Monday, September 2, 2013

Stop Syrian Chemical Warfare

Photo from
By Chester B Cabalza

Blogger's Notes:
Commentary of an Academic (Copyright @ 2013 by Chester B Cabalza. All Rights Reserved).

The sovereign Syrian Arab Republic is a war zone area today. It is so frustrating that this Levant West Asian country, together with its glorious capital Damascus, the oldest continuous and biblical living city, is falling down into crumble.

The armed and political conflict in Syria began since March 15, 2011 when a popular people power demonstration aimed at ousting the political dynasty of President Bashar al-Assad since the death of his ex-president father and his Ba’ath party rule. However, the Syrian army quashed the uprising months after the sieges worsened to armed rebellion.

The feared Hezbollah even supported the Syrian army and Bashar al-Assad’s atrocious government upheld military back up from Russia and Iran. On the other hand, intelligence reports say that Saudi Arabia and Qatar transferred weapons to the rebels.

Dissatisfied with the civil war, I could sympathize with Syrian children and civilians who become victims in these unending political shenanigans as it escalates further. I could see that both sides have committed atrocities and human rights violations. Nevertheless, in this unwinnable truce of hard power, the Assad regime is more accountable although the government he represents only claims offensive attacks.   

Chemical Warfare

The United States and its allies particularly the United Kingdom were alarmed by the fact that both sides (Syrian government and rebels) are using chemical warfare which killed hundreds of Syrian civilians. In the discourse of Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive (CBRNE), the use of these improvised devices are defense for passive protection, contamination avoidance, and mitigation to any of such attacks.

Sarin is a chemical poisonous substance that has organophosphorus compound which is colorless and orderless liquid. The deadly chemical weapon has been classified as a weapon of mass destruction under United Nations Resolution 687.  In the sphere of international law the use of chemical warfare is forbidden. The US deems that al-Assad’s regime used sarin chemical attack, purportedly the worst chemical attack of the century, considered illicit under international treatises on warfare. The fury definitely triggered a direct military action against Syria by the world's military superpower.

US military attack

Surprisingly, the UK decided not to join the US in its planned strike against Syria after its parliament stringently debated upon it. The US is courting other allies including France and Turkey to support its unilateral military action and wallop in Damascus in case President Obama gets approval from the Congress.

International news agencies recently covered the blow-by-blow debates of British and American propositions to wage war in Syria until UK deferred due to lack of pieces of evidence of chemical attack. Insisting on its premise, the US condemned the chemical warfare causing moral obscenity, according to US Secretary of State John Kerry.

Earlier in the week, the US indicated to launch strikes against Syria even without the approval of Congress. The on hold attack certainly changed the mind of President Obama to seek approval from Congress since lawmakers will return to Washington next week. As a prelude, his aborted use of force should be backed up by congressional leaders to avoid accusations of executive unilateral decision.


Effects of the attacks are at large and perhaps risky for the US as it will strike another predominantly Muslim country. Remember the cases of Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan in the past during the height of the War on Terror. This indecisive action will only overkill the situation. World oil prices will tremendously skyrocket; most economies will slow down because of insecurity in the Middle East; international terrorism will further escalate; and anti-Americanism will be everywhere.

The messianic role of the US is again questioned. Why not impose economic sanctions and embargo to Syria than wage war with two conflicting sides? Great powers surrounding the region are also waiting with the pre-empted military action of the US to Syria. Russia and China are adamant to impose their veto votes in the UN. UK known to be the twin brother of the US in its global military adventures today would not exercise its semi-messianic role – but instead of wasting money in waging war, let it resolve first economic crunches in its own internal state affairs.

The chemical attack is escalating polarity in Syria. Both the government of Bashar al-Assad and the rebels should stop using chemical warfare and become responsible parties in the international community and please respect human rights!

No comments: