Last updated: February 17. 2013 8:28AM - 13 Views

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PRIME MINISTER David Cameron didn't just feature on the David Letterman show during his visit to New York. More important was his speech to the United Nations General Assembly, an impressive performance. Much of his address amounted to an impassioned call for greater intervention in Syria.

While not condemning China and Russia by name for blocking efforts to impose sanctions on the Assad regime, he declared that those who aided and abetted Bashar al-Assad had assisted a "reign of terror" that had resulted in the deaths of up to 20,000 civilians, many of them children.

Cameron has put his finger on a genuine problem at the very heart of the world order: How is the international community, an inherently disparate body, to take a stand against a regime that stops at nothing to stay in power, if the U.N. General Assembly has no clout and the Security Council is stymied by China and Russia?

Cameron is right to condemn the regime's tactics, but it is by no means clear that the rebels, who include jihadist elements, would be a moderate and unifying alternative. We should be thinking harder about containing the war and especially its toxic effects on neighboring Lebanon.

London Evening Standard

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