Contributed by Joe Montero
The hype over the bombing of Syria has one major flaw. It was not a response to the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons. The allegation was worked in as a faint, to cover up that the real purpose. The missile strikes are a continuation of the ongoing support for the continuation of a war that has already cost half a million lives so far and created five million refugees.
No one should use chemical weapons under any circumstances, and if they do, they should be held to account. But this is something entirely different from carrying out raids based on an allegation, which has not been properly investigated and the real facts revealed. It is said that the first casualty of war is the truth. This is no exception. Almost all western media has gone along and censored anything that suggests other than the official line handed down.
Moves to set up an international inspection team have been thwarted. Syrian government facilities can be checked out. The offer has already been made. Western backed anti-government groups should be investigated as well, give that some of them have in the past been implicated in using this type of weapon. Leaders of the countries that dropped the bombs have made it clear that they do not want an investigation. Why is this?
After failing to get support from the United Nations, the three countries violated international law and took matters into their own hands. It is likely they even violated their own law as well. This is not the first time. American president George W Bush and British prime minister did this to start the Iraq war. So did Australia’s John Howard.
Arguably, without supporting certain groups, and the key ones with fire power on the ground have been associated with Islamic State and al Qaeda, there would not have been the terrible toll. But saving people’s lives seem to be far less important than the strategic goals of the western powers.
That the bombing raids were carried out by the United Kingdom and France is no accident. Both are former colonial powers with interests in the region, seeking to retain an influence. They have been involved in Syria for a long time. The participation of the United states is no surprise either. Washington has had a major hand in the war since day one.
even if by any chance the bombing had really been motivated by the use of chemical weapons, attacking a facility in or near a heavily populated place is a crimi9nasl act in itself. There is no way of ensuring that the poison will not escape to kill and injure civilians within range.
And provoking of a confrontation with Russia is extremely dangerous, and risks plunging the world into conflict, especially when there are those who seem to be angling for a new global cold war.
Australia’s government has also reacted predictably, falling over itself to be cheer leader for the attack.
The Independent and Peaceful Australian Network (IPAN),issued the following public statement the day before Saturday’s raids. In its own words, IPAN is “a network of organisations around Australia – community, faith and peace groups, trade unions and concerned individuals.”
Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop’s reckless support for a military strike by the US in Syria demonstrates Australia’s lack of independence in its foreign policy.
IPAN spokesperson Mr Stephen Darley said, “Surely it is clear that any military exchange between Russian and US forces threatens a dangerous widening of the conflict and the lives of millions.
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has accepted an invitation from the Syrian government to inspect the region where an alleged chemical weapon attack occurred demonstrating a willingness to support its claim they had not conducted such an attack.
The video showing children being hosed down allegedly from a chemical weapons attack needs to be investigated. Any chemical attack is an inhumane and illegal act, requiring the strongest condemnation.
If there is proof that chemical weapons have been used in Syria, regardless of who was behind it, then there needs to be serious consequences in the international court of justice where crimes against humanity are legitimately dealt with.
What is clear is that a bombing assault on sites in Syria is neither legal, effective or acceptable. The risks of even more innocent people suffering death, injury and destruction of homes and the risk that a major powers war could ensue is being recognised internationally.
Mr Darley is calling on the Foreign Minister and the Prime Minister to clearly reject the proposed missile attack and instead be a voice of reason in calling for all non-military means possible to be adopted to resolve the conflict.