Stanislawski: Times have changed!

The international warmongers have lost a lot of style. Even in the near past, when diplomacy prepared the way for war in Iraq or Afghanistan, some things were hidden while other were made up in order to justify the war. But it was done with some kind of sophistication, with a smooth combination of nonchalance and flippancy. Today it is obvious that all these standards have fallen for good. Going through the news on Syria in the international media is like rummaging through a web-store with the cheapest thrillers ever published.

When the UN inspectors landed in Syria a few days ago and were just about to get on with their work, things got a bit out of control. The so called democratic opposition in Syria seems to have conducted its chemical-weapons-use provocation in such a lousy manner that it left almost no doubt as to who is the real perpetrator of this attack. It lacked really basic logic. How stupid would Assad have to be to use chemical weapons being aware that it will inevitably lead to foreign intervention? Why would he use chemical weapon on a school near Damascus — an area which he controls? Why would he do this on the day of UN inspectors arrival? And — pardon this cold-blooded calculation — why should he bother using chemical weapons to kill somewhat 1000 people if for the past few moths he kept killing 5000 everyday using traditional weapons? Let alone the fact that one does not use military chemicals in areas where one?s own troops are deployed.

On top of everything, Bashar Al-Assad and his government were very hospital to the UN inspection. They have not only received the team well, but also provided them with a map of locations which they potentially might want to inspect. The UN?s delegation reportedly refused to visit the places pointed out by Assad?s officials and took out a different list of places to be checked out, explaining that they were provided by the Syrian opposition. That probably would not have been a problem either, except that these locations were in areas that are currently under the control of the opposition. Thus the Syrian authorities could not guarantee the inspectors? safety. But still, the UN?s experts went ahead and were welcomed with snipers shots. But while they are scratching their heads thinking what to do next, the international warmongering machinery suddenly speeded up.

?While investigators are gathering additional information on the ground, our understanding of what has already happened in Syria is grounded in facts, informed by conscience and guided by common sense? says John Kerry, the American Secretary of State. It very much seems like Kerry?s understanding of ?common sense? is pretty uncommon. Especially in the light of the fact that many mainstream sources reported that Assad?s regime is not behind the attack, including the ?investigators gathering additional information on the ground? . But when asked about it, Kerry came up with a devastating argument: ?we know that the Syrian regime maintains custody of these weapons?. It sounds extremely convincing, does it not?

The French president — François Hollande — added a bit of moral outrage. He stated yesterday that France is ?ready to punish? those behind the ?chemical massacre? in Syria, and said that his government ?believes Damascus carried out the attack?. It is a relatively innovative step to take important geopolitical decisions basing oneself on beliefs instead of facts. If it becomes a popular principle in the future, electoral campaigns would be mostly about candidates? beliefs, and global policy might be a result of their internal philosophic life. Had Hollande?s words not been so childish, one might even take his outrage seriously. However, his pathetic slamming produces no other association but of a father ready to slap his kid. And everybody knows — consciously or not — that once your father slaps you — he has lost all authority.

Even funnier and more infantile in its naivety were the words of Nick Clegg, the UK?s Deputy Prime Minister. He told AFP that ?What we’re considering is a serious response? and he added ?What we’re not considering is regime change, trying to topple the Assad regime?. Mr Clegg — no matter if he is serious or not — is very offensive. He either offends the intelligence of the masses, if this is supposed to be a cynical statement which everybody should believe, or he offends himself, if he really is so naive to believe his own words. How does he imagine things are going to unfold? They will bomb Syria back to the Stone Age, but Al-Qaeda squads which are part of the ?democratic opposition? are just going to peacefully look at Assad being the number one person in Syria?

But can anyone really compete with the American officials when it comes to pathetic warmongering statements? Let alone all these quickly made up funny stories. Like the one that Israeli intelligence registered some Syrian ministers and generals discussing the use of chemical weapons. Reportedly some CIA agents also overheard a similar kind of conversation. Soon a facebook chat between Assad and one of his generals will probably be revealed. But that actually might not be necessary. Why? Because the American UN Ambassador, Mrs Samatha Powers, said ?the verdict is clear?. She actually twittered: ?Haunting images of entire families dead in their beds. Verdict is clear: Assad has used CWs against civilians in violation of int’l norm?. Now we know — wiretapping is not needed. Pictures are enough.

Dear Western Powers? Leaders, would it not be easier to make a joint statement and convey a fair message to the entire humanity? It does not have to be long. For example something like this:

?We, the Western Leaders, in order to protect our geo-political and financial interests decided to invade (bomb?) Syria. Previously, we tried to use the authentic anti-dictatorial uprising and the mass revolt in this country, for our purposes, but we screwed it up. Now we have to clear the mess and finish the job ourselves. We apologize in advance to those that we will kill or hurt as well as to those who will die of starvation after the war, but we have no other choice or better idea. Sorry?!

However, there is an important nuance to note here as well. In the past these Western Leaders had the backing of the so called international community. Take the First Gulf War. The United Nations supported it. But when America invaded Iraq in 2003 George W. Bush managed to only get around a ?coalition of willing?. In the light of the UK parliament’s last decision it seems they are not even able to get their closest ally with them this time. Times have changed!

Bojan Stanislawski

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