Inadequate solutions and the “diplomatic process”.
By now, you must have had more than your fill about Syria, WMDs and the Guardians of Peace in Moscow and Peking. Early on, the case has been “interesting” and now, when nothing new seems to be left, the matter becomes crucial.
At the outset, the writer must confess to a bias. It relates to a childhood experience. My father, an MD used to take me for walks. He used the chance to instruct me about medicine because he wanted me to become a physician. One item I recall was that whenever possible, we should avoid medicine. Due to his lessons I am now fortunate because, having avoided pills, medication has its full effect on me. Other units of instruction related to the detection of cholera and typhoid. I can still recall his lecture about wearing silk shirts in a trench. It is supposed to keep lice away. As a 1914 volunteer at the age of 18, he must have had a valid experience to pass that one on to a kid that did not know much about lice.
Being a normal person, you might ask yourself why a Doc would try to burden his pre-schooler with such matters. The effort had two causes. That father wanted his son to become a good Doctor by starting early. The second reason was that he prepared him to survive the coming war. Surviving in a forest, having a rucksack with essentials, and avoiding plagues were to give his son a chance.
By now, you might be wondering what this might have to do with Syria, WMDs, the UN and Obama. Quite a bit –as you will find out.
One walk has remained in my memory. We were heading home when, at the Pole Koslowsky’s manor along the Balaton Lake, we entered an inn. There we joined some locals. I can still recall the excitement. Everyone –they must have been veterans of WWI- talked about “gas”. I did not know what that was but the alarm convinced me that, especially for kids, gas must be “bad”. The round’s concern was that war has broken out and all feared gas warfare. Frankly, the war about to hit us became much worse than that feared weapon of the past. Nevertheless, that early exposure to “gas” makes me highly concerned.
Significantly, for the present, in WW2, regardless of the “total war” and irrespective of the demented condition of some morally castrated leaders, “gas” has not been used on the strategic level. You might guess that this had little to do with ethical restraints and much with the weapon’s earlier unreliability.
Nowadays, C&B weapons are making a comeback. Countries accept major risks to acquire and to hold them. Furthermore, such arms are used with an increasing frequency and at a widening scale. In part, the explanation is that such weapons do not affect the user any more. At the same time, those that have the capacity to use poison gas are at an advantage over those that disarm according to some treaty. As a rule, total or partial disarmament gives the rogue that violates the agreement a major advantage.
The world’s condition in the realm of gas warfare is deteriorating. Moscow’s and Peking’s shortsighted calculations come to mind. So do Washington’s mistakes. Much credit is due to those that, as in Europe, react to threats by claiming that they are powerless to act. That is followed by placing the ball in America’s court, which means that the US –otherwise cursed as the “hegemon”- must act. It is part of the ritual that what the “Amis” do, will be castigated, and therefore not supported. Once again, the ongoing crisis confirms an impression. America has bad allies because she handles the deserving the same way she treats her leaches.
As things stand, our B&C policy is in trouble. Due to our efforts, we might be facing the worse possible scenario we could have.
After drawing red lines in the sand, once action was needed, all we got was hesitancy. The conclusions will be drawn. Then, in slow motion, action was prepared which, by then, lacked the confused public’s support. Enter a “diplomatic solution”. Russia, its architect, has a main concern. It is not the banishment of poison gas but the rescue of President Assad. By postponing the strike against Syrian facilities, Obama finds himself in a trap he helped to construct that will snap close in due time.
A pimp appointed to be the defender of virtue now executes the “diplomatic solution”. Due to his good offices, the outcome will be that (a) a strike is avoided, (b) the Assad is rescued, (c) Moscow gains a pawn on the chessboard, (d) friends and foes unite in their contempt of a prostrate USA. Why will this be so?
This diplomatic solution will not bring about a verified B&C disarmament of Syria. True, due to the UN’s findings, the use of poison gas will be admitted but the perpetrator, even if everybody knows him, will officially not be found. Haggling will dominate the negotiations, fights about the meaning of terms and “respect” for Syria’s sovereignty will be displayed. The pretended, token fulfillment of what Washington claims to be its goal, will help Assad’s friends to claim a success for diplomacy. If Washington declares the result as insufficient and strikes Syria, then it will be accused to have chosen “war over diplomacy”. Consenting to a meaningless arrangement that the US claims it will never accept, will be easier than acting. Delivering that blow, even if justified by the terms affirmed to be the sine qua non at the outset, will lead to charges of warmongering. Unpleasant for a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and maddening to the Left-Green pacifist internationalists of the President’s party and of the “international community”. The upshot: Inaction followed by a proclamation of success.
The restraints coming from the diplomatic process indicate that, Washington will have to accept a “solution” that her opponents will deign to give her to back out of the political quagmire into which she is sliding. The extent of the damage in election-terms will depend on the ability of the public to judge a contemporary version of Chamberlain’s “Peace for our Time”. Certain is only that, due to appeasement as a policy, a giant step for mankind towards “war-by-WMD” will have been made.