US, allies at it again
WITH Washington having apparently been itching for another war in West Asia for quite some time now, it may never have been a question of ‘if’, but ‘when’, the United States will launch what it calls ‘limited’ airstrikes in Syria, to decimate the military capabilities of the forces loyal to president Bashar al-Assad. In fact, there are reasons to believe that, as pointed out by many the world over, it would have militarily intervened in Syria within days of the beginning of the ‘civil war’ between the pro- and anti-Assad forces, had the prolonged wars in Afghanistan and Iraq not significantly eroded its global standing — financial, military and diplomatic. As such, along with its Western allies, read poodles, the administration of Barack Obama opted for an equally dangerous means of sustaining instability in Syria, slipping in military and other assistance for anti-Assad forces. The ploy does not seem to have worked in the interest of either the US or its allies; while the Assad regime has since consolidated its position, the rebel forces have appeared increasingly fractured, so much so that the US-led West’s plan to instigate a ‘regime change’ in Syria from within has looked to be in jeopardy. Hence, the intense war cry from the White House.
Not surprisingly, the reason that the US has cited for the necessity of a military intervention in Syria, i.e. the Assad regime has crossed the ‘redline’ by using chemical weapons on the rebels, is questionable, just as its reason for the invasion of Iraq, i.e. the Saddam regime had weapons of mass destruction. As in case of Iraq, in case of Syria, too, the US does not seem to be in any mood to wait for the United Nations inspectors to ascertain if it were the Assad regime or the rebels that had used the chemical weapons, so much so that it is even alleged to have attempted to derail the UN inspection. Moreover, the US has always resorted to duplicity on the issue of the use of chemical weapons, not only in case of Syria. Not only has its own force used chemical weapons in the Vietnam War, for example, the US has also sought to shield Israel from criticism and condemnation by the international community for its use of chemical weapons recently during a military operation in Gaza.
Worryingly still, the US government has also been not known for paying heed to popular opinion, at home or abroad. It is worth noting that the US-led invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq went ahead in defiance of large-scale anti-war protests worldwide. This time, too, there have already been protests against the US plan to militarily intervene in Syria. Awkwardly still for the US, its staunchest ally, the British government, has had its bid for parliamentary approval for strikes on Syria struck down. Meanwhile, a third of the member of US Congress has asked that they should be allowed to vote on any use of American force in Syria.
Of course, the continued carnage in Syria needs to end as soon as possible. Of course, the Assad regime is known for relentless repression on the opposition political forces. However, it needs to be pointed out that the US and its allies, who are crying hoarse for ‘regime change’ in Syria, are the ones to have sided with the Assad regime for years on end. Ultimately, the problem that Syria faces needs to be sorted out from within. Encouragingly, the aspiration for democracy seems to have grown stronger over the years, despite the autocratic attitude and action of the Assad regime. There are certainly ways for the international community to nurture such aspiration and help it translate into reality. Suffice to say, military intervention, overt or covert, is not one of them.
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