The Hair is hawkish on war.

Is war just a telephone call away? Is it that simple? Can the Canadian Prime Minister just call up the President of the United States and say, “It’s okay. You can go to war with Syria. Canada is behind you. In fact, since we are hiding behind you, you might just say we have your back. Can we make sandwiches? Or knit socks for the troops?”

If President Obama is really serious about showing Syria’s al-Assad regime that chemical warfare cannot be tolerated by the civilized world, he has to move as soon as the proper proof is available. If the U.S. and its European and Israeli allies do not have sufficient assets on the ground and eyes in the skies to report thoroughly on this, they are not serious in seeking peace in the Middle East.

Building this tension for war smacks of the flimflam about weapons of mass destruction that led up to the Second Iraq War. More days of delay are questionable and it is obvious that the scientific evidence is quickly degraded. The longer the delays, the more questionable is the punishment. If Obama waits until after the meetings in Russia next week, he might as well send troops to Damascus to publicly spank Bashar al-Assad and his generals. Are there many other options available after weeks of warning?

While the West prepares, Syria can move its airplanes to hardened cover. Ammunition dumps and troop concentrations can be dispersed. And they have already assured al-Assad that they are not aiming at him.

It has been obvious for some time that the U.S. and its allies are supplying the rebels in Syria. The rebels have just not had the tanks, training and leadership they need to topple the oppressive al-Assad regime.

But hawks like the Hair are missing the more serious point. If al-Assad falls, who takes over? Would the West not be trading one oppressive regime for another? While people rejoiced at the Arab Spring, nobody liked the Arab Summer.

Rather than egging on Obama in his revenge for chemical attacks, what Canada should be doing is working on the diplomatic front to convince al-Assad to make accommodation with the rebels. Surely he is not so foolish as to continue to want his country destroyed.

Let those involved in the chemical warfare business resolve their issues. Canada can show leadership for peace.


Copyright 2013 © Peter Lowry

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