Saturday, July 12, 2008

Russia and China thwart the International Community

The inherent weakness and ineffectiveness of Condoleezza Rice as a diplomat has all but guaranteed a rise in the obstructive tendencies of China and Russia. It's obviously not entirely her fault that both countries have decided to thwart the international community with regards to sanctioning Zimbabwe--but it is also true that there is absolutely no way the Russians and Chinese can be persuaded by anything she says or does. Because of that the US has had, in effect, a lame duck foreign policy for years.
Russia on Saturday attacked remarks by U.S. and British officials who criticized Moscow's veto on proposed U.N. sanctions against Zimbabwe.

The Russian Foreign Ministry in a statement Saturday said it was "impermissible" that the criticism called into doubt Russia's worthiness as a Group of Eight partner.

The United States accused Russia and China of standing with Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe against his own people, after the two permanent members of the U.N. Security Council vetoed proposed sanctions against Zimbabwe.

The resolution would have imposed an arms embargo on Zimbabwe, an international travel ban and a freeze on the personal assets of Mugabe and 13 other officials.

It also called for the appointment of a U.N. special envoy for Zimbabwe.

The U.S., along with Britain and France, supported the resolution, arguing that sanctions were needed to respond to the violence and intimidation that opposition leaders and international observers said Mugabe and his supporters used to steal the recent presidential election.

Russia, however, claimed the sanctions would have taken the U.N. beyond its mandate, while China argued Zimbabwe should be allowed to resolve its political crisis on its own.

You don't threaten to throw Russia out of the G8--you either do it or you don't do it. And who realistically thinks that would happen anyway? Russia has Europe over a barrel when it comes to energy supplies anyway.

The fact that the UN can't stop arms from going to Zimbabwe effectively ends the possibility that anything will be done any time soon. And the ineffectiveness of the UN body plays into the hands of the people who think Rice is a capable diplomat because it confirms their bias against the organization.


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