It is not even 100 days since Donald Trump assumed the presidency of the United States of America amidst a flurry of statements like “America first”, “Pull America back”, “Close the borders”, etc., and now he has embarked on an international aggression in the most blatant way. Does one violation of international law, even if it is proven incontrovertibly, by one country allow another country to take punitive action against the that country in contravention of another international law? America is not the guardian of world order. If anything, America is the violator of world order.
The Syrian civil war started more than six years ago in 2011 at the behest of Saudi Wahhabism instigating an uprising against the Alawite regime of President Bashar al-Assad. Alawite is a denomination of Shia Islam and Wahhabism is a fundamentalist Sunni ideology. Wahhabism, sponsored by Saudi Arabia, considers Alawites and other denominations of the Shia sect and even many Sunni denominations like Ahmadiyya as un-Islamic. Hundreds of millions of dollars as well enormous amounts of arms and ammunition had been poured into Syria by not only Saudi Arabia but also by other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries like UAE, Oman and Bahrain. This is a proxy war between Sunni (Wahhabism) and Shia for leadership of the Islamic world.
But there is an even bigger and sinister game played covertly between America, supported by western democratic countries and Israel, and Russia, supported by Iran, in this Syrian war. But America, after its fingers, nay hands, got burnt badly in egregious aggression in Afghanistan and Iraq, was reticent in getting too directly involved in ground action. America gave money, advanced weapons and military support to what is known farcically as the Free Syrian Army (FSA). This FSA was neither free (as it was under the direct control of Saudi Wahhabis) nor Syrian as a majority of the fighters were from Chechnya, Armenia and other Caucasian regions as well as from many western democratic countries having Muslim populations. Israel offered military logistics and intelligence to FSA, as nothing will please them more than seeing Muslims fighting Muslims to extinction.
While all these regional machinations and corralling were going on, the Assad regime tried to suppress the uprising with firm authoritative hands. This firmness did not work as the wind of Arab Spring was blowing at that time, however meandering way it was, and at the same time local puppets were dancing to their masters’ instructions from abroad. America and other western countries were ecstatic in praise of Arabs’ love of democracy (albeit the American version!) and their readiness to sacrifice even their lives for it!
When America failed miserably to sell their version of democracy to Afghanistan and then to Iraq by a campaign of ‘shock and awe’, hurling Tomahawk missiles, etc., to find love for democracy swelling up from within among Arabs was a big surprise to Americans. (Of course, there were some helping hands from Saudi money and American arms and ammunition through Turkey; but those were besides the point.) However, Bashar al-Assad is no pushover. He dug in his heels and fought against all odds, even when Russia did not come to his aid. For over three years the two sides fought life and death battles and there was a stalemate. America prevaricated in taking decisive action in favour of the FSA and it was quite happy to let the war drag on for a long time. After all, selling arms to Saudi Arabia as well as to the FSA, Kurdish militias and endless factions of fighters on the ground is a very lucrative business indeed.
This prevarication by America gave rise to frustration among the FSA Jihadists and extremist elements broke away to form the ISIS with Wahhabism as their ideological underpinning. Their motto was to establish Islamic State (IS) as an Islamic Caliphate under Abu-Bakr al-Baghdadi, replicating the “Golden Age of Islam” of the 9th to 13th centuries. All religious edicts, such as those relating to the killing of infidels, taking of enemy women as sex slaves, etc., were literally taken by ISIS in their operating manuals.
However, the American party of war game came to an abrupt halt when the Russian usurper Vladimir Putin intervened in 2015 and started to eliminate ISIS in earnest. The tide of ISIS victory was stopped and Assad rose back from virtual defeat. At the same time, a renegade American businessman turned politician by the name of Donald Trump came on to the scene and aspired to become the next American president. He had grave misgivings of the politicians in Washington, establishment machinations, fake news and, above all, intelligence services’ confidential reports. All of these things resonated with the vast majority of the illiterate underclass of American society and Donald Trump came out victorious as the new president of America.
However, in less than three months, Donald Trump became one of the stalwarts of the Washington establishment and a supporter of the American military industry. When there was a chemical attack in Idlib province in Syria a few days ago, America immediately declared Assad as the guilty party without any independent verification of the action. About four years ago, both the Assad regime and the rebel forces used chemical weapons against each other. Since then, the Assad regime has surrendered all chemical weapons under UN supervision, but there was no verifiable surrender by the rebel forces. So, when there was a chemical attack a couple of days ago, how can one jump to the conclusion that it was done by the Assad regime? There was no independent investigation and only Turkey, which supports ISIS to the hilt, said that their investigation showed that it was done by the Assad regime. Turkey’s version can hardly be considered independent. Moreover, the vicious rebels are perfectly capable of launching this attack in order to apportion blame on Assad. It must be mentioned that rebel forces and ISIS fighters were shown in videos using children as human shields.
Donald Trump announced from his holiday home in Mar-a-Lago that he had ordered targeted military strikes on the airfield at al-Shayrat in Homs province from where air strikes by Syria against ISIS had been carried out. Nearly 60 Tomahawk land attack missiles were launched from the destroyers USS Porter and USS Ross in the eastern Mediterranean Sea and the infrastructure of the airbase was virtually destroyed.
With this illegal attack by America on a sovereign state the capability of the Assad regime to curtail and destroy ISIS has been very seriously diminished. Syria may not be able to carry out air strikes on rebels from far flung airfields. Nobody or no organisation is more benefited by this action than ISIS. Donald Trump may like to see the end of ISIS, but nobody has given more of a new lease of life to ISIS than he. ISIS must be grateful to him and may acknowledge this action with gratitude by taking a few Americans to heaven with a suicide bomber or a truck driver!