The White House continued to point the finger of responsibility for the chemical attack at Assad’s regime, but President Obama said he still hadn’t made a decision whether or not to attack, noting that punitive measures against Syria would not end the civil war, but added that there were “international consequences” to the use of chemical weapons and that he was briefed on the military options that would not result in “getting drawn into a long conflict.”
The international community, on the whole, although not universally, expressed the need to respond to the use of chemical weapons, but were divided regarding their respective national involvements, notwithstanding that many so-called “intelligence” communities were of the opinion that it was “highly likely” that Assad’s regime was responsible and should be held accountable.
Russia’s Vladimir Putin directly challenged the U.S. assertion that Assad was responsible for the chemical attacks upon Syrian civilians and said that if such evidence existed, then the U.S. should produce it. As of this writing, no such concrete evidence has been presented.
A “monkey with a hand grenade”
A senior Russian official said earlier this week that the West was behaving towards the Islamic world like a “monkey with a hand grenade”. The implication of irresponsibility is obvious, all resulting from the allegations that the Syrian government used chemical weapons against civilians in rebel-controlled areas. As the situation in the Middle East continued to build to a fever-pitch of war, a news report yesterday, Friday, contained information that, if true, undercuts the West’s contentions concerning responsibility for the chemical attack.
Syrian rebels admit responsibility for the use of the chemical weapons.
On Friday, it was reported that Syrian rebels in the Ghouta suburb of Damascus admitted to a correspondent of Associated Press that they were the ones responsible for the chemical attack, which the West was blaming on Assad. They added that they were not properly trained in the use of chemical weapons, which were, apparently, received from Saudi militants and which were supposed to end up in the hands of Jabhat al-Nusra, an offshoot of al-Qaida. As one of those interviewed was quoted as saying: “We were very curious about these arms. And unfortunately, some of the fighters handled the weapons improperly and set off the explosions”. A similar story was told by a female fighter, who said: “They didn’t tell us what these arms were or how to use them. We didn’t know they were chemical weapons. We never imagined they were chemical weapons.” According to father of one opposition rebel, the chemical weapons exploded inside a tunnel, which, in addition to the civilian casualties, also resulted in the deaths of a dozen rebels.
Obviously, such an “admission”, if true, would remove the basis for a U.S.-led attack against Syria, which is predicated on the unproven claim that Syrian President Assad was responsible for the chemical weapons attack.
Notwithstanding the above “admissions”, U.S. warships remain on full standby readiness in the Mediterranean Sea and Israel continues to prepare for the likelihood of an attack upon Syria and the consequences of such an attack upon Israel. As of this writing, Israeli news sources report that the U.S.-led attack is scheduled to take place sometime between tonight and Tuesday.
But, President Obama’s speech today passed the buck to Congress, which is scheduled to return from its summer break on September 9th.
Whichever way it goes, even if Obama changes his mind and decides not to wait for a Congressional decision, from the mindset of the Middle East, he has “lost face” and America has lost credibility.
At this point, in light of the information mentioned above and the lack of clear-cut evidence against Assad’s use of chemical weapons against the Syrian citizens, we have to ask: What is the West’s motivation for the interference in Syria’s civil war? With so many “war statements” emanating from Western countries, there will be a lot of mud on their national faces, if they call off the attack, because their intelligence gathering was faulty.
Russia threatens to attack Saudi Arabia, if the West attacks Syria.
The Sunni Muslim World was stunned this week by President Putin’s order for a “massive military strike” against Saudi Arabia, if the West attacks Syria. The Saudis were forced to go on “full war alert”. This was confirmed by the Arabic Al-Ahd News Service, which further stated: “The Saudi Army is on full alert since today due to the increased possibility of a military attack by the U.S. military against Syria. The ground force operations command of the Saudi Army has ordered all the military units in Saudi Arabia to stand at a level 2 alert and fears were bolstered by recent statements by the Russian President Vladimir Putin in terms of a possible military strike against Saudi Arabia by Moscow.”
As a result of Putin’s “war order”, Pakistan’s largest religious-political party Jamiat Ahle Hadith warned Putin that such an action, if carried out, would invite “wrath” from the entire Muslim world and that Putin’s threat would be treated as a declaration of war against Islam, which would result in a Jihad against Russia from all over the world.
Welcome to the neighborhood!
And THAT Was The Week That Was … and it was enough.