Syria: Over by Christmas or Voices from the Past?

French President François Hollande jumped straight in declaring in more Sarkozy-style fashion than ex-President Sarkozy himself that he would attack Syria. That was even before the UN investigators had been shot at by some unidentified people. Then, President Obama and Prime Minister David Cameron, probably for FOMO, got in on the act too. Their fear of missing out just really got the better of them, didn’t it? But, any intervention in Syria will just end up being an omnishambles entirely. It will be mismanaged, littered with a string of miscalculations and blunders just like in every other war that those countries have entered into in the past 60 years. It’s as if we might be sitting by the transistor still in front of the fire on a September day in the early hours of the outbreak of World War I and hearing ‘it’ll all be over by Christmas’ accompanied by traditional crackling and interference. They thought that Iraq was going to be a short, sharp shock. They thought that Afghanistan was going to be over with a bim, bam, boom.  They still think they will be home in time for Christmas and that they will be able to get on with tapering.

Russia tentatively tried to warn that there would be “catastrophic consequences” if there were an intervention. Both Obama and Cameron have stated that they would bypass the United Nations Security Council in order to intervene in Syria. But, the investigators there are intended to discover whether or not there had been an attack involving chemicals weapons.

According to experts that have seen the scenes that are unfolding on our TV screens, there seems little doubt that there has been a chemical weapons attack. Al-Assad has even admitted that it was carried out (by the rebels). But, the role of the UN investigators was not in the slightest to determine who used those weapons and in what aim. Surely, we should be told as citizens of those countries taking action today to intervene in the Syrian internal conflict and find out exactly who did what. Bachar al-Assad has stated: “First they level the accusations, and only then they start collecting evidence…How can the government use chemical weapons, or any other weapons of mass destruction, in an area where its troops are situated? This is not logical. That’s why these accusations are politically motivated, and a recent string of victories of the government forces is the reason for it.

France has already announced that it is stepping up the arming of the Syrian rebels with immediate effect. 70% of UScitizens were against the arming of those rebels before the US administration took the decision to do so also. Those weapons will most certainly end up in the wrong hands as they have always done in past conflicts. The rebels are more divided than united in any case in Syria. The rebels are no longer what they were in the beginning, a group of defectors from the Syrian army, but they have been transformed into varying groups of civilians.

  • They are uncoordinated and any contact with the rebels means that their individual trust must be gained, taking time and effort to get that together.
  • The Free Syrian Army has no control over the Islamist radical rebels and they are separate entities fighting the same conflict almost on an individual basis.
  • Arming rebels only maintains the conflict in place.
  • Libya proved that and so did Afghanistan.
  • Arming the Mujahideen in Afghanistan in the 1980s was of the making of the Western world entirely and that ended in the rise of the Taliban.
  • The rest is history (at least for some of us, but rarely for those living in that country).
  • The French, the British and the US have nothing more than a short-sighted vision of what will take place in Syria, and are keeping in mind their necessity to improve their popularity ratings.
  • But, they should take heed of the fact that no war is short and sharp and no war will leave the country in a healthy financial state.

The consequences will indeed be catastrophic. Syria will defend itself against the perhaps groundless excuses that have been created. It’s like George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Tony Blair all over again. It’s just the faces and the names and the political leanings that have changed a little, but the speeches are still the same and the effect is identical.  Deputy Prime Minister of Russian Dmitry Rogozin didn’t beat about the bush when he stated on Twitter: “the West behaves towards the Islamic world like a monkey with a grenade.”

Looks like they will be throwing a lot more than coconuts from the tree they’re swinging in right now.

Arming the rebels will most certainly be a specter from the past that will one day return to haunt us all. Entering into a conflict will most certainly lead to an escalation of conflict both in Syria and in the Middle East in general. Syria has vowed to defend itself and promises that its defense will ‘surprise the world’. The Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem said: “We have two options: either to surrender, or to defend ourselves with the means at our disposal. The second choice is the best: we will defend ourselves.”

Russia will most certainly continue to defend Syria and has started to evacuate its citizens from the country already in preparation of an attack by the West.

  • According to some reports Russia has been supplying al-Assad with 10% of its total arms sales.
  • Present contracts are estimated to be worth in the region of $1.5 billion.
  • This is nothing to do with wanting to or having to defend Syria.
  • Syria is a pawn in the West-East conflict that has never really disappeared despite the fact that the Berlin Wall fell long ago and the cold was ushered out and the apparent warmth in.
  • David Cameron and Vladimir Putin allegedly clashed in a telephone conversation over the allegations that there was “no doubt” that al-Assad had used chemical weapons on his own people.

The question is whether or not the surprise that is promised to the world is a good one or a bad one. Surprises are rarely good when they involve governments, are they? Bluff or just a threat that won’t be carried out? Or, truth and dare all at the same time? Syria certainly has the chemical weapons to protect itself adequately. The difference is that they may be prepared to use them if the West decides to go gun ho on them. Let’s face it, the US wasn’t even able to defend itself from an attack on the Australian internet company that manages the servers of Twitter, the New York Times and the Huffington Post. Huff, huff! Where was the National Security Agency in all of this? Weren’t those agents working flat out to eavesdrop on the Syrians? Oh, sorry, no they were listening into John Doe’s conversation with Jane about what they were having for dinner tonight, probably.

With Obama’s red line that will change the game, now there is no alternative but to act. Without acting, North Korea will see non-intervention as a red flag to a bull and will charge. Acting will deter, but cost the countries involved in every sense of the term. Al Qaeda promises today a ‘volcano of revenge’ against the Syrian government.

Does that mean the enemies of my enemies are my friends now? 

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