The civil war in Syria has been going on for years it seems, giving rise to all sorts of upheavals. It has sucked in all sorts of groups each allying with some yet opposing others, and has been a major factor in creating the refugee crisis we are now seeing. As I reflect on the recent atrocity – the horrendous chemical attack leaving several dead, I am left in a state of bewilderment as to what is happening and what ought to be the right response.
Like many a complex situation, the wise course of action may well be to sit back for a while and study and sift the evidence before venturing forth with an opinion. I list below a number of links which constitutes part of the sifting process and given there are always developments the likelihood is there will be others more recent that might be added that are pertinent. As with so much going on in the world, I have been finding my views changing as I discover more facts, listen to more opinions and reflect on these both.
It doesn’t seem that long ago when I listened to an impassioned debate in the UK Parliament, arguing whether or not the UK should intervene military in Syria, partly with a view to overthrow the much demonized Assad regime. In the end I reluctantly concurred the vote to support military intervention was the right one. To compound the problem, Assad was up against the “rebels”, which the US led coalition were supporting (fighting a proxy war) and ISIS, which both Assad and the US were vehemently opposed. To compound the situation even more, Russia also entered the conflict soon after, supporting Assad but also making serious inroads into bringing down ISIS, which the allies had failed to do. The problem to this day remains unresolved, although thanks to Russia Assad’s position is now stronger. And all this time the refugee crisis escalates.
There are many distressing aspects of what is happening now in Syria, not least the suffering of the innocent. It is not something we, in the West, can ignore given the global implications and being drawn into something we would rather not be. Above all, is the question what to do with the refugees, many of which are looking to the West as their escape, seeing no other option. Common decency demands this is not a matter that can be ignored. But I am now less convinced on who are the good and the bad guys on the matter and regret being sold what I believe to be a lie that getting rid of Assad is the only solution and that he is the perpetrator of all that is bad. Given past chemical attacks, which could not be proved to have come from Assad and more likely to have come from the rebels, I am wondering what the truth is behind the most recent attack and if credence can be given to the conspiracy theorists that what is happening in Syria is part of the globalist destabilizing agenda to bring about One World government.
Disappointingly, President Trump has failed to offer the leadership that America deserves. Blaming his predecessor on the current situation may have a certain basis (I think Obama’s policies regarding Iran, Iraq and Yemen prior to that of Syria have been disastrous) what Trump needed to do was address the how do we respond now question. Not altogether unrelated is the standing down of Steve Bannon from the top level security committee and having around him advisors, like his son-in-law, who are so out of their depth. Having said that, he is also surrounded by those who subscribe to the traditional narrative and we are once again back to getting rid of Assad and a stand off against the old bogey man – Russia. My advice to the President, based on my limited knowledge, is to hang fire for the time being, seek good counsel and not act precipitously. Meantime, an even bigger crisis looms, that regarding North Korea and its threat, aided and abetted by China. It is a testing time for the President. We live in crazy and worrying times. While I feel powerless to change matters, I know One who can!
Addendum: How things move on? I wake up this morning to an alarming headline: “U.S. Launches Missiles at Syrian Base After Chemical Weapons Attack“. This goes on to tell us: “The United States launched dozens of cruise missiles Thursday night at a Syrian airfield in response to what it believes was Syria’s use of banned chemical weapons that killed at least 100 people, the U.S. military said”. In his speech, President Trump was clear this was in response to the earlier chemical attack that he believed Assad to be responsible for. I suspect he did what many, including among his detractors, believed to be the right response. But I have my doubts. I sense Trump is merely responding to a false flag attack and is wanting to look strong. Even if they remove Assad and don’t escalate tensions with Russia, my worry is what will be put in its place given what we have seen in Iraq. Time will tell! – ed – 07/04/17