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T.S.Elliot: “the greatest treason: to do the right deed for the wrong reason”

27 August 2013
US Guided Missile Destroyer

US Guided Missile Destroyer

Assad is a ruthless tyrant to be sure, but the Syrian rebels that oppose him, despite their Islamist zeal, are losing the war. So here is a significant question to consider: If Assad is winning the conflict with traditional armaments, why would he use chemical weapons, which would invite the wrath of the West?

The Islamist rebels, on the other hand, who have have already demonstrated an unscrupulous morality, would have a strong incentive to deploy chemical agents, even in their own territory, in order to frame Assad and force western, meaning primarily American, intervention on their behalf.

Secretary of State John Kerry and others in the Obama Administration have been making some very serious charges and issuing some very belligerent threats even before a proper investigation has been fully carried out. Last night’s evening news reported that the UN investigators were still in Syria collecting samples as of yesterday.

President Obama’s policy toward Syria’s Civil War has been amateurish all along.  It has been full of haphazard “red lines,” and an incoherent interventionist impulse.  Now it seems he is seriously considering going to war.  Ships and planes are already moving into position for a military strike against a nation that has not attacked us, and against which Congress has never authorized a war.

Wouldn’t it be better if we at least made certain that we had the right villain this time? Does anyone remember what happened the last time we went to war over weapons of mass destruction?  Do we really want to make that mistake again?

There was a very good article by Tim Stanley in the Telegraph this morning. Here is an excerpt:

“Maybe Kerry is right and maybe the Syrian government did use WMDs on its own people. But we’ve got one very good reason to doubt his accuracy: Iraq. Remember that back in 2003, the then US secretary of state, Colin Powell, told the UN in no uncertain terms that Iraq definitely had WMDs. Definitely, definitely, definitely. We now know that it didn’t. We now know that the CIA got its intelligence wrong, that because Saddam Hussein used to lie about having chemical weapons the US judged that he still was. It’s true that when dealing with a dictatorship built upon fabrications, trusting its word is almost impossible – but it’s not logical to assume that we must proceed on the basis that everything it ever says is a lie. There is a scintilla of a possibility that Assad is innocent of this particular war crime. Should we go to war on the basis of a false accusation, we would be guilty of what TS Elliot called “the greatest treason: to do the right deed for the wrong reason”.”

You can read the whole article here.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. 27 August 2013 2:01 pm

    Interesting post. I posted something on this topic a while ago; baring in mind what you’ve written you may be interested.

  2. Sigmund permalink
    28 August 2013 1:06 am

    A militant Syrian intervention would be an unjust and counterproductive mistake, one with no rational but sure to escalate bloodshed. The Obama Administration must be condemned if it launches an attack on behalf of al-Qaeda dominated rebels because of flimsy evidence that Congress did not debate. May God have mercy on warmongering madness.

  3. FLT permalink
    28 August 2013 1:10 am

    Whatever happened to the art of diplomacy? What happened to Obama’s 2007-2008 foreign policy agenda of meeting with staunch enemies face to face to talk? All down the toilet?

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