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September 3, 2013
He May Be Bad, But Is He Mad?
by Arshad M. Khan
Source: Dissident Voice
The title (referring to Assad) is the question George Galloway MP asked in the House
of Commons when he shredded Prime Minister David Cameron. In a first for a
modern Prime Minister on an issue of military intervention, Cameron lost the vote, and
therefore the British will not be participating in any military action against Syria. It
leaves the U.S. without its staunchest ally and almost alone because Germany has
already decided to forego the military option.
Mr. Obama has decided to buttress his decision with Congressional authorization —
presumably to share in the blame if things go wrong, which is not an unlikely event
given recent precedents: Iraq and Libya are in chaos. Libya has no effective
government and gave us Mali. Iran has the most influence with the Iraqi government…
The other day, Sarah Palin tweeted, “Syrians are bombing Syrians and we are going
to help them. And they call me stupid.” She has a point. There was a gas attack in
March on Khan al-Assal. Following investigations, the Swiss prosecutor Carla Del
Ponte, who was a member of the UN Independent Commission of Enquiry on Syria,
pointed to “strong, concrete suspicions” of rebel culpability, nothing indicating
government involvement. Thus, even if the present incident shows the government is
to blame — and logic defies this — which side should be bombed if both are guilty?
Who would have thought Sarah Palin would be scoring points off Obama … and with
To believe the “undeniable evidence” which the British MP’s kicked aside, one has to
believe a series of improbabilities. Why would Assad invite UN inspectors and then
use a chemical weapon 10 km from their hotel? Why would he use a weapon that
gains him little militarily yet brings the opprobrium of the whole world? In Galloway’s
words, “He may be bad but is he mad?”
Who gains from this bombing? Certainly not Assad who faces the risk of having his
air force destroyed.
Do we really want to be on the same side as the senior commander who slit open a
soldier’s chest and ate his heart? Then, so proud of his ‘bravery’, he video taped
himself and posted the footage on YouTube. Others of his ilk have sawed off the
heads of Christians including a Bishop using a serrated bread knife. Presumably a
sharp straight edge would be too quick. Small wonder the minorities almost
universally favor the Assad regime.
Why would Assad offer to have the UN inspectors investigate this latest incident
immediately, and why did the U.S. so swiftly dismiss his offer? When after a few days
the inspectors did go to the site, why would Assad have snipers fire on them so their
eventual visit was delayed further? “He may be bad but is he mad?” Logic catches
up with a compass needle pointing so strongly in the opposite direction.
‘Remember the Maine’ before the Spanish-American War; the Lusitania carrying
weapons despite Germany’s warning before WW I; The ‘Gulf of Tonkin’ before the
Vietnam war; undeniable evidence of WMDs in Iraq; and now Syria … about to join an
unrepentant tarnished history of varnished mendacity leading to the loss of hundreds
of thousands, if not millions, of lives and horrendous, unnecessary human suffering.
Truth would be refreshing, but it now comes at a huge cost. Ask some recent