US-backed al-Qaeda militants in Syria
“Oh, really? Well then Mr. President, you and NATO should start by arresting those US, British, and Israeli officials who okayed and used WMDs against civilians in Iraq, Lebanon, and Gaza. Remember the white phosphorous in Fallujah? The US and British military forces attacked an entire civilian population with their arsenal of chemical weapons in 2004.”
Syria will not use any chemical or biological weapons against its own people. The Obama Administration and company are just recycling the same lines that were used months earlier against Damascus.
These statements are disingenuous and hollow. They can easily be deconstructed as rhetoric. All we need to do it look at recent history.
In 2011, were not similar charges put forward against another Arab country? Were they not claiming that the late Muammar Qaddafi would use chemical weapons against his own population? Was it not claimed even earlier that Qaddafi and the Libyan military had brought in black-skinned African mercenaries to kill Libyan citizens? Or that Libyan jets were killing Libyan protesters? What happened to the genocide in Benghazi? Now there is nothing but silence and lost memories. Claims were made, morality and responsibility were invoked, and then a rising Arab country was bombarded. An engine of economic progress in Africa was halted in its tracks overnight and an entire society robbed.
There was also the textbook case of Iraq even before the lies about the Libyan Jamahiriya. Did not the Bush Jr. Administration, Tony Blair, and their circle of war criminals-in-office not lie to the entire international community and say that Iraq had a nuclear weapons program and weapons of mass destruction in 2003? What happened to those WMDs? This is not something that can easily be scoffed at. More than one million Iraqis died over the lies conjured by the Anglo-American duo. Not to mention the ecological damage and the intellectual genocide perpetrated against Iraq’s intelligentsia and professional class.
Let us be clear, Syria threatened to use chemical weapons against any invading force on July 23, 2012. Firstly, the statement was made in a defensive context. Secondly, it was directed against military threats. This is very different from planning on using chemical weapons against your own citizens, specifically civilians.
Obama and NATO are sharing the same Script
It is no mere coincidence that both the Obama Administration and NATO are now singing the same threatening tune against the Syrian Arab Republic. Both the US government and NATO are ominously using the same talking points. Of course there is a reason for this of course, and it is not due to any humanitarian concern for the Syrian people.
The threats come at a time when NATO is deploying Patriot missiles to Turkey’s border with Syria under the Orwellian pretext of protecting Turkey’s skies from a Syrian attack. The last thing that the government in Syria will do is attack Turkey. Albeit Israel is the exception, Damascus is too busy trying to clean house to even pose a threat against any of its neighbors. Moreover, is it not Turkey which is openly hosting anti-government militias and arming them from its territory? So, who is really threatening who?
Rhetorically, red lines are being drawing in the shifting sand of the Levant. Obama and NATO have warned that they will not tolerate or allow the Syrian government to use chemical weapons against it own people. They have threatened to hold the government in Damascus to account.
Oh, really? Well then Mr. President, you and NATO should start by arresting those US, British, and Israeli officials who okayed and used WMDs against civilians in Iraq, Lebanon, and Gaza. Remember the white phosphorous in Fallujah? The US and British military forces attacked an entire civilian population with their arsenal of chemical weapons in 2004.
Unlike the US and UK, Syria is part of the small handful of countries that is not a signatory to the Chemical Weapons Convention. What happened to the treaty obligations of the US and UK?
It is funny how the resistance in Fallujah was also called an insurgency back then too. So the US and UK considered Iraqis fighting two invading armies an “insurgency” while they consider foreign-backed militias in Syria as “rebels” and “freedom fighters.” An Orwellian world it is indeed.
As for Israel it is also guilty of the same war crimes. Jacob Edery, an Israeli cabinet minister, even admitted in 2006 that Tel Aviv used white phosphorus after the Red Cross and human rights organizations leaved charges against Israel about using chemical weapons on civilians. It is not Damascus, but Tel Aviv that is the home of pundits and officials who frequently speak about “Doomsday weapons” and the “Samson Option” when referring to their nuclear WMDs.
Yes Mr. President, hold people who use chemical weapons against civilians to account! I could not agree with you anymore.
Will any of the US or British or Israeli leaders involved in these crimes and disregard for legally binding treaties signed by the US be held to “account?” Or is “accountability” a word used as a club or iron stick to beat and punish any government that dares to have a different opinion or foreign policy from yours? Or are you, Mr. President, using the time-honored double-standards that are a hallmark of US foreign policy?
A Controversial question to think over
The Syrians are trying to prevent their chemical weapons from falling into the hands of the GCC/NATO-sponsored anti-government militias that are menacing the Syrian countryside. This is what the Syrian Army has been presently doing. Obama and NATO know that very well too, just like they knew that Libya was not using its military jets to kill Libyan protesters.
International law is a matter of mere convenience. The very same countries posturing negatively towards Syria from a moral high ground have themselves lost their own moral compasses. The US, Britain, France, and NATO have not only refused to commit themselves to a “no first use” policy on their own WMD, specifically nuclear bombs, but have reserved the rights to us nuclear weapons in any war or conflict as a means of insuring their own victories. This includes any conflict with a non-nuclear state.
The US and its allies even deem the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) null and void in the scenario of a major war. What this means is that the NPT and international law are merely followed as a matter of convince by the US and its NATO allies. They will not hesitate to use nuclear weapons the moment that they think they will need them. Yet, they hold Syria to totally different standards.
Agree or disagree, Syria has reserved the right to use chemical weapons in a scenario where it is being invaded. Can Damascus be blamed for threatening to use chemical weapons to protect itself from foreign intervention? Especially in light of the position of the US to use nukes to ensure victories that are favorable to it and its allies. Why the double standards?
Chemical Weapons are a new excuses for aggression against Syria
Anyone that thinks that the US government has the best interests of the Syrian people at heart needs a history lesson. Better yet, they need to look at how Obama’s partners in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and the feudal Arab petro-sheikhdoms are treating their own people. These feudal desert dictatorships answer their own protestors, who are demanding for democracy and basic civil rights, with bullets and tank fire.
Barak Obama, the CEO of Democracy Inc., wants to export his democratic success story from Libya to Syria very badly. His administration has been trying for over a year now without success. Forget the foreign fighters being exported to Syria from Libya. Forget the weapon supplies that the CIA has been gathering and sending to Syria and Lebanon from its secret base in Benghazi that worked under the cover of the US Department of State. Now Obama’s Democracy Inc. wants democracy to reign down on all Syria like bombs, literally.
What we see is a new sales pitch. First it was a mix of democracy and human rights. Then it became preventing genocide. Now the genocide theme is being continued, but a WMD dimension added.
The noose is being tightened around Syria. All the talk about chemical weapons is being used to justify the deployment of NATO’s missiles on the borders of Syria. The deployment of the Patriot missiles comes at a time when there are reports that there is a new aggressive push to rearm the anti-government forces in Syria. A “no-fly zone” or, as it is called in US/NATO doublespeak, a “humanitarian corridor” around Aleppo and Syria’s northern border territories is on the Obama Administration’s wish list. So the plot thickens and Democracy Inc. reinvent’s its brand with new marketing.
An award-winning author and geopolitical analyst, Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya is the author of The Globalization of NATO (Clarity Press) and a forthcoming book The War on Libya and the Re-Colonization of Africa. He has also contributed to several other books ranging from cultural critique to international relations. He is a Sociologist and Research Associate at the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), a contributor at the Strategic Culture Foundation (SCF), Moscow, and a member of the Scientific Committee of Geopolitica, Italy. He has also addressed the Middle East and international relations issues on several TV news networks including Al Jazeera, teleSUR, and Russia Today. His writings have been translated into more than twenty languages. In 2011 he was awarded the First National Prize of the Mexican Press Club for his work in international investigative journalism. More articles by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya