Faizel Patel, Radio Islam News - 2013-08-29
The drums of war has reverberated across the world with four US warships with ballistic missiles moving into position in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, ready to pounce and rain Damascus with Tomahawk cruise missiles.
However the question that must be posed is whether the West has a mandate for military intervention in Syria.
Halla Diyab, a spokesperson for the Organisation for Freedom and Democracy in Syria asks, “What is the objective of the intervention of the West? Is it to get rid to Bashar al-Assad? Or is it to help Syrians to achieve democracy and freedom? Or is just because Bashar al-Assad has used chemical weapons? There should be [an] investigation and tangible evidence that the regime has used chemical weapons; [they should] not base their claims on YouTube videos that have not been verified.”
Pictures and videos that have surfaced following the alleged use of chemical agents in the eastern suburbs of Damascus are profoundly disturbing and a thorough and substantial investigation into what took place is absolutely essential.
However, it is conversely disturbing that Western governments who have staunchly supported anti-government militants are using this opportunity to legitimize the use of force against the government in Damascus.
Despite not a shred of evidence to substantiate claims, The White House, Britain, and France are unwavering in their assertions that the Assad government and the Syrian Arab army were the perpetrators of the chemical weapons attack.
The US government was scathing describing the suspected chemical weapons attack that is "inexcusable" and "undeniable". US Secretary of State John Kerry signaled the US intention to act on Syria, describing the use of chemical weapons as a "moral obscenity" and pinning the blame on the Syrian government.
“What we saw in Syria last week should shock the conscience of the world. It defies any code of morality. Let me be clear: The indiscriminate slaughter of civilians, the killing of women and children and innocent bystanders by chemical weapons is a moral obscenity. By any standard, it is inexcusable and - despite the excuses and equivocations that some have manufactured - it is undeniable," said Kerry.
Meanwhile Russia and China have vetoed three UN Security Council resolutions calling for punitive measures against Syria. Going to war without a UN mandate is legally complicated, but it has been done before.
Walid al-Moallem, Syria's foreign minister, told a news conference on Tuesday that accusations being made against the Syrian government were "categorically false".
"We are all hearing the drums of war being beaten around us. If these countries are willing to launch an aggression or military act against Syria, I believe, the pretext of chemical weapons is false, baseless and groundless. And as I said, I challenge, I dare them to produce any single piece of evidence," he added.
Reports indicate that Obama’s team is now studying the NATO mission in Kosovo as a “possible blueprint for acting without a mandate from the United Nations.”
Ken Pollack, an expert on Middle Eastern political-military affairs at the Brookings Institute says “very famously, the Kosovo war was not legal. Yet ... you don't have people running around screaming that the Kosovo war was illegal. That is because the US did a good job of building a case for it."
NATO rained down bombs for 78 straight days, effectively smashing civilian infrastructure in Serbia and Montenegro while hospitals, schools, and public utilities were damaged beyond repair, killing over 1,200 civilians and injuring 4,500 more.- Agencies