By Linda McKellar
Posted April 10th, 2017 on Niagara At Large
(A note from Niagara At Large publisher Doug Draper– The recent horrendous lethal gas attack on men, women and children in Syria and Trump’s reflexive response to it with missile strikes has raised concerns among people of all walks of life, on both sides of the Canada/U.S. border, over what is going on and where this is taking the world next.
I am posting the following commentary because it embodies much of what I heard in recent days from people on both sides of the Niagara/Buffalo border, and from people from coast to coast who called CBC Radio’s open-line program, ‘Cross Country Check-up’ this past April 9th with their views on the humanitarian disaster now engulfing Syria and related areas of the world, and because I hope this commentary contributes to and stimulates further public dialogue on an issue that, if not handled properly, could trigger war on a more global scale.
– Now here is Linda McKellar’s commentary.)
The key phrase in the statement Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued following this past April 6th American missle strikes against a Syrian airfield, is “Canada will continue to support diplomatic efforts”.
We should BUT, while that sounds wonderful in an ideal world, the problem is that despots don’t use diplomacy.
That is somewhat akin to Chamberlain pacifying Hitler. It doesn’t work, nor do sanctions when Russia provides whatever Assad needs. The alternative is another possible world war and more terrorism as local nations like Iran, Iraq and Turkey and distant nations will one by one get sucked into the vortex. Both options stink.
A worldwide coalition needs to stand up, but how and why haven’t they in six years? As long as Russia has a veto in the UN, this will never happen. They need to get booted out of the UN and their diplomats expelled everywhere. They obviously cannot be trusted under Putin, their evil modern Czar.
Last week there was a program on HBO documenting the history of the Syrian Civil War. It was very graphic and no holds barred. This is far from the first time that innocent men, women and children have been poisoned by chemical warfare (not to mention killed by barrel bombs) in Syria.
As a nurse, I know there are terrible ways of dying, but poison gas is beyond any others, frothing at the mouth, gasping for air, seizures and burning of lung tissue causing suffocation. The brave White Helmets and random citizens tried to help but these people were beyond help. Bodies were everywhere, over 900 at one site and in a single attack. People CANNOT survive sarin. I was in tears watching it. Babies are not terrorists. How can any sane person wonder why refugees are risking life and limb by fleeing?
Russia supports Assad (not for altruistic reasons). The rebels are led by ex Assad military who deserted him due to his terrible pre war atrocities, murder and torture, against their fellow Syrians.
Then ISIS moved in to assist the beleaguered rebels who needed any assistance they could get. They were actually helpful at first until they weaseled their way into a position of trust and enough power that they then started to employ their usual control methods of beheadings and oppression.
As a result, nobody knows who is who in this war. When Assad and ISIS are equally awful, who do you support and how? The poor citizens and the rebels whose goal was to protect them are now stuck between a rock and a hard place.
The UN. as an “impartial” body. needs to intervene but then it also will be trapped in the endless quagmire. International law demands intervention when a genocide is being committed but everyone avoids calling Syria a genocide (as was done in Rwanda when 500,000 were murdered in one month).
Ironically, this week Canada and others are remembering the horrors of WW1, the “War to end all Wars”, that initiated the use of and the subsequent ban on the use of poison gas. The human race has not progressed one iota.
Trump is suddenly heartbroken and devastated by the atrocities against “innocent little babies”.
Why the sudden change of heart?
He blames Obama – typical. Obama DID plead with Congress to approve an attack after the first use of chemical weapons against Syrian citizens, as is protocol according to the Constitution. They refused. Many of those same legislators now praise Trump for acting without their approval. At the time Trump sent out 13 tweets. A few are as follows-
- “Again our foolish leader, do NOT attack Syria – If you do very bad things will happen”.
- “What will we get for bombing Syria besides more debt and a possible long term conflict.”
- “Obama needs Congressional approval”….but Trump doesn’t.
- “The only reason to attack Syria is to save face.”….This statement can ring true for Trump.
- “Let them fight their own war.”
In spite of his heartbreak he refuses haven for the same “innocent little babies” and their families and calls them all terrorists.
Is this attack simply the mother of all diversionary tactics by Trump in an attempt to make him look decisive and presidential when his approval ratings are abysmal?
What a convenient ploy to make people forget his many scandals and distance himself from Russia (even if only pretending to do so).
Trump is a pro at bait and switch. How often has a failing leader made a “daring” move to bolster his profile when in trouble at home? He has never shown genuine compassion to the condition of the Syrian citizens before so why the sudden reversal?
His speech sounded carefully crafted and contrived to me, not his usual bluster and no doubt written by someone else for effect. Throw in a few references to “god” and he’s suddenly a righteous Crusader.
Apparently he warned Russia of the attack. Considering that Russia is the prime supporter of Assad, does he still consider Putin someone he admires as a strong leader? I don’t trust Trump as far as I can throw him. He’s a master of deception.
This is obviously a no win situation. While a targeted attack can send a message, it will not solve the problem.
The situation is complex. They need to be repeated until Assad no longer has the means to gas his own people who he continues to uses as human shields. If he personally is eliminated who will take control?
The doomsday clock is ticking. Excuse me while I go hide under my bed.
Linda McKellar is a Niagara, Ontario resident and retired emergecy care nurse who is a close follower of regional, national and international affair, and a frequent contributor of commentary to Niagara At Large
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