Descending Into Chaos: Syria At Stake

The West is apparently gearing up for an imminent invasion of Syria, an act which can ignite World War III.

Washington hawks have already warned of a strike as early as Thursday. Senior US officials told NBC News on Tuesday that Washington could “hit Syria with three days of missile strikes, perhaps beginning Thursday, in an attack meant more to send a message to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad than to topple him or cripple his military.”

The idea of attacking Syria was initiated and augmented by the US State Department when it announced that it was already “crystal clear” that Assad’s government was responsible for using “chemical weapons against rebels August 21 near Damascus.”

While the US-friendly intelligence community has not yet confirmed the veracity of such a claim and despite the fact that there is no concrete evidence to substantiate this idea, the US and the UK have unanimously voiced their readiness to launch their military strike against the middle Eastern country.

Syrian deputy foreign minister Faisal al-Miqdad said on Wednesday that the United States, Britain and France helped militants in Syria to use chemical weapons, warning that the same groups would soon use chemical weapons against Europe.

“We repeat that the terrorist groups are the ones that used (chemical weapons) with the help of the United States, the United Kingdom and France, and this has to stop,” Reuters quoted him as saying.

“This means these chemical weapons will soon be used by the same groups against the people of Europe,” he added.

He also said he had presented UN chemical weapons inspectors with evidence proving that “armed terrorist groups” were behind deadly chemical attacks near Damascus last week.

Further to that, the claim that Syria used chemical weapons runs counter to what UN diplomat Carla del Ponte said earlier regarding the use of chemical weapons in Syria in April. She announced that the recent chemical weapons attack in April was conducted by the Syrian rebels and not the regime, as it had been widely assumed. Speaking to a Swiss television channel, del Ponte said that there were “strong, concrete suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof,” that rebels had carried out the attack. Also, she stated that UN investigators had no evidence that the Syrian army might have used chemical weapons, but that further investigation was needed.

The vociferous cry for war comes from the US and the UK which are already responsible for the myriad deaths that resulted in the ravaging wars they waged in Afghanistan and Iraq under similar pretexts. Besides, it is quite farcical to hear claims to humanitarian concerns from those who themselves thrive on evil and contribute financially and militarily to the emergence of chaos in the Middle East and North Africa and the rest of the world.

US Vice President Joe Biden has openly and blatantly lied to an American Legion audience in Houston: “Chemical weapons have been used.”

“No one doubts that innocent men, women and children have been the victims of chemical weapons attacks in Syria, and there’s no doubt who’s responsible for this heinous use of chemical weapons in Syria: the Syrian regime,” Biden said.

With a firm resolve, the US has decided to punish the Syrian government for a crime it has not committed, that is, gassing his own civilians while at the same time, the self-same government paradoxically extended a generous hand to Saddam Hussein in using chemical weapons against the Iranian combatants and civilians during the Iran-Iraq war. Apart from facilitating the supplies of chemical weapons to a despotic regime, the US government tacitly approved the use of such lethal weapons against the Iranian population.

A recent Foreign Policy article suggests that in 1988, Washington learned through “satellite imagery that Iran was about to gain a major strategic advantage by exploiting a hole in Iraqi defenses. U.S. intelligence officials conveyed the location of the Iranian troops to Iraq, fully aware that Hussein’s military would attack with chemical weapons, including sarin, a lethal nerve agent.”

Quite naturally, the US officials chose to stay in a state of denial during all these years, condescending to hear a word of complaint from Iran which they have always looked upon as a source of their agony in the region, insisting that Saddam Hussein’s government never announced he was going to use the weapons. But retired Air Force Col. Rick Francona, who was a military attaché in Baghdad during the 1988 strikes, paints a different picture.

“The Iraqis never told us that they intended to use nerve gas. They didn’t have to. We already knew,” he told Foreign Policy.

According to reports, the use of chemical weapons by Iraq has incurred over 100,000 casualties on the Iranian side, with many others dying as a result of the chemicals on a daily basis. Around 20,000 soldiers were killed instantly by nerve gas.

Is there now a volte-face in Washington’s behavior towards others?

Paradox after paradox

Paradoxes abound in US foreign policy and the hypocrisy the US officials exhibit in tackling every issue in a manner most pleasing to them leaves no room for doubt that their call for action is a far cry from humanitarian concerns for Syria or the Syrian people. The agenda they follow in the Middle East is clear and one suffices to bear in mind that their plan to strike Syria is yet another part of their grand-scale modus operandi in the region.

Indeed it is extremely excruciating to have to see that the West does not seem to have learned from the past and that it still views the Muslim world as a non-western ‘Other’ in need of political tutelage and parental protection.

Dr. Ismail Salami is an Iranian journalist, political analyst and lexicographer. A former editor in chief of the Tehran Times Daily, he is currently professor of English literature at the University of Tehran. Read other articles by Ismail.