No ex­cuse for strikes

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - COMMENT - ED­I­TO­RI­ALS

AS THE UNITED STATES AND ITS WESTERN AL­LIES have made it clear they be­lieve the Syr­ian govern­ment used chem­i­cal weapons on the out­skirts of Da­m­as­cus, there is grow­ing spec­u­la­tion that the US might soon launch mil­i­tary ac­tion against Syria.

How­ever, with­out a solid le­gal ba­sis, any mil­i­tary in­ter­ven­tion into Syria would have dire con­se­quences for re­gional se­cu­rity and vi­o­late the norms gov­ern­ing in­ter­na­tional re­la­tions.

By putting the blame on the govern­ment be­fore the UN chem­i­cal weapons in­spec­tors com­plete their in­de­pen­dent in­ves­ti­ga­tions and reach an au­then­tic and cred­i­ble con­clu­sion, they are act­ing as judge, jury and ex­e­cu­tioner. Mil­i­tary strikes by for­eign pow­ers will only ex­ac­er­bate the cri­sis and could have un­fore­seen and un­wel­come con­se­quences.

Even those who are no fans of the Bashar al-As­sad regime must ques­tion why the regime would use chem­i­cal weapons as govern­ment forces have just won the up­per hand in the fight against the op­po­si­tion, and it is clear such a move would be tan­ta­mount to sui­cide.

The in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity should ex­er­cise pa­tience in­stead of al­low­ing it­self to be led by the nose by US in­tel­li­gence, which af­ter all was re­spon­si­ble for claim­ing Sad­dam Hus­sein had weapons of mass de­struc­tion.

Mil­i­tary ac­tion with­out a UN man­date will fur­ther ag­gra­vate the sit­u­a­tion in Syria and do a dis­ser­vice to re­gional peace and sta­bil­ity. Turn­ing Syria into an­other Libya or even Iraq is the last thing most peo­ple around the world want to see.

Ten years ago, the US and its al­lies sidestepped the UN and or­ches­trated a force­ful regime change in Iraq with the pre­text the regime pos­sessed weapons of mass de­struc­tion, this should not be al­lowed to hap­pen again.

Since the Syria cri­sis erupted two years ago, the US-led West has been ma­neu­ver­ing for a regime change in the coun­try, by hook or by crook. It seems they have a grow­ing in­ter­est in im­ple­ment­ing the Kosovo model right now.

The ma­neu­ver­ing of Western coun­tries has not only fu­eled the vi­o­lence in Syria, it has also sowed the seeds of dis­cord among mem­bers of the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity and added to the dif­fi­cul­ties con­fronting those who are mak­ing ef­forts to defuse the cri­sis peace­fully.

Be­fore the cri­sis takes a turn from bad to worse, it is high time the US learned from its past mis­takes and reins in its wild ideas of mil­i­tary in­ter­ven­tion in yet an­other coun­try.

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