Friday 3 May 2013

When Syria’s WMD facts clash with U.S. policy

“The U.S.-led international community is looking for ways to coexist with the common usage of chemical weapons in Syria. It does not want to face facts and punish the user of chemicals, which are banned genocide weapons after all.”
Also, Lebanese author and political analyst Abdelwahhab Badrakhan writes today in his weekly column for pan-Arab al-Hayat, can anyone recall any international outcry against the shelling of civilian areas with ballistic missiles, such as Scuds, which are classified as weapons of mass destruction (WMDs)?
“Of course not -- the world powers gulped down the missiles and are allowing them as a matter of routine.
“You had an American president who fabricated lies about WMDs to invade Iraq. His successor is now belying facts about them to avoid protecting a populace against the barbarity of its regime.”
Badrakhan continues:
When Barack Obama said the use of chemical weapons was a “red line,” he was paving the way for legitimate international intervention, unlike the intervention by Iran and Hezbollah. His ceaseless dithering since will likely squander the inferred legitimacy.
“You also have a stone-deaf Russian president who decided to recoup the glories of a now-defunct superpower at the expense of Syrian corpses. Having grown up despising his people, he does not give a hoot about other peoples and their aspirations. He remains a longtime ally of a ruler duplicating, if not surpassing, his abuses in Chechnya.
Both Russia and China perceive the Syrian regime as fighting a proxy war on their behalf to show that defeating the people’s will is possible and to prove that rulers are more durable because they have the muscle.”
When he talked his fill on the Syria war to a deputation of Lebanese loyalists on April 21, Assad said, “Russia considers the battle to defend Damascus as a battle to defend the status and interests of Moscow.” He also said, “Americans in the end go along with the winner” – meaning him.
But Assad is not the winner of the Syria war as yet. It’s a war he can’t possibly win, even if he confined it to Damascus, which he is trying to do by surrounding it with a ring of fire.
Assad is meantime pressing the Russians and Iranians to help him tip the military balance in his favor in the countdown to the Obama-Putin meeting on the sidelines of the G8 summit in Northern Ireland in June.
He already told his visiting group of Lebanese loyalists, “We need to impose our rhythm on the summit instead of vice versa. Each of the two presidents will be looking at the facts on the ground in Syria to determine what he does.”
What Assad knows all too well, but did not spell out, is that the arming of opposition forces and the Free Syrian Army has been retrogressing since at least mid-April, presumably because of Jabhat al-Nusra.
Putin and Assad are hedging their bets on the outcome of the battle for Damascus and on Obama remaining “pragmatic” and acknowledging the regime’s strength and steadfastness.
In this case, the U.S. president would choose either (1) to throw his weight behind opposition forces to even the power balance, or (2) to go along with a political solution under regime auspices.
If Obama were to choose the second option, Washington won’t be able to impose it on either the offshore Syrian Opposition Coalition or its onshore counterpart.
Neither can go along with a political solution that repackages the regime without its war crimes, without its crimes against humanity, without its displacement of its people and its destruction of their homes, and without its dabbling with genocide policies.
Even if America cowed both the offshore and onshore oppositions by giving them the hard sell, they cannot deliver the fighters on the ground.
The armed insurgents’ sacrifices were not meant to win them ministerial portfolios and the grace of becoming regime partners.