then reunified under a one-party communist government. Following years of poverty and isolation, Vietnam shook hands with the US in 1995 and normalized diplomatic relations.

Since then, the relationship has flourished and the two countries have become important trading partners. Military ties have also strengthened, with Vietnam looking to the US amid rising tensions with China in the disputed South China Sea, which is believed to be rich in oil and gas reserves and is crossed by vital shipping lanes.

Although Washington remains a vocal critic of Vietnam’s human rights record, it also views the country as a key ally in its push to re-engage militarily in the Asia-Pacific region. The US says maintaining peace and freedom of navigation in the sea is in its national interest.

The Agent Orange issue has continued to blight the US-Vietnam relationship because dioxin can linger in soils and at the bottom of lakes and rivers for generations, entering the food supply through the fat of fish and other animals.

Vietnam’s Ministry of Defense and the US now plan to excavate 73,000 cubic meters (2.5 million cubic feet) of soil from the airport and heat it to a high temperature in storage tanks until the dioxin is removed. The project is expected to be completed in four years.

Walter Isaacson, CEO of the Washington-based Aspen Institute, said Thursday’s start “marks the coming together of our two countries to achieve a practical solution to dioxin contamination.”

His organization coordinates the US-Vietnam Dialogue Group on Agent Orange/Dioxin, which connects prominent American and Vietnamese scientists, health experts and former officials.

The group in May said that $450 million is needed to clean up dioxin hot spots, provide services to people with disabilities, and repair damaged landscapes across Vietnam over the next five years.

The US is rolling out a $9 million project to address disabilities in Vietnam through 2015, but it continues to dispute Vietnam’s claim that dioxin has caused health problems there. It remains unclear whether the US will clean up all of Vietnam’s dioxin, and how much it will allocate in the long term for people who claim to be Agent Orange victims.

A national action plan that Vietnam’s government released in June lays out goals for dealing with Agent Orange, but does not give a price tag.

Every penny counts for Nguyen Thi Hien, who directs three rehabilitation and vocational training centers for 150 children and young adults with disabilities in Danang on a budget of roughly 100 million dong ($5,000) per month.

The children, busy drawing and making plastic flowers that are sold to raise funds, suffer from a range of physical and mental ailments that Hien says are linked to dioxin.

Vo Duoc, the steel salesman, will travel to the capital, Hanoi, next month to receive treatment for his diabetes. But he says he’s more concerned about what will happen to his six grandchildren, who haven’t yet been tested for dioxin.

“They had nothing to do with the war,” Duoc said. “But I live in fear that they’ll test positive like me.”

Photo: Professor Nguyen Thi Ngoc Phuong, at Tu Du Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital, is pictured with a group of handicapped children, most of them victims of Agent Orange

http://www.irrawaddy.org/archives/11178

06/06/2013

Latest News Syria: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov

Russia.lavrov (1).jpg

Russia refutes US reports on Syria power handover agreement

June 6, 2013

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has called a US State Department report that Russia, the US and UN agreed that Syrian authorities should pass their power to a transitional government as a “strong distortion of information”.

The top Russian diplomat commented on the statement made earlier this week by the Department of State spokeswoman Jen Psaki.

In particular, the State Department representative stated that Russia, the United States and the United Nations agree that the goal of the new conference in Geneva must be the forming of a new transitional government in Syria. This really matches with what was written down last year. But, if the reports that I have received are true, the State Department went on to add that this should be a transitional government to which the current authorities in Damascus would hand over all their powers. If this was really said by the State Department, this is a very strong distortion of what the talks were about,” Lavrov told reporters at the press conference connected with the Baltic States’ conference of foreign ministers.

The Russian Foreign Minister said the agreement reached at his meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry was that the “forming of a government on the basis of consent between the authorities and the opposition is one thing and forming it through handing over the power from the government to the opposition – is something completely different. "Therefore, I expect that the US negotiators will observe what we have agreed upon with John Kerry,” he noted. 

http://rt.com/politics/syria-power-agreement-handover-312/

27/04/2013

Western war propaganda continues: 'possibility of chemical weapons'

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West is using possibility of chemical weapons to encourage intervention in Syria’

The US and UK are using the possibility of chemical weapons in Syria to increase the prospect of intervention in the country, anti-war activist Lindsey German told RT.

She called the latest piece of evidence against Syria’s chemical weapons use “dubious.”

Even US President Barack Obama has stated that intelligence assessments proving that such weapons had been used by the Syrian regime were still “preliminary.” He did, however, stress that the deployment of chemical weapons by the Syrian government was a “game changer.”

“But of course [the US and UK] are using this as a way to increase the prospect of intervention in Syria,” German said. 

RT: The UK has reportedly confirmed the use of chemical weapons in Syria after an MI6 operation. But we know how the intelligence worked in Iraq - aren't we just witnessing the same again in Syria?

Lindsey German: Absolutely I think the same sort of story is being repeated and of course many people didn’t believe it ten years ago and many more now realize they were told lies. I think this latest piece of evidence is very dubious, even the US and British authorities are saying they’re not certain…they’re not certain at all what quantities have been used but of course they’re using the fact that supposedly chemical weapons have been used in this way to increase the prospect of intervention in Syria and this comes after a number of other things, including the EU foreign ministers meeting this week and deciding they’ll lift the embargo on oil that they’ve placed on Syria, in order to buy oil not from the government but from the opposition.

So it seems we’re going down a very dangerous road and yet again this is a further step forward in the path toward intervention like we did see in Iraq.

RT: The US says the data their intelligence has provided, is not irrefutable, meanwhile the Syrian opposition's demanding action from Washington, its allies and the UN. What was behind these unconfirmed statements then?

LG: I think what’s happening is there are clearly conflicts about whether there should be direct intervention. There’s clearly many people in the opposition who want the US and western powers to intervene. There are politicians in all these countries who might want to, but who fear the consequences. Particularly in Britain, David Cameron knows that any sense that this is connected to the sort of thing that went on with Iraq is very unpopular so they’re nervous about it but at the same time they want regime change, they want to get rid of Assad, they want to be able to change the face of the Middle East so they fundamentally weaken Iran and its allies, which includes Syria, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and so on.

I think this is a move where they’re trying to amass more and more reasons going to war. We already have US and British troops training in Jordan near the Syrian border. We already have money coming in from Saudi Arabia and Qatar to fund the opposition. We already have the Turkish government who has provided facilities for the Free Syrian Army. And I think this is a further ratchet up towards the possibility of war. And after all, Obama said last year that the existence and use of chemical weapons will be a game changer and the people who really want intervention are hoping that will be the case.

Photo: Britain's Foreign Secretary William Hague

http://rt.com/op-edge/chemical-weapons-encourage-intervention-476/

08/12/2012

Syria: Hillary Clinton's absurd story about 'chemical weapons'

u-s-secretary-of-state-hillary-clinton-speaks-during-a-news-conference-at-the-nato-headquarters-in-brussels-december-5-2012.jpg

On December 6, 2012, the US and Britain claimed that President Assad 'might use chemical weapons' and they urged Russia to put pressure on President Assad. 

But Assad's government again insisted it would not use such weapons. Syrian officials accused the US and European countries of to create the false impression that they would, in order to justify a military intervention.

Meanwhile the U.S. aircraft carrier 'Dwight D Eisenhower' has arrived off the shores of Syria.

The multipurpose nuclear attack carrier is leading the naval assault group which has arrived in the eastern Mediterranean.

It is in close proximity to the coast of Syria. On board the ship are 70 fighter-bombers and a total 8,000 US servicemen.

The Dwight D Eisenhower joined the amphibious assault helicopter carrier Iwo Jima, which has been in the area for almost two weeks. In all there are now 17 Amercian warships off the Syrian coast.

Washington that is seeking to depose Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his government,  leads an ongoing propaganda war which is used to confuse and demoralize the Syrian government and also to influence public opinions in friendly countries.

Some time ago, Obama signed a secret order authorizing U.S. support for Syrian armed groups and terrorists.  Obama’s order, approved earlier this year and known as an intelligence “finding,” broadly permits the CIA and other U.S. agencies to provide support that could help the terrorists oust Assad.  C.I.A. officers are operating secretly in southern Turkey.  Weapons, including automatic rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, ammunition and some antitank weapons, are being funneled mostly across the Turkish border by way of a shadowy network of intermediaries including Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood and paid for by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

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The Vietnam war ended 35 years ago, but children are still being born with.jpg

In the 3,160 villages in the southern part of Vietnam within the Agent Orange spraying zone, 800,000 people continue to suffer serious health problems and are in need of constant medical attention.

A third generation of Vietnamese are suffering deformities caused by US chemical warfare and still Washington refuses to accept responsibility.

04/12/2012

Latest News: Syria in the grip of the American war propaganda

SANA, Syrian soldier.Dec.3.2012.jpg

Google where America's Defense Department’s best-known geek works since some months, , has removed the website of the very popular Syrian Arab News Agency Sana of its search engine.

Bloggers or owners of websites can no longer visit this website that gives a lot of interesting information.

At the same time the international news agencies and american newspapers which are incessantly attacking the Syrian government, can still use the photos of Sana for its war propaganda.

http://www.utsandiego.com/photos/2012/dec/03/738308/

Comment of the The San Diego Union-Tribune: 'In this Sunday, Dec. 2, 2012 photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, a Syrian soldier aims his rifle at free Syrian Army fighters during clashes in the Damascus suburb of Daraya, Syria.' (December 3, 2012 AP)

Syrian News Agency Sana no longer exists for Google

Barack Obama speaking at Google HQ in 2007.jpg

Google is actually censoring the news of the Syrian Arab News Agency SANA.

That's not coming as a complete surprise.

On 3.14.2012, America's Defense Department’s best-known geek announced that she was leaving the Pentagon for a job at Google. Google is actually censoring the news of the Syrian Arab News Agency SANA.

Google censorship comes just at the moment that France and Britain have recognized the so called 'opposition' as the 'legal representative of the Syrian people'.
At the same time, Western press comes with the story that the 'Syrian rebels take an airbase in slow progress toward Damascus'.

NATO and its puppets of the western press, used the same scenario in the bombing and occupation of Libya.
So it is very clear that the censorship and misleading information are part of the western military 'offensive' and the terrorist bombs attacks of the small American-British mercenary army which were 'in the strongest terms condemned' by US Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

Syria has previously seen large outages in July and August this year, each lasting less than an hour and only affecting targeted areas.

During the uprising in Egypt, four major internet service providers were cut off in the country during mass protests against the (American backed) then-President Hosni Mubarak. Egyptians quickly found ways around the blocks.

In Libya, internet blackouts were common in areas that were at the time still controlled by Colonel Gaddafi.

Some time ago, Obama signed a secret order authorizing U.S. support for Syrian armed groups and terrorists seeking to depose Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his government.  Obama’s order, approved earlier this year and known as an intelligence “finding,” broadly permits the CIA and other U.S. agencies to provide support that could help the terrorists oust Assad.  C.I.A. officers are operating secretly in southern Turkey. Weapons, including automatic rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, ammunition and some antitank weapons, are being funneled mostly across the Turkish border by way of a shadowy network of intermediaries including Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood and paid for by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

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Google censorship

A few days ago, Google gave a 200.000.000 search results for 'latest News Syria Sana' but most of the links to Sana's website were inacceptible or dead.
Today there are only 12,500 search results and
only the messages of the Western press are visible. The name 'Syrian Arab News Agency Sana' even no longer exists on Google that supports the American colonial wars and works together with the Pentagon.

News for latest News Syria SANA

Syrian Arab news agency - SANA - Syria : Syria news

SANA - Syria : Syria news

Syrian SANA News Agency website is under fierce attack 07-14 ...

Photos - Syrian Arab news agency - SANA - Syria : Syria news ::

www.sana.sy/gallery.html?&gid=309&newlang=eng

Syrian Arab news agency - SANA - Syria : Syria news ::

www.sana.sy/section.html?&req=sitemap&artid=189...

Syrian Passenger Plane, Forced to Land by Turkish Authorities in ...

sana.sy/eng/21/2012/10/11/446488.htm

SANASyria www.sana.sy/eng/22/2012/11/17/452964.htm

Cabinet Weekly Session Reviews Current Situation in SyriaSANA ...

sana.sy/eng/21/2012/11/21/453584.htm

Obama_Dinner_Who.Feb.21.2011.jpg

Google's link to Sana's Facebook website disappeared but the website is still open:

https://www.facebook.com/SANAenglish

But Facebook's link to Sana's website doesn't work: http://sana.sy/index_eng.html

 

Other links to SANA which are censored by Google and the Pentagon: 

Syrian Arab News Agency - SANA - http://sana.sy/index_eng.html

sana.sy main IP address: http://208.43.232.81/

sana.sy Turkish website: http://208.43.232.81/index_tur.html

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Google works in service of the Pentagon

There are 40,900 search results for 'rebels take airbase in slow progress toward Damascus' (the links to these websites are not dead)

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/25/us-syria-crisis-idUSBRE8AJ1FK20121125
http://www.buenosairesherald.com/article/117781/syrian-rebels-take-airbase-in-slow-progress-toward-damascus
http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=439x2489069

http://www.pressdisplay.com/pressdisplay/fr/viewer.aspx
http://www.m2radio.fr/go/news/id-89349-syrian-rebels-take-airbase-in-slow-progress
http://uswebdaily.com/news2/wrapup-2syrian-rebels-take-airbase-in-slow-progress-toward-damascus
http://www.todayonline.com/World/EDC121126-0000063/Syrian-rebels-take-airbase-in-slow-progress-towards-Damascus
http://worldview.msasecurity.net/articles/646533/syrian-rebels-take-airbase-in-slow-progress-toward/ ...

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Photo 1: Barack Obama speaking at Google HQ in 2007. 

Photo 2: The Obama Dinner in February 2011. The nine companies represented at the dinner have a combined worth of $938 billion and the list of the tech guests included Eric Schmidt, chairman of Google and Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook. A White House official described the meeting as "part of our ongoing dialogue with the business community on how we can work together to win the future, strengthen our economy, support entrepreneurship, increasing our exports, and get the American people back to work," noting prior to the event, "The President and the business leaders will discuss our shared goal of promoting American innovation, and discuss his commitment to new investments in research and development, education and clean energy." (The NATO-war against Lybia lasted from 17 February 2011 to 23 October 2011 and the commander of NATO’s Libya war announced his intent to end hostilities through Facebook. “Who could have predicted,” asked Mike Isaac in WIRED’s new app guide, discussing Facebook’s mobile app, “that one skinny nerd from Harvard would completely change the definition of social experience in the 21st century?” “The power of Mark Zuckerberg’s creation has been on display all year as the Arab Spring, has reshaped the Middle East...)

01/12/2012

American war propaganda - Syrian News still censored

SyrianArabNewsAgency.jpg

Syrian News: Google Censorship

The website of the Syrian Arab News Agency SANA is regularly blocked by Washington that doesn't stop its war propaganda.

Some days ago SANA was inaccessible again: 'Page Web inaccessible - Unable to load web page on Google Chrome, because www.sana.sy did not respond in time. It is possible that the site is blocked or you have problems with your Internet connection - Error 118 (net::ERR_CONNECTION_TIMED_OUT)'

On Wikipediathe links are dead: Syrian Arab News Agency,[dead link] Official Website - (Arabic)[dead link] (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syrian_Arab_News_Agency#Managers_of_SANA)

Google Research doesn't show actually SANA's website under the searching words 'latest news Syria'. The censure comes just after France and Britain recognized the so called 'Syrian opposition', which they are providing with money and weapons.

Google Research also reduced drastically the search results for 'Latest News Syria SANA'.

The Internet search engines are in the hands of the U.S. government which doesn't want a political solution for Syria and doesn't stop its financial and military aid to terrorist groups in Turkey and Syria. 

The following links to get the website of SANA and find what the western press conceals, are also blocked now:

sana.sy main IP address: http://208.43.232.81/
sana.sy Turkish website: http://208.43.232.81/index_tur.html

'Page Web inaccessible - Error 118 (net::ERR_CONNECTION_TIMED_OUT)'

After France and Britain no longer recognized the Syrian government, the western press gave special attention to the destructive terrorist bomb attacks in Syria. Then, on 29 November 2012, the internet has been cut off and mobile phones have been disrupted in Syria.

During the uprising in Egypt, four major internet service providers were cut off in the country during mass protests against the then-President Hosni Mubarak. Egyptians quickly found ways around the blocks, and Google introduced a "speak-to-tweet" service which allowed people to connect to Twitter via the telephone.

In Libya, internet blackouts were common in areas that were at the time still controlled by Colonel Gaddafi. The exact method being used to cut off the internet in Syria is unknown, one security expert said, but there are clues.

"It looks like they are using the same approach as Libya did," explained Rik Ferguson, vice president of security research at Trend Micro. "Requests for Syrian addresses are simply timing out - so it's likely to be 'blackholing' or even breaking connections physically by cutting cables or switching things off." Blackholing is a tactic which involves sending internet traffic into a dead end - rather than its intended destination.

It is clear that all these problems are part of a covert operation of the C.I.A. and the American army.

07/07/2012

Syria News: An article without American war propaganda...

US.Egypt.Libya.Syria.jpgDemocracy just excuse in Western plans for Syria

By Xiao Xian*

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Syria has a very important geopolitical position at the heart of the Middle East. Big issues in this region, such as the Palestinian issue, terrorism, energy security, and nuclear non-proliferation are all closely related to Syria. At the moment, Syria’s surrounding countries, like Turkey, Jordan, Israel, Iraq and Lebanon, are all semi-democratic countries or have pro-US rulers, so that only Syria stands out.

Western countries have repeatedly adopted “human rights” and “democracy” as an excuse to interfere in other countries’ internal affairs, and even used armed forces to topple legitimate governments. Hegemony and power politics will prevail. 

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Recently Syria passed its new constitution, abolishing the president’s life tenure and changing its one-party system to a multi-party one. This is indeed an important reform in Syria’s political system, and a compromise that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad made under both internal and external pressure.

Nevertheless, the new constitution can have little effect on easing current tensions in Syria. The opposition’s appetite for power isn’t any smaller than before, and anti-government campaigns across the nation are still ongoing, with even more bloody conflicts. At the same time, Western countries and hardliners in the Arab League are exerting greater pressure on the Assad administration, while expanding their support for the Syrian opposition. The situation in Syria is escalating, and the nation is on the brink of civil war.

There is a fable that a wolf met a sheep at the riverside. The wolf wanted to eat the sheep, and thus blamed it for polluting the water. The sheep explained that it was only drinking at the lower reaches of the river, but was still eaten by the wolf.

The goal of the West and hardliners in the Arab League is to change the current regime in Syria. So-called human rights, democracy and freedom are no different from the excuse of “polluting the water.” No matter what efforts the Assad administration makes, it’s no different from explaining to a wolf that “you are at the higher reaches of the river while I’m at the lower ones.”

There are several reasons why the West insists on toppling the Syrian government. After the former regimes of Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen collapsed one after another, Syria is one of the few authoritarian survivors in the Arab world. Its consistent anti-US position also makes it unattractive to the West.

Syria has very close connections with Iran. The two have been backing and helping each other in political, security, economic and other important regional affairs.

Iran has a very tough attitude and tends to make no compromise with the West over its nuclear issue. Iran’s strength has some deterrence effect. In comparison, Syria is much weaker. Crumpling up Syria would mean cutting off an important arm of Iran, and it would be much easier for the West to deal with Iran in the future.

Moreover, Syria has a very important geopolitical position at the heart of the Middle East. Big issues in this region, such as the Palestinian issue, terrorism, energy security, and nuclear non-proliferation are all closely related to Syria. At the moment, Syria’s surrounding countries, like Turkey, Jordan, Israel, Iraq and Lebanon, are all semi-democratic countries or have pro-US rulers, so that only Syria stands out.

The Assad administration is a legitimate government of a sovereign country. A country’s internal affairs should be dealt with by itself, and its future path can only be selected by its own people. This is a basic rule of modern international relations, and the fundamental spirit of the UN Charter.

Western countries have repeatedly adopted “human rights” and “democracy” as an excuse to interfere in other countries’ internal affairs, and even used armed forces to topple legitimate governments. Hegemony and power politics will prevail. The international community can’t help but feel grieved about this reality.

Last month, China and Russia vetoed a UN Security Council resolution over Syria. Russia probably had its own considerations. For China, it was very important to firmly veto the resolution, based on the considerations of protecting the basic rule of international relations, caring about the vital interests of the Syrian people, as well as upholding justice and opposing power politics.

China’s veto may not prevent Syria from an escalating situation or entering a post-Assad era. Nevertheless, the exercise of its veto has shown the rationality of China’s diplomacy, as well as the justice and independence of China’s standpoint.

*The author is professor of the School of International Studies at Yunnan University and vice president of this university.

Global Times 

March 5, 2012

http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2012/03/05/democracy-just...