John Kerry, the US Secretary of State, says there is no doubt the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons against their own people. President Obama has made similar comments through his press secretary. David Cameron, British Prime Minister, has echoed the words of both men, as has President Francois Hollande of France. Vice President Joe Biden today condemned ‘Syria’s heinous act’. US Defense Secretary Hagel has told the world the US is ready to go to war again, as soon as the President gives the order.
There is still no direct evidence to link the recent chemical attacks with Assad’s regime. The US government says it has sufficient evidence of Assad’s involvement, even though the UN weapons inspector’s have produced no report, as yet.
There’s no evidence of CIA involvement, either, but neither was there over the unseating of Iran’s democratically elected Prime Minister, Mohammad Mossadeq, in 1953; a coup that allowed the US-friendly Shah to return to power. It was carried out “as an act of US foreign policy” according to recently released CIA documents that provide a plethora of evidence – sixty years later.
No-one’s suggesting the CIA was responsible for the horrific use of chemical weapons in Syria, but given their record, it’s highly likely they’re covertly assisting the rebels against Assad’s regime.
US officials have stated that only the regime had the weapons and the rockets to deliver them to their targets, but isn’t it possible a rebel faction (of which there are many) has acquired some? A number of Assad’s high-up military personnel have defected to the other side. Some may have the knowledge and the ability to get their hands on these weapons.
Given US President Obama’s somewhat loud-mouthed boast at the beginning of the conflict, declaring US military involvement if Assad crossed the ‘red line’ and utilized chemical weapons, and knowing how desperate the rebel side is to drag the West into the war on their side, what better way than to gain control of some of these weapons and use them against opposing rebel factions?
It’s possible the regime was responsible for this dreadful act, but it must be considered unlikely, given that Assad presently has the upper hand in the conflict. Why would they risk the military wrath of the West by such senseless action?
There can be no doubt that America and the West desire the toppling of Bashar al-Assad’s regime. Equally, though, the last thing they want is an outright victory by the rebel factions, with the resultant nosedive into tribal and religious strife that, as in Iraq, could continue for decades and further inflame the Middle East.
Talking on the BBC’s ‘HardTalk’ program today, Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN-Arab League Envoy to Syria, appears to be the only one exhibiting a modicum of common sense.
Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN-Arab League Envoy to Syria, has called for continued political efforts, both inside the country and internationally, to end the conflict.
Speaking to the BBC’s Sarah Montague for the Hard Talk programme, he said there was no military solution, urging all parties to “work harder together” to find a political answer to the crisis.
The American media, and its politicians, are presently awash with virtuous and righteous indignation over the appalling images emanating from Syria. Cries of, “We must do something!” echo from every Washington office.
Sententious umbrage is all very well, but before one can stare back at the world from the high ground of moral righteousness it’s as well to remember how such lofty heights were achieved:
Remember Agent Orange, My Lai, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, No Gun Ri, the massacres at Canicatti and Dachau, Fallujah, Guantanamo Bay, the 140 (approx) innocent children slaughtered by US drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen…to name just a few of the many US war crimes gone unpunished?
It is a fact that the United States, with or without its Western allies, has failed to produce any satisfactory military solution anywhere in the world since World War II.
Syria is unlikely to be the first.
 “CIA documents acknowledge its role in Iran’s 1953 coup” BBC, August 20th 2013
 “Syria conflict: ‘There is no military solution'” BBC, August 27th 2013
 “names of kids killed by drones in Pakistan and Yemen” Smirking Chimp, January 21st 2013