The Syrian government is responsible for the death of up to 1,400 civilians in a chemical attack near Damascus. Experts on our TV screens have described how the area was first bombed in order to drive people into underground shelters and then hit by possibly sarin, a nerve agent that is most effective at low heights.
Following this macabre act by fellow human beings, it has been disclosed by various American spokespersons that in the past year there may have been around a dozen other uses of chemical weapons in Syria. Ironic – next year we can ‘celebrate’ the beginning of World War One, where gas was used with such resounding success.
Let us be honest about the evidence. There is no film of somebody loading a Syrian jet blame with the weapons, smiling at the cameras, and then marking an x as the load falls to the ground. And we must ask if it is really possible that the Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad can have given such orders, a man who “attended postgraduate studies at the Western Eye Hospital, in London, specializing in ophthalmology”. His wife, Asma, “studied computer science and worked briefly as an investment banker…..In 2011, the first lady’s life was the subject of a controversial 3,200-word Vogue article entitled A Rose in the Desert, which dwelt on her modern outlook and progressive views on parenting.” With four children of their own, the Assads cannot have been so cruel?
American and European politicians have committed themselves to action, initially. Some kind of moral red line appears to have been crossed. However, in the shadow of the legal quagmire before, during and after the second war in Iraq, decision makers are pulling back very sharply.
Of those commentators urging caution, some claim that there is no absolute proof of culpability. True. Yet, it was Sir Malcolm Rifkind, a Jewish lawyer and former British foreign secretary, who reminded the House of Commons last Thursday that in common law you only need proof beyond all reasonable doubt in order to reach a verdict of guilty.
Some claim that before carrying out a response you have to think of the consequences of actions. Will it stop further use of such weapons? Will an attack create further bloodshed? Important questions, but there again, two years of pathetic global diplomacy has already seen the death toll in Syria rise to 100,000 and millions more cast out as refugees.
Some claim that the world did not act over Darfur or even the previous atrocities in Syria. Thus there is no point reacting now. (I witnessed such an discussion on Sky TV on Friday morning). To my mind that is sort of saying: Some killers or thieves get away with it and therefore all criminals can go unchecked. And just for good measure, that line of logic evicts the demand to ensure there are consequences for the immoral actions of others.
So have we reached a stage where politically correct rules above common sense? It was another Jew who reminded us of a biblical phrase: “When you see a helpless victim, don’t cross over the other side of the road.” As I understand things, the bible is holy for at least three religions and most peoples across America, Europe and the Middle East.
While Western politicians and civil servants have chastised themselves over what is the decent thing to do re Assad, Israel – a country the size of Wales – was taking two different tracks. The government continued to provide medical services for injured Syrian refugees crossing the border. In parallel, it speeded up the issue of gas masks to all of its citizens, regardless of ethnic background.
Modern Zionism has ensured that Israel is the one country in the world where Jews can decide how to govern themselves. (75% of the populace considers itself Jewish). Further, it is the one country in the world that has to protect its people against gas and chemical weapons on a permanent basis. Ironic, but one of the factories which makes the equipment is owned and operated by some wonderful devout German Christians.
What the Syrian crisis has shown is that Zionism was right. When the chips are down, when the dye is cast, when push comes to shove, Israelis can and do and must continue to ensure that they are in a position where they can rely on themselves.
The problem for Europe et al is that their position on the Israel-Palestinian peace process is based on the guarantee that if Israel were to be attacked after it has supposedly withdrawn from the West Bank, then the overseas cavalry would step in to help. Reluctantly, that same evidence of the last few days, Darfur, Rwanda and elsewhere makes this thesis as stable as jelly.
What is the benefit of Israel as a strategic ally? Aside from being the only democracy in the region, encryption technology from Jerusalem and now owned by Cisco is securing the use of SKY TV and other channels in 450 million households around the world. Firewall technology from Tel Aviv and now owned by IBM protects the account holders in nearly twenty leading banks in the USA and in the UK.
Permit me a final word to the doubters of action re gas and chemical weapons. Remember the happy Assad family. Joseph Goebbels earned himself a doctorate in nineteenth century romantic drama and went on to become a loving father to six children. Now how long and at what cost did it take European powers to correct their mistakes and stop this man with his boss?