Five Thoughts on Air Strikes Against Syria

1. The United States, the UK and France launched air strikes on Syria this morning just as inspectors from the UN chemical weapons agency, the OPCW, had arrived to investigate whether a chemical weapons attack – the official justfication for the strikes – had taken place in Douma last week and, if so, who was responsible.

It looks suspiciously like the strikes were timed to pre-empt, and foil, the UN investigation. That has to raise concerns that we are being hoodwinked by our leaders, as we were in Iraq and Libya, as they seek to actively stoke yet another “humanitarian war” whose only beneficiaries will be the west’s military-industrial-security-media elites.

2. Let us not forget, a military attack on a sovereign country without authorisation from the UN Security Council amounts to a war of aggression. That is a crime against humanity – the supreme international crime, in fact – as jurists have repeatedly pointed out.

We have now so inverted the global order that western powers can claim – with a straight face – to attack a country in the name of decency and humanitarianism by breaking the most fundamental tenets of international law, tenets that were developed precisely to prevent last century’s two world wars that laid waste to Europe and beyond.

3. Trump has said: “We are prepared to sustain this response until the Syrian regime stops its use of prohibited chemical agents.” Given that he doesn’t know whether Bashar Assad used…

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