By Tim Montgomerie
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The situation in Syria is dreadful. Only today we have read reports of a Government-led massacre in Homs of 200 innocent people. Daniel Korski has compared it to Srebrenica.
Earlier today William Hague urged other members of the United Nations Security Council to join with Britain, France, the USA and the Arab League nations in passing this draft resolution:
It was not a radical motion. The draft resolution simply condemned the violence, called for the regime in Damascus to allow peaceful protest, initiate a new political process and urged full co-operation with the Arab League's observer mission. Some of us think it was a weak motion. In a statement just issued by the Foreign Office Mr Hague notes that the resolution didn't even call for sanctions – let alone a military intervention. "There was nothing in the draft to warrant opposition," Mr Hague says, and continued: "How many more need to die before Russia and China allow the UN Security Council to act?"
America's ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice was even less diplomatic. She described the veto, exercised by Russia and China, as "shameful". The two nations had sold out the Syrian people, she said, and had shielded "a craven tyrant". "Any further bloodshed that flows will be on their hands," she added.
Russia, in particular, has behaved disgracefully. Even now – with blood flowing down Syria's streets – it is still selling arms to the Assad regime. I hope today will remind those people who worship the UN that it is, at heart, a very flawed body. Up until recently Gaddafi's Libya chaired the UN's human rights body. Why do the likes of Ming Campbell think that international action is only legitimate when authorised by Putin, the bomber of Grozny, and the Chinese Communist Party of Tiananmen Square? Anyone for a League of Democracies?
11.15am: Melanie Phillips: "Russia is actually propping up the Assad regime, and has supplied it with the weapons being used to massacre Syria’s population. Yet through its membership of the UN Security Council, Russia is able to block a move to end that bloodshed. This is tantamount to the fox being given control of the hen-house."