Imperialism and chemical weapons in Syria

An attack on Syria is not about saving humanity or the Syrian people, as claimed by the likes of Obama, Cameron, Rudd etc. It is far from that. It is about geo-political dominance:

An attack on Syria is not a crusade against chemical weapons, or for justice, human rights, democracy and freedom. Nor is there a people’s revolution against Assad. Syria is in the grip of a ferocious civil war. It is a proxy war backed by foreign powers, involving foreign fighters and financed and armed by world imperialism. There is a scramble for influence in the Middle East and North Africa, where revolts, revolutions and counterrevolutions have shattered the stability that maintained U.S. dominance of the region and ensured stable oil supplies for decades.

http://www.china.org.cn/opinion/2013-08/29/content_29861897.htm

By Heiko Khoo

“I am strongly in favor of using poisoned gas against uncivilized tribes.”

These are the words of Britain’s most beloved historical leader Winston Churchill. While Prime Minister David Cameron claims to be repelled at the use of poison gas, he nevertheless retains Churchill’s imperialist zeal to civilize the ‘tribes’ of the Middle East.

Thus the drums of war are again beating loudly in London, Washington and Paris – the world centers of military imperialism. The Turkish government is lending support, the Saudi Arabians have opened their deep pockets, and Israel is providing the “intelligence”. The planned cruise missile strikes, and the on-going military and logistical support for the Syrian opposition, are designed to overthrow Syria’s President Assad through regime change, as in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.

It has been 10 years since mythical chemical weapons provided the necessary alibi for Western states to invade and occupy Iraq, kill its President Saddam Hussein, and install a pliant regime in power. The awesome combination of advanced weaponry and communications used by the United States in Iraq contrasted sharply with their incapacity to create a stable democratic state.

In that war, the United States and its allies unleashed barbaric weapons against the people of Iraq. This included using white phosphorous, which melted human skin in the battles of Fallujah; cluster bombs, which continue to maim and kill the innocent to this day; and depleted uranium, which caused a huge rise in child leukemia and genetic malformation. The total Iraqi death toll attributed to the war has exceeded one million. Surely all this makes a complete mockery of the stern faces and moral outrage feigned by Presidents Barack Obama and François Hollande, and by David Cameron, at the suffering of the innocent in Syria? So horrified do they pretend to be, that no evidence is required as to who, or what, might have been responsible for the chemical poisoning in al-Ghutah near Damascus on August 21. We are told it is so obvious that President Assad of Syria is to blame, that only fools could possibly question this. So let us be fools!

As I write, UN inspectors have been sent to the site of the atrocities, but their potential findings have already been deemed irrelevant. Why? Perhaps because in May 2013 Carla del Ponte, a member of the UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria, claimed that evidence from an earlier, alleged sarin nerve gas attack pointed responsibility at the ‘rebels’ fighting Assad. However, since that time the United States, Britain and France have dramatically escalated their support for these ‘rebel’ forces. Isn’t this strange behavior for those morally outraged by chemical warfare?

As far as the new ‘coalition of the willing’ are concerned, because China and Russia can veto any UN resolution in support of U.S. attacks on Syria, what possible use is the UN? U.S. officials assure us they have classified and irrefutable intelligence that will prove that Assad used chemical weapons. Given the NSA’s universal global surveillance capability, revealed by Edward Snowden, surely we can expect the actual emails and telephone conversations in which Assad ordered the killings? It seems that Israeli ‘intelligence’ is the source for the claims that ‘prove’ Assad’s regime was responsible for the use of non-conventional weapons.

Paradoxically, Islamic fundamentalists are now a powerful force in the rebellion against Assad. On August 4 the US House Homeland Security Committee chairman Rep. Michael McCaul claimed he had knowledge of a credible, specific and imminent threat of an Al-Qaeda attack in the Middle East. Might this be what happened in Syria? Certainly the main beneficiary of U.S. missile attacks will be the most extreme Jihadist section of the Syrian opposition. But in the fog of war, perhaps Al-Qaeda and the interests of U.S. imperialism and Israel have come into temporary alignment, as they have in the past?

An attack on Syria is not a crusade against chemical weapons, or for justice, human rights, democracy and freedom. Nor is there a people’s revolution against Assad. Syria is in the grip of a ferocious civil war. It is a proxy war backed by foreign powers, involving foreign fighters and financed and armed by world imperialism. There is a scramble for influence in the Middle East and North Africa, where revolts, revolutions and counterrevolutions have shattered the stability that maintained U.S. dominance of the region and ensured stable oil supplies for decades.

In the past, Syrian society represented the ideals of secularism, Arab unity and socialism. These beliefs took deep root after the end of colonial rule. Neither imperialist attacks nor Jihadist revolts can permanently eradicate this legacy.

The author is a columnist with China.org.cn. For more information please visit:

http://china.org.cn/opinion/heikokhoo.htm

Opinion articles reflect the views of their authors, not necessarily those of China.org.cn.

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About kchew

an occasional culturalist
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