The Blog

The prelude towards a Second Syrian crisis

Posted on September 4, 2013 at 2:10 PM

On 31 August, 2013, US President, Barack Obama, was expected to present a historic speech from his garden at the White House. As a senior Syrian opposition figure told Al-Jazeerah on that date, "Presidents of USA do not make abrupt public speeches unless they do have something urgent to say". In fact, this could be the most straightforward answer to portray the actual paradox, which continue to pockmark the daily life of Middle Easterners. But, is declaring an air strike on Syria deemed urgent whereas safeguarding few additional days of peace should noy?


The British constitution does not grant Mr. David Cameron utmost jurisdictions. For such, the British Prime Minister was legislatively bound, by the end of the day, to refer to the House of Commons and ask consensus over British participation in a strike on Syria. In parallel, Mr. Obama did not have to pass through all this bureaucratic burden, yet decided willingly to veer the order for debate in the Congress.


One of the possible scenarios for Mr. Obama's decision would be to exhaust the diplomatic efforts of the international community and Syria's allies, via flocking more frigates in the Mediterranean and escalating the political speech in an attritional manner that would, hopefully, push the "veto holders" to secede for a UN General Security resolution framing an international military intervention in Syria. Nevertheless, Mr. Obama could have made promises he turned incapable to keep and is simply waiting for the right excuse to abort the punitive mission against Damascus. After all, this is the president who, upon election, had promised the American people to send the boys - US troops overseas - back home and not create another endless war.


Despite Washington's true intentions, Syria stood lonelier than ever day after another. On one hand, the Arabs in general, and Syria and Egypt in particular, had witnessed sour relationships with the previous USSR bloc dating back to the days of the United Arab Republic. The Soviets were so cooperative with Arabs during peace times and so complicated when Anwar Al-Sadat and Hafiz Al-Assad wen to war with Israel. It is true that the Soviets did stand by the late Hafiz Al-Assad against the US-Israeli axes, especially after the signature of Camp David, but they mostly did so to gain further ground in the Middle East facing international imperialism.


If history is a page to be turned over, the statement of Sergei Lavrov, Russia's Minister of Foreign Affairs, in the aftermath of the alleged chemical attack on West and East Al-Ghutah, as well as President Vladimir Putin's shift in stance on 4 September, 2013, do not foretell so. With the early sparkles of potential air strikes on Syria, Mr. Lavrov declared that Russia is not willing to fight any party. Concurrently, with the approach of the US Congress' session of September 9, during which its members should vote for or out a strike on Syria, Mr. Putin coldly commented that Russia is ready to support military intervention against Syria in case it has been proved that Assad's regime stands behind the use of chemical weapons against the Syrian people. Henceforth, Mr. Putin did not confirm abandoning Syria but left the door open as well for smooth transitory sidelining as per the shift of tides.


So far, Tehran remained the most hardline supporter of Mr. Bashar Al-Assad's regime. But, the Ayatollahs' regime is not ready for another ferocious confrontation with the international community - or Washington alone - at that precarious moment. As all cards are beginning to unfold, one after another, the decades-long axes stretching from Iran to Hezbollah's Lebanon seemed on the brick, threatened to collapse at any moment. Aside the eminent threat in the region, Iran is also worried about containing its untold internal rivalries and discontent. Witnessing another Green Revolution is not tolerable at that phase in the Persian land.


No matter how wide the political gap between republicans and democrats can reach, both parties are keen to preserve Washington's image as a global superpower. Within this line, the US Congress is not expected to act in similarity with its British counterpart. Mr. Obama is sure about reaching a consensus from within but is mostly orchestrating a comprehensive international support that stretches beyond the Champs-Elysee sidewalks. As a matter of fact, the members of Congress had cut short their break and conveyed a session today and will most probably reach a final decision over Syria within few hours. On the other side of the planet, Putin summoned his security staff to discuss the emergent developments on the Syrian file, and the NATO commander, General Dimpsey assured the support of regional states during the strike. So fast but hopefully not as cruel ...

Categories: Strictly for Arabs

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