Friday, August 30, 2013

This time the "NO's" can't all be wrong...a firm, legal and non-military approach in Syria would shock even Assad and his allies

The British Labour Party, the Arab League, many top officials in the Pentagon itself, the Secretary General of the United Nations, even the government of Jordan, and the government of Egypt (such as it is!)...and even some from the normally hawkish Republican Party in the U.S. itself, say, "No!" to a proposal to launch a military strike against Syria. And this list has to be added to the significant abstentions, Russia and China, both of which countries have signalled they will not support a Security Council resolution calling for such a strike, in the light of the "circumstantial" evidence pointing to the use of chemical weapons against the Syrian people.
One former U.S. Secretary of Defence, William Cohen, under President Clinton, also a Republican, urges the White House to take the evidence to the Security Council and the General Assembly of the UN, and call for a vote. If the evidence is substantial and credible, and the Russians and the  Chinese vote against taking action, the world will then know the facts.
Anyone in the world who does not now know about the brouhaha around this issue generated over the last several days has been sleeping under a rock. The publicity around it has quite literally taken over the news coverage, around the clock and around the globe.
There is not a sane person on the planet who does not agree that the use of chemical weapons is both heinous and contrary to the treaty banning their use, emerging from World War I, when poisonous gas was used.
However, the fact that the Assad regime has chemical weapons, stored securely everyone hopes, and the fact that AlQaeda-linked operatives have infiltrated both Syria and previously Iraq, and the fact that their motives include getting their hands on the most lethal weapons imaginable and inflicting them on the United States and its agents everywhere, as well as other "western" countries should and must cause deep consternation in all leaders in the international community. A military strike, no matter now surgical, nor how limited, nor how publicly announced in both timing and targets, will inevitably lead to unintended consequences, and those will also include "collateral damage"....
There are too many alternative routes available for Obama, Cameron, Harper, and other western leaders, including the UN (both Security Council and General Assembly), the International Criminal Court, the U.S. Congress which could and likely would support severe sanctions on the Assad regime and bring additional political pressure to bear on Assad and the rebels to bring both sides to the negotiating table, without resorting to a military strike.
And for the U.S. "to go it alone" as the reports now suggest Obama is considering will be the most regressive step of the Obama administration for the U.S. as well as for Syria, not to mention other countries in the Middle East, and will only serve to blacken the eye of the United States, in the eyes of the world while...while once again pointing to the "wild west cowboy gun-slinger" archetype  which Obama has worked so hard, and so successfully to eradicate since assuming the presidency in 2009 and imposing the U. S. military in a foreign country which cannot and is not a direct threat to the United States.
Trust your moderating and visceral instincts, Mr. Obama, as you have throughout the Syrian conflict!
This is no time to throw those instincts under the bus, for the sake of a few hawk cheers from McCain and a few others who believe that only through the deployment of military missiles, and bombs and other incendiary devices can the United States continue to serve as the world's policeman.
Push as hard as you must rhetorically, Sir,  but resist the political impulse to invade, attack, and "punish" Assad.
The whole world, as Grand Jury, supports his indictment on charges of crimes against humanity. The International Criminal Court would take up the case, if and when the evidence were presented to it. The world knows that wrong has been committed by the Assad regime and the whole world knows also that the U.S. must be a signatory to the treaty establishing the court. This is the time to make the historic move of "firm" and legal and non-military ACTION, without engaging in a military strike of any kind.

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