By Ameer Ali –
The one hundred or so missile attacks by the US, UK and France on Syria sent one clear message not only to Syria but to every other tyrant, including those on the American side. That message was: you can kill and massacre your people in any way you want as our civilized friends do in Yemen and Palestine, but not with chemical weapons, because that is barbaric. What about, may we ask, when Saddam Hussain, when he was a “son of our bitch”, gassed thousands of Kurds? Well, that was in the past and Saddam has been hanged in any case. How more hypocritical can one become in playing the power game in international politics?
A tyrant is a tyrant whether that tyrant is one’s friend or enemy; a massacre is massacre and killing is killing, whether those massacres and killings are committed using conventional or unconventional weapons. But to pick and choose when and where to respond against a particular tyrant and a particular massacre by the so called defenders of freedom and civilization shows the height of political hypocrisy. Had the so called NATO humanitarian interventionists intervened early and prevented the escalation of Syrian uprising, long before the Russians were invited by Assad, the world would not have witnessed the almost daily horror scenes shown by the media. Unfortunately, for the champions of NATO, Syria does not possess oil in plenty as Libya does. Also, such intervention may have raised embarrassing questions about US-backed Saudi bombings in Yemen.
Assad may have used chemical weapons, but the evidence for it is only circumstantial. Even a few months earlier there was similar charges levelled against him but credible journalism exposed the canard. To go back further in history, before bombing Iraq Bush administration told the world that Saddam Hussain was roasting babies in the oven and that he had acquired a nuclear device that could explode within forty-five minutes. None of those accusations proved correct. What we have seen is the repeated tactic that once the US manufactures a falsehood and get its media to spread it, US allies fall for it and joins in the action that follows.
Russia has warned that “there will be payback”. One can be rest assured that Russia’s response will not be militaristic. Here is a lesson that tyrants like Assad should learn when seeking support from another superpower. No two superpowers will clash against each other militarily on behalf of a client state because that would be suicidal. Even in the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, Soviet Union withdrew at the last minute to avoid a hot war with US. If USSR could not go to war with US in support of a foremost communist client, will Russia go to war with it now on behalf of a Muslim Syria? Superpowers have their own agendas drawn in their own national interests. This is why Israel has developed its own defence capabilities without having to depend on any outside power in times of need. Iran and North Korea are now trying to imitate Israel’s lead in this respect.
The Syrian crisis must end, and end soon, to save the lives of millions of innocent people. For five years the Syrians are caught in a cycle of violence to which the vast majority of them is not a party. The situation is now becoming even more complicated with the intervention of Turkey, which is determined to exterminate the Kurdish militia. That militia is backed by the US, and Turkey is a US ally as well as a member of NATO. However, in Syria, Turkey believes that a friend of a friend is not necessarily a friend.
One would have thought that the OIC, an international body with fifty-seven Muslim countries as members, will have the resources and skill to intervene and solve problems arising in and between Muslim countries. Alas! Caught in the Shia-Sunni sectarian muddle between Iran and Saudi Arabia, that body is as impotent as the divided UN. Once again, the highly touted slogan “lslam the Answer”, raised by moderate and militant Islamists in the 1980s, remains as hollow as ever.
In the end, one thing is certain. That is, the allied bombing of Syria is not going to solve anything. It is not even going to save Donald Trump and Teresa May from their own leadership predicaments at home. It is not a “mission” but mischief “accomplished”. The end result is more and more Muslims will starve, die and lose their homes. They will continue to practice with distress their scripturally recommended hijra (migration), but in the reverse order, from dharul harb (abode of war) in which they currently live to dharul salam (abode of peace) in Christian West.