The US-led coalition in Syria is mulling over potential military action against the legitimate Syrian government over the alleged use of chemical arms. Speaking to Sputnik, Canadian historian Michael J. Carley opined that the US and its allies are seeking to maintain neo-colonial power with the help of their Salafi proxies on the ground.
While the world is anxiously waiting for President Donald Trump and his allies to decide on how to respond to an alleged chemical attack in Douma, Michael Jabara Carley, a professor of history at the Université de Montréal, asks rhetorically whether the US has the right to preach others about chemical weapons while possessing huge stockpiles of arms of mass destruction.
“Do you remember Agent Orange and napalm from the US war of aggression against Vietnam? Or the depleted uranium rounds used in Iraq? Does anyone notice the hegemon’s stupefying hypocrisy? If the US and its Anglo-French vassals do attack Syria, unsupported by a UN Security Council resolution authorizing armed force, then these are acts of aggression against which the rights of self-defense prevail,” the Canadian academic opined in an interview with Sputnik.
Referring to the US president’s recent tweets, Carley, a historian and author of “Silent Conflict: A Hidden History of Early Soviet-Western Relations,” noted that Trump is acting like “the proverbial bull in the china shop.”
On April 11, Trump tweeted that Russia should “get ready” for US “smart missiles” in Syria.
In his second tweet the US president claimed that Moscow needs to focus on its economy and called upon Russia to stop the “arms race.”
”Unfortunately, this is the way the United States conducts its diplomacy which is to brandish a gun in the face of any government which does not do as it told by the US government,” Carley noted.
However, the historian continued, it is “one thing to threaten a small state which cannot defend itself and quite another to threaten the Russian Federation which is capable of inflicting grievous harm on any would-be aggressor or axis of aggressors.”
“As for the second tweet, to the effect that ‘Russia needs us to help with their economy,’ this is typical US hubris,” the Canadian academic noted. “‘It would suffice,’ a Russian government spokesperson might respond, ‘if you stopped your attempts to sabotage our economy by sanctions and other forms of economic warfare.'”
He opined that Moscow might stay calm amid Washington’s verbal provocations, citing Winston Churchill’s famous line that “To jaw-jaw is always better than to war-war.”
As for Trump’s further remark regarding the need to “work together [to] stop the arms race,” Washington’s hypocrisy is obvious, the professor pointed out, referring to the Bush administration’s withdrawal from the ABM Treaty in 2002 and Barack Obama’s trillion dollar investment in America’s nuclear weapons modernization.
Pro-Syrian government forces gather around busses carrying Jaish al-Islam fighters and their families from their former rebel bastion of Douma as they arrive at the Syrian government-held side of the Wafideen checkpoint on the outskirts of Damascus, after being evacuated from the last rebel-held pocket in Estearn Ghouta on April 9, 2018
Chemical Arms: The Log in Washington’s Eye
The Canadian academic highlighted that the US has yet to deliver on its promise to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to destroy its chemical stockpiles. Carley recalled that Russia had already accomplished this task.
“The Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Maria Zakharova, suggested yesterday that if the US wants to do something about the arms race, it could start by destroying its stores of chemical weapons. That is a point well taken,” Carley said.
On the other hand, Trump’s insulting remarks toward Syrian President Bashar al-Assad are beyond pale, the professor noted.
“Trump’s characterization of the legitimate head of state of the Syrian Arab Republic as ‘a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!’ is vile and despicable,” he said. “Bashar al-Assad is the war leader of a country which for seven years has fought off foreign invasion in a proxy war led by the United States, Britain, France, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Israel, amongst others.”
Macron the Conqueror: France’s Neo-Colonial Dreams
Meanwhile, Secretary of Defense James Mattis signaled on April 11 that the US is “still” assessing evidence on the alleged Douma attack.
“There were minor indications yesterday that London and Paris want ‘more evidence’ of Syrian government use of chemical weapons before joining any US attack,” Carley remarked commenting on the matter.
As for the alleged chemical attack in Douma, “Every time the Syrian Arab Army wins an important victory, as in Eastern Ghouta, a chemical attack occurs, or is said to have occurred, as if on cue, which is attributed to the Syrian government when in reality it is a false flag or a hoax perpetrated by the Western-supported Salafi Jihadists almost certainly with the connivance of foreign intelligence services,” the historian said.
On April 9, an op-ed appeared in the influential Foreign Policy magazine claiming that Macron “needs to attack Syria with or without the US.”
“If the United States abstains, [Macron] should prepare, for the sake of not only his personal credibility, but French national interests, to strike alone,” Benjamin Haddad, a fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C., wrote.
For its part, London has made it clear that it does not rule out military action against Damascus either.
“[Macron] has enough problems to deal with in France,” Carley noted. “Why would he want to wade into the Syrian quagmire, unless he has occult visions of reviving French neo-colonial influence in Syria and Lebanon? If I could advise him or anyone else thinking about another war of aggression in the Middle East, or an attack against Russian forces in Syria, I would say simply ‘don’t try it; you will be sorry if you do.'”
Meanwhile, French President Macron claimed on April 12 that he had “proof” that chemical weapons were used in Douma, “at least chlorine,” and that it was used by Syrian government forces. He added that he would make a final decision on whether to attack Damascus after conducting the necessary verifications.