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Quote of the Day: Syria and North Korea Cooperate On Missiles and Chemical Weapons


Establishing the origins of such weapons has been difficult. In November, Russia used its Security Council veto to end the work of an independent panel investigating chemical weapons used in the Syrian conflict. The Joint Investigative Mechanism, as it was known, had found that both the Syrian government and Islamic State militants had used chemical weapons in the war, though Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations labeled the panel’s reporting “a joke.”

This is the last paragraph of an article in the New York Times that describes the extensive and long-standing (since the 1960s) cooperation between North Korea and Syria in missile and chemical weapons technology.  The Syrians even built, with North Korean help, a plant to produce plutonium, whose primary use is in nuclear weapons.  Israel bombed and destroyed that plant in 2007.  Russia supports the Syrian government in the civil war and spends a small sum on supporting the North Koreans, primarily to keep the United States off balance.

Stories such as this undermine the futility of attempting to end the use of chemical weapons, or the war on civilians generally.  The United Nations, the only world-wide organization with a mandate to end war, is hamstrung by a civil war that appears to represent the vendetta of a Syrian minority religious community and certain individuals in supreme power from that group against a country full of citizens from other religious faiths.   There is no suitable mechanism in the United Nations to deal with civil wars.

Such disturbances are described as “internal matters” and the UN merely bestows legitimacy on one particular claimant to represent the nation.

After the next world war, if there is a civilization able to sustain any world-wide organizations, perhaps then the issue of civil wars with at last be dealt with by some mechanism.

An idealist would suggest a world-wide court of democratic adjudication which could document the claims of populations and somehow administer justice and rehabilitation to places in danger of destruction by civil war.  Such a court would determine the areas of land to which people could legitimately lay claim and the forms of government that would be established (presumably by consent of the governed.)

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