Pro-war Democrats, like Secretary of State John Kerry, have been incessantly beating the wardrum, calling for a strike against Syria. What’s worse is that the warcry is being made on flimsy ground. Those politicians supporting a strike keep heralding “hard evidence” of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime using chemical weapons and arguing for America’s supposed national interest and responsibility to intervene.
The facts surrounding America’s interest in Syria indicate more than just humanitarian interests.
Despite the claims that evidence is growing against Syria for the use of chemical weaponry, there remains nothing that tangibly and clearly connects the Assad regime to the use of such weapons.
In a recent interview with former Chief of Staff for U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, Larry Wilkerson, Jessica Desvarieux noted an AP report that indicated “The intelligence linking Syrian President Bashar Assad or his inner circle to an alleged criminal chemical attack is no slam dunk.” Larry Wilkerson provided information supporting that claim.
The Obama Administration decided not to wait until the United Nations completed its investigation before deciding to to strike Syria, pending Congressional approval. The very fact that Obama said he wanted to strike, without having the proper evidence at the time of his declaration, is indicative of the administration’s over-aggression.
Kerry recently noted that blood tests of alleged victims turned out positive for sarin, a deadly neurotoxin, and that “this case is getting stronger.” Even if the case is getting stronger, that would mean Obama declared the motivation to strike on weaker reasoning.
There is also the concern over the international implications of American military intervention in Syria. During the interview with The Real News, Wilkerson noted that “This is not an isolated civil war.” There are a lot of different hands in the Syria-cookie-jar, and it’s not just America that has any inkling of an interest (it hardly has one). Wilkerson further explains that “Syria is not in the national interest of the United States. . . It is in the humanitarian interest of the United States that the killings stop.” He noted that diplomacy is the only way, and he is correct.
There are so many countries involved: Russia, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and China. Syria has some very important countries in its corner with Russia, Iran, and China, and America has a strained relationship with each of these countries. It might be too much to say that should America strike Syria, there would be all-out war, but considering the awkward international relations the U.S. has with these countries, any future interactions would be very shaky.
The only Middle Eastern country that would support an American strike on Syria is Saudi Arabia, which is an important country to America because of its hand and influence in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Saudi Arabia has been providing aid to those resisting Assad and, just last month, Saudi’s King Abdullah held the U.S. accountable for the “turmoil in Egypt.”
America has a very misplaced sense of duty when it comes to international relations. And it’s overly aggressive actions when it comes to such relations will only alienate the country more and more as the threats continue. Since America has no “national interest” in Syria, as Wilkerson pointed out, why exactly is the U.S. so adamant about a strike?
Should America’s interest only be a humanitarian one, it’s suspicious that something as inhumane as war and more violence would be used to intervene. How can one set the example by sinking to another’s level? But since a military strike was the first option, it wouldn’t be too crazy too speculate that there is something more that those in leadership aren’t telling everyone, a hidden interest. Obama, Kerry, and others in that camp are trying to find any way they can to justify force, but they could be hiding why.
Joshua de Leon is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire.