Choosing Peace: The World Responds to America’s Strategic Mistake in Syria
The protesters say the missile attack on a Syrian government airfield is an act of war and a violation of International Law, using a fabricated pretext. They say the attack is menacing and could have terrifying far-reaching consequences for the entire planet. They also say they will not stand for US aggression, in a direct clash with the recent actions ordered by the Trump administration.
The strikes on a Syrian air base – launched without congressional approval or UN authorization – were said to be in retaliation for an alleged chemical weapons attack against Syrian civilians, though there has not yet been an independent investigation showing that the chemical attack was, as the Trump White House claims, ordered by President Bashar al-Assad.
While the direct military attack against the Syrian government elicited fawning praise from various terrorist groups and their patrons, including Saudi Arabia, Israel and Turkey, international peace groups and humanitarian voices have condemned them, saying bombs are not the answer to the country’s ongoing conflict. Mind you, no one has ever taken to the street anywhere in the world to back the Trump White House claims, much less believe their fake news about “Assad chemical attack.”
All the reason why Iran’s Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei says the US missile strikes were a “strategic mistake.” In his words, “What Americans did was a strategic mistake, and they are repeating the same mistakes done by their predecessors. Former US officials created ISIL or helped it, and present officials are reinvigorating ISIL and similar groups.”
In the face of the UN Charter barring hostile use of force without UN authorization and International Law forbidding unilateral use of force except in self-defense, the Trump White House is caught between a rock and a hard place:
1- The Washington war criminals unilaterally launched strikes against a country that has not attacked the US, and without any authorization from Congress or the United Nations. Doing so violates some of the most important legal constraints at the UN. The strikes contravene the UN Charter, which is a binding treaty obligation for the US, and helps preserve international peace and security. Article 2(4) of the UN Charter prohibits the use of force in the territory of another state unless authorized by the Security Council or in self-defense in response to a sudden attack. Neither condition was met before Friday’s strikes.
2- The missile strikes were not intended for humanitarianism. They were ordered by the same president whose proposed budget would make major cuts to the very programs that have provided at least some relief to Syrian refugees fleeing the violence of various terrorist groups, and who has banned any of the refugees from even entering the United States.
3- More bombing means more war – and it only means more dead women and children. The missiles launched by Trump will only increase the level of killing in Syria, and inflame the terrible war that has already caused untold misery for the people of the country. This utterly irresponsible act threatens to widen the war and lead the West into military confrontation with Iran and Russia – whose consequences for regional and international security could be extremely serious.
4- The coverage by the “fakestream” media has been atrocious, particularly seeing that the strikes killed a number of civilians in a nearby village. This was not “Trump’s big moment,” and certainly not “beautiful”. Rather, it was silly and indeed a “strategic mistake.” It is morally wrong for corporate media to elevate the voices of warmongers and the Military-Industrial Complex who profit from continued US warfare.
5- The missile strikes surprised no one. War-party Washington has been engaged militarily in Syria for several years now, both in the form of support for various terrorist groups and Special Operations forces, and conventional boots on the ground and scorched-earth bombing, particularly since Trump took office.
6- This was a theatrical show of force, planned to gain a domestic advantage and remind terror proxies that they still have America’s backing in the ongoing regime change campaign. But this shadow puppet display is at risk of proving dangerously unconstructive in so far as it places the international civil society in line against the United States and tis warmongering policies. The global outrage is appropriate and just.
For all these reasons, the international civil society should call on the United Nations to act swiftly and do its job by taking up the monumental question of whether the Trump White House may continue to use military force in Syria. To do otherwise would be an abdication by the Security Council of the powers reserved for it under Article 2(4) of the UN Charter.
President Trump has unilaterally undertaken an act of war. This must be resisted by every available means. The Washington war criminals have already created too many failed states and too many flash points, any one of which can spiral out of control into war involving nuclear-armed powers. They must be stopped. If the UN is a global venue of International Law and International Humanitarian Law, its members must demand Trump’s legal justifications. Their ambassadors and representatives at the Security Council need to ensure that Trump’s military escalation and dangerous proposition (military strikes orchestrated in the name of humanitarian virtue) are properly debated and constrained.