What US Got Most Crucially Wrong in UN Veto

The U.S. has again vetoed a Security Council resolution urging an immediate end to the killing in Gaza, in essence backing the ongoing genocide, writes Joe Lauria.

The Security Council on Oct. 18, when it failed to adopt a resolution calling for humanitarian pauses in Gaza due to a U.S. veto. (UN Photo/Evan Schneider)

By Joe Lauria
Special to Consortium News

The United States has once again voted for genocide before all the world. 

There is no government in the world that has more power to put an end to probably the worst crime of the century than the United States. 

And yet on Friday at the U.N. Security Council Washington vetoed a resolution that would have demanded an immediate ceasefire and an end to Israel’s unmitigated slaughter. The U.S. blocked the measure because it unequivocally wants the killing to continue. 

It can talk all it wants about its rejection of the resolution because it did not condemn Hamas’ attack on Oct. 7.  But the crux of the U.S. justification for a vote that has brought it worldwide condemnation is a willfully ignorant statement about the cause of this war. 

In the U.S. explanation of its veto, the U.S. deputy ambassador Robert Wood said: 

“Perhaps most unrealistically, this resolution retains a call for an unconditional ceasefire. I explained in my remarks this morning why this is not only unrealistic but dangerous: it would simply leave Hamas in place, able to regroup and repeat what it did on October 7. …

As long as Hamas clings to its ideology of destruction, any ceasefire is at best temporary and is certainly not peace. And any ceasefire that leaves Hamas in control of Gaza would deny Palestinian civilians the chance to build something better for themselves.”

This formulation reveals the U.S. government’s twisted thinking. The occupation of the West Bank and the blockade of Gaza are not the causes of this and previous wars, but instead Hamas’ “ideology of destruction.” Which stems from what? Just some evil DNA?

Thus for the U.S. the solution is not ending the occupation but maintaining the slaughter supposedly to destroy Hamas, even though Israel has killed relatively few of its fighters and none of its top commanders and is instead waging a war of annihilation against the Gazan people.  

World Not Buying It

This is clear in every capital of the world, including Washington. The worldwide reaction to the U.S. veto shows an understanding that the United States, that great champion of human rights, unequivocally supports genocide. 

The veto was a slap in the face of U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres, who took the rare move of invoking Article 99 of the U.N. Charter to call for the Security Council to act.

He wrote to the Council that “amid constant bombardment by the Israeli Defense Forces and without shelter or essentials to survive, I expect public order to completely break down soon due to the desperate conditions, rendering even limited humanitarian assistance impossible.”   

In response, the United Arab Emirates drew up a resolution that expressed “grave concern” over the “catastrophic situation” in Gaza. The resolution demanded an immediate humanitarian ceasefire,  immediate and unconditional release of hostages and humanitarian access. 

Thirteen countries, including U.S.- ally France, voted in favor, Britain abstained, and the U.S., the one country that can end the bloodshed, vetoed.   

Anger at the U.S. spread quickly. 

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said the U.S. veto made it “complicit” in war crimes. “The president has described the American position as aggressive and immoral, a flagrant violation of all humanitarian principles and values, and holds the United States responsible for the bloodshed of Palestinian children, women and elderly people in the Gaza Strip,” Abbas’ office said in a statement.

Avril Benoit, executive director of Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres, or MSF) USA said:

“By vetoing this resolution, the US stands alone in casting its vote against humanity. The US veto stands in sharp contrast to the values it professes to uphold. By continuing to provide diplomatic cover for the ongoing atrocities in Gaza, the US is signaling that international humanitarian law can be applied selectively — and that the lives of some people matter less than the lives of others …. The US veto makes it complicit in the carnage in Gaza.”

Human Rights Watch said in a statement: “By continuing to provide Israel with weapons [and] diplomatic cover as it commits atrocities, including collectively punishing the Palestinian civilian population in Gaza, the US risks complicity in war crimes.”

It takes a special kind of arrogance to ignore such criticism. 

Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former U.N. correspondent for The Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, and other newspapers, including The Montreal Gazette, the London Daily Mail and The Star of Johannesburg. He was an investigative reporter for the Sunday Times of London, a financial reporter for Bloomberg News and began his professional work as a 19-year old stringer for The New York Times. He is the author of two books, A Political Odyssey, with Sen. Mike Gravel, foreword by Daniel Ellsberg; and How I Lost By Hillary Clinton, foreword by Julian Assange. He can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @unjoe

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18 comments for “What US Got Most Crucially Wrong in UN Veto

  1. CaseyG
    December 11, 2023 at 20:05

    Yes, Free Julian and Daniel Hale—it’s the Human thing to do. And yet Joe Biden has lost his mind and appears not to worry about what is happening to our planet—- our only home.. Perhaps Kamala will be a human being. The hypocrisy, Biden is shocking and revolting. I have a dream that red balloons filled with red paint and they would fly above the White House—-and pop leaving red, the color of blood all over Washington D.C. in a reminder of what America has become.

    I wish I could take red balloons and fill them with red paint and float them all over D.C. to remind us all how horrible wars can be. Every balloon a memory of someone in Gaza.

  2. Ike Hall
    December 11, 2023 at 13:04

    The only upsides to this are 1. The world is on notice that the United States can no longer be tolerated on its hectoring about human rights, and 2. The veto was perhaps the required step to take control out of the UNSC and give it to the General Assembly. This will be the moment that we will look back on when either the UN decided enough is enough or became completely irrelevant.

  3. Jeff Harrison
    December 11, 2023 at 11:48


  4. bguwu
    December 11, 2023 at 09:49

    They’re going with tight control over population. They start with kids. Even schools are a warfare sector.
    Commenting from illegal detention. Detained for suffering atrocities in Belgium.
    They don’t do reality. Reality is psychosis to them. They’re really psychotic.

  5. mgr
    December 11, 2023 at 08:59

    The US supports genocide, or anything else (for example, to the last Ukrainian…), when it’s convenient for its interests. That, apparently, is the inviolate rule which nothing supersedes.

    Even more, the key to understanding America’s current position on things is always found in the calculus of what is in Biden’s best interest. No policy strays from that. Of course, this has been true for Biden’s entire public life. No surprise there. There is nothing more to him than that. Never was. But also, nor for the corporate Democratic party, which is why it is standing up in lockstep support for genocide with him. And so, here we are today.

    • irina
      December 11, 2023 at 13:06

      It’s becoming quite apparent that Biden’s obvious oil interests in Ukraine (via Hunter
      on the Burisma board) have become oil interests on steroids in the Gaza Strip, as per
      this timely and very relevant article :


    • Paula
      December 11, 2023 at 14:18

      I was banned from X because one person said the US hand raised at the UN vote looked like a Nazi salute. I took it one step further and was banned for saying, “Heil Hitler from the USA.” X is known for free speech but mine was deemed “violent and promoting hate.” Go figure.

      • JonnyJames
        December 12, 2023 at 11:30

        Free Speech? According to the whim of the oligarch-ownership. Twitter/X or any “social media” was never about free speech it is about profits and power. As Yanis Varoufakis calls it Techno Feudalism. Debt Peonage and Techno Feudalism is what we have to look forward to.

        That’s what happens when society allows unlimited “private property” and monopolies.

      • AA from MD
        December 12, 2023 at 12:50

        If only you had bazooka and killed palestinians, you would have been hailed as saviour. Being sarcastic online, no, we can’t have that. You are threat. You need to be banned.

  6. BigStu
    December 11, 2023 at 08:33

    We seem to think of the US government and the Israeli government as being two distinct entities.

    They’re not.

  7. bevin
    December 11, 2023 at 00:31

    Do you notice that in Albanese’s X tweet Robert Ford is shown vetoing the Ceaasefire resolution by making a certain salute with his right hand. A Freudian slap?

  8. Ace Thelin
    December 10, 2023 at 20:54

    Thanks Joe. It is so painful. Keep writing and speaking out. We must escalate our resistance and actions.

  9. robert e williamson jr
    December 10, 2023 at 20:02

    Who in the hell is running U.S. foreign policy, Trumpites??!

    I cannot tell the difference! Beau of the Fifth Column agrees with MR. Hunkins and so do I.

    What is wrong with this picture, the U.S. publicly siding with a country actively engaged in genocide. Beau didn’t say this but it is the unequivocal truth.

    JOE BIDEN just because the U.S. has gotten away with this behavior more than once never makes it right. You claim you love your family , are you telling us your values belong only to you. Frigging shameful!

    Mr. Lauria has done an exemplary job of pointing out to our befuddled president he has become part of the problem and willfully led out country down the road to perdition, following the soulless leader of Israels blood lust campaign. Sir, have you No decency!

    You continue with this unadulterated bull shit and you will play hell getting elected.

    What in the name of Dog is wrong with these people, so willing to overlook the decades of suppression and inhumane treatment of the Palestinians. and demand Hamas be condemned for their actions, then openly engage in actions that are worse.

    Actions like these fail any moral test and always have.

    Our government is well on it’s way to becoming an uncontrollable monster, if it isn’t one already!

    Read it and weep!

    I sincerely wish I didn’t have to write this but my conscious dictates I do. I have a four year old grandson I hope grows up in a world devoid of this senseless killing. What have we come to?

    The truth is merciless “Uncle Yoyo – Joey” For the sake of Dog stop this now!

    As always thanks to CN

    • robert e williamson jr
      December 11, 2023 at 14:11

      I need to clear this up, What Beau claimed is the U.S. veto vote is a big mistake. That is all.

      On must understand first and foremost is that this man is super intelligent and focuses most on doing “Good”. The news he reports is well vetted and his opinions held close to his vest. In the end he is correct with most all of his observations.

      The difference here is the obvious difference of doing what is right or becoming a tool of death to innocents.

      I believe Netanyahu and his select group of “friends of death to the innocent” have lost all sense of reality.

      U.S. leadership is again failing the citizens of the U.S., just as with CIA’s J.J. Angleton and his secret dealings with Israel, the war in Vietnam, 911, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the debacle in Ukraine.

      The planet is on fire and our government is actively engaged in fighting that fire with gasoline.

      Now there is a thought for everyone to consider.

      Thanks CN

  10. Lois Gagnon
    December 10, 2023 at 18:25

    The miscreants in the White House and congress seem to believe they have achieved absolute impunity for their on going criminal behavior. They couldn’t be more wrong. This country is going to pay dearly for this veto. We are courting disaster on a grand scale. It was bound to happen given the trajectory we have been on.

    The people of the US need to publicly distance ourselves from Washington’s actions and apologize to the Palestinian people and the world. We have been sidelined by the capture of our government by AIPAC and other entities which buy our no longer representatives to do their bidding instead of ours. We need more people in the streets. Tens even hundreds of thousands.

  11. anon
    December 10, 2023 at 17:52

    Don’t worry, the ICC is on the job, though it has to concentrate on issuing arrest warrants for Putin for the crime of evacuating children to safety, and for any cheeky leaders in Africa who object to their countries being raped by Blackrock.

  12. Drew Hunkins
    December 10, 2023 at 15:50

    We are led by immoral repugnant cretins.

    Washington will never live this sickening veto down. With the emerging and expanding BRICS, the BRI and the growing autonomy of the Global South, this veto will live in infamy as one of many solid nails in its coffin of eventual irrelevancy.

    • Carolyn L Zaremba
      December 10, 2023 at 20:57

      I agree wholeheartedly. No amount of whitewashing or cavilling will remove this stain from the United States and Israel. But especially the United States. With most of the world joining BRICS and supporting the Belt and Road, recognizing the U.S. as a dying empire, the worst stupid thing the U.S. could have done was this. It was bad enough when the U.S. and/or NATO was slaughtering people mostly out of sight. But now with worldwide independent media, we are seeing it play out LIVE. This is what motivated the anti-war factions against Vietnam. That’s why mainstream media was abruptly muzzled. But the truth will out. It always does in the end.

      Since there is no longer anything to hide about these war crimes, Julian Assange needs to be freed immediately, along with Daniel Hale and every other journalist or whistleblower that the U.S. and its toadies have tried to silence.

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