Friday was another shameful day for the Biden administration and the United States:
The United States vetoed a United Nations resolution Friday backed by almost all other Security Council members and dozens of other nations demanding an immediate humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza. Supporters called it a terrible day and warned of more civilian deaths and destruction as the war goes into its third month.
The excuses that Robert Wood, the U.S. deputy ambassador, gave for opposing the resolution added insult to injury. He said that a ceasefire would “only plant the seeds for the next war,” as if the continuation and intensification of the current war weren’t already doing that to a much greater extent. The resolution called for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire and the unconditional and immediate release of all hostages, but the U.S. representative had the gall to call it “unbalanced.”
The U.S. objected that the process had been “rushed,” but speed is obviously crucial when there is a major humanitarian crisis that requires urgent attention. If the U.S. hadn’t shot down other Security Council resolutions on this conflict over the last two months, the situation would not be quite as far gone as it is. Wood claimed that the resolution was “divorced from reality,” but nothing could be more divorced from reality than an administration that is actively stoking the conflict while pretending that a ceasefire is bad for the cause of peace.
The resolution that the U.S. vetoed had the support of almost 100 other member states, including several major treaty allies. Vetoing this measure doesn’t just leave the U.S. isolated on the world stage, but it also confirms in the eyes of the world that our government is a rogue great power that cannot be trusted. In addition to being profoundly wrong in itself, this veto will do significant damage to our country’s reputation in the eyes of almost all other nations in the world. Agnes Callamard of Amnesty International summed it up well:
US veto of ceasefire resolution displays callous disregard for civilian suffering in face of staggering death toll. It is morally indefensible, a dereliction of the US duty to prevent atrocity crimes and a complete lack of global leadership. Just appalling.
Daniel Larison is a contributing editor for Antiwar.com and maintains his own site at Eunomia. He is former senior editor at The American Conservative. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.