On the gassing of children in Syria:
US President Donald Trump has condemned the killing of dozens of civilians in northern Syria in an apparent chemical weapons attack by Syria’s air force.
It was an “affront to humanity”, he said, adding: “When you kill innocent children, innocent babies, little babies… that crosses… many lines.”
Well, we knew Assad was capable of doing this as he’d done it before. There are quite a few on the alt-right and elsewhere who seem to think the West should not be involved in Syria because Assad isn’t that bad and he’s the only one who can keep control. I think Assad has proved he is pretty bad, but in all honesty he is the only one who can keep control, and there is no alternative. This doesn’t mean the West has to like him or work with him or give him the time of day, but it does mean that there is precious little they can do about it – gassed children or not.
He did not mention Russia, Syria’s ally, which says chemical weapons in rebel hands may have been released.
Does he have to? Russia has made it perfectly clear that Assad is their man. They probably sold him the weapons we’re talking about.
But America’s envoy to the UN accused Russia of covering up for Damascus.
“Time and time again Russia uses the same false narrative to deflect attention from their ally in Damascus,” Nikki Haley said during a heated UN Security Council debate in New York.
Hinting at possible unilateral action by the US, she added: “When the United Nations consistently fails in its duty to act collectively, there are times in the life of states that we are compelled to take our own action.”
And finally we get to the real story, the utter ineffectiveness and uselessness of the UN. Other than to provide cover for dictators gassing children, and allowing those same dictators to help pass resolutions condemning Israel’s existence, what purpose does it serve?
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called on Russia to “think carefully” about its continued support for President Assad.
Vice-President Mike Pence said “all options are on the table” regarding Syria.
This is actually sensible. Obama and Kerry, in displays of staggering stupidity, would routinely announce what the US was not considering whenever they were faced with a crisis such as this one. I am hoping that the US is not really considering military action over this, but there’s no need to tell everyone that, is there? But no doubt this will be presented by some sections of the media as Trump gearing up for war.
In an interview with Fox News, he added: “The Russians are in a close working alliance with the Assad regime in Syria, and the time has come for them to keep the word that they made to see to the elimination of chemical weapons so that they no longer threaten the people in that country.”
They were never going to keep their word: stop being so idiotically naive. Instead, understand what sort of regime Putin is running and learn to deal with it.
Only last week, Ms Haley said the US was no longer prioritising the removal of President Assad, a shift in US policy from the Obama era.
The US is no longer prioritising the tried, failed, and impossible? That’s good news.
A chemical weapons expert, Col Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, told the BBC the Russian version of events was “pretty fanciful”.
Well, yes. But so what? We knew that years ago.
I still have no idea what the West hopes to achieve by getting all outraged about this. Russia’s intervention has guaranteed Assad’s survival, and they don’t appear to be in the least bit interested in reining in any excesses on his part. Short of all-out war with Russia, which nobody wants, there’s nothing the West can do. Yes, it is terrible, but so is all-out war with Russia. Despite the conspiracy-mongers on the internet who think the CIA started the uprising against Assad, and despite the idiotic, half-arsed attempts to arm jihadists and “moderate” rebels by Obama, very little of what is happening can be blamed on the West. The blame lies solely at the feet of Assad and Russia.
If the West really wants to do something about it they ought to start by withdrawing from the United Nations, thus removing from these regimes the legitimacy the organisation grants them. The priority of Western governments should be protecting their own countries such that a shit-show like the one in Syria does not impact on their citizens at home. It’s bad luck for the Syrians, particularly the parents of the kids who’ve been gassed, but what is the alternative? In the absence of all viable solutions to help others it’s about time Western governments started focussing on the wellbeing of their own citizens and, possibly, a handful of foreigners who are not habitually on record saying they absolutely detest them and everything they stand for.