The US war on Afghanistan is over. Syria is the new project

Published: August 31, 2013
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The American public, in a latest poll, has voted against any intervention in Syria. 53% say that they are against US military intervention in Syria. PHOTO: AFP

“He has proven instead only his contempt for the United Nations and for all his pledges. By breaking every pledge, by his deceptions and by his cruelties….”

You might be thinking that this is an excerpt from an Obama press conference citing the reasons for a strike against Bashar al Assad’s Syria. Yet, these words were spoken by George W Bush at the United Nations on 13 September 2002, and the above quote ends with…,

“Saddam Hussein has made the case against himself.”

Some things never change.

With the UN weapons inspectors pulling out of Syria with the “possible” evidence of chemical attacks, it seems that the US is hell bent on attacking Syria and “punishing the country for using chemical weapons”. It must be noted that the weapons inspectors would only have evidence concerning the occurrence of chemical attack and not who did it. This leaves the field open for the US to assert its “moral authority” to attack Syria based on its own “reliable” intelligence. The possible US attack on Syria would again throw the region into geopolitical turmoil the likes of which can only be matched by the Iraq invasion disaster.

But the US is not alone. France –fresh and confident from its adventures in Mali and Libya- is ready to assist the US in “punishing” Syria for using chemical weapons. The UK’s parliament has thankfully voted against any intervention.

The American public, in a latest poll, has voted against any intervention in Syria. 53% say that they are against US military intervention in Syria, though it must be acknowledged that the numbers were higher in the previous week (60%).  Even the officers in the US military have doubts regarding the wisdom of attacking Syria when they are already coping with the economic and military battering that the US has received from both Iraq and Afghanistan. The Iranian and Hezbollah threat is always present. Thus, the case against any intervention in Syria is strong.

So why is the American administration hell-bent on engaging in another military adventure which nearly everyone thinks will probably end like another Afghanistan?

The answer can be sought in the preparations that the jihadis in Syria are making for the coming American strike. Many jihadist organisations are shifting bases, evacuating headquarters, moving equipment and even finding safe hiding places in the mountainous terrains. They think that the coming US attack would also be aimed at jihadist organisations that control vast swathes of land in the northern and eastern provinces of Syria. In a statement, the jihadi outfit Fatehul Islam has said that,

“For every US missile that hits a regime target, another will strike a jihadi base.”

The bread and butter of any standard jihadi outfit depends on how well it fights and speaks against US hegemony. This might be a heaven sent opportunity for the jihadis to entangle the US in another war.

It must be asked that who will benefit if the US destroys President Assad’s military strike capability.

The only winner in that case would be Jabahat-al-Nusra and other jihadi outfits who have travelled all across the world to take part in the war. Indeed, it is now becoming increasingly evident that if President Assad falls and when the Syrian civil war is over and done with, Jabahat al Nusra would eventually fall out with Free Syria Army (FSA) (endorsed by the US and NATO and is the official rebel army in Syria) and with seasoned fighters coming from Iraq and other neighbouring battlefields, it would eventually succeed in stopping the FSA from gaining further power and quite possibly open the way for bringing the Syrian war into Iraq against the Shiite government over there, led by Nouri Al Maliki. The Syrian war would spill all over the middle-east and the chemical weapons that Assad allegedly possesses might fall into very wrong hands.

This might be reason as to why the US wants to have a presence in Syria; to stop the jihadists from gaining any further control and chemical attacks were only an excuse. Other than that, we only have the “USA has a moral duty” explanations, and no one in the post-World War II history has ever bought that.

The US might find itself caught in a bear trap that it laid for the Soviets.

Are you for or against the US invasion of Syria?

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Jamaluddin

Jamaluddin

A student of Information Systems Management at Latrobe University, Melbourne. He tweets @Einsjam (twitter.com/Einsjam)

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Danish

    US is the only country which will violate thousands of human right in the pretext of one human right violated anywhere in the world – and LO! She always ends up on the fair side in the international community. Saviour (read BULLSHIT) hen na US to.Recommend

  • Alex Cross

    @Author

    That’s a really top notch post. Have been reading your blogs for a while and can safely say that if you keep writing like this you will be ET’s version of Glenn Greenwald.

    As for the Syrian issue, the term Bear Trap probably sums it all.

    Have a good day.Recommend

  • Hanif Samoon

    A worth- reading blog. Recommend

  • Stranger

    Please dont judge the US so harshly . Syria is using chemical weapons against its people .What are the people supposed to do. apart from the US , the rest of the world seems to be standing and watching mutely At least US is trying to do something . I am not saying invading another country in today’s world is a good thing but then what to do about Syria . U have any suggestions please. ?Recommend

  • Sohaib

    What a limited analysis of the situation, totally ignoring the region players like Saudi Arabia. One must “Clap” on the intellectual bankruptcy Recommend

  • Secretary of State

    attacks on Syria would be limited and tailored with no boots on the ground. The goal is to terminate dictatorship of Assad regime. As far as after effects are concerned Syrians have to unite and propose measures for a peaceful Syria.Recommend

  • ModiFied

    So much about US intervention. Not a single word about Arab League, who is the real financier and backer of the trouble makers. American are only fishing in the troubled waters. Its Arab league which is muddying the waters. Problems of Muslim world are purely internal. Saudis simply don’t want any Shia government to succeed anywhere. Saudis are the epicenter of most problems in Islamic world directly or indirectly. For Americans its nothing more than a business opportunity. Recommend

  • J

    I dont know and dont care who is benefiting from US intervention…. but many Syrians have lost lives in there and they dont deserve it…. who is to blame? US for thinking to intervene or the people who supported a regime, which for decades never created a great period in the history of Syria, this day was inevitable….Recommend

  • Milind

    Blaming the U.S. for all their ills, seems to be a cottage industry in Pakistan and the Muslim world.
    The U.S. came in for flak by one of the writers of this newspaper for not doing anything about the unrest in Egypt (strangely the author let Saudi Arabia go, for actively supporting the Egyptian army) and now this author is whining about U.S. interference in Syria.
    For Pakistanis and Muslims in general its “Damn the U.S. if they do, damn them if they don’t”… Recommend

  • a guest

    I don’t know why military strikes are essential. Surely, if the decision to use chemical weapons was attributed only to Assad, then only Assad needs to be punished. I would favor an Israeli form of “extrajudicial punishment”, “selective targeting” or “long range hot pursuit” to deal with Assad, and his closest political allies (including his wife). I don’t see why we need to invade a country, when all we really need is to be rid of one man and maybe a handful of others.Recommend

  • Gingo

    @Author
    Nowhere have you mentioned about Saudi Arabia backing USA to attack Syria and that Prince Bandar of Saudi Arabia threatened Russia with attacks during Olympic games to be held in Moscow via their Chechen jihadi outfits.Recommend

  • Parvez

    Nicely explained……….if America strikes Syria the winner will be the KSA.
    Looking at the larger picture America would want the KSA to win for now, because they know its a Sunni / Wahaabi against Shia fight ( both Muslims )…………and everyone knows how well ‘ divide and rule ‘ works.Recommend

  • Realist

    “Are you for or against the US invasion of Syria?”

    Your poll is misleading. An invasion is not on the table, it will ‘only’ be a limited air strike on some government sites.Recommend

  • https://twitter.com/Pugnate Noman Ansari

    @Gingo:

    Clearly Saudi Arabia is unhappy with Russia after their harsh stance on gay rights. Recommend

  • Rebel

    What is the author trying to say? The US wants to destroy the Syrian jihadis, but in order do that they first need to deal with the Syrian government, which is doing just that, trying to wipe out these Islamist fighters? What kind of warped logic is that? Why not just covertly support Al-Assad via a third party, if these jihadis are a threat to America? That would make more sense. What we have here is another case of a schizophrenic dilemma among Arabs and Muslims, just as we saw in Bosnia and Kosovo, when Yugoslavia was bombarded into submission after the Serbs tried to ethnically cleanse the Muslims. Then too the Arab and Muslim mind could not comprehend the American led intervention. Conspiracy theories were made up to explain US actions and fit the narrative that the US was ultimately waging a war against Muslims and Islam. Recommend

  • Westerner

    Blogger is drawing a parallel between the Iraq of Bush and the Syria of Obama, but these two situations do not really correspond. While Bush was eager to attack Iraq as Saddam was suspected of producing nuclear weapons, Obama has from the beginning of the Syrian revolt been reluctant to step in. The Middle-east is rife with ancient sectarian conflicts. Americans have seen what the war in Iraq did. The US should not and will not use its resources to turn the tides in a civil war. Obama knows that eventually Americans will be blamed for the Syrian conflict, if they intervene. When the dust settles, the Syrians and the Muslims’ anger and resentment will be ultimately directed to the Westerners. Best course of action is to stay out of this. This the general feeling of the people in the West. Most people here are fed-up with the petty tribal conflicts in the Muslim world. The US would probably send some cruise missiles but that’s about it. We cannot interfere in a larger conflict without becoming a target ourselves down the road. A full scale attack that would cripple one of the warring parties? Not a chance. The blogger should just stick with common sense in stead of coming up with hidden agenda theories that do no fit in the case of Syria.Recommend

  • Imran

    @Author,
    Have some courage to mention Saudia, Qatar & Turky besides US. And also if US is coming to Syria to eliminate Jihadists then it could have mentioned it making its case even stronger.
    The only reason to invade syria is to make a Mursi like govt there and egypt like conditions and long lasting civil war besides ending Russia’s role in the region.
    Weaker the neighbors of Israel more are the chances of its expansion and arab states going by only anti-shia policies.Recommend

  • Muhammad

    The US focusing it’s attention more on Syria than Afghanistan is a good thing. I can’t wait until US completely leaves its presence from South Asia.Recommend

  • Indian

    @ ModiFied

    How’s it a business opportunity for the Americans..? I thought war was an expensive affair…what do they gain by dislodging Assad ?Recommend

  • Naeem

    @Stranger:
    Yes I have one suggestion: Stop arming the rebels and supporting them. Force a dialouge which will ensure Secular constitution as it is today and power sharing between Christians, Alwawites and Sunnis. And finally get rid of all terrororist who come from different countries to fight Asad. Penailze Saudi Arabis everytime it supports Wahabism.Recommend

  • laeeq

    excellent piece of work “rightly said if US will strike syria then end will be not different than Iraq & Afghanistan & even worst for this war Obama hasn’t got backing as Bush got for Afghanistan & Iraq both nationally with in USA & internationally particularly UK Recommend

  • Nehal

    The whole world condemns the treacherous use of chemical weapons in Syria and felt pitied for its people. United Nations has this responsibility to ensure and maintain peace and security of the globe. The responsibility does not fall solely on the shoulders of the US particularly. US invaded Afghanistan and Iraq to end up with the messes of terrorism and WMD respectively. What are the significant gains, despite of earning violence, bloodshed, chaos and lawlessness with very little achievements? Terrorism and WMD on the other hand are overgrown phenomenon afterwards. It is not at all the US responsibility to put its head in Syrian case nor should it made its soldiers to suffer in other’s affairs. The Americans suffer a lot in global economic recession which comes up due to US military expeditions. It should concentrate to strengthening its own home land security. Recommend

  • Jamaila

    The whole world condemns the treacherous use of chemical weapons in Syria and felt pitied for its people. United Nations has this responsibility to ensure and maintain peace and security of the globe. The responsibility does not fall solely on the shoulders of the US particularly. US invaded Afghanistan and Iraq to end up with the messes of terrorism and WMD respectively. What are the significant gains, despite of earning violence, bloodshed, chaos and lawlessness with very little achievements? Terrorism and WMD on the other hand are overgrown phenomenon afterwards. It is not at all the US responsibility to put its head in Syrian case nor should it made its soldiers to suffer in other’s affairs. The Americans suffer a lot in global economic recession which comes up due to US military expeditions. It should concentrate to strengthening its own home land security. Recommend

  • Parvez

    @Noman Ansari: Now you’ll have me up all night joining the dots : America – Russia – Syria – KSA – Iran – Shia – Sunni – UN – England – France, chemical weapons, …………….. gay rights ?Recommend

  • gujranwala789

    I fully support the removal of bashar al asad regime by any means, if US strikes can help achieve that target then my full support is for US strikes against bashar regime in syria.Recommend

  • PRO PAK

    This is Called The Great Game…Recommend

  • PRO PAK

    Major cause of this bloodshed in middle east is saudi arabia,Every militant are backed by SA.Recommend

  • ModiFied

    @Indian: “How’s it a business opportunity for the Americans..? I thought war was an expensive affair…what do they gain by dislodging Assad ?”

    In Syria Americans are doing the bidding of KAS. Do you think its for free? Rest assured every cent will be accounted for along with interest. Americans don’t care who rules Syria or Iraq or for that matter any other country in middle east. Recommend

  • Indian

    @ ModiFied

    I thought the saudis had a shia royal family over a sunni majority country…why would they pay americans to dislodge a secular dictator like Assad,when the rebels are ,i think sunni/taliban..
    Maybe ,I should read up some more…
    Thanks for your reply.Recommend

  • Noor

    @ ProPak

    I think you’re right. It happened from ’79-’88 in afghanistan,in the war against the soviets too…Recommend

  • F

    Morality and USA: the entire Ummah has more than two million soldiers and unprecedented fire power. It can excercises its morality to save the innocent Syrians – all Muslims (ought to be important to the Ummah), from two forces of excess – Assad, the strongman, and the freedom figthers – mostly jihadis. But the facts: the Sunni Arabs and other Sunni Muslims are begging the “immoral” USA to intervene. Recommend

  • Insaan

    @Stranger:
    U have any suggestions please. ?

    Problem is some time it is not easy to find the truth. Pakistani terrorists pretend to be Hindus when they attack targets in India. Ten Pakistani terrorists trained by ISI pretended to be Hindus and carried Hindu ID cards when they attacked people in Bombay on 26/11. Not only they pretended to be Hindus, they also killed 40 Indian Muslims to make it look like the work of Hindus. Truth would not have come out if Kasab was not caught alive.

    Pakis also lied thru their teeth when they claimed Mujhahideens and not the Pakistan army were involved in Kargil war.

    Pakistani terrorists wearing Indian army uniform shot 40 Sikhs before President Clinton’s visit to India. Pakistani media blamed India’s Hindu army for the killing. Truth came out only this year when a terrorist caught by Saudi’s was handed over to India.

    People lie all the time.

    If there is a sure proof then Syria should be punished without any delay.Recommend

  • Azeem

    are you really sure that Syria used the chemical weapons what if US did it secretly, so as to find an excuse to attack Syria. @Stranger: Recommend

  • Baig

    @ Azeem

    Come on man…U.S. did it secretly ?!!
    Whats next-it’s a jewish plot or Indians released sarin gas in syria…Is there a cure for this disease- pakistani conspiracy mindset…
    Tell me Azeem,do you believe OBL was really caught in pak or was that a conspiracy too ?Recommend

  • Umm What?

    Just so you know the US has been dragging their feet on doing anything about Syria, and only want to do a few face saving strikes to save face in wake of the humanitarian disaster that is unfolding in Syria. And if US was really desperate to attack Syria, then Obama would not have last minute announced a Congressional vote on the way and could have alone made the decision to attack on the basis of the executive right he carries as the commander of armed forces. He hasnt done so, which means hes probably hoping that Congress blocks the move just like the UK parliament did to Cameron, so that he has an excuse to back out.
    Also I am quiet disappointed at your scorn and disregard for the use of chemcal weapons in Syria. Chemical attacks or not, is 100,000 death toll (with more than 8million dispalced), at the hands of a man who wants to stay in power at all costs a small number for you? Would you have said the same about Bosnia, Kosovo and Rwanda? Did you speak to any Syrians before writing this article? They are soo desperate they would seek help from the devil if it could offer them respite from the atrocities.
    Unlike Iraq, in Syria the evidence is for every one to see.There are countless of videos on youtube of victims in seizures, with dilated pupils and foaming mouths. A recent video shows the aftermath of a napalm attack on a school (which coudl have only been dropped by aerial bombardment). If you or anyone else have any continuing doubts, please let me know and ill post more evidentiary videos, and even put you intouch with people on the ground who are at the receiving end of these atrocities.
    I’m not advocating a single US strike, but I do think its imperative that an international coalition force leads action in Syria, like they did in Kosovo and stop the massacre before its too late.Recommend

  • unbelievable

    How about a poll asking whether your for/against Assad using chemical weapons against his people? How about a poll asking whether you approve of Assad slaughtering over 100,000 Syrians? Like many Pakistani articles I wonder whether it’s an article discussing an American policy or just an anti American article. Much of the World is complaining that the American’s have done literally nothing while over a 100,000 Syrians have been slaughtered by Assad – Pakistan gets upset because the American’s made a tough speech.Recommend

  • Np

    @Indian:
    The opposite my friend. It is a Sunni royal minority ruling over a Shia majority. This is why they hate Shia majority Iran and are trying to dislodge Asad who is the only after Iran has at the moment.

    Other Rab countries are also similarly placed e.g. Sunni minority royals oppressing the Shia majority in Bahrain.Recommend

  • http://www.sosbeevfbi.com/promo.html geral

    Wars cannot end because the enemy of Mankind (the United States of America) is murderously out of control.

    My report follows on unjust wars and worthless battles for a country not worth defending: the United States of America, a nation w/o conscience and a people w/o heart who are cursed with a national character predominantly w/o soul.

    http://www.sosbeevfbi.com/Resources/namphoto2.jpg

    http://neworleans.indymedia.org/news/2013/09/18374.php

    or

    http://austin.indymedia.org/article/2013/09/01/heroes-or-fools

    http://www.opednews.com/articles/US-Army-Lies-To-Our-Young-by-GERAL-SOSBEE-080929-134.html

    My report of fbi’s inhumane efforts to silence me:

    http://austin.indymedia.org/article/2013/08/29/fbi-undermines-national-defense

    My report on madness and reason:

    http://vancouver.mediacoop.ca/story/age-madness-critical-review-fbicia-operations/9375

    Finally:

    The fbi damages trust, destroys our country via police state practices and engages in atrocities 24/7, domestic and foreign.

    Three letter entities usa, dod, fbi, cia, nsa, doj

    enjoy one trait in common EV.L Recommend

  • csmann

    @geral:
    you fail to notice that it is always Muslims killing Muslims.What kind of character/conscience would you attribute to that?Recommend

  • http://NewDelhi David_Smith

    @Indian:
    you probably missed Secretary of State Kerry’s interview where he said the Arab countries would pay for any US military action against Syria. If you recall, the Arabs also paid the bulk of the costs of the first Gulf war against Iraq (after Saddam occupied Kuwait)Recommend

  • Gingo

    Actually the Saudi Arabian war on Syria via USA is over. Wahhabis have been defeated.Recommend