NO ADVERTISING, GOVERNMENT OR CORPORATE FUNDING

  • Latest News
  • Pitch a Story
  • Work with a Journalist
  • Join the Blog Squad
  • Afghanistan
  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Baltimore
  • Canada
  • Egypt
  • Europe
  • Latin America
  • Middle East
  • Russia
  • Economy
  • Environment
  • Health Care
  • Military
  • Occupy
  • Organize This
  • Reality Asserts Itself
  • US Politics
  • US Strike on Syria Staved Off


    Vijay Prashad: China and Russia will be very cautious and will not permit a Chapter VII resolution - a military attack on Syria -   September 18, 13
    Members don't see ads. If you are a member, and you're seeing this appeal, click here

    Audio

    Share to Facebook Share to Twitter




    Thanks for providing such a reliable news website - Shakur K
    Log in and tell us why you support TRNN

    Bio

    Vijay Prashad is the Edward Said Chair at the American University of Beirut. He is the author of sixteen books, including The Poorer Nations: A Possible History of the Global South (Verso, 2013), Arab Spring, Libyan Winter (AK, 2012) and (co-edited with Paul Amar) Dispatches from the Arab Spring (2013). He writes regularly for The Hindu, Frontline, Jadaliyya, Counterpunch, Himal and Bol.

    Transcript

    US Strike on Syria Staved OffJESSICA DESVARIEUX, TRNN PRODUCER: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Jessica Desvarieux in Baltimore. And welcome to this edition of The Prashad Report.

    Now joining us is Vijay Prashad. He is the Edward Said Chair at the American University of Beirut, and his most recent book is The Poorer Nations: A Possible History of the Global South.

    Thanks for joining us, Vijay.

    VIJAY PRASHAD, EDWARD SAID CHAIR, AMERICAN UNIVERSITY, BEIRUT: Pleasure. Thank you, Jessica.

    DESVARIEUX: So, Vijay, let's talk about the latest news coming out of Syria. We have five permanent members of the UN Security Council. They've met to discuss a resolution on disarming Syria of its chemical weapons. The U.S., France, and U.K. are demanding a precise timetable for the disarmament. They're also looking to include a threat of military action in the final resolution. So do you think if there is a final UN resolution to disarm Assad of all of his chemical weapons, that this will eventually prevent the U.S. from striking Syria?

    PRASHAD: Well, I think that, you know, an agreement was reached in Geneva between the Russian foreign minister, Lavrov, and the American Secretary of State, John Kerry. That agreement had Syria on a timetable. Syria within a week was to go to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. That's the UN body that oversees or at least administers the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993. Syria did submit its paperwork to the OPCW, and that has gone forward into the UN's process. So it's going to take about a month for an audit to be done. Then inspections will be conducted. Certain sites will be sealed. Perhaps other weapons will be removed and destroyed. You know, this is going to run--this process will run perhaps into next year. So that's one part. That's the deal that was conducted in Geneva.

    Now, the French and the Americans and the British are eager to have a UN Security Council resolution as a sort of added insurance to make sure the Assad regime complies with the agreement that was signed in Geneva. They would like this UN resolution to have a so-called Chapter VII protection for the UN. In other words, it would come with the use or the threat of the use of military force. If Syria breaks the agreement, then the member states of the UN, which means basically the United States, will be able to conduct a military strike on Syria.

    Russia and China, ever since the resolution that the UN Security Council put out on Libya, you know, UN Security Council Resolution 1973, has been--they have been very cautious and will not permit permit a Chapter VII resolution. Instead, they might permit at most a Chapter VI resolution, which has as its punishments sanctions and other economic kind of, you know, leverage against a party that offends the Security Council's judgment. So that's the most that can happen.

    But we should not confuse two things. The Kerry-Lavrov agreement in Geneva was not premised on any Security Council resolution. That was an agreement between the United States and Russia which had Syria say that they would go to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and begin the process of entering the no-chemical-weapon regime. So that is happening separate from anything in the Security Council. So these two things are not actually linked directly.

    DESVARIEUX: And what about this argument that some are making that even if we disarm Assad of all of his chemical weapons, it's no assurance that the rebels, for example, who may have possession over chemical weapons will use them in the future? What do you make of that?

    PRASHAD: Well, you know, there's no guarantee that Mr. Assad well relieve himself of all his weapons, either, or sections of the military will relieve themselves. You know, there's simply no guarantee when any country comes in to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. And, of course, if there are non-state actors involved, you know, among the rebels and suchlike, there is no guarantee, because they will not be party to this agreement with the OPCW. I mean, the fact is that the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, these are organization set up to do deal with state actors, not with non-state actors. So, you know, the short answer, Jessica, is there is simply no prohibition in this particular agreement.

    DESVARIEUX: Let's talk about the UN report that came out on Monday. Do you anticipate that the UN might go to the ICC with this report in a way to hold Assad responsible, even though it wasn't explicitly said that Assad was responsible for these chemical attacks? Do you see them going to the ICC to try to get some sort of--to get Assad--to have Assad be held responsible?

    PRASHAD: Well, you know, when the committee was put together to go and investigate in Ghouta in east of Damascus, the chemical weapons or the attack initially on August 21, you know, their remit (in other words, what they were tasked to do) was to see if chemical weapons indeed were used in that attack over August 21. And in order to, you know, get the, basically, support of all the members of the Security Council, to get the support of the government in Damascus, the secretary-general had to insist that the remit be very narrow: only to see whether chemical weapons had or had not been used on that day.

    And so the three-person team arrived in Ghouta with their staff, they conducted tests, and they came away with material which demonstrated to them that indeed sarin gas had been used. They also were able to make the case that conventional rocket shells had been used to carry the sarin gas. And they suggested that those rocket shells came from the north, northwest of the Ghouta plane, which suggests somewhere from Damascus.

    Now, that's as much as the report says. The report doesn't make any claims on who might have conducted the attack. Based on the kind of information in the report, various people are interpreting it to suggest that it could have been nobody else but the regime. But this is an open-ended question. I mean, this is not settled by this report. It could have been the regime. It could have been rogue elements with the regime. It could perhaps have been the rebels. I mean, it could have been anybody. That's not affirmed by this report.

    So now the question is that the Russians and others are asking for further investigation and, you know, to see who might have conducted this attack. And, you know, so in--the UN report can be used in two ways. One, the secretary-general or other powers can ask the International Criminal Court to open a file, to start collecting information whether war crimes were committed by, you know, Mr. Assad, his generals, etc., just to open a file, to start building a case.

    Secondly, the UN secretary-general can ask another investigative team to go and study whether they can find out who fired the weapons. That's basically where we are.

    And the Russians have been quite obdurate. They do not want any kind of precipitous analysis, you know, an analysis which is based on this information. They say more evidence is required, they say more investigation is needed, and they say that this investigation should include not only whether the regime conducted the attack, but perhaps it should look into the question of the rebels as well.

    We are a long way from a settled opinion on what happened on August 21, at least as far as the United Nations and its specialized agencies are concerned.

    DESVARIEUX: Well, thank you so much for joining us, Vijay.

    PRASHAD: Thank you.

    DESVARIEUX: And thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.

    End

    DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.


    Comments

    Our automatic spam filter blocks comments with multiple links and multiple users using the same IP address. Please make thoughtful comments with minimal links using only one user name. If you think your comment has been mistakenly removed please email us at contact@therealnews.com

    Comments


    Latest Stories


    University Sit-In Targets World's Largest Private Coal Company
    The Modern History of Venezuela and the Need for a Post-Oil Economy - Edgardo Lander on RAI (6/9)
    Can Johns Hopkins Afford to Pay A Living Wage? (1/2)
    One Percent of Environmentalists Killings Lead to Convictions
    Investigation Finds Former Ukraine President Not Responsible For Sniper Attack on Protestors
    The Modern History of Venezuela from 1973 to the Caracazo Massacre - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (3/9)
    Ukraine Transitional Gov't Moves Militarily To Reclaim Seized Buildings
    IPCC Report Flawed By Narrow Focus on Carbon Emissions
    The Modern History of Venezuela: The Bolivarian Revolution - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (5/9)
    Obama Signs Directives to Reduce the Gender Wage Gap
    Eastern Ukraine Lacks Political Representation in Kiev
    Demystifying the Role of Mitigation in the Most Recent IPCC Report
    Hypersurveillance State Won't Prevent Another Boston Marathon Bombing
    The Modern History of Venezuela from 1973 to the Caracazo Massacre - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (3/9)
    Univ. of Maine Faculty Reinstated After Students Protest Against Cuts
    The Modern History of Venezuela from 1908 to 1973 - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (2/9)
    IMF Will Address Global Inequality, Says Managing Director Christine Lagarde
    Raising Big Banks' Leverage Ratio Good, But Not Nearly Enough
    TRNN Replay: Austerity Road to 19th Century
    Has Palestinian Maneuvering Revived Peace Talks?
    Late Jackson Mayor Lumumba's Son Wins Primary to Replace His Father, Runoff Election Ahead
    Quebecers Reject PQ and Elect a Liberal Government Representing Big Business
    TRNN Debate: Decriminalization vs. Legalization
    The Beginning of the Chavez Era - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (4/9)
    "Off With His Head": Court Upholds Obama's Power to Kill
    Workers at Nation's Top Hospital Strike For Fair Wages
    From Exile to Radicalization in Venezuela - Edgardo Lander on Reality Asserts Itself (1/9)
    Rwanda 20 Years Later: Genocide, Western Plunder of Congo, and President Kagame
    Ukrainian Protesters in the East Demand More Autonomy From Kiev Government
    Hunger Strikers Demand President Obama Halt His Record 2 Million Deportations
    Indian Parliamentary Elections - A Primer With Vijay Prashad
    West Looks to Carve Up Ukraine & Privatize Industries Held by Kleptocrats
    Where Are Israeli-Palestinian Peace Negotiations Headed?
    The Multiple Kingdoms of Saudi Arabia (5/5)
    Do the Afghan Presidential Elections Signify Progress?
    Republican Presidential Hopefuls Pay Homage to Billionaire Casino Tycoon Sheldon Adelson
    Will Extremist Lieberman Become Israel's Next Prime Minister?
    Why do the Saudis Want the US to Attack Iran? (4/5)
    Immigrant Advocates and Families Tell President Obama 'Not One More'
    Elections, Pipelines, and Protests - The Canada Panel
    Chris Hedges on "Israel's War on American Universities"
    Baltimore Residents Decry Lack of Affordable Housing
    Yellen Talks the Talk But Will She Walk the Walk?
    Hopkins Hospital Workers Speak Out against "Poverty Wages"
    Will Venezuela's New Floating Exchange Rate Curb Inflation?
    The European Central Bank's War on Wages is Pushing Europe's Economy to the Brink
    Supreme Court Decision Opens Floodgates for More Campaign Cash
    Charles Keating, the Financier Behind the Savings and Loan Scandal, Dies at 90
    Saudi Arabia and the al-Qaeda Monster (3/5)
    Maryland Residents Voice Opposition to Natural Gas Fracking Export Facility
    Supreme Court Ruling Gives Wealthy Individuals More Influence Over Elections
    What are the Saudis Afraid Of? - Madawi Al-Rasheed (2/5)
    Baltimore's MICA Adjunct Professors Set to Vote on Unionization
    Boycott of Israel Moving to Next Level?
    Hypocrisy Dressed Up as "Realism" Justifies American Alliance with Saudi Dictatorship
    Immigration Reform in the Shadows of Cesar Chavez's Legacy
    Leaked Senate Report Shows Use of Torture As "Ineffective"
    UN Report Says Climate Change Will Threaten Food Production Worldwide
    The Hypocrisy of US Calling for Enforcement of International Law
    How the Ecuadorian Economy Grew in a Global Recession
    'Shadows of Liberty' Trailer
    Kristina Borjesson on Why CBS Shut Down Her investigation into Flight 800 (2/8)
    Glen Ford on Racism in the American Media (3/8)
    Paul Jay on What Drives Corporate Media and What Drive The Real News (4/8)
    Creating a New Media Paradigm After Citizens United (5/8)
    Should The Left Engage with the Mainstream Media? (6/8)
    What Is the Financial Backing For The Real News? (7/8)
    Standing up to Character Assassination (8/8)
    Oligarchs, Fascists and the People's Protest in Ukraine
    TRNN Debate: Is Obamacare In the Interest of Workers?
    Too-Big-To-Fail Advantage Remains Intact For Big Banks
    Obama and the Saudi Agenda
    TRNN Replay: Investigating the Saudi Government's 9/11 Connection and the Path to Disilliusionment - Sen. Graham on Reality Asserts Itself pt 1
    The Iraq War's Real Legacy
    Petitions with 100,000+ Signatures Call for Snowden's Passport to be Reinstated
    We Need to Harness People Power - Andy Shallal on Reality Asserts Itself (4/4)
    BC Pipeline Fight and Quebec Elections - The Canada Panel
    Jonathan Schell - 1943-2014: Board Member of TRNN on Why We Need The Real News
    Teachers on Strike from the UK to Argentina
    Connecticut Poised to Become First State with $10.10 Minimum Wage
    Oil Spill Threatens Wildlife and Local Economy
    DC School Test Scores Up, But Poor Black Kids Are Doing Worse - Andy Shallal on RAI (3/4)
    Obama's Proposal To End NSA Bulk Data Collection Won't Protect Privacy
    How Google, Apple & The Biggest Tech Companies Colluded to Fix Workers' Wages
    An American Should be One that Questions Their Government - Andy Shallal on RAI (2/4)
    What's Driving Putin & Obama's Posturing on Ukraine?
    Hundreds of Students & Faculty Occupy College Campus to Fight Cuts to Public Higher Ed
    Due Process 'Impossible' In Harsh Death Sentencing Of Over 500 Muslim Brotherhood Members
    Has Anglo-American Capitalism Run Out of Steam?
    Being the "Other" in America - Andy Shallal on Reality Asserts Itself (1/4)
    TRNN Debate: Should Baltimore 'Ban The Box'?
    How Fallujah Became the Iraqi Government's New Battleground
    Why I Decided to Blow the Whistle on the NSA
    NASA Climate Predictions Show Serious Threat To Humanity
    Professor Who Teaches Israel-Palestine Conflict Accuses College of Violating His Academic Freedom
    CIA and NSA Wrongdoing Requires Independent Investigation, Says Former Church Committee Staff
    Are Tuition Breaks Enough To Combat High Student Debt And Low Graduation Rates?
    Industries Across the U.S. Are Stealing Wages From Their Lowest Paid Workers
    Who In Ukraine Will Benefit From An IMF Bailout?
    NSA Recording All International Calls From U.S.
    Israel "Making Lives Miserable" for Africans, Hoping They 'Self-Deport' (2/2)
    BP Gets Green Light to Drill in Gulf, But Has Safety Improved?
    Residents Still Not Drinking Tap Water Two Months After West Virginia Spill (1/2)
    Libya's Descent Into Turmoil Three Years After NATO Intervention
    From Pipelines to Peladeau - Canadian Report
    Israel "Making Lives Miserable" for Africans, Hoping They 'Self-Deport' (1/2)
    Congressional Progressive Caucus Budget Strikes Back Against Austerity
    Libya Three Years Later - Chaos and Partition
    Why Was Gaddafi Overthrown?
    Should Ukraine and West Accept De Facto Crimea Joining Russia? (2/2)
    Tony Benn Saw Socialism as the Culmination of Democratization
    Why Didn't Bush/Cheney Attack Iran and Can Obama Make and Sell a Deal? - Gareth Porter on Reality Asserts Itself (3/3)
    After Late Mayor Lumumba is Laid to Rest, What's Next for Jackson, Mississippi? (2/2)
    Crimea Referendum: Self Determination or Big Power Manipulation? (1/2)
    Sen. Graham: President Must Side with Openness About CIA and 9/11
    Manufacturing a Narrative for War - Gareth Porter on Reality Asserts Itself (2/3)
    Protesters Hit the Streets of Brooklyn to Demand $15 Minimum Wage
    Hammer: 'Moral Bankruptcy' Behind Massive GM Recall
    White House Withholds Thousands of Documents from Senate CIA Probe
    I Grew Up Believing in Time Magazine's Version of America - Gareth Porter on RAI (1/3)
    Western European Banks Vulnerable to Ukrainian Sovereign Debt Crisis
    TRNN Debate: What's Driving Inflation in Venezuela? (2/2)
    CIA vs. Senate: Who Is Obama Protecting?
    Will Tipped Workers Get Excluded Again From Minimum Wage Hike?
    TRNN Debate: What's Driving Inflation in Venezuela? (1/2)
    After Late Mayor Lumumba is Laid to Rest, What's Next for Jackson, Mississippi?(1/2)
    TRNN Replay: A Look at Who's Poised to Become No.2 at the Fed
    How Right-Wing Nationalism Rose to Influence in Ukraine (2/2)
    Netanyahu Attacks Boycott As Campaign Enters New Phase
    Moving Towards a Police State - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (7/7)
    Fighting Reagan's Secret, Illegal Wars - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (6/7)
    Puerto Rican Independence Movement and Cuba Further Radicalized Me - Michael Ratner on RAI (5/7)
    The Butcher of Attica - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (4/7)
    MLK and a Radicalizing Moment in American History - Michael Ratner on Reality Asserts Itself (3/7)

    RealNewsNetwork.com, Real News Network, Real News, Real News For Real People, IWT are trademarks and service marks of IWT.TV inc. "The Real News" is the flagship show of IWT and Real News Network.

    All original content on this site is copyright of The Real News Network.  Click here for more

    Problems with this site? Please let us know

    Linux VPS Hosting by Star Dot Hosting