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La Prensa, Nicaragua

Syria and the Twists and Turns of Gringo Politics

By Editorial

The endless sterile discussions at summits by heads of state and in the halls of the United Nations will not be an impediment to continued human carnage in Syria.

Translated By Laura L. Messer

7 September 2013

Edited by Eva Langman

Nicaragua - La Prensa - Original Article (Spanish)

When Republican President George W. Bush launched military attacks on Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003 in order to push forward with the “war on terror,” they were condemned by left-wing politicians and intellectuals in the United States. Now, these same politicians and intellectuals ask that Democratic President Barack Obama attack Syria and punish the regime of Bashar Assad for using chemical weapons of mass destruction against the civilian population of his own country.

Also, the same right-wing intellectuals who supported the wars of the younger Bush in Afghanistan and Iraq are now opposing Obama’s order of the bombing of strategic sites in Syria, the wretched Arab nation that has been plunged into a bloody civil war that has already gone on for over two years, causing more than 100,000 deaths and producing more than 6 million refugees.

The recognized center of U.S. right-wing thought, the Heritage Foundation, has disseminated an essay by James Carafano, one of its principal analysts, that presents “Five Reasons Not To Use Missile Strikes in Syria.” First, the international obligation to protect people against war crimes, established in 2005 during a world summit of the United Nations, “is not adequate justification for direct military intervention” by the United States. Secondly, vital interests of the United States are not at stake in Syria. Third, it would not be wise to use military force in this case. Fourth, an attack against Syria “would only make President Obama look weaker.” Fifth, the United States would distract itself from what it “should be doing,” which is to work with other countries “to hasten the end of the Assad regime.”

On the opposite side, Nicholas D. Kristof, the American left-wing journalist, writer and star columnist of The New York Times, has published an article against Syria entitled “The Right Questions on Syria,” in which he imputes those who are opposed but do not offer any alternative. “It’s all very well,” Kristof says, “to urge the United Nations and Arab League to do more, but that means that Syrians will continue to be killed at a rate of 5,000 every month.” The American journalist, who has been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his work in human rights, implores, “So what do you propose other than that we wag our fingers as a government uses chemical weapons on its own people? So far, we’ve tried peaceful acquiescence, and it hasn’t worked very well. The longer the war drags on in Syria, the more al-Qaida elements gain strength, the more Lebanon and Jordan are destabilized, and the more people die.”

Kristof cites the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which states on its web site that the movement of those opposing military action against the Syrian regime “is anti-war in form but pro-war in essence.” He concludes that in this case, and in reality, there is not much difference between being “pro-peace” and pro-Assad, as they resign themselves to the “continued slaughter of civilians.”

Kristof is right: The endless sterile discussions at summits by heads of state and in the halls of the United Nations will not be an impediment to continued human carnage in Syria, nor will it make Russia and China quit supporting Bashar Assad and force him to cease killing innocent civilians.



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