It appears that the appeal of millions of American citizens as well as opposition from American allies around the globe has had the desired effect that could likely prevent the military action the Obama administration was pursuing in response to what appears to have been a chemical weapons attack by the Assad regime on Syrian residents.
Secretary of State John Kerry suggested last Monday, as an off-the-cuff “rhetorical argument”, that the U.S. would consider putting the threat of a targeted missile strike against the Assad regime on the back burners if Assad would agree to removing his chemical weapons arsenal. But the Russians, Syria’s biggest ally, saw this as opportunity to scale down the threat of U.S. intervention and got Syria to agree to such a proposal. And in short order the wheels have been set in motion to not only remove chemical weapons currently in Syria, but get Assad to sign the ban against using such weapons.
Kerry has remained skeptical however and isn’t convinced that such a proposal can be carried out with easy verification and a willing compliance from the Assad regime. He remains steadfast about implementing a military strike, informing everyone that it was the “credible use of force [that] for the first time [has] brought this regime to even acknowledge that they have a chemical weapons arsenal.”
No doubt that much of what has played out since the chemical attack occurred on over 1400 men, women and children on August 21st has brought us to this point. And though the threat of force did likely play a strong factor in changing the position of Assad and the Russians, it has been the boisterous outcry by progressives normally loyal to the President, as well as many on the far right, that gave the Obama administration pause to reflect on taking the serious action of a military strike on targets in and around Damascus. Had this protest not been there and at the level it was, the plans already set in motion by the Executive branch might have been carried out.
I think Obama made the right decision in putting the brakes on U.S. military action to deal with the heinous use of sarin gas in Syria. Much evidence points to the Syrian regime as the likely perpetrator but it is also possible that some rogue general, not Assad himself, made the call to use a weapon that was banned by most countries, including Syria, back in 1925.
Some of that evidence comes from a report made by the Human Rights Watch organization. The U.S.-based rights group said it had reached its conclusion after analyzing witness accounts, remnants of the weapons used and medical records of victims. On Monday HRW tweeted: Syrian government is likely responsible for chemical attack – @hrwhttp://bit.ly/187aC6x
HRW said it did not believe the attack could have been carried out by rebels or other “terrorists” as a smokescreen, as suggested by Assad. “Human Rights Watch and arms experts monitoring the use of weaponry in Syria have not documented Syrian opposition forces to be in possession of the 140mm and 330mm rockets used in the attack, or their associated launchers,” the report added.
HRW however has its critics. SOURCEWATCH has noted on their website that the “founders of HRW were staunchly pro-Israel, and over time they have intervened to temper critical reports about Israeli actions.”
Following lobbying by UN Watch, a zionist pressure group, HRW removed Prof. Richard Falk from one of it human rights committees. Falk, a prominent international jurist and professor at Princeton, was a vocal critic of Israel. SOURCE
AIPAC, the powerful Israeli lobby in Washington, D.C., has given its blessing to a U.S. military intervention in Syria.
Be that as it may and despite Kerry’s “credible use of force” claim, the world has been spared for the time being of yet another use of military force to aid rebels in deposing the dictator in the Middle East. With UN approval, the U.S., British, Canadian and French air and naval forces supported Libyan revels in 2011 with missal and air strikes to defeat forces of Muammar Qaddafi. Critics of this action have claimed that Qaddafi’s ouster has led to an increase in terrorist attacks in Mali and other parts of that region.
One of the horrifying images Obama viewed of Syrian children dying from a chemical gas attack by the Assad regime