In the last fortnight, the world has witnessed mounting tensions after the US military launched an attack against Syria, deploying 59 Tomahawk missiles against a strategic Syrian airbase. The quick change in US policy, Trump said, was because of Assad’s willingness to use chemical weapons against his people.
However, prior to the launch of missiles, the investigation into who was realistically responsible for the chemical attack in Idlib province never had a chance to commence. Assad vehemently opposed US allegations and Russia supported its ally.
Although chemical weapons use against people (for any reason) is an abhorrent act, it isn’t uncommon. Although it is a war crime to attack civilians using any form of chemical, it is common place with other nations. So why, then, did Trump decide to pick on the Assad regime rather than say, the Saudis?
Saudi Arabia has a history of human rights abuses as long as any single person’s arm – and then some. The hypocritical act of support displayed for the US Syria Strike by the Saudi Kingdom is akin to the pot calling the kettle black.
In April 2015, Iran’s Far News Agency reported on the civilians in Yemen suffocating from chemical/gas attacks via bombs dropped by Saudi warplanes in Southern Sana’a. The Saudi-Arabia led coalition (involving US backing) left thousands of innocent civilians injured and killing scores; and currently continues its attacks in Yemen today.
All things being equal, where are the 59 missiles launched against the Saudi Arabian Kingdom? Of course, for two reasons, the US isn’t in a positon to launch such an attack. Firstly, the US would have to admit their part in providing a platform for these chemical attacks, and two, there is that dirty word called the ‘petrodollar’ involved.
What occurred when the Saudis released their chemical warfare attack against the Yemenis? Nothing. There was no world condemnation and nor was there much in the way of media coverage.
In August 2016, Saudi Arabia did it again. According to a Yemeni military source, “A number of Yemeni people have been killed as a result of inhaling poisonous gases in the chemical attack.” Artillery shells laced with white colour substances were launched to exert more pressure at the residents “of the Ninth district and the villages of Qoubareh, Qoul Ali, al-Ma’di, al-Asarat and al-Aqran,” Major General Abdel Sattar al-Sa’deh had told a local news outlet.
Where was the outcry only 9 months ago? Where were the mainstream media reports? Where were the US missile strikes then?
According to one report on the Syrian chemical attacks, in late 2012, the US military were “training anti-government fighters with the securing and handling of chemical weapons.” The fighters in question were trained by the CIA, and were Israelis, Saudis, and Jordanians.
After the chemical attack in August 2013, an investigation failed to provide solid evidence of Syrian involvement. No transcripts were provided to support the crucial evidence of intercepted Syrian government communications – that Israel insisted existed.
A former chemical weapons inspector that was involved with Iraq said of the US intelligence reports that “A lot of this seems circumstantial. This document is written by the choir for the choir to preach to the choir,” referring to a sense of déjà vu with Iraq’s WMDs.
One testimony said: “Certain rebels received chemical weapons via the Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, and were responsible for carrying out the gas attack.”
In other words, those responsible for chemical attacks in Syria, on this instance, were US-backed rebels.
In light of this, is it far-fetched to contemplate the same in the current context? And again, it begs why the US – who is supposedly vehemently opposed to the use of chemical weapons – remains silent with those proven to have used them in recent but past attacks?
The war against Syria is not in the name of human rights. It is not in the name of national security. If it were, the Saudis and Israelis would be in the same boat as Assad. This is about Assad’s refusal to deal in the US dollar (as is Iran dealing with Gold, and Russia who wants to deal in Euros) and about energy pipeline geopolitics and the petrodollar – which is now hanging by a thread.
If the BRICS nations win this race (which include China) then the petrodollar will cease to have its stranglehold on the international economy. If the US wins, the next century guarantees an American Empire.