A deadly chemical attack in Khan Sheikhoun, Idlib province of Syria resulted in the loss of approximately seventy lives. Everybody condemned the attack calling it one of the most brazen ones that happened in the last many years. Children exposed to poisonous fumes are prone to succumb faster. Victims are being treated in make-shift hospitals.
Who is to be blamed?
White house condemned the attack and held Assad responsible. Wait, that is not all. The spokesman clearly declared that this is the result of weakness and irresolution of past regime i.e., of Obama. Is the statement surprising? Indian readers are used to hearing such statements normally from Digvijay Singh and the likes. However, for a place that still claims to represent the mightiest place on earth white house that it, statements released from its office have always reeked such ‘political opportunism’.
White House was referring to the statement Obama made he will not tolerate any chemical attack by Syrian regime, but failed to react when such an attack happened in 2013. Had he acted then, perhaps Assad wouldn’t have dared to attack now. Well, the spokesman forgot to mention Trump was advising Obama to not act against Assad during same period. Donald Trump felt there was no upside but definitely a ‘tremendous’ downside. If one tries to read between the lines the way Robert Ludlum does, all one can see is a haze where it is impossible to differentiate and identify what is white and what is black. It is not even clear to identify what is not white and what is not black. Such are the circles in which White House issues statements, reflecting the policies of United States of America.
While the west was condemning Assad, Syrian military denied any responsibility for the attack and blamed the opposition groups. The military statement blames the opposition to resort to such attacks to appease their ‘sponsors’.
Meanwhile Russia, the closest ally Syria has, has observed that the attack was by Syrian military on an establishment where the opposition forces make and store chemical for war use.
Now we have three statements and don’t know which one is correct, considering at least one of them was talking truth. International media ranging from CNN to BBC have covered the news, but all the reports are devoid of facts and are only guesses. It is the media that created a hype about the Arab Spring. It was only during the so called Arab Spring that seeds for current Syria war were sown. Well, Syrians are frustrated at the corrupt rule of Assad. Syria is not a functioning democracy like many states in the middle-east, the all-powerful dictator Assad refused to give up power. How could he? After seeing the way Gaddafi was killed and his body was displayed and the way Hosni Mubarak was jailed, no sane man would give up power lest his fate would be the same.
As the west that romances the virtues of democracy was hell bent on uprooting the dictators in all unfriendly nations, the opposition was sufficiently financed and a continuous influx of arms and ammunition started.
As Assad was Shia, Saudi Arabia supported Sunnis of Syria with the proxy support of America that was always a friend of Saudis notwithstanding their involvement in terror and/or religion based politics. Iran supported Assad as he belongs to Shias who are the majority in Iran. Russia, as a friend of Syria was obliged to support Assad. Daesh or ISIS opposes any sort of administration and so they oppose Assad.
All in all, Syria had become a playfield to all those who exercise some sort of control but nothing to lose. Sadly, a portion of citizens of the country who have remained neutral in the episode became spectators cum victims in the ongoing massacre. While Syria and Russia targeted all sorts of opposition to the regime, America and Saudi are particular about targeting only ISIS as they support the other part of opposition clandestinely.
In the entire game of war, the only beneficiary was the western media. First, they created the hype about the Arab spring hailing it as one of the movements that is going to transform the lives of ordinary people for the better. When Gaddafi, the man who taught Arabs how to make money by selling oil was killed and his body was publicly taken through a procession, none in the west tried to condemn this incident. If Gaddafi was wrong in killing innocents, even the spring that caused many more lives in much shorter time by sheer disruption was also equally responsible for the carnage that engulfed the gulf since then.
It is the same media that ran highly decorative pieces and hailed Fidel Castro a hero of revolution. The game of the west was always same. Encourage bloody wars to gain economic control and then despise the violence caused by their erstwhile partners and condemn them. If the cold war created Mujahedeen and helped Al Qaeda take roots in the Arab world, the response by George Bush in terms of ‘Shock and Awe’ had decimated Iraq, Afghanistan. Now it is the turn of Syria that remained the only country that had not fallen during Arab Spring. Turkey is already in doldrums and at any moment would become like Iran, if not Iraq.
Refugees from Syria though were accommodated in a frenzy, in short time the Europeans understood the cultural differences and how Arabs have transformed in the last seven or eight decades. There was a time, when Europeans fleeing the world war migrated to Arab countries finding them to be safer than the snow covered lush green fields of Europe. It is really irony that Arabs are now fleeing off their loving deserts looking for greener pastures in Europe, where they are cold shouldered.
Compare the image of bearded mullahs and burqa clad women in the streets of Arab nations with the clean-shaven horse riding men who were entertained by belly dancing women, who existed before oil became the source of money for Arabs. Does it mean the shaven men and unveiled women were disrespecting Islam? Nay. Perhaps, they were representing Islam better. The current generation of gun wielding Mujahedeen might have induced like-minded sadists from all religions and regions, but they are surely representing all that was bad in the Arab psyche.
I really hope the god give some sense to the people of Arab countries. They might be dying of dehydration, dysentery and even of hunger before oil was discovered. But, they did not die in such large numbers and definitely not by inhaling gases released by their own rulers. Or is it in the westernised thinking of expanding the imperialistic Caliphate by converting everyone into the fold of Islam that is preventing them to think coherently? There was a time Christian and Muslim Arabs used to fight Israel unitedly. If Arabs are killed by others, one may consider it an act of war; but killing themselves is simply playing into the hands of enemy. Better love and believe in foolish brother Arabs rather than the suave looking Americans and their cars.
At the end, one would say “Poor Arabs! See how they were made to fight one another by the white man”. Trump and Saudis blame Assad. Putin and Assad blame rebels. United Nations, along with all other countries would set up an emergency meet and discusses the blood spill over cocktails. Media will run the images till they get another new topic. Meanwhile, people continue to die – if not from the gas, by bullets or knives.