Washington’s attempt to hijack the G20 summit in Moscow to build support for its illegal plan to bomb Syria has been an abject failure.
Barack Obama has been able to count on the usual suspects — Britain, France, Australia, Turkey and Canada — to echo his bellicose comments and offer to hold his coat.
But the majority of participants, representing some of the most populous states in the world — China, India, Russia, Brazil and Indonesia — reject the US recourse to war that it deploys so freely.
“International responses should not lead to more and worse humanitarian problems,” says Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa.
“The misery of the Syrian people has been too long and we need to ensure there is no military approach used, but instead peaceful diplomatic measures must be utilised to settle the problems.”
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh made clear that India opposes any action outside the framework of the UN and rejects armed intervention aimed at regime change as this would violate international law.
Brazilian Foreign Minister Luiz Alberto Figueiredo said that any military intervention against Syria would be a violation of international law unless the UN security council gives approval.
Argentinian President Cristina Kirchner declared: “No-one, no-one at all, wants war and we do not believe that solving the problem of those killed would be through more killing.”
Despite the stance of Britain and France, the European Union, which has a collective voice at the G20, is also opposed to military action.
“There is no military solution to the Syrian conflict,” said European Council president Van Rompuy.
“Only a political solution can end the terrible bloodshed, grave violations of human rights and the far-reaching destruction of Syria.”
Yet pro-war politicians and media in the imperialist states obsess over the stance taken by Russia and its President Vladimir Putin.
US ambassador to the UN Samantha Power went so far as to accuse Moscow of holding the security council hostage and shirking its international responsibilities.
Power berated Russia for exploiting the system that gives a veto to the post-war big five — US, Soviet Union, China, France and Britain.
She ought to know that since Russia superseded the Soviet Union in 1991, taking up its veto power, it has deployed that power just twice.
In contrast, the US has wielded its veto 55 times to prevent the international community taking action over crimes committed by its client state Israel against the Palestinian people.
Washington and its cheerleaders in Paris and London must appreciate that the world has changed. The old colonial powers no longer hold sway.
The UN set up after the second world war provides, for all its faults, a means of discussing and tackling problems that arise within a framework of international law.
UN weapons inspector Hans Blix has experience of having his work frustrated and terminated by the bloodlust of US and British leaders.
His advice that “one should not be arrogant and take unilateral action but actually turn and use the security council” is sound.
It’s also in line with what people think in Britain, the US and the rest of the world.
The way to end the Syrian people’s suffering is for all states to stop supplying weaponry and combatants and for the UN to facilitate a conference for political forces in Syria to negotiate an end to war and an agreed way forward.