The UN Security Council today released its response to the latest Syrian atrocity after an all night emergency session.
It sought “prompt clarification” from the Syrian Government, a harsh choice of words according to the Russians, who had advocated “a weasel reaction befitting the great tradition of weaselly behaviour within this august body.”
A UN spokesperson said: “We gave a great deal of consideration to the weasel option, but decided to stick to our guns. Although not literally. We don’t actually have any guns. By contrast, we have a warehouse replete with weasels.”
Asked how prompt the “prompt” clarification should be, and what clarifications were required, the spokesperson told us: “We used the word ‘prompt’ in its symbolic sense. As such it expresses the deep sense of outrage felt among member states that they were woken up at 1am after a particularly heavy evening’s dining in Lower Manhatten. This is the fourth time in three months and is getting irksome.
“In its symbolic sense, ‘prompt’ is not intended to convey the urgency one might expect: a month say, or sometime next year. Rather, we would anticipate clarification at some future point within the greater timeframe of the overall conflict. When that is the case, we will be in a position to begin to assess whether there might be grounds to think about negotiations, with a view toward persuading the Assad regime to let our experts survey the site of the incident. If that’s alright with them. No pressure, obviously.
“As for the content of the clarification, we will only know what that might be when we receive the clarification itself. Only then can we judge the extent to which issues have been clarified. Our team of expert clarifiers will be poised ready and able to clarify the clarification, no matter how late at night it may become available.”
Journalists close to the UN report an unusually determined air among the delegates. “We haven’t seen them as fired up as this since Ban Ki Moon got trapped in the john during the Israeli missile crisis,” Steve Gertzman of the Washington Post told me. “I think there’s a very good chance that they might raise their alert status from “Supine” to “A Tad Miffed”. The last time that happened was when Donald Trump moved in next door.”
Meanwhile, in Syria, the population continues to dwindle.