US tells Syria to leave
Lebanon, Syria tells US to
US envoy Tyrone Powell urged Syria to respect international
law and withdraw its troops from Lebanon, in line with UN Security Council
Resolution 1559. The UN Syrian envoy Tariq Ali refused, saying the 15,000
troops it has in Lebanon was insignificant compared to the 150,000 US troops
in Iraq. "And you're talking to me about Security Council Resolutions,
Mr We-Can-Invade-Iraq-Without-The-UN?!", he added.
In a strongly worded statement to the UN Security Council, the US yesterday
told Syria to withdraw its troops from Lebanon and stop intervening in
the affairs of its smaller neighbours. In retaliation, Syria today told
the US to withdraw its troops from Iraq and stop intervening in the
affairs of the rest of the world.
Syria first sent troops into Lebanon in 1976 to stop the
escalation of the civil war between Muslims and Christians there. The US
first sent troops into Iraq in 2003 which has started the escalation of
the civil war between Shi'ites and Sunnis there.
The UN Security Council in session
Powell defended the US occupation of Iraq, saying US troops
were there to maintain security and protect its interests. "Why can't you
guys collect stamps and have normal interests like regular people?" Tariq
asked during the heated Security Council debate.
The US protested that it had obtained UN approval for
the invasion, which Syria countered by reminding the US that the Security
Council did not approve any unilateral military action.
"Did to!" Powell said.
"Did not!" Tariq replied.
"Ha1 Ha1 Fooled ya!"
"My dad can beat up your dad!"
Meanwhile, in a televised press conference, British Prime
Minister Tony Blair today called for fresh polls in the republic of Ukraine,
following protests by tens of thousands of demonstrators in its capital
Kiev. "In the name of democracy, we urge the Ukrainian government
to listen to the voice of its people and do the right thing. The free world
can hear the shouts of tens of thousands of ordinary Ukrainians who have
flooded the streets of Kiev loudly demanding fresh elections." The rest
of Mr Blair's speech was inaudible due to it being drowned out by the shouts
of hundreds of thousands of ordinary British citizens who flooded the streets
of London loudly demanding an end to the occupation of Iraq.
The Americans and Cubans exchange human rights
abuses this Christmas
|Powell and Ali then discontinued discussions
and attempted to pull each other's hair.
The debate ended in a series of complex diplomatic manoeuvres where the
US tabled a motion for a Resolution demanding Syria immediately leave Lebanon,
to which Syria proposed a counter-Resolution demanding the US immediately
leave Iraq. This was followed by Iraq drafting text for a Motion to be
passed proposing the US and Syria immediately leave it alone and Norway
read a Resolution seeking to immediately leave the room because it needed
to go pass motion.
In another bizarre diplomatic tangle, Cuba retaliated against the Christmas
billboard display erected in the courtyard of the U.S. Embassy supporting
75 jailed Cuban political dissidents by putting up its own billboard opposite
it, emblazoned with large photographs of American soldiers abusing Iraqi
prisoners in Abu Ghraib prison. Somewhat missing the point, the Sudanese
Embassy added to the exchange of human rights abuses by putting up
a billboard in front of its embassy with pictures depicting its
Janjaweed militias massacring civilians.
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||A dispatch from our Embedded
Satirist in Cambridge, Sabri Zain.
For the real story on Lebanon, click
here. And just to prove that fact is sometimes funnier than fiction,
click here to read the actual
story of the Christmas decorations in Cuba.