Cheney, Blair and Sarkozy Stir the Pot: UN Security Council Overrides Lebanese Sovereignty
May 31, 2007 (LPAC)--With five of 15 members abstaining, the United Nations Security Council yesterday approved the establishment of a special international court to try suspects in murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Harriri. Those who refused to support this U.S., British and French-backed initiative were Russia, China, South Africa, Indonesia and Qatar.
"Establishing the tribunal by a unilateral decision of the UN Security Council damages Lebanese sovereignty," Vitaly Churkin, Russia's UN envoy, was quoted by Novosti . He added that although "we believe the perpetrators of that crime must be prosecuted," the Security Council's move is "dubious" from the standpoint of international law.
The Security Council "cannot be seen to be taking sides in internal Lebanese politics," Dumisani Kumalo, South Africa's U.N. Ambassador, told the council. He spoke of the danger that the council's "imposition" of the court on Lebanon's divided political leadership would undercut "the political stability of an already fragile Lebanese state."
Ambassador Nassir Abdulaziz al-Nasser of Qatar, the only Arab member of the Security Council, said he feared the ruling "would not bring stability in Lebanon" and involved "legal encroachment that may further complicate the situation."
Syrian Ambassador to the UN, Bashar Jaafari, is quoted by the official Syrian Arab News Agency that the tribunal "violates Lebanese sovereignty." He added, "Those who were behind such a resolution would assume the consequences, but definitely this is something that goes against the interests of the Lebanese people and Lebanon as a whole."
In fact, the Lebanese government of Prime Minister Fouad Siniora could not get the ratification of a tribunal through the Lebanese parliament. Now, the parliament has been given until June 10 to ratify the tribunal, otherwise the UN may act unilaterally. That the resolution was adopted under the UN Charter's Chapter 7, which refers to breaches of the peace and aggression, is an open provocation, since it has yet to be shown that any foreign power was behind the murder. Furthermore, Chapter 7 opens the way for the UN to impose economic and political sanctions, and even use military force against anyone who does not cooperate with the tribunal. Thus, if Syria refused to extradite one of its citizens, should any be indicted or subpoenaed, it could be targeted for sanctions and even military action.