Monday 26 August 2013


Other  nations  should  step  in  and  end the  slaughter  of  innocent  citizens  in  Syria

For the first time since Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad began an open war against protesters and rebels in his nation, the United States in August 2012 had openly admitted that it knew that Assad was using nerve gas to kill his citizens. The gas he was using is sarin gas which is a deadly nerve gas.  Used heavily in the Iran-Iraq war and by the Japanese terror cult Aum Shinrikyo, sarin gas attacks the nervous system and overstimulates the muscles, causing paralysis and asphyxiation.                     

President Obama warned Assad that the United States wouldn’t tolerate the use of poisonous gas on Syrian citizens and that if Assad used it; Assad would cross the ‘red line’ as far as the United States was concerned.

What did he mean when he referred to the ‘red line?  Did it mean that the United States would invade Syria if poisonous gas was used? No, it did not. Did it mean that the United States would fly over Syria and shoot down any Syrian planes flying over any part of Syria? No it did not. Then what is the point of referring to a ‘red line’ when it has no significance whatsoever. As I see it, it was a bluff which the Syrian despot called leaving President Obama looking like a child running home after he sees a spider.

Assad knew that if he called the president’s bluff, the latter would do nothing so he decided that since the red line is simply a bogeyman and nothing more, he would use the poisonous gas against his people knowing that the president of the United States was a paper tiger with no teeth.

As to be expected, Assad again ordered sarin gas to be used in a residential area in Damascus on August 21, 2013 and as a result, over 300 men, women and children died while they were asleep as the grey deadly poisonous cloud of sarin gas floated downwards and entered their homes.

What did President Obama do when he was informed that Assad had done what he had previously warned Assad not to do?  He wrung his hands in anguish because he realized that Assad had called his bluff. What can a paper tiger do when it has no teeth? It roars but Assad isn’t afraid of tigers with no teeth when he knows that the most that they can do is roar.

The United Nations (another paper tiger with no teeth) tried to get UN inspectors into the neighbourhood where the victims died. Assad was no fool. He knew that if the inspectors examined the bodies within 48 hours of the victim’s deaths, they could still find evidence of sarin gas still in their bodies. For this reason, the despot denied the inspectors entry into the neighbourhood where the victims had died. By the time he relented, the UN inspectors began heading towards the neighbourhood where the sarin victims were killed but even then the inspectors were thwarted by rocket fire. If there was ever proof that Assad used sarin gas against his people, his refusal to let the inspectors examine the bodies of the victims until it was too late is sufficient proof that he used that gas. Field hospitals were overwhelmed with the number of patients and that many ran out of medication to treat them for the symptoms of the poisonous gas. In one suburb, Zamalka, the victims were laid out in front of a mosque, where a voice over loudspeakers called on residents to identify their relatives.

The United Nations Security Council is charged with maintaining peace and security among countries. While other organs of the United Nations can only make 'recommendations' to member governments, the Security Council has the power to make binding decisions that member governments have agreed to carry out, under the terms of UN Charter. Why hasn’t the UN Security Council done anything about this problem of Assad poisoning his people with poisonous gas?

Unfortunately the framers of the United Nations made a terrible blunder when they created the Security Council. The current Security Council is made up of 15 member states, consisting of 5 permanent members–China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States–and 10 non-permanent members, currently (with end of term date) Argentina (2014), Australia (2014), Azerbaijan (2013), Guatemala (2013), Luxembourg (2014), Morocco (2013), Pakistan (2013), Republic of Korea (2014), Rwanda (2014), Togo (2013). The five permanent members hold veto power over substantive but not procedural resolutions allowing a permanent member to block adoption but not to block the debate of a resolution unacceptable to it. They should have chosen an alternative method of voting such as the majority of the permanent members making the deciding vote. 

For the Security Council to order war planes from other countries to fly over Syria in order to create a no-fly policy which would prevent the Syrians from dropping sarin-laden bombs on Syrians, all five permanent members must approve the no-fly policy. Guess which one of the five permanent members vetoed that plan. It was Russia. Why did they refuse to cooperate with the others members of the Council? The reason is obvious. They have been selling arms to Syria. They don’t want to do anything to interfere with the sale of arms to Syria. 

The March 1988 attacks in Halabja, Iraq, which killed up to 5,000 people, marked the deadliest chemical weapons attack against civilians. Saddam ordered the poison gas strikes to crush a Kurdish rebellion in the north, which was seen as aiding Iran in the final months of its war with Iraq.          

The Iraqi no-fly zones were then a set of two separate no-fly zones and were proclaimed by the United States, United Kingdom, and France after the Gulf War of 1991 to protect the Kurds in northern Iraq and Shiite Muslims in the south. Iraqi aircraft were forbidden from flying inside those two zones. The policy was enforced by the U.S., U.K and French aircraft patrols until France withdrew in 1998. While the enforcing powers had cited United Nations Security Council Resolution 688 as authorizing the operations, the resolution actually contains no explicit authorization. The Secretary-General of the UN at the time the resolution was passed; Boutros Boutros-Ghali called the no-fly zones being illegal.

That didn’t stop those three countries from enforcing the no-fly zones so that they could protect the Kurds from being poisoned like they were prior to the no-fly zones being patrolled.                                                             

I think those same countries should step up to the plate and inform the Syrian despot that no more of his planes or helicopters are to fly over Syria and if they do, they will be shot down and if he uses long-range guns or tanks to shell towns and cities, they too will be destroyed.

The UN’s mandate forbids intervening in the internal politics of any country unless the crime of genocide is being committed. Then why didn’t they intercede when it became apparent that almost a million people were slaughtered in Rwanda in 1994? In 2000, the UN explicitly declared its reaction to Rwanda as a “failure” Then Secretary General Kofi Annan said of the event “The international community failed Rwanda and that must leave us always with a sense of bitter regret.”

What will the United Nations do now if other countries take their own initiative to stop the despot’s planes from bombing and poisoning his citizens and the despot’s use of long-range guns, rocket launchers and tanks firing shells into the Syrian cities?  The current UN will sit on its royal arse and whine and wring its hands in anguish because it has no more teeth than that of a newborn baby to bite those member nations who disagree with its policies especially even if and when those countries try to bring an end to the slaughter of innocent victims in Syria on their own initiatives.   

The United Kingdom, France and Turkey have stated that they are prepared to intervene. At the time of this writing I am not sure what the United States will do.   

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