The main question is not whether the government used chemical weapons or the Rebels; rather, it is whether a military option is the solution to every problem? With the UN Security Council almost fed up of only military options and consequent vetoes on the table, the armies surrounding Syria tend to show signs of strategic fatigue. With everyone worried about their military response and retaliation from their arch-rivals, is anyone thinking of Syria? Assad gains leverage with every day and loses it by nightfall, leading to intensification of the civil war, while the ‘aspirants of peace’ think of their own strategies to ‘liberate’ the ‘Syrian Collateral’. With this being the ground reality, one starts to doubt the ‘just cause’ that surrounds Syria.
Whoever said the Cold War was over needs to revamp their perceptions. The current stalemate at Syria has often questioned the credibility of international institutions and organizations dedicated to the restoration of peace and introduction of amicable solutions to international conflicts. With the most recent visit of a contingent of UN inspectors and experts to analyze evidences of a chemical attack and the subsequent veto by China and Russia on military action, things in Syria start taking turns for the worst. In light of all that was, is and will be for Syria and Assad, it seems that the global powers are ‘playing’ to test the limits of the other. Where the major global powerhouses are ‘concerned’ as to all the humanitarian violations in Syria, their behavior contradicts their statements of worry.
With Russia being the leading military supplier to the Syrian regime and their transactions with Assad in continuity at the start of the civil war, there had to be a North Atlantic response. France, taking the lead, assured that the rebels, fighting for a just cause, must be equipped financially and militarily to fend off the ‘scourge’. This quickly engulfs the American interests, as Russian naval warships are seen inbound for the Mediterranean. Where the US contemplates this initiative by Russia as assistance to Assad, they quickly dispatch another destroyer, now totaling five, to highlight their presence if everything goes South.
Like his Cold War predecessors, President Obama starts a round of statements. Chuck Hagel, the Secretary of Defense, takes lead in making matters worse. ‘Awaiting orders’ is what Hagel signals to the world, with Obama ‘considering a unilateral response’, but stopping short of the Libya-type ‘Limited Strike’ option. After the more recent rejection by the Parliament of the UK to the use of force in Syria, we see the White House echoing ‘I have not a decision’. Contrary to his Cold War predecessors, Putin seems dangerously silent, while Syria escalates both as an international crisis and in terms of death-toll.
The Arab Spring stopped short of what it was presumed to be, and started to go in reverse. Egypt served as the U-turn, where the deposed President and the savior Sisi served as the reverse gear to all the efforts of Tahrir Square. To observe the pattern of events surrounding the Middle East and North Africa, one must disassociate oneself from all conspiracy theories and view this stalemate with neutrality. A prolonged regime has always been a favorite choice of governance when it comes to the Middle East, and transitions of power have always been controversial and disputed. Where most nations have seen the same ruler for decades on end, often coming to power by the use of force, a democratic transfer was either viewed as a ‘trick of the West’ or ‘a short term option’. With most states entering the ‘Spring Phase’ and establishing transitional arrangements to oversee a democratic transfer of power via elections, internal disagreements were never out of question. With Tunisia still in transit, Egypt undergoing a coup and Syria going for the ‘Ant Boot’ option, the grounds became tender enough for international intervention.