The bickering between the American and Russian delegates in the U.N. Security Council was a comedy scene par excellence. When the American delegate spoke about Russia colluding with Bashar Assad to kill children with chemical weapons in Douma, the Russian delegate replied by asking, “Has America forgotten what it did in Raqqa?”

The Americans are an active participant in a festival of killing and destruction in Syria. The U.S. has pursued a scorched earth policy in Raqqa, Deir el-Zour and Ayn al-Arab “Kobani” just like the Russians did in Aleppo, Homs and Eastern Ghouta. While the U.S. pursued this policy under the banner of “the war against the Islamic State,” the Russians have instead “ISIS-ized” all of the factions without exception.*

A slight difference worth noting here is that every now and again the Americans will recognize when their mistakes have led to civilian deaths, even though most of their victims are indeed civilians. Such diplomatic recognition is worthless. As for the Russians, they have never admitted to a single mistake in their shelling and destruction operations. Perhaps this is because [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s missiles are “blessed” just as his war in Syria is “holy.”

Remember that the American and Western cabal has the option to respond to the Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons in Douma. Calls for a military response resonate in Washington and Paris. Most importantly, these calls are coming from Trump and his associates in Washington.

For the record, in 2013, an even larger sarin gas massacre martyred more than 1,700 people in Eastern Ghouta. At that time, American threats eventually resulted in the Syrian chemical weapon disarmament agreement. Yet it is anachronistic to consider this as sufficient punishment for the regime. All Assad had to do was hand over the murder weapon used to commit that particular crime. No one said anything about the other weapons used to kill victims in even more horrendous ways. This punishment was meted out not for the sake of the victims, but rather for the benefit of the Zionist entity.

I bring this up to point out that while denying the chemical massacre, the pro-Assad Shabiha media did not hesitate to repeatedly ask about the factors pushing the regime to use chemical weapons.** It is wretched and ridiculous to ask this question as if it’s even possible to talk about good reasons for a criminal to kill another victim after already killing thousands of others. Assad’s forces are advancing on the ground and have nearly finished the job in Ghouta. Given that, don’t even ask whether some random military officer opted to use chemical weapons without a decision from the highest levels, even if he acted in retaliation or to make an example of Ghouta in order to threaten other areas still under the revolutionaries’ control.

Let us return to the most important issue today: the question of the expected American and Western response to this attack.***

Perhaps it is difficult to say anything about the details of the next response before it takes place even though it seems very likely. But the important thing is that, in reality, no response will exceed the limits of the current review that gives the West some “moral cover” without changing a single thing in its strategy. This Western strategy emphasizes preserving the Syrian regime and prolonging the war for the sake of draining every party. This has been the American-Zionist strategy since the beginning of the “militarization” of the Syrian revolution. The Russians are now at the forefront and have surpassed America in this strategy.

For their part, the Zionists have exploited this atmosphere by striking at Iranian targets at the

T-4 base.**** Recently the Zionists insulted the Iranians with their wretched comments about “changing the rules of engagement” following the downing of an Israeli plane. The Zionists have reaffirmed their strategy in Syria. The name of the game, as guaranteed by “friend Putin,” is to keep the regime weak and exhausted. The Zionists’ plan involves interdicting the transfer of arms from Syria to Hezbollah and preventing the construction of Iranian bases near the Palestinian border.

Some of the Shabiha might exploit this to promote Iran and the regime. But in doing so they would insult the proud people who surprised the whole world when they came out against the Syrian regime. These people did not revolt as a courtesy to the Americans and Zionists. They revolted to demand freedom and dignity.

Syria is the massacre of the century. Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei lit a spark igniting this massacre with his decision to intervene against the people who came out to demand their freedom and dignity as part of the “Spring of the Peoples” [Arab Spring]. Before the regime decided to militarize the revolution, the Syrian people remained in the streets for months without shedding blood or firing a single bullet. Yet now the country is destroyed and millions of its people have been displaced or killed. This conflict has drained and exhausted the whole region, including Iran. Meanwhile, the Americans have become the Zionists’ foothold in Syria and enabled them to achieve huge gains.

*Editor’s note: The author is referring to the Russian practice of describing all forces fighting Assad as “terrorists” including those supported by the United States and not just the Islamic State.

**Editor’s note: Shabiha is a term used to refer to pro-Assad militias, but it’s usage here appears to be more general than that.

***Editor’s note: This commentary was written prior to airstrikes launched by the U.S. and European allies against Syrian targets on April 13, 2018.

****Editor’s note: The author appears to be referring to the Tiyas Military Airbase, known as the T-4 Airbase, a Syrian Arab Air Force base near the ancient city of Palmyra, Syria.