Ardern is a wimp in international politics

Ardern, when told of the United States air strike in Syria had this to say:

It is understandable and we accept why the United States and others have taken the military action that they have, our view is though now is the time to return to the table, to the United Nations to resolve these issues. End of quote.

But Ardern is not alone in being a wimp on the international stage. Most international politicians, including Trump’s cardboard-cutout predecessor Obama, do exactly what Ardern does by expecting the United Nations to deal with war criminals like Assad. They do not like to get their hands dirty.

A rescue worker carries a child following an alleged chemical weapons attack in the rebel-held town of Douma. Picture: AP Source:AP

The French and United States presidents together with the British prime minister agreed to take action to curtail Assad’s chemical weapons attacks against Syrian citizens. They want to do the right thing and as the great parliamentarian Edmund Burke said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

The United Nations can criticise Assad’s atrocious behaviour all they like, but because they have no stick to hit him with he has never listened.

Last year Trump did take decisive action by bombing a Syrian air base after Assad had dropped sarin on the town in Idlib province, killing more than 80 civilians. This was the first United States strike on Syrian soil and occurred after many documented chemical weapons attacks.

Obama dealt with Assad over four years earlier by delegating.Quote.

In August 2013, a chemical attack in the eastern Ghouta suburb of Damascus killed more than 1,500 people, including hundreds of children. Horrific images circulated.

Obama gave a speech saying the United States should act against Syria. But he said Congress should authorize any military action.

Over the next month, it appeared there was little support in Congress or among the United States public for military intervention. The United States endorsed a Russian-backed plan to remove chemical stocks from Syria. More than 1,300 tons of chemical agents were removed.

Chlorine was not part of the deal, since it is commonly used for water treatment and other industrial purposes. End of quote.

Obama refused to deal to Assad. Indeed, he had no stick to smack him with anyway after severely depleting the United States’ military strength. 

Obama did not show leadership, instead, he passed the decision to Congress knowing they, like the United Nations, would be all talk and little action. For Assad, it was business as usual with chemical attacks continuing unheeded. 

Under Obama’s watch, Russia appeared to back the United Nations’ resolution for the removal of Syria’s chemical weapons stocks. It made them look good and they had nothing to fear from the United States.

In 2014, after much talking, there was some action and 1,300 tonnes of chemical agents were removed from Syria. Except for chlorine.

The latest chemical warfare attack in Syria includes the use of chlorine: the one chemical Syria was allowed to keep because of its industrial use. Clever Russians. The latest attack appears to be chlorine mixed with another chemical.

Perhaps Ardern will see the light, or not if her time as president of the International Union of Socialist Youth has coloured her glasses and endeared her to Russia’s cause. It is extremely disappointing that New Zealand cannot lend its support against the bully leading such an appalling regime.


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Suze aka Sue Sangster is an avid reader, writer and aspiring novelist with a green thumb.

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