I’ve been thinking a little about the aftermath of Syria. Chemical weapons are wrong. I did not see the pictures, but I feel horrified that they were reported to be used. That said, they have been extensively used since World War I, by all sides in wars. There were no good guys and bad guys relative to their use in the past. It is the United Nations role to police this since the Geneva convention was signed. There was an agreement not to use them. Many were removed, and Russia was to some extent responsible for making sure that they did not get used anymore in Syria.
What we have seen is that there is difficulty in some situations to create 100% secure environments, and the more repressive the government is in this regard, the more likely there are to be breaches. It is the nature of the balance between security and expression. Syria is far from a secure environment, so the fact that the weapons were apparently still there, makes it vulnerable to security breaches even if Russia is overseeing it.
I agree with Putin that there were much better ways of handling this. I disagree with him when he says that all rebels are terrorists. Although I am nonviolent, I do accept that there are others who may wish to fight with their life rather than verbally discuss their differences. So, no the rebels are not terrorists, and no the Assad regime forces are not terrorists either. Assad is a trained medical doctor. I think that what happened, was “an Arab spring” started a movement that was very destabilizing for Syria. Then people took arms up to fight for “nationhood” which is not new, almost every country has had to do this in order to have a border and leadership. So, many years later they are still fighting. Most of the people who did not want to fight have been allowed to leave. Some rules of conflict have been breached, as is likely to happen in insecure environments. It is up to the UN to decide in the overall scheme of conflict how it will address this with Syria.
It would be tragic to use this vulnerable situation as a power grab, either for Russia or the United States. I don’t think puppet governments are fair to the people in place. So, if either Russia or the United States is supporting a leader that cannot sustain him or herself with respect to his or her own people, then that needs to be addressed by the UN.
So, the antiwar movement needs to start now and early – now that we have seen that 58/60 very expensive missiles could be deployed, and the ship has moved out to the Korean peninsula. I wish I could hug a North Korean and tell them it will be ok. But, to be honest, I don’t trust either government to stay out of a conflict at this point. It is up to us to let our governments know that their is NO POLITICAL WILL for a war, that elections will be lost if they go to war. The protests must start. We can’t wait until a “surprise” war happens.
The right-wing media is trying to scare people away from protesting. I’m not anti right-wing, but when every protest is portrayed as a violent leftist “black lives matters” event… the voice for peace is being distorted.
Regardless of my affiliations, I’m politically savvy enough to realize that the peace base is being eroded by forcing polarizing labels onto it. And no, black lives matter is not violent or leftist. There are many MLK advocates for nonviolence who also participate in BLM.