Will there be a war?
“There’s every indication that Assad did it,” said Theresa May, the Prime Minister of UK. She was paraphrasing Bush’s side-kick Tony Blair who said he had solid proof that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. In truth there is no indication, whatever, that Assad gassed his own people.
Assad had no motive. Slowly but steadily he is winning the war. He gains nothing from this biblical kind of annihilation of innocent women children and babies in the womb. He knows that any accusation of his doing it – even if he didn’t do it – would only bring him trouble, destroying the result of his perseverance in the face of opposition from the most powerful in the world – United States and its madcap president, the Shia-hating Saudi Arabia, most of the Arabian sheikdoms and, to some extent, the remnants of an Islamic State which has most of its tail between its legs.
So who has the motive?
Israel. The country is at a disadvantage in its war of attrition and proxy battles with Iran. Its dreaded enemy, Hezbollah who alone has the determination to fight Israel, has got a foothold in Syria. With Trump stating his intention to withdraw his military from Syria, announced just a week ago, Israel needed an escalation of the strife within Syria to forestall the withdrawal. Israel possesses chemical weapons and has never shown any hesitation in attacking refugee camps or Hospitals or in killing children. Just as importantly, a war raging in its neighbourhood would gift its Prime Minister Netanyahu breathing time from the stranglehold of twin-indictment in corruption cases.
Saudi Arabia. The Wahabi-dominated government, despite all its pretensions of modernisation, cannot tolerate the ultimate victory of Assad, a Shia. Saudis have been bombing Syria relentlessly and have not been known for its human rights – even when judged by US standards.
Donald Trump. In one of his knee-jerk tweets, Trump announced that the US military should prepare to withdraw from Syria, now that the war was almost won. This shocked the GOP, it shocked the military which had a stake in being anywhere and everywhere, and it shocked the arms dealers. Trump had to have a way out of the tangle he got himself into. What better way than to cause some ‘collateral damage’ by gassing a few thousand civilians in distant Syria, killing a few scores of children and damaging the lungs and hearts of a few hundred? Notice that no American soldier was in the town where the chemical weapon was used.
CIA. The ubiquitous international bully who needs to keep itself occupied by creating trouble in as many parts of the world as it could.
Western propaganda machine had never rusted – but it is being oiled and put into better use again. Assad is a Russian stooge, they say, and call Syria Putin’s client-regime. They conveniently forget who, in their excitement of Arab Spring toppling inconvenient governments, tried toppling Assad and thereby inviting Russia into the fray – Nobel Peace-Prize winner Obama. When a chemical weapon was used on Syrian civilians and Obama decided that the red line he drew had been crossed and it called for war. Putin suggested that all chemical weapons in Syria be inspected, packed and sent away. Assad agreed cheerfully; Obama was happy he didn’t have to go down in history in disgrace the way his predecessor did. in June 2014, Ahmet Uzumcu, of Organization for Prevention of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) from Hague announced that the last of the chemical weapons have been removed from Syria.
So how did chemical weapons spring up again in the arsenal of Assad? The propaganda machine comes up with the answer: North Korean engineers are helping Assad’s men to develop and manufacture chemical weapons again. Do they have any proof? You do not need proof to tell lies designed to shoot two dogs with one shot.
Unied States, UK and France together claim to have bombed Syria’s chemical weapons facilities. What would you expect to happen when a ‘chemical weapon facility’ is bombed? Storage silos, bins, barrels or whatever facilities they store chemical weapons would explode and release chemicals killing all lives around the place. The nations who did the bombing did not expect this to happen because they did not expect to find any poison gas in those ‘facilities’ that they bombed. They destroyed whatever else – other than chemical storages – and machies that Syrian army had in those buildings. Trump and his gang of four (or five, or however many) lying through their teeth is to be expecte,d, Theresa May cannot but toe the Trump line, but young and supposedly fair-minded Macron?
So will Trump mount further attacks on Syria if Assad does not buckle? Putin, the man who trounces Russia’s Judo champion in an impromptu match, has threatened to strike at the strikers. So far, while the West ground its teeth, Putin has only won – whether in a local judo match or in Crimea. He swatted sanctions like you’d swat mosquitoes and was none the worse for it in the elections that came later. Iran with its powerful military battle-trained and hardened in its resistance to US bullying, will not hold back either – it has displayed its determination in Syria as well as in Yemen. The Shias are fighting a battle of do-or-die. They would rather do before they die. Like it or not, Hezbollah is a powerful force of men ready to destroy Israel and die in the bargain. Americans won’t be able to carpet-bomb Syria the way they did in Iraq and get away with it.
There’s no easy victory for Americans on the cards. There’s a lot of disgrace for Trump, as if he is not disgraced enough within his own party and within his own country.
Is there a way out from this impasse? Yes, if you remember what Theresa May said to the Republicans of Philadelphia in January last year: “the days of Britain and America intervening in sovereign countries in an attempt to remake the world in our own image are over”.
Realize the home truth in that idea. Withdraw from the Middle East on condition that Putin would withdraw as well. It’s a Sunni-Shia war. Shias might be the weaker force in sheer numbers, but the Sunnis are also fighting a Caliphate usurper on the one hand and the Kurds on the other at the same time. Let them fight it out.
If the religion of peace needs an eternal war, give it to them. Keep the world out of it.