Syria: Too many questions

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Next week, the powers that be in Washington DC will decide whether or not to instruct their Congress people on payroll to support Obama’s request to bomb Syria “because they crossed a red line.”  There are already signs which would point towards the fact that POTUS will get enough legislative support to initiate what is grotesquely referred to as “surgical strikes”, as long as he doesn’t put boots on the ground.

There is no honor or moral ground for this American trigger-happy strike. Let me be clear that by saying this I am not establishing a supportive position towards the Bashar Al Assad government nor justifying the alleged use of chemical warfare in the civil conflict in Syria. Having said this, here is a list of reasons for which the U.S. should not unilaterally attack Syria.

  • First and foremost, the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons against combatants and/or civilians has not been (yet) verified or “evidenced” by anyone except the U.S. government. John Kerry’s recent declaration on the subject does not present any evidence whatsoever. He references that this needs to be “discussed directly with the American people” but creates a case for buy-in based on questionable data. Of course, he references the already famous Syria YouTube videos because it is easier to shock and awe via video than presenting actual research and showing real proof… but these videos’ authenticity has been more than questioned even by mainstream U.S. media. Allegations of actors being used to stage attacks and crisis scenes, videos showing staged gun shots to enhance dramatic effect, etc. are flooding the internet and putting huge question marks on how the propaganda war is being fought vs. the war on the ground.
  • The 9-page report that has been declassified in order to generate public support on the attack provides as much real PROOF as that Powerpoint presentation Powell showed the world with Iraq’s WMDs. See the document for yourself… hell, they didn’t even bother to use little fun graphics this time!
  • In that same declaration, Kerry states that Syria should respect the U.N.’s mandate and allow its’ inspection team to draw effective conclusions on the alleged chemical warfare program (min. 7:40) . The level of irony in that is just off the charts! If the U.S. respects the U.N. mandate and the inspection team’s research so much, they should not act preemptively. They should wait for the U.N. inspection team’s report to be published before drawing conclusions on whether or not a strike would be justified (in their own eyes, let alone those of the international community). The report is due to come out within the next three weeks.
  • THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A “SURGICAL STRIKE.” There is nothing “surgical” about bombing another country with questionable evidence and questionable intelligence. If we’ve learned ANYTHING from recent incursions in Afghanistan and Iraq, it is that this “surgical strike” rhetoric is just that. Rhetoric.
  • Today, there is no international community support for a strike against Syria. This is not just a U.S. vs Russia and China in the Security Council discussion. The only relevant country willing to stand by the U.S. on this one, with very questionable motives, is France. The world is sending the U.S. a clear signal: WAIT for the U.N. report and THEN let’s have a real discussion based on FACTS as to how to deal with the Syrian crisis.
  • The “red line” argument has no real bearing in international law. Obama set this standard in order to later justify the incursion by saying “we told them not to cross the line, now they’ve done it and if we don’t attack, we lose face and credibility.” No, Mr. President, a faster way to lose face and credibility is to act irresponsibly and take unilateral decisions in order to look like a badass. Leave that type of behaviour for fourthgraders. You are the leader of the free world. Start acting like it.
  • Whodunnit and who has the authority to respond? If in the end, the conclusion is that chemical warfare was used by insurgents and not the government, then this continues to be a domestic issue, another chapter in a horrible and tragic civil war and the U.S. has no authority to intervene. If it is proven that it was Bashar Al Assad who used chemical weapons, this action needs to be denounced by the international community in international forums within and outside of the UN system but the only one empowered to authorize the use of force, per Chapter VII of the UN Charter, is the United Nations Security Council. I know that the excuse now is that you will never be able to circumvent Russia and China’s veto power BUT if the UN inspection team (and not the U.S.) provides sufficient proof of state use of chemical weapons, enough pressure COULD be put on the superpowers in order to react responsively and responsibly. The U.N. system was created with complex checks and balances for a reason. It SHOULD be hard for countries to attack other countries. That’s the only way to keep hope for peace alive.
  • What’s the hurry, Mr. President? Use of chemical weapons or no use of them, people have been dying and suffering because of this conflict for more than two years. Now that the U.N. says they will publish a report on their inspection you’re in a hurry to bomb before they do? I’m sure your real constituents, those who voted for you, would want you to wait. Hell, I don’t have to say it, Americans are saying it themselves! Congress, THESE are the people you are supposed to work for, not the handful that pour millions of dollars into your campaigns or the Saudi government. Listen to your constituency.      

THERE IS NO INTERNATIONAL WAR SOLUTION FOR THE SYRIAN CONFLICT. A road to peace in the country and the region NEEDS to be political. Mr. Obama: DO NOT UNILATERALLY BOMB SYRIA. There are too many questions unanswered and you’re in too much of a hurry to push the red button.

Dear reader: unfortunately most of us do not have access to make a direct impact or difference in the matter but if you agree with the points herein stated, please circulate this post. Share it with friends and contacts and maybe, just maybe, it will reach the hands of someone with more influence than a concerned citizen of the world and a member of the majority of us who side with the ideal of peace. 

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