Western nations are laying a media campaign and military logistics for a potential attack against Syria. As the drumbeat of war sounds, collective critical thinking is most vulnerable.
Images of chemical weapons victims are abhorrent. But consider this: Even if we are to believe the West’s claim that Bashar al-Assad’s government is behind the chemical weapons attack, there can be no denying that the insurgent al-Qaeda “rebel” forces that started a campaign of destabilization of Syria are backed by the United States, Saudi Arabia and other Western powers. Never mind congestive dissonance. Most Americans are completely oblivious to this fact.
In order to sift through the fog of war, it’s important to consider multiple perspectives. Recently, the Russian newspaper Izvestia published an interview with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. It was translated into multiple languages. Given that use of chemical weapons is the purported “Casus belli” for Western intervention, it’s worthwhile examining al-Assad’s response to this specific accusation.
Izvestia: On Wednesday, the rebels accused the Syrian government of using chemical weapons; some Western leaders adopted these accusations. What is your response to this? Will you allow the UN inspectors access to the site to investigate the incident
President al-Assad: The statements by the American administration, the West and other countries were made with disdain and blatant disrespect of their own public opinion; there isn’t a body in the world, let alone a superpower, that makes an accusation and then goes about collecting evidence to prove its point. The American administration made the accusation on Wednesday and two days later announced that they would start to collect the evidence – what evidence is it going to gather from afar?!
They claim that the area in question is under the control of the rebels and that the Syrian Army used chemical weapons. In fact, the area is in contiguity with the Syrian Army positions, so how is it possible that any country would use chemical weapons, or any weapons of mass destruction, in an area where its own forces are located; this is preposterous! These accusations are completely politicised and come on the back of the advances made by the Syrian Army against the terrorists.
As for the UN Commission, we were the first to request a UN investigation when terrorists launched rockets that carried toxic gas in the outskirts of Aleppo. Several months before the attack, American and Western statements were already preparing public opinion of the potential use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government.
This raised our suspicion that they were aware of the terrorists’ intentions to use these weapons in order to blame the Syrian government. After liaising with Russia, we decided to request a commission to investigate the incident. Whereas we requested an investigation based on the facts on the ground, not on rumors or allegations; the US, France and the UK have tried to exploit the incident to investigate allegations rather than happenings.
During the last few weeks, we have worked with the Commission and set the guidelines for cooperation. First of these, is that our national sovereignty is a red line and as such the Commission will directly liaise with us during the process. Second, the issue is not only how the investigation will be conducted but also how the results will be interpreted. We are all aware that instead of being interpreted in an objective manner, these results could easily be interpreted according to the requirements and agendas of certain major countries. Certainly, we expect Russia to block any interpretation that aims to serve American and western policies. What is most important is that we differentiate between western accusations that are based on allegations and hearsay and our request for an investigation based on concrete evidence and facts.
The full text of the translated interview can be read at the Centre for Research on Globalization by clicking here.