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.