With the non-execution of military threats to Syria, the U.S. became a dud in the eyes of many of its allies, and especially its enemies.
The U.S. is the first country in the world which stands up when injustice is perpetrated anywhere around the world, though it had been choosy in the past when it comes to its national economic or security interests. The other countries do not have the guts to stand up, and are often enmeshed in the useless argument of “non-interference” in the affairs of “other countries”.
Notwithstanding its often skewed intervention policies, the U.S. still remains as one nation which would carry the fight for universal justice to other nations who would not play by rules of international law or justice. The U.K. and France are not so driven, except when it comes to direct hit to their national interests.
Given this background, it was not surprising when the U.S. stood up against the chemical warfare attacks by Syrian Government forces on the rebels who are protesting against the government. Chemical and nuclear warfare belong to another century and should have no place in the 21st Century. However, countries still hold vast quantities of banned chemicals and nuclear weapons, often as a deterrence.
In the case of Syria, it appears that the Government wanted to send a very strong message to the rebels by the actual deployment of the Sarin nerve gas, which killed more than 1,400 citizens.
The United Nations (for a change) took up cudgels against Syria and so did the U.S. with immediate threats of military action.
It would have been appropriate to take out the chemical weapon storage facilities and send a strong message to the Syrian Government. If their treacherous and criminal actions go unpunished, the Government would only get emboldened for further use of chemical weapons against its own population.
The more important dimension is the impact the execution of military threat would have on them as a deterrence.
But President Obama missed the chance to execute. And Syrian Government is laughing its way to more attacks.
Though now peace has been given a chance by the agreement between Russia and the U.S. for the permanent removal of chemical weapons from Syria, we should not forget the following – (1) this is no excuse for the intensified attacks by Government forces using conventional weapons; and (2) the international community should realize that it cannot prevent Syria from rebuilding its chemical weapons arsenal later on.
Syria should be punished for its serious misdemeanour in violation of all international laws. And, the U.S. has lost a critically important opportunity to demonstrate that it does have the will to carry out its threats against such misdemeanour.
The world will now be a different place for experimentation by dictators.
28th Sep 2013