World View-UK's Cameron: Britain Won't Handle Syria Like Iraq

World View-UK's Cameron: Britain Won't Handle Syria Like Iraq

This morning’s key headlines from

  • Syria calls chemical weapons claims a ‘barefaced lie’
  • UK’s David Cameron says that ‘the lessons of Iraq have been learned’
  • Qatar and Saudi Arabia funneling money and weapons to Syria jihadists
  • Future of Korea’s Kaesong industrial park in doubt after South pulls out workers

Syria calls chemical weapons claims a ‘barefaced lie’

Syria’s information minister Omran Ahed al-Zouabi said on Saturday: 

“First of all, I want to confirm that statements bythe US Secretary of State and British government are inconsistentwith reality and a barefaced lie. I want to stress one more timethat Syria would never use it – not only because of its adherenceto the international law and rules of leading war, but because ofhumanitarian and moral issues.”

This is a totally laughable statement from the sleaziest and mostdisgusting regime on the planet today. The regime of Syria’spresident Bashar al-Assad started by slaughtering peaceful protesters,then moved on to massacring women and children in their beds, as wellas young college students asleep in their dormitories, and forcingmillions of innocent people from their homes to become refugees inSyria and in neighboring countries. Bashar al-Assad is a man with nomorals whatsoever, a man who is worthy of a sewer, with no credibilityat all. His word isn’t worth spit. There is no doubt whatsoever thathe would use chemical or biological methods to kill or tortureinnocent civilians. 

It’s not surprising that al-Zouabi’s statement ran in “Russia Today.”Russia and Iran are actively contributing to the massacre of innocentwomen and children, and no doubt would supply chemical or biologicalweapons to al-Assad if he didn’t already have them. We’re seeingmassive, historical crimes being committed here, and Russia and Iranare just as culpable as al-Assad. Russia Today

UK’s David Cameron says that ‘the lessons of Iraq have been learned’

British prime minister David Cameron says that he fears thatinternational action in Syria may be being held back because of fearsof a repeat of the Iraq war. The Americans and the British justifiedthe 2003 ground invasion of Iraq because Iraq had developed and usedchemical and biological weapons in the past, and internationalintelligence services were finding that Saddam Hussein was stillstockpiling similar weapons. Cameron says that the Iraq experiencemay cause the West to fail to act in Syria: 

“I choose my words carefully, but what I see does look very muchlike a war crime is being committed in our world, at this time, bythe Syrian government. 

I would want to reassure people and say the lessons of Iraq havebeen learned. There are proper processes in place to try and makesure that what people say is properly backed up by theinformation. 

If anything, I would argue that because people are so worriedabout what happened in Iraq, it’s actually quite important now tocome forward – as the Americans have done and I think [USPresident] Barack Obama has done it in a very clear and measuredway… 

Let me absolutely clear, I think the Iraq lesson must be about howwe marshal and use information and intelligence and I think thatlesson has been learnt – but I think it is very important forpoliticians and leaders of this generation to look at what ishappening in Syria and ask ourselves what more we can do… 

The reason we could act in Libya was because we had anopportunity, if we acted quickly, to stop a dictator in histracks. We could do that. It is very important that the ability isthere and we have to think about that carefully.” 

The political pressure for Western military intervention in Syriaappears to be growing. But after over two years of war, militaryintervention in Syria may just lead to total chaos. BBC

Qatar and Saudi Arabia funneling money and weapons to Syria jihadists

Qatar and Saudi Arabia have been supporting the opposition to theregime of Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad, by providing money andweapons to the opposition militias. It increasingly appears that theQataris and Saudis have been competing with each other for influenceamong opposition militias. This extends to the al-Qaeda linkedal-Nusra Brigade, with both countries providing money and weapons torival groups of jihadist fighters. This comes at a time whenthousands of fighters from Iran-backed Shia militias supportingal-Assad, and Sunni jihadists fighting al-Assad are pouring into thecountry. 

At the same time, sectarian violence is growing in Iraq, with 215 peoplekilled in just the last five days. Prime minister Nouri al-Maliki blamesthe increase in sectarian violence on the strife in Syria: 

“[This strife] came back to Iraq, because it began inanother place in this region. Sectarianism is evil, and the windof sectarianism does not need a license to cross from a country toanother, because if it begins in a place, it will move to anotherplace. 

Strife is knocking on the doors of everyone, and no one willsurvive if it enters, because there is a wind behind it, andmoney, and plans.”

I have no way of knowing what would have happened if the West hadintervened in Syria two years ago, when the al-Assad regime startedits extermination slaughter of innocent protesters. Any such attemptat intervention was blocked by the Russians, who claimed that militaryintervention would make things much worse in Syria. That Russianclaim has by now been pretty much proven completely wrong, as it’shard for anyone to argue that any action would have been a worsedisaster for Syria than the current state of non-action. But at leastthe Russians still have their naval base at Tartus, so they can beproud of themselves, no matter how many innocent women and childrenare maimed, tortured, or exterminated. The Russians certainly knowhow to set priorities. Telegraph (London)

Future of Korea’s Kaesong industrial park in doubt after South pulls out workers

The very survival of the Kaesong industrial park in North Korea,thought to be the last remaining symbol of cooperation between Northand South Korea, is in doubt after South Korea decided Friday towithdraw all of its workers there. North Korea pulled out all its53,000 workers on April 9, as part of its war threat circus. SouthKorea demanded to hold talks with the North over Kaesong, and theNorth refused that invitation. So on Friday, the South said it willput out all of its 175 workers remaining in Kaesong. The closure ofKaesong will deprive the North of tens of millions of dollars, andwill discourage foreign investment in North Korea. It will alsoincrease the level of hostility between the two nations. Yonhap (Seoul)

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