A former UN official says the West has no mandate to militarily intervene in Syria and any such offensive would be the action of “self-appointed policemen” and “very unwise.”
In an article published on The Guardian on Wednesday, former Swedish Foreign Minister Hans Blix said US President Barack Obama, despite his pretensions to the contrary, is like former US President George W. Bush and former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair in that he too seems willing to ignore the UN Security Council and “order armed strikes on Syria with political support from only the UK, France, and some others.”
He said the UN charter only allows the use of armed force in self-defence or with an authorization from the Security Council, but a potential US-led strike on Syria “could not be ‘in self-defence’ or ‘retaliation’, as the US, the UK and France have not been attacked.”
Furthermore, the expert highlighted the moral double-standards of the countries currently accusing Assad of using chemical weapons and using the excuse to launch an attack on the Arab country.
“And what is the moral weight of the condemnation by nuclear weapons states of the use of gas as a serious war crime when they themselves will not accept a norm that would criminalize any first use of their own nuclear weapons?”
The US administration’s saber-rattling stems from pressures exerted by the foreign-backed militants and a bid by the White House to avoid seeming “hesitant and passive,” he added.
Blix, who headed the UN monitoring, verification and inspection commission charged with searching Iraq for alleged weapons of mass destruction, said striking Syria today would be a repeat of the Iraq invasion by the US and its allies a decade earlier, and would suggest that the world’s major powers “can intervene militarily when they feel politically impelled to do so.”
The Western calls for military action against Syria intensified after the foreign-backed militants operating inside Syria claimed on August 21 that hundreds had been killed in a government chemical attack on militant strongholds in Damascus suburbs.
A number of Western countries, including the US, France, and the UK, were quick to engage in a major publicity campaign to promote war against Syria despite the fact that Damascus categorically rejected the claim on the use of chemical arms.
Media outlets reported US plans for likely surgical attacks, which would be in the form of “cruise-missile strikes,” and “could rely on four US destroyers in the Mediterranean [Sea].” The plan was said to be awaiting US President Barack Obama’s go-ahead.
Washington has said it is willing to go ahead with its plans for a strike on Syria even without the approval of the United Nations and despite opposition from its own people as revealed by the latest polls.