No Matter What They Do

In war, like in politics, it is always the one that manufactures the biggest lie who is right. For weeks, Western leaders (American and French, oddly enough) have been insisting that the Syrian authorities are “responsible” for the chemical weapons attack of Aug. 21, 2013 in Syria. They did so without providing a shred of credible evidence that could be verified by institutions not involved in the conflict. We are, of course, supposed to believe them since the allegations are coming from them. Whatever they say must be true, but they are suspicious of claims that come from others.

The other day, one of President Obama’s national security deputy advisers, Ben Rhodes, stated that the Russians “have continually supported Assad no matter what the facts show, no matter what the regime does,” thereby suggesting that we should not wholly trust the people who remain loyal to their allies. In fact, the Russians could argue that the military and financial support that the Americans are giving to a rebellion (made up of army deserters, mercenaries and jihadis) against a sovereign state and a member of the U.N., like the U.S., disqualifies Washington from getting involved with resolution of the Syrian situation for being a part of the Syrian conflict itself.

Consequently, the United States has become the problem as opposed to the solution. Let’s not even get into the American declaration of faith, repeated by the American presidents after barely having crossed the threshold of the White House, according to which “whatever Israel does, we will support it no matter what.” Indeed, for 66 years, Washington has used its veto to ensure the impunity of the Hebrew state for the atrocities committed against the Palestinian people. But it is not just the Americans who play that card to clear their name. The French also want to play with the big boys, despite the fact that they lack the means to get involved with such costly politics.

Thus, some would point out facts that they hope to be crippling to the other party in an attempt to hide their own abuse of authority. As a result, the spokesman for the French foreign affairs minister, Philippe Lalliot, gave these words about Iran: “We are all aware of the extent to which Iran is involved in the Syrian regime [through] military as well as political support, recognized as such by the Iranian authorities.” Furthermore, he believes that France “… struggles to see how a country that is so involved in this crisis alongside one of the sides — the Syrian regime — could be a mediator who, by definition, must be neutral and unbiased toward the parties in a conflict.”

“Neutral and unbiased toward the parties in a conflict.” Is France neutral and unbiased in the Syrian conflict? It would essentially be an event for a country that supports the Syrian rebellion by all means, organized into what is called “the Syrian National Coalition.” France, the U.S. and the UK are the pivots of the so-called “Friends of Syria.” This fact alone eliminates France, a stakeholder in the conflict, from mediation of any kind between the Syrian government and the opposition. In any event, it is strange that some would give themselves the right to support one of the belligerent parties while deeming themselves qualified to assess this conflict, but refuse this right to others for the very same reasons (supporting one of the opposing parties).

However, it seems that there will be a certain balance from now on, which will ensure that the Americans will no longer be able to do to Syria what they did to Iraq — around the time of the fall of the Soviet Union — by going ahead without the green light from the U.N., as the decision was taken to revert to Russia’s initial plan. In fact, in light of their position on the international geopolitical spectrum, certain countries are allowing themselves to do things that they forbid other countries from doing. In reality, we already know these facts, but the Syrian conflict has shed a harsh light on them.

This situation is fueled by the United Nations’ weakness, as it is unable to impose international law on everyone, especially the superpowers, who, in fact, lead the world according to their own interests. International law is only effective when the interests of the superpowers are aligned. And the small states have not finished paying for the crimes committed by the powerful, “no matter what they do ….”

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