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Friday, February 23, 2024

Bombing Syria: Are we on the verge of an Iraq 2.0?

By Ardain Isma

CSMS Magazine Staff Writer

One would think Obama was different. He is “liberal” in his thinking, they say. He is the reluctant warrior who would not hesitate to forego his own redline to “avoid being dragged into an “unwanted war,” they say. On the eve of a G-20 summit being hosted by Vladimir Putin in Saint-Petersburg, Europe’s most grandiosely displayed city, President Barack Obama, the weary warrior, has been reportedly praying over his possible bombing campaign against Syria, asking God The Almighty for guidance, as the world’s most sophisticated war machine that He commands stands ready to carpet-bomb yet another defenseless enemy, even as the coalition of the “willing” appears quite unwilling this time to fall into line. On board at the beginning were the French and the Brits (the traditional cheerleaders) and the window dressers, the petro-sultans from the Gulf of Arabia.

Adding to Obama’s dilemma is that on Tuesday he is expected to travel to Sweden. From there, he will fly to Russia—where the president is due to arrive at the G-20 summit. Critics say he will be reminded by the “tsar” in Leningrad that it’s not yet mid-November (not yet for hibernation), and that the bear is still strong with its paws are as aggressive as ever, especially when It will be joined, in a “holy and sacred” alliance, by the tiger from Manchuria, Chinese president Xi Jinping.  

Asking God for guidance to kill? What a blasphemy! In the drumbeat to smash Assad, few around the world have bought into this Pentagon’s ruling—not even the usually obedient American citizens who are too often, too quick to follow their government’ line. Washington first accused Assad of granting permission to UN chemical weapons’ inspectors into Syria, and to celebrate their arrival unleashed a chemical weapons attack mostly against women and children only 15 kilometers away from the inspectors’ hotel.

It sounds like offering a child a piece of candy to win his trust, and when he refuses, you threat him with a stick. Assad may be a madman, who wouldn’t mind slaughtering his enemies, but it is clear he’s no fool; and that he doesn’t believe in a doom’s day scenario.

Assad is not stupid   

At a time when his army has effectively stalled a rebel advance, the last thing Assad would want is an unwanted delivery of Tomahawk cruise missiles, lighting up the Syrian’s sky on behalf of the weapon industry that has been waiting, impatiently, to find the perfect excuse to showcase its latest techno-killing machine in order to attract new potential customers.  No wonder this latest military maneuvering has been coded as Operation Tomahawk with Cheese. With cheese? The cheese seems to be fast losing its freshness. It is neither Romano nor Swiss, not even British as Obama—I’d rather say, David Cameron—suffered a stinging defeat this afternoon in the British Parliament which, by a vote of 272-285, denied him the cover to go and kill in Arabia. The British Parliament makes it clear that it’s tired of chasing Ali Baba and the forty thieves.  After the vote, some parliament members claimed that the thieves no longer live in the desert. They live right here “in our midst.”

“It is very clear tonight that while the House has not passed a motion, …… to me that the British parliament, reflecting the views of the British people, does not want to see British military action,” David Cameron, British Prime Minister said. And in a move to dash all hope for Washington, Cameron went on to say, “I get that and the government will act accordingly.”

A chastened and clearly humiliated David Cameron was forced to make his pledge of allegiance before Labor leader Ed Milliband after the latter asked whether the Prime Minister would bow and agree not to ignore the results and go ahead with military action. “I can give that assurance,” Cameron replied. “I strongly believe in the need for a tough response to the use of chemical weapons, but I also believe in respecting the will of this House of Commons.”

Since the British Parliament’s rejection to go to war against Syria, Paris has been vacillating between the “imaginary and the real,” lurching sideways like a four-wheel vehicle stuck in a muddy highway after a violent rainstorm. According to France 2, the French government has ordered its naval forces to be on high alert at the port of Toulon. Only on high alert! Will François Hollande be the next Tony Blair, by becoming Obama’s new poodle?

France has signaled support for a tough response against Syria over the alleged massacre of civilians last week with chemical weapons—but favors waiting until after U.N. inspectors who scoured the Damascus suburb where the slaughter took place return and deliver their findings. That will be the shrewd excuse for Hollande to wag his tail and walk away, for the UN team is only mandated to determine whether chemical weapons were deployed—but not by whom, according to UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon’s spokesman.

A lonely warrior singing “Lonely, the lonely”

Obama stands alone. His no-holds-barred attitude is unraveling. Will he become a modern-day Daniel Boone? His friends are pulling away, like German Chancellor Angela Merkel who urged Russia, not the United States, to help facilitate a peaceful solution at the UN. Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta has made it clear that his country will not participate in any military actions against Syria unless it is authorized by UN Security Council. King Abdullah of Jordan has found a cover under Pope Francis’ soutane to begin moving away from the coalition of the unwilling. The Holy Father, while receiving the king on an official visit at the Vatican, said he opposes “all forms of military actions against Syria, which will further the suffering of the Syrian people.”

In the face of a growing rebuke over Syria, National Security Council Spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said in a statement this afternoon, “As we’ve said, President Obama’s decision-making will be guided by what is in the best interests of the United States.” She went on to say, “He [Obama] believes that there are core interests [not values] at stake for the United States and that countries [that] violate international norms regarding chemical weapons need to be held accountable.”

Of course, Obama is right. But the devil is always in the detail or in what will never be said publically. The interests Caitlin was referring to never lie in Damascus, but in the Suez Canal, where billions of petro-dollar is at stake, as the men of the iron gloves in Cairo led by General Al Sissi face tough opposition from the Muslim Brothers for overthrowing their democratically elected president—an action rubber-stamped by Washington.

Al Sissi and his men killed more than one thousand defenseless demonstrators last week. Bodies wrapped in blood-coated white sheets were being paraded in front the camera for the entire world to see, quite an embarrassment for the US. Egypt is a country that receives more than 4 billion dollars of taxpayers’ money each year in US aid. Life is cruel. It has NEVER been a rosy ride to paradise.

Finally, Iraq 2.0 is in doubt. But Obama can still go to war, after all. He has the logistics and the wherewithal. Plus, let’s not forget, he has Saudi Prince Benda ben Sultan and his little brother Mini-Benda on their golden camels to cheer.

Dr. Ardain Isma is editor-in-chief of CSMS Magazine. He teaches Cross-Cultural Studies at the University of North Florida (UNF). He is a scholar as well as a novelist. He may be reached at:publisher@csmsmagazine.org

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