Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 04, 2011

WaPo Lies About UN 'Resolution' On Syria

A Washington Post news piece on the revolt in Syria falsely claims that a UN Security Council resolution has been issued with regard to the situation there:

With the U.N. Security Council meeting to review a resolution condemning Syria ..
[...]
.. the Security Council issued a resolution condemning the violence ..
[...]
But activists said the resolution’s significance is blunted ..
[...]
.. “the resolution is meaningless,” human rights activist Wissam Tarif said in Beirut.
[...]
Though the U.N. resolution called for political reforms, ..

There was and is no U.N. Security Council resolution on Syria.

Yesterday a statement was issued by the current president of the UNSC. Such a Presidential Statement:

is often created when the United Nations Security Council cannot reach consensus or are prevented from passing a resolution by a permanent member's veto, or threat thereof. Such statements are similar in content, format, and tone to resolutions, but are not legally binding.

The statement includes a:

Call for an immediate end to all violence and urge all sides to act with utmost restrain, and to refrain from reprisals, including attacks against state institutions.

There are armed gangs fighting against the Syrian government. The UNSC presidential statement acknowledges this when it explicitly urges to refrain from violence against state institutions.

But reading the Washington Post one would not learn this at all. Its reporting gets the very basic facts wrong in using the term "resolution", which would be something with legal consequences, instead of a presidential statement. It also does not acknowledge that the Syrian army is up against an armed resistance. With such reporting the Washington Post is again more a lying propaganda shop than a news organization.

Update:

In the comments philippe asks why I especially pick on WaPo here. I do so because the other major "western" mainstream media, unlike what philippe asserts, do report the issue as it should be reported - by making clear that this is just a non-binding statement, not a resolution.

The Guardian: Hague calls for Syria to end crackdown after UN statement

Foreign secretary William Hague urged the "discredited" Syrian regime to end its violent repression as the United Nations security council adopted a statement condemning attacks on civilians and widespread human rights abuses.
[...]
Though the presidential statement has no teeth and was less than the full security council resolution that had been pressed for by the US, UK and France, it is an indication of growing impatience within the international community towards the Syrian crackdown.

The New York Times: Security Council Rebuke of Syria Ends Prolonged Deadlock

The council’s action, which took the form of what is known as a presidential statement, condemned “widespread violations of human rights and the use of force against civilians by the Syrian authorities.”

Western nations had sought a resolution, the strongest council action. But Russia, a permanent Security Council member with veto power, which had led the opposition to any action for months on the basis of not interfering in internal affairs, had made clear from the outset that it considered a resolution excessive.

You can also check the LA Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Telegraph and others - they all report correctly on this issue.

The Washington Post is clearly standing out here with its false reporting.

 

Posted by b on August 4, 2011 at 9:25 UTC | Permalink

Comments

Why the focus on WaPo (just curious) ? All Western mainstream media outlets I follow talk about it in similar wording. Granted, they cary nuances in the fine print, but the reader has to concentrate hard to find them.

Posted by: philippe | Aug 4 2011 11:41 utc | 1

Interesting observation.

Since I don't live in the US not fully sure about Washington Post but have heard that it has since 9/11 become mainly a neo-conservative rag. Anyway I wonder which country it was that threatened the veto China or Russia? My first thoughts were China because they have been generally dead set against all interferance by NATO and Russia has been closer to the US since the "Reset" but could also have been Russia since they got burned by the US on Libya.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Aug 4 2011 16:24 utc | 2

I expect both China and Russia see an attack on Syria as a prelude to an attack on Iran.

Posted by: dh | Aug 4 2011 18:07 utc | 3

@dh

I expect both China and Russia see an attack on Syria as a prelude to an attack on Iran.

Yes Iran and Syria have a defence agreement, if NATO attacks Syria Iran is honour bound to help Syria. The Zionist know this and want it to happen, same with Turkey luckily they have fired the crypto Zionist generals!

Posted by: hans | Aug 4 2011 20:17 utc | 4

Yes, b's update was an important point to make in nailing WaPo. The Age (Oz) based its report UN hits impasse over censuring of Syria crackdown on Bloomberg's story which takes pains to clarify the difference between a resolution and a statement and their relative importance.
Unfortunately, they dulled the effect by publishing a footnote reference to some inane anti-Assad NYT rhetoric from narcissistic arch-Zionist, Thomas Friedman, elsewhere in the same issue.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 5 2011 1:29 utc | 5

For the record.

The Washington Post updated the August 3 article on August 4, 5:32 PM.

It changed the first two references to "resolution" as shown above to "presidential statement". The other three false occurrences of "resolution" are still there.

There is NO "correction" notice to the article.

Posted by: b | Aug 5 2011 9:40 utc | 6

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