The Campaign Spot

Obama Again Calls for UN Security Council to Denounce Russia… Where Moscow Has a Veto

Russian President Medvedev recognized South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states today. Obama’s statement:

“I condemn Russia’s decision to recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states and call upon all countries of the world not to accord any legitimacy to this action,” Obama said.
In his written statement that marked a toughening of his rhetoric toward Russia, Obama also said the United States should call for an immediate meeting of the U.N. Security Council to condemn Moscow’s decision in coordination with European allies.
“The U.S. should lead within the U.N. and other international forums to cast a clear and unrelenting light on the decision, and to further isolate Russia internationally because of its actions,” he said.
Although Russia is one of the five permanent members of the Security Council, it could not stop closed-door consultations among the members. It could, however, use its position to block the council from issuing a statement or resolution critical of Russian actions in Georgia.

Those who paid attention would note that Russia isn’t allowing anything of consequence to get through the UN Security Council:

At the UN, Russia’s ambassador said the French-drafted UN resolution went against the terms of the ceasefire brokered by France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy… He also objected to language in the draft reaffirming Georgia’s territorial integrity, saying South Ossetia and Abkhazia did not want to be part of Georgia.
Russia can veto UN resolutions and the ambassador told the BBC that putting the text to a vote would be pointless.
He said: “It’s a waste of time because the process of the withdrawal of Russian forces will continue.”

For the second time in a month, Obama goes to an international organization incapable of acting in any meaningful way to the crisis in Georgia.
By contrast, John McCain’s statement skips the UN and goes to the allies in the region who, bound together, might provide a significant counterweight to the Russian bear.

“Russia today took a significant and negative step in recognizing the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, two separatist Georgian provinces. In April, I warned that Russia was pursuing a policy of de facto annexation that threatened to undermine security and stability in the region. Today’s decision, the culmination of a long effort aimed at splitting these two regions away from Georgia, represents a major step forward in that process. Moscow’s action deserves condemnation from the entire international community, and Russia must understand that its violations of international law carry consequences.


“I also remain deeply concerned about Russia’s continued refusal to comply with the terms of the ceasefire ending hostilities with Georgia. Reports indicate that Russian troops remain around the port city of Poti, a location that has no connection to South Ossetia or even to the ‘buffer zone’ Moscow is attempting to establish around it. Russia’s deployments around Poti seem aimed at maintaining an economic stranglehold over Georgia’s major Black Sea port.

“At a time of high energy prices and instability in global markets, it is important to understand that events in Georgia, part of a strategic energy corridor, affect individual lives far beyond the Caucasus. The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, which brings oil from the Caspian to points west, traverses Georgia. If that pipeline were destroyed or controlled by Russia, global energy supplies would be even more vulnerable to Moscow’s influence, with serious consequences on the world energy market.
“There are some encouraging signs that our allies are responding to these events. I welcome French President Sarkozy’s convening of an emergency European Union summit next week to discuss the crisis, as well as German Chancellor Merkel’s call for a summit of Caucasus nations to discuss Georgian reconstruction and regional stability. It is critical that these and other discussions are followed by action to chart a path for the reconstruction of Georgia and to ensure its continued independence. Americans have for generations sacrificed for the security of our European partners. Now is the time for the transatlantic community to come together to secure, in concert, the peace for a generation of Americans.
“In addition, I am proud that Cindy is currently visiting Georgia on a humanitarian mission. She has carried out this kind of important work all over the world, and it is clear that the Georgian people are suffering in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion. Given the level of need there, I am proud that she has traveled to that war-torn country at this time.”

Most Popular


Kamala Harris Runs for Queen

I’m going to let you in on a secret about the 2020 presidential contest: Unless unforeseen circumstances lead to a true wave election, the legislative stakes will be extremely low. The odds are heavily stacked against Democrats’ retaking the Senate, and that means that even if a Democrat wins the White House, ... Read More

What We’ve Learned about Jussie Smollett

It’s been a few weeks since March 26, when all charges against Jussie Smollett were dropped and the actor declared that his version of events had been proven correct. How’s that going? Smollett’s celebrity defenders have gone quiet. His publicists and lawyers are dodging reporters. The @StandwithJussie ... Read More
Energy & Environment

The Climate Trap for Democrats

The more the climate debate changes, the more it stays the same. Polls show that the public is worried about climate change, but that doesn’t mean that it is any more ready to bear any burden or pay any price to combat it. If President Donald Trump claws his way to victory again in Pennsylvania and the ... Read More
White House

Sarah Sanders to Resign at End of June

Sarah Huckabee Sanders will resign from her position as White House press secretary at the end of the month, President Trump announced on Twitter Thursday afternoon. Sanders, the daughter of former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, succeeded Sean ... Read More
Politics & Policy

But Why Is Guatemala Hungry?

I really, really don’t want to be on the “Nicolas Kristof Wrote Something Dumb” beat, but, Jiminy Cricket! Kristof has taken a trip to Guatemala, with a young woman from Arizona State University in tow. “My annual win-a-trip journey,” he writes. Reporting from Guatemala, he discovers that many ... Read More
Politics & Policy

On Painting Air Force One

And so it has come to this. Two oil tankers were just attacked in the Gulf of Oman, presumably by Iran. The United States and China are facing off in a confrontation that is about far more than trade. The southern border remains anarchic and uncontrolled. And Congress is asking: “Can I get the icon in ... Read More