Every day I see that the stage on which we each play our roles is changing the repertoire. I mean comedies are fine but this is starting to turn into a tragicomedy… and a very poor one for that matter. When we speak of this comedy it instantly reminds me of a quote from a stand-up by an English comedian Eddie Izzard:
… Stalin killed many millions, died in his bed. Well done there. Pol Pot killed 1.7 million Cambodians, died under house arrest aged 72. Well done indeed… And the reason we let them get away with this is they killed their own people. And we’re sort of fine with that. Ah help yourself, you know… We’ve been trying to kill you for ages… Seems to be… Hitler killed people next door… Stupid man. After a couple of years we’re not going to stand for that, will we?
Well… I guess this rule no longer applies. America will soon pay its respects to the fallen in Benghazi last year only to grieve even more knowing that pretty much no * was given that day to try to save them. Yet if someone spreads nerve gas in a desolate war-zone, suddenly all hell breaks loose and immediate strikes are inbound, US Senators urge all countries to bomb the country in question, because neither with a doubt nor an investigation the blame goes to the government of that country.
So… will we soon hear new radio shows starting with Gooooood Morning Syria? The perspective is gloomy as for some reason the American administration looks eager to get actively involved in the civil war, with some sort of military involvement seemingly imminent. What inspires even more curiosity and instantly turns on a red light, is the fact that the administration is so quick to accuse the less favoured of the sides in this conflict without any evidence what so ever. It looks 100% like what we have already seen in 2003.
It does not require rocket science to notice the whole story of the Syrian Army being responsible for using the nerve agent Sarin just does not add up. Knowing that the US has drawn a Red Line for intervention should chem weapons be used and having the whole world closely watching every clash, it would take a madman to issue an order to use such weapons, a madman Bashar Al-Assad (Syrian President) clearly is not. Furthermore, there is no distinct front-line between the rebels and the government forces in the region where the weapons were used. This creates even more doubts. Chem weapons are area effect agents, effective against large concentrations of enemy troops (World War I) over open terrain and not in a densely populated area where no one can distinguish where the exact positions of enemy combatants, let alone their own troops that potentially could have also been hit during such an attack.
The weapons were used and there is by now no doubt about it. However, who used them and why is still vague. This incident bares some similarities to a scorched earth tactic. Used by a defending force in order to deny the attacking force any use of the captured terrain. Following a recent offensive, the upper hand in the conflict is in most areas seized by the government forces. All of this was accomplished using conventional weaponry.
Then there is the issue of the UN Inspectors that were there to investigate the sites of the alleged chemical weapons use. Carla del Ponte, a member of the U.N. Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria, told Swiss TV “Our investigators have been in neighbouring countries interviewing victims, doctors and field hospitals. According to their report of last week, which I have seen, there are strong, concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof of the use of Sarin gas, from the way the victims were treated.”. However, she said her panel had not yet seen any evidence of Syrian government forces using chemical weapons, according to the BBC, but she added that more investigation was needed.
The Syrian Opposition constantly denies responsibility for the attack as they say there is no capability for them to use such weapons. However as the 1995 attacks on the Tokyo Metro have shown no elaborate means are necessary to conduct an attack using sarin gas.
The Syrian Government blames the Opposition Free Syrian Army (FSA) for the attack and foreign journalists are taken into supposed chemical storage depots containing Sarin production agents and the gas itself seized from the FSA in the recent days. This can as well be a prop set up by the government forces.
The question definitely will now be who used the weapons so they might be brought to justice. All sides of this conflict have their hands dripping with blood and we should carefully analyze what each party has to say. What is staggering however, is the ferocity with which the US administration immediately blamed the Syrian Government and has announced that a strike is pretty much only a matter of time. This sort of warmongering will surely not bring any good to the US on the international stage, as such a thing could have been expected of a third world dictatorship like North Korea but not the strongest superpower in the world.
For some reason Syria now has become the main area of interest for the US government, when it should be at the moment more preoccupied by the worsening situation in Egypt. Should the land of the Pharaohs follow the road of Syria and descent into a civil war, this could have catastrophic consequences for the world economy as the Suez Canal could become potentially inaccessible. This perspective for some reason does not seem to concern the US administration.
The biggest beneficiary of this state of affairs seems to be Israel, with both of its biggest rivals in the region being in absolute anarchy. There have been reports of military action by Israel on targets within Syria which prove there is a strong interest in shaping the outcome of the conflict by the Jewish state.
As of now, it looks like the US is prone to strike Syria even if it means violating international law and could potentially spark a conflict far more severe than what we are currently seeing. It was already announced by Secretary John Kerry that the work of the UN Inspectors will be limited to determining if the chem weapons were used or not, since the administration has already decided that it must have been the Syrian government that used them. I do have a gut feeling however, that before the bombs fall, there will be some sort of a stand down between Damascus and Washington, time will tell…