The guns are booming once again in West Asia (“West Asia opposes strikes on Syria,” & “Defending the indefensible in Syria,” Op-Ed, Aug. 29). As a continuation of the Arab Spring movement, civilian protests became violent and extremely forceful in Syria and President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons to quell the violent protests. The proposed western military strike against Syria is for the use of chemical weapons. The U.N. inspectors are already working in Syria and will submit a comprehensive report. It would be wiser to think of a military strike after studying this report. Besides, many observers believe that the chemical weapons were actually used by the protesters. Any impulsive action by the western powers has to be reined in.
Col. C.V. Venugopalan (retd.),
The West seems to think that West Asia is an area for target practice. The international community must step back and allow the Syrians to sort out their problems or at least consider the U.N. Security Council’s report on how and why chemical weapons were used. The world does not want a repeat of Iraq, where, when the smoke of war clears, the war hounds will find only the blood of innocents rather than weapons of mass destruction.
The West and its politics of framing false questions in the context of domestic conflicts and violence in different parts of the world including Syria reflect the partiality and bias of the upholders of international justice. The intensity of crimes and the worth of the victim’s life are decided by the single criterion: who is responsible for carrying them out? The Halabja massacre of Kurds under Saddam Hussein’s Iraq was carried out with the knowledge of the U.S.
However, the regime got attention and notoriety only after Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait. It is clear that the western cry over chemical attacks in Syria is just a continuation of the same politics.
A look at the history of western intervention in West Asia shows that there is an element of domestic and internal issues at play. Whether it was the U.S., the U.K. or France, their hunt for the “so-called weapons of mass destruction” has had to be seen against a backdrop of serious internal problems. All the three were also apprehensive of a loss of control in that part of the world, rich in oil.
Globally, the world expects President Obama to be more sober than his predecessors and shun brinkmanship. With the kind of economic situation the world finds itself in, it will be nothing short of adventurism to plan and execute any armed action on Syria and other areas in the Middle East.
G.M. Rama Rao,