August 27, 2013
Seriously, that’s a joke. A war is going to start for some youtube videos. The Obama administration is not even waiting for the outcome of the UN inspectors’ mission and missiles are ready for launch. John Kerry explicitly mentioned internet videos as a reason to attack. As in 2003, the US administration affirms to have evidence of the use of chemical weapons in Syria.
I am usually deeply sceptical about any evidence provided by videos and pictures coming from remote war zones. No need to explain why. I am even more sceptical about evidence provided by American secret services. When internet videos are “certified” as true by CIA, I cannot prevent myself from laughing.
Clearly, diplomacy failed and this is the opportunity for some Western countries to intervene into the Syrian conflict without the UN mandate (most probably) but just relying on some kind of public opinion support. United States urge to take action after the situation in Egypt degenerated and the region seems still far from a new equilibrium.
European countries should stay out of any military intervention, for many reasons:
- A war in the backyard is extremely dangerous, because this time is not Kosovo. The Syrian conflict is a sensitive point of the Arab world, very close to Israel, Egypt and Iran. This time the opposition of other major military powers, i.e. Russia, seems to be seriously determined;
- The strategy “let the US lead, we will follow”, typical of European countries like France, may not be wise this time. At the moment the American army is short of resources and involved in other simultaneous military operations. What if Syria is not Libya?
- The European economy is slowly speeding up its recovery and starting a destabilizing war next door is quite foolish.
You might think that, if Syria was really using chemical weapons and those videos were true, we should intervene. I disagree. Plenty of countries violate human rights and international agreements every day. In Syria a civil war is going on, it’s between them. We are already providing military support to the side we consider “the good people” (which may not be necessarily true, read here and here), that’s more than enough. Let diplomacy work and the war take its course.Claudio Baccianti