By Daniel McAdams
If you liked the run up to the US attack on Iraq, with the lurid fictional tales ofmobile chemical weapons labs and Saddam's nukes, you will love "Iraq, The Sequel", currently unfolding in Syria. It is everything the interventionists have been hoping for: a heady brew of Kosovo, Iraq, and Libya all rolled into one. The possibility for an infinitely more toxic conflagration is exponentially higher, to boot, adding for the interventionists much excitement to the mix.
Here is the latest:
A fourth US warship capable of launching the type of cruise missiles that turned Libya to rubble and paved the way for al-Qaeda affiliates to take control of that country is now rushing to the waters off of Syria, ready to unleash destruction. Chuck Hagel, who some antiwar commentators foolishly believed would put an end to Washington's military adventurism, is feverishly preparing plans for President Obama to attack. The media worldwide, interventionist to the core, is pushing willing leaders in the US, France, and the UK to finally treat Syria to another devastating "liberation."
What has prompted this sudden dramatic move just over the past few days toward a Western invasion of Syria? A pretext. A claimed chemical attack near Damascus that has produced, according to an estimate from Médecins Sans Frontières, perhaps some 300 deaths. It is unclear whether a bona fide chemical attack has taken place, and it is even more unclear who might be responsible should the attack indeed be the work of some chemical agent. Yet all of a sudden another Washington/Paris/London war is to be set in motion. How banal the triggers for war have become. Almost like a video game.
Somehow we are supposed to believe that within 72 hours after the arrival of a UN chemical weapons inspection team to assess -- with the Syrian government's cooperation -- the sites of previous claimed chemical weapons attacks, that same Syrian government would launch a chemical weapon attack on civilians just miles from where the UN inspectors are staying. The UN inspectors were there on invitation from the Syrian government and that same government would launch chemicals right into their neighborhood.
Unless Assad is indeed suicidally insane, which he has given no indication of being heretofore, it quite simply makes no sense. Why risk the overt wrath of the entire rest of the world -- alienating even your final allies in Iran and Russia -- for so measly a gain: killing 300 civilians in a war to the death against US/Saudi/Turk supported jihadists? There is no military justification and no justification at all short of the Assad clan being a Middle Eastern form of the Manson Family. Is that the argument?
As the always thoughtful Moon of Alabama blog points out, the hypocrisy of the West is stunning. Based exclusively on reporting by the Syrian opposition itself, some sort of substance has killed anywhere from 100-360 people outside Damascus, and the West is ready for war. Meanwhile, just over a week ago, the Egyptian military massacred more than a thousand unarmed Muslim Brotherhood protestors in Egypt and the West not only did not condemn the act but has endorsed further crackdowns against supporters of the duly elected government in Egypt -- in the name of democracy.
Read the rest here.