The United Nations Security Council needs some quiet time.
The past week was the most fraught in the council’s recent history, as the U.S. and its friends went all-out to shame Russia over its Syrian ally’s use of chemical weapons in Douma. The Russians responded with a furious barrage of denials, accusing the Westerners of whipping up the controversy to justify a military response. The two sides met almost daily to berate each other in baroque terms, with U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley claiming the Russians’ hands were “covered in the blood of Syrian children.”
By the end of the week, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was warning the council that the Cold War was back. After the U.S., Britain and France launched missile strikes at military targets in Damascus and Homs on Saturday, Russia tabled a council resolution declaring the action illegal. While this failed, with only China and Bolivia supporting Moscow’s position, it is unlikely to mark the end of this diplomatic clash.