In Israel most of the hubbub has revolved around the speeches before the General Assembly by Mahmoud Abbas and his accusations and abuses heaped on Israel and the response and defenses along with counter arguments by Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu by his speech. Further, there has been commentary of those parts of the speech by President Obama, among others, which were applicable to Israel in particular and the Middle East in general. Other than Prime Minister Netanyahu’s comparison equating Hamas and ISIS, not much of the other references and activities regarding ISIS have been given comment as they have mostly been ignored or mentioned in passing for background and supporting commentary by which Israel should expect to possibly find more vocal, unrestricted, unrestrained and unqualified support along with potentials for a more sympathetic understanding of the threats and difficulties faced by Israel and her peoples. But even should these hopes and aspirations materialize or not, there may have been evidence of a potentially far more sweeping and definitive change in the future which might have far reaching detrimental results for Israel. There was evidence given of a united opposition to the efforts by the United States to address and attack ISIS without having first attained the support of the United Nations and attaining a Chapter Seven Security Council Resolution. These demands were made by Iran and Russia who backed their complaint with accusations that the United States and their allies’ attacks on ISIS and their intents to arm and train Syrian opposition rebel groups as an uninvited aggressions and assault on the independent nations of Syria and Iraq. They further pointed to the actions taken jointly by the United States and Russia to attain Security Council backing for the initiatives to remove the chemical and biological weapons stores held by Bashir Assad in Syria which prevented any attacks on Syria by the United States holding them up as an example of the correct and cooperative manner for addressing such actions and its being preferable to any unilateral actions.
An international journalist and professor at Moscow’s Higher School of Economics, Boris Kalyagin, speaking to Pravda.Ru on 23 September stated, “Such actions must be carried out exclusively within the boundaries of international law. That means not formal unilateral ‘notification’ of strikes but the clearly expressed approval of the government of Syria or the passage of a decision by the United Nations Security Council.” Further comments from the Wall Street Journal; noted that, “Hasan Rouhani, the president of Iran, agreed and said the U.S.-led airstrikes were illegal and constituted an attack on Syria, while also condemning Islamic State militants as ‘barbarians.’” Also quoted in the same article was Bassam Abu Abdallah, director of the Damascus Center for Strategic Studies, which is close to the Syrian regime, who stated “We are witnessing the beginning of change in the U.S. position. And in politics you have to deal with reality no matter how long you resist; there is a Syrian state that has persevered and there are institutions that one can communicate with.”
The question many might be asking about now is, “How does this relate to the Security Council without the United States?” It probably would not surprise anybody to hear that Russia in a former life as the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) had expressed desires to have the veto power removed from the United States as well as its permanent membership in the Security Council even at the cost of giving up its similar privileges. These expressions were usually supported by the Soviet bloc nations as well as China, the Arab and Muslim bloc nations and the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) nations, all of which have misgivings about the vetoes cast by the United States which have blocked their efforts to enforce their political intrigues. One glaring example has been the attempts of the nations of the Arab League, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (IOC) and other Muslim and Arab majority nations to gain sanctions, denunciations and other censures against Israel which have almost universally met with a United States veto. One outstanding exception was after the Israeli airstrike against the Iraqi Osirak Reactor on June 7, 1981, when the United States did not veto the Security Council’s denouncing the Israeli strike on another United Nations member state, something not usually successfully accomplished against Arab nations for actions and activities against Israel. The desired changes which those disgruntled with the veto powers of the five permanent members of the Security Council, whether the discontent is over their permanent representation or their ability to unilaterally vote down any motion unilaterally with their permanent veto powers, is for at a minimum to have the veto powers rescinded and more optimistically to have the permanent representation rescinded as well thus allowing for all the positions on the Security Council to be rotated allowing for complete equality in the representation to the Security Council which would result in the Security Council to be nothing more than a glorified General Assembly with the Western nations facing overwhelming opposition by the representation from the rest of the nations. Such a Security Council would result in regular denunciations of Israel and the United States rendering both nations susceptible to economic sanctions and potential interventions by the rest of the world all done under the auspices of the United Nations. Imagine the Security Council acting as an echo chamber for the Human Right Council or the General Assembly. Such would be a resounding nightmare for the so-called free world.
Where these denunciations of the efforts by the United States and allies in combating ISIS and incorporating arming and training the Syrian rebels in their attempts to change the Syrian governance which would likely remove Syria from Iranian influences have not mentioned removing the United States veto power or permanent status in the Security Council, they are being initialed by the same interests. Former attempts to remove the United States from their blocking position in the Security Council had been centered and championed by the USSR and these efforts had pretty much gone into remission after the fall of the Soviet Union. With the recent expansionist policies and efforts engineered by Russian leader Vladimir Putin and the resumption of some of the old axes of the Arab bloc nations joining with the replacement of the USSR, the Russian Federation, we may also soon witness a renewal of the efforts to change the makeup of the Security Council which would start by removing the veto powers of the permanent members and eventually the removal of any permanent membership thus removing much of what differentiates the Security Council from the other United Nation bodies. This was a warning shot over the bow of both the United States generally and President Obama in particular. The message was a simple one warning President Obama not to get too adventurous and to not strike out too independently and remember his place and the promises he has made and the predicament that President Putin had rescued him from vis-s-vis the Syrian chemical weapons Obama Red-Line fiasco, thus the mention of the cooperative efforts between Putin and Obama and their using the United Nations to address that situation before it got completely out of hand. The warning is that there is the possibility that President Obama may have misjudged the situation and this was the one opportunity he was being warned to take to return to the greater flexibility he had promised to be capable of taking after his reelection. This was also a blatant warning from President Putin to President Obama to back off and remember his place. The odds are that President Obama will heed this warning and retreat and seek to gain the cooperation of the Security Council and by such provide Iran and Syria with a say as to how the allied bombings against ISIS will be carried out and where and when such strikes will be allowed to be carried out. We might also see a retreat on training of the rebels though it is doubtful that Britain’s Prime Minister Cameron will back away from his efforts in training and arming rebel forces so easily. It is not likely that there will be any efforts immediately to seek the redefinition of the Security Council as President Putin also enjoys the ability to stymy any adventurous use of the powers of the Security Council, especially should such efforts be taken pertaining to the conflicts currently in the Ukraine and the potential for further Russian adventurism in Luxemburg or any of the other former Soviet satellite nations. This will be an interesting test of whether President Obama has grown any bolder as a result of being forced by the threat situation to act boldly and take military measures in the Middle East and especially in Iraq, even more so after he had announced that he had pulled all the American forces from Iraq and left behind a strong, vibrant and independent nation capable of taking care of its future without the need of American military presence. It will also be an indicator of what direction the Iran nuclear negotiations are likely to take, but more on that in the near future.
Beyond the Cusp