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Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Obama: preparing to attack Syria?

There are ominous signs that the US is preparing for military intervention against Syria. As in Iraq, it is of course the pretext of WMD - this time the potential movement of Syrian chemical and biological weopons - that is being deployed to rationalise US aggression. The New York Times quotes Obama as saying:
We cannot have a situation in which chemical or biological weapons are falling into the hands of the wrong people.
In other words, the US President is implying that such weapons could fall into the hands of Islamist militants including Al-Qaeda. This comes a day after Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennadii Gatilov claimed that:
Yet more facts have appeared, including those in the mass media, about the massive scale of the supply of weaponry manufactured in the West to the Syrian opposition through third countries.
Today, the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met with Chinese State Councillor Dai Bingguo as well as a Syrian government delegation, and issued a statement reiterating their opposition to foreign intervention in Syria, emphasising "the need to strictly adhere to the norms of international law and the principles contained in the UN Charter, and not to allow their violation". No country or group of nations, in their opinion, should pursue a policy of imposing "democracy by bombs". The message from Moscow and Beijing to Obama is clear: stay out of Syria. The question is, will the world's sole military hyperpower take heed of these words, or instead pursue the reckless policy of destabilising and destroying another Arab state with no clear vision of what is likely to come next? Some within America's Christian fundamentalist eschatological fringe may rave with enthusiasm at such a potential portent of the coming of the 'end times', but rational beings everywhere will instead shudder at the likely mass bloodletting which will ensue.

It is widely known that Islamist militants, including some holding UK passports, have entered Syria in order to destabilise the Assad regime, and that regional powers such as Saudi Arabia appear to have been funding the uprising. Whatever should happen, Syria's internal problems are not our problems, and the UK should not interfere in Syrian affairs. However, just as in Libya, there has been a clamour for intervention within our foreign policy establishment that has been paralleled by the BBC's emotive tenor favouring direct intervention. We should not succomb to such propaganda. Atrocities are being committed in Syria, and they are being committed by both sides. However, the so-called "activists" of the "Opposition" are not, on the whole, humane Western-style democrats. Islamism looks set to come to Syria aided, no matter how unwittingly, by the US and the UK. Life under Assad may have been bad for some people, but for others, particularly Christians and Alawites, many may find that they have no lives at all once his regime is gone. If Syria fragments, what happens to her neighbouring states? What impact, in particular, will this have on Turkey? Ethnic and confessional groups straddle borders, and hundreds of thousands of refugees threaten to add an additional destabilising influence to the mix.


  1. "We cannot have a situation in which chemical or biological weapons are falling into the hands of the wrong people."

    but we can do something to hand them an entire country.

    what a turd you are mr "president".

    1. He, like most Western politicians in power, has a blind spot with respect to the likely undesirable outcome of Assad's overthrow.

  2. Bilbo

    I do not like foul language on a website but in this case I have to point out :

    A 't**d' is usefull and medically necessary. Obama isn't !

    Ivan Winters

  3. "We cannot have a situation in which chemical or biological weapons are falling into the hands of the wrong people."

    They are in the hands of the deranged and incompetent in America.


    1. The US, generally speaking, has an unhealthy amount of power, both hard and soft, that it employs to great effect in imposing its neoliberal globalism upon the world. Contrary to what some would have us believe, this is a basic stance shared by Republicans and Democrats who cleave to the belief in American exceptionalism; America as a millennial hyperpower - a "redeemer nation" as one author once put it. Obama is deeply flawed, whereas Romney, given the foreign policy pronouncements that he has made so far, is equally dangerous in other ways. His belligerence with respect to Russia marks him out as anti-European (i.e. not anti-EU, but anti-European - quite an important distinction). The US - both Republican and Democrat - is no friend of the national self-determination of European peoples.


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