What Is It Going to Take to See Assad for the Butcher He Is?

Source: abc news

I often ask myself this question and hardly get any reasonable answers.

Sometimes I wonder how people are still defending Syrian dictator Bashar Al-Assad and any conspiracy theory that finds him innocent. But then again, in a world in which Nazism is alive and well, and in which you ironically and stupidly have “brown Islamist Nazis,” pretty much any political opinion is not a shocker.

But you do feel disappointed and low when you see a lack of inclination to face facts among otherwise liberal and reasonable folks.

Sadly, sometimes the guilt of our liberals living in a fundamentalist society, regardless of Shia or Sunni background, and their contempt of Saudi Arabia can make them rather root for Iran or turn a blind eye to its sinister influence in the world. But it goes well beyond reasonable politics to keep on apologizing for and insisting on supporting a despot whose record speaks volumes of his atrocities.

I know that some of my liberal friends see the expansion of the influence of Iran as a solution for the Saudis, of course not giving a second’s thought to what it might hold in the future for Israel. But I see that as much of a problem as the unchecked Saudi influence. Or perhaps the growing Chinese and Russian influence.

This is why the decline of the American influence on international affairs has been devastating. We have seen two very contrasting versions of American liberalism with both President George W. Bush and President Obama. An invasion of Iraq and then complete withdrawal. If one action made matters worse, the other certainly did not help. And that is a pretty objective observation unless you are a Democrat.

Bashar Al-Assad is the latest of the many brutal butchers and psychopaths who has taken up the mantle of torturing and murdering their own people. Not a democratic leader by any means and someone who is extremely cynical in his perception of reality, if you ever hear him speak. After carrying out several chemical weapons attacks on his people before, his regime is thought to have struck again with his latest sarin gas attack. With accounts of eye witnesses and activists, as well as evidence from the US military, clearly disputing the narrative of Assad’s military denying involvement like always. Now being skeptical is fair but Assad sympathizers such as Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) thinks she would take Assad as a war criminal if proved to be responsible for this attack, clearly unaware of his history of earlier actions. It is really convenient how Democrats accept and condemn their Russian propaganda.

The strongman argument is often given to justify his regime. That Assad keeps the extremists at bay and is a secular but distant dictator. However, with the irreversible damage caused by the Syrian Civil War, this argument has lapsed for Assad and is not true anymore. He is not the great stabilizer anymore. You could instead argue that Putin is instead. And since with President Obama’s half-hearted intervention, Syria has almost been completely destroyed. So, what are we keeping Assad in for now, knowing that he carries out chemical attacks on his own people? But to acknowledge this argument, during the early years of the Syrian civil war, I used to believe Assad should stay too.

Of course, it has been explained to me that American intervention has only made matters worse in the Middle East. But with Islamists and humanitarian crises around in the region, the argument of nonintervention is absolutely nonsensical. That is why the long-term military occupation of Syria remains to be the only viable solution. And of course, it is very unreasonable to expect of Americans to give that sacrifice for the world. The key is to make other nations pay their due share, including Pakistan of course, whether as a part of the Saudi or the American coalition. But preferably the latter.

Policy and tactics for the future aside, I think at least it is time for the deniers of Assad’s atrocities to simply face facts. How many chemical attacks has the Assad regime carried out on its people? And how many more would it take to finally say that enough is enough?

I commend President Trump for at least recognizing the great moral problem at hand and acting at least in some capacity with his limited missile attack to make his intentions clear to the Assad regime. But unfortunately, this action is nearly not close to what is needed. While I support it, if I were to disagree with it, it would be for that reason. The faux liberal outrage you are seeing at the attack is more from isolationists defending their favorite dictator than bleeding heart anti-war activists.

The world must not stop short of anything less than comprehensive military action to depose Assad and end his illegitimate reign. And if it does indeed risk starting the third world war, it only speaks volumes of the evil of Russia and Iran as states for protecting a despot like Assad in this day and age. Sadly, many among our ranks stand for their insistence to be on the wrong side of history despite their commitment to democracy and liberty.

I wonder how many more chemical attacks would it take.

Sadly, given the apathy of the majority in the world toward the atrocities of both the Islamic State and the Assad regime, it helps us understand what happened during the reign of the Third Reich. While I am aware that the world was horrified to learn the troubling reality of the concentration camps after the Second World War, I doubt it would have changed anything. I doubt if they would have done anything substantial to prevent the atrocity had they learned about it earlier. At least, the world we live in today would not have bothered to take any action.

We are clearly not bothered about what the Syrian people are going through.

Even if that is untrue, we clearly do not seem bothered about what Assad is up to.

And it is so bad that we would manufacture things out of our behinds to apologize for his despotic rule.

 

Feeling Sorry for Kerry

Source: mediatrackers.org

Source: mediatrackers.org

I feel sorry for Secretary Kerry. I really do.

He has a difficult task on his hands selling who knows what. Sometimes it seems to me as if he himself does not fully know what it is.

For those who have heard him at the Senate hearings and afterwards would have some idea of what I am talking about.

Don’t get me wrong, I take his word for it. I am sure he is a responsible man and I have no reason to doubt anything he says. Even though what he said made little sense to me.

Neither do I question the moral authority for taking action against Assad for having used chemical weapons against his own people, as is alleged.

Though the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations was not as confused and passed the resolution 10 to 7. However, the G-20 nations were not as clear and tied at 10-10. Kerry has been presenting his case in the EU after the hearing as well.

But what I am confused about are the same questions that pretty much everyone is asking.

  1. How does a missile strike deter Assad from using chemical weapons again if he is still in power and if he can deny doing it again?
  2. How does a missile strike from an enemy ship deter a dictator desperate to hold on to power to keep from resorting  to more desperate measures?
  3. If Assad has become such an evil, why not take direct action to depose him?
  4. Since it is about morality according to the President, how would bombing Syria make things better for Syrian people?
  5. Why is killing more people necessary to make a point about how terrible the use of chemical weapons is?
  6. If the strike is not time sensitive and the revelation would not put the enemy at advantage, then what is the harm in publishing the intelligence evidence and making things crystal clear, and most of all to prove the claims made by Putin and Assad wrong?
  7. If the concern is people getting killed, is it equally not important to stop the rebels, who I understand are armed by the West?
  8. Is the US government, in all good conscience, satisfied with letting Syria be captured by Islamist militants with Al-Qaeda factions?
  9. What is the US government planning to do once Assad has been toppled over and Syrian rebels control Damascus?
  10. How can Secretary Kerry be sure about the Syrian opposition “improving”?
  11. Why is the question about the chemical weapons in Syria falling in wrong hands in the aftermath of a strike not being clearly answered?
  12. What is the basis of the assertion that inaction on the Syrian conflict would only make things worse, given that there is no explanation of how precisely the strikes would make things better, especially if other countries are affected by the conflict?
  13. Why is this not being considered as a declaration of war, at least by the US government?
  14. Why did Secretary Kerry mention the possibility of deploying troops if the situation called for it and then maintained strictly that there would be “no boots on the ground”?
  15. Why is the President not being clear on his line of action in the event of Congress turning down the resolution to carry out a military strike against Syria?

Of course, it is easy to ask questions.

The “limited” US strike makes sense to me on just one account presented as two points, keeping into account Kerry’s categorical “no boots on ground” explanation.

  1. From a militaristic viewpoint, the artillery and air support will help the rebels advance toward Damascus.
  2. The military strikes will ultimately, though indirectly, help in the fall of Damascus.

While that is great, this makes way for the following problems, since we are discussing morality over here.

  1. Why are the President and Secretary Kerry not being clear to the American people that these strikes involve deposing the Syrian President?
  2. Why repeatedly and strongly insist that the strikes are not about regime change?
  3. Why not be clear about owning US involvement in Civil War, when the Senate has already voted 15-3 for approving a resolution arming Syrian rebels? (The political correctness reminds you of the Soviet Afghan War)
  4. If Assad is someone similar to Saddam Hussein and Adolf Hitler, in Secretary Kerry’s words, then would not that make deposing him a moral obligation to the United States and take credit for it?
  5. Therefore, why not clearly list deposing Bashar Al-Assad as the main objective of carrying out military strikes in response of his chemical attacks?
  6. If not, does this imply that leaders around the world can get to stay in power after carrying out chemical weapons attack, since the attack is about setting an example?

I understand that President Obama does not want to look like President Bush, given his “anti-war reputation” and that there is a lot of political correctness involved in their stance, but it is this covertness that arouses people’s suspicion. Too much zeal can be mistaken for malicious intentions. People are convinced of Assad’s brutality, it is the intention of their own government that they do not trust.

These and many more questions are confusing people in the United States and around the world. Unfortunately, President Obama, Secretary Kerry and the rest of the administration is answering none of them, so far. Congressman Dennis Kucinich also raises some questions, though I won’t go that far.

Today, the Congress votes for Syria.

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Note: This post is dedicated to Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) who was probably the first to mention the neglected role of the United Nations on the issue of military action against Syria in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing.

Ignoring the United Nations… Again

Source: The Guardian

Source: The Guardian

The United States and Britain are all set to attack Syria, after reports of chemical attacks allegedly carried out by President Assad’s regime against the Syrian people came in, “killing hundreds” as per the BBC.

Now given the available information, I don’t know who carried the chemical weapons attack. Syria denies it, blaming it on the rebels, but the Western governments are convinced. The United States has concluded that the Syrian government is behind the attacks.

However, without getting into a debate for evidence, if the intervening attack to prevent chemical weapons is necessary, then it must be carried out by the United Nations. It is the responsibility of the United Nations to keep peace.

Unfortunately, the United States is apparently by-passing the United Nations again, as it did for Iraq, as it is considering military strikes and have deployed units without even waiting for the reports of the UN chemical weapons inspectors. United States and Britain have even made it clear that they are not seeking permission from the UN or the NATO.

Debate has started in the United States whether President Obama should seek the approval of the Congress or not. But I am not concerned about that. I think a strike is the responsibility of the UN, not the US.

I believe that all the people who are concerned with war crimes in Syria and support correct moral choices and intervention would be much happier if such action is taken after comprehensive fact finding, and preferably under the auspices of the United Nations Security Council, which is unlikely.

On the other hand, Russia has threatened to veto the resolution for military strike against the Syrian government, as it has done in the past. Russia has even warned of “catastrophic consequences“. This makes the countries often exercising this power to wonder about the veto rule again.

And then people complain that the United Nations is useless, redundant and powerless. How can it possibly work, if its member states, especially the most powerful ones will not allow it to work?

I do hope that the Syrian regime had used chemical weapons, otherwise this could possibly go down in history as another unnecessary war like Iraq, ending in atrocities as usual. And the funniest bit is that they insist that the attack is not about regime change.

I hope I am wrong.