Farewell. The Flying Pig Has Left The Building.

Steve Hynd, August 16, 2012

After four years on the Typepad site, eight years total blogging, Newshoggers is closing it's doors today. We've been coasting the last year or so, with many of us moving on to bigger projects (Hey, Eric!) or simply running out of blogging enthusiasm, and it's time to give the old flying pig a rest.

We've done okay over those eight years, although never being quite PC enough to gain wider acceptance from the partisan "party right or wrong" crowds. We like to think we moved political conversations a little, on the ever-present wish to rush to war with Iran, on the need for a real Left that isn't licking corporatist Dem boots every cycle, on America's foreign misadventures in Afghanistan and Iraq. We like to think we made a small difference while writing under that flying pig banner. We did pretty good for a bunch with no ties to big-party apparatuses or think tanks.

Those eight years of blogging will still exist. Because we're ending this typepad account, we've been archiving the typepad blog here. And the original blogger archive is still here. There will still be new content from the old 'hoggers crew too. Ron writes for The Moderate Voice, I post at The Agonist and Eric Martin's lucid foreign policy thoughts can be read at Democracy Arsenal.

I'd like to thank all our regular commenters, readers and the other bloggers who regularly linked to our posts over the years to agree or disagree. You all made writing for 'hoggers an amazingly fun and stimulating experience.

Thank you very much.

Note: This is an archive copy of Newshoggers. Most of the pictures are gone but the words are all here. There may be some occasional new content, John may do some posts and Ron will cross post some of his contributions to The Moderate Voice so check back.


Saturday, February 4, 2012

Russia, China Veto Syria Resolution

By Steve Hynd

As expected by many, Russia and China have refused to back even a watered-down UNSC resolution on Syria, the only two of 15 member states on the council to vote against the resolution.

Susan E. Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said after the vote that the United States was �disgusted� by the Russian and Chinese vetoes. The council has �been held hostage by a couple of members,� she said, adding that �these members stand behind empty arguments and individual interests while seeking to strip� any resolution of meaningful terms.

�A couple of members of this council remain steadfast in their willingness to sell out the Syrian people and shield a craven tyrant,� Rice said. She said Saturday�s action was even �more shameful� given Russia�s role in selling arms to Assad�s government.


[Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov] said that the resolution was impractical and unfair and voiced concern about adopting what he called �an absolutely unrealistic provision expecting that the government of Syria would withdraw from the cities and towns exactly at the time when the armed groups are taking over the quarters of those cities and towns.�

�We are not friends or allies of President Assad,� said Lavrov, who plans to visit Damascus on Tuesday. �We try to stick to our responsibilities as a permanent members of the Security Council, and the Security Council by definition does not engage in domestic affairs of member states.�

It seems to me there are two main reasons for the vetoes. The first is that of Of $8.2Billion in total arms sales to Syria since 2003, 98% came from Russia or China. The second is not unconnected with that venal motive: the initial wave of the Arab Spring provoked regime change in pro-US nations and both China and Russia were just fine with that, but the second upsurge of revolutionary fervor has been in nations that favored Russia and China, e.g. Yemen, Libya, Syria. Given the way in which Western nations twisted the UNSC resolution on Libya, which talked about separating fighting sides and an arms embargo, into bombing on behalf of the rebels and arming them, neither nation wants to set another precedent where regime change can masquerade as an R2P mission. This resolution was clearly a big step down that road and so it had to be vetoed.

So what next? Susan Rice was unusually blunt for a UN ambassador after the vote, saying that "the United States is disgusted that a couple of members of this Council continue to prevent us from fulfilling our sole purpose here-addressing an ever-deepening crisis in Syria and a growing threat to regional peace and security."

Were this 2002, we might expect some "coalition of the willing" would now be put together by the U.S. to take further steps up to and including military intervention, even without a UNSC imprimatur. But it isn't and Libya further increased international suspicion of R2P militarism. Thus Hillary Clinton is describing the Syrian best case scenario as "similar to what we see now in Yemen."


  1. You'd wonder to whom Rice is playing. Me I think her performance has been mainly amusing during her period at the UN. Oh and maybe someone should diplomatically remind the woman how many times the USA has used it's veto and for which stellar MS supposed democracy. Now that's disgusting fir real in my view. & I suspect most of the world would agree.

  2. Maybe you should get the real story on what's happening in Syria instead of swallowing the BS from Washington. Check Voltaire.Net or Boiling Frogs Post and you might discover that the bloodshed in Syria is being caused by the armed revolutionaries, not by the Assad regime, that the revolutionaries are being trained, armed and funded by the US and NATO, and that the Syrian people support the Assad regime.

  3. I have a problem with anyone referring to THE Syrian people. It sounds too much like those who speak of "real" Americans, referring to any who disagree as "outside agitators."
    This twitpic is tagged "Only in Syria -- a child wipes up the blood of his family." (Google translate)
    I don't read Arabic but @homsi_news seems to be a homeboy from Homs, not an outside agitator.

  4. We live in a nation that has a long history of starting covert proxy wars to undermine the governments of other nations. Why is it so hard to believe we are doing it again? When you read the reports of impartial observers who have actually been on the ground in Syria you get a very, very different picture than that provided by the western mainstream media. If we had an armed resistance movement committing terrorist acts inside the United States, with close ties to a belligerent foreign power, how would we want our government to react?