Syria is not Iraq.

The following text circulated last week in Geneva. I assume it was written by Hans-C von Sponeck, Former UN Assistant Secretary General & UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq

Syria is not Iraq. Yet, the intensifying human drama in Syria does remind of Iraq in the build-up of the US/UK invasion in 2003. Conspiracy theories abounded, disinformation made the news and political leaders mislead the public without hesitation. Once again innocent people are fleeing their homes in the millions, are killed in large numbers and physical destruction is all pervasive. These are the facts we have.

At the same time the US Navy and other NATO ships are assembling in the Eastern Mediterranean. “We are ready to strike” are the words from Chuck Hagel, the US Secretary of Defence. A morally, financially and politically exhausted America prefers the rockets from the sea to boots on the ground. The decision to go ahead, as with the Iraq war in 2003, rests with the Commander-in-Chief, US President Obama, and his minions in London and Paris not with the President of the UN Security Council. The UN weapons inspectors, deployed to Syria to get the facts, are told by Washington, as their predecessors were in Iraq in 2003, “Do not waste your time. You are too late to make a difference”. Once again, a pre-meditated act of aggression is about to take place with no regard to law and the mandate of the UN Security Council. A sign on the doors of the UN Security Council might as well read: “Until further notice out of order!”

The ramifications of military action against Syria rather than multilateral negotiations are far-reaching. The price will be paid first and foremost by the Syrian people. They are forced to join the many others before them who have become victims of hegemonial double standards. Confrontation will intensify well beyond the borders of the Middle East. Impunity will not survive. People world-wide are disgusted and angry. One thing is certain: they will show it.

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