Blurred red lines in Syria.


Twitter is awash with far-right looneys insisting that the chemical attack on the town of Douma that killed 44 civilians was a ‘false-flag’ implemented by the US deep state – inevitably concocted by George Soros, who somehow found the time whilst defending himself from a political campaign in Hungary which used his likeness as a straw man opposition responsible for doctoring each and every one of the country’s problems from a mansion in the Hamptons.

N.B: It’s always the Jewish Soros responsible for these false-flag attacks for some undefined purpose. Former private defence contractors who now serve the Trump administration and are set to benefit from every military excursion such as Jim Mattis, Erik Prince and his Chief of Staff John Kelly somehow never tie in to this conspiracy.

I have no intention of joining this piss party, however an acceptance of Assad’s repugnant crimes does not equal an endorsement of another unilateral US invasion of a Middle-Eastern country. You don’t have to sanctify Assad to also acknowledge that US intervention in the Middle-East is without exception an obstacle to peace and stability.

At the time of writing the OPCW had not concluded their study into the Douma attack, however they have conclusively attributed several chemical attacks on civilians over the last two years to the Syrian national army, including the particularly horrific attack on Khan Shaykun. Whether this information harms or pushes your narrative, the UN line is pretty clear: Assad is killing people using Sarin gas.

This officially crosses Obama’s fêted ‘red line’, according to every mainstream American media organisation enabling the US to drop bombs at will due to some unspoken principle of the World Police constitution.

But the ‘red line’ has been crossed on many occasions by a multitude of groups aligned with the US.

The Saudi Arabian proxy Jaysh al-Islam have admitted to using Chlorine gas on civilians in Aleppo. The group, who are friendly with the US moderate rebels the Free Syrian Army and Turkey, shelled the Sheikh Maqsood area of Aleppo on the 7th of April 2016, causing civilians to die foaming at the mouth similar to the gruesome videos you may have seen coming from Douma recently.

The UK also admitted to funding Jaysh al-Islam recently.

What is it about Saudi Arabia or the UK that makes them immune to any retaliatory action when trampling over the red line?

As far back as May 2013 the OPCW acknowledged that the Syrian government had seized sarin canisters from US-backed opposition groups. In the same month several Al Nusra fighters, a group who are very conspicuously backed by the glorified US air base Qatar, were arrested by Turkey for stockpiling chemicals with the intention of creating Sarin gas for military purposes.

None of this absolves Assad’s guilt, but does prove that the ‘red lines’ in Syria aren’t a serious concept; if they were, then surely the US would withdraw their support from groups who had crossed them?

Josh Rogin dropped the ball in a Washington Post column recently, warning that it was necessary to stay in Syria to impede ‘Russia from exerting influence over the region’. He claims that ‘if the United States leaves, that oil will likely fall into the hands of Iran’. This column was written a week before the chemical attack took place, but his arguments have been recycled and entwined into the case for intervention to stop the ‘animal Assad’. Killing two birds with one stone, or simply stockpiling a glut of unsubstantiated reasoning in the ‘pro bombing Syria’ column rather than seriously focusing on the future of peacekeeping in the region.

Humanitarian concerns, ethical boundaries and red lines in Syria are simply weapons used to justify deepening a nu-Cold War brewing between Russia-Iran and the US-Saudi taking place upon a backdrop of mangled Syrian corpses.

You can feel it – since the Douma chemical attack was first reported you can feel the US corporate media emit a whiff of tangible excitement. Iraq war merchandisers who have barely even buried this chapter in US foreign policy history behind them speak as talking heads on CNN segments with a visceral buzz and a morbid sense of unjustified urgency.

The OPCW will no doubt judge Assad responsible for this crime, but it doesn’t matter anyway. Colin Powell will be on standby with his jar of sand for the UN like in 2003, or something similar. This is a military strike waiting on a plausible justification, rather than vice-versa.


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Ruairi Wood

English Dirtbag. Read the Bread Book, Google Murray Bookchin.