A few weeks ago I predicted that Syria was going to become a rerun of the Yugoslavian civil war. How wrong I was, its much worse than that! Now with yet another huge chemical attack, which seems to have been targeted more at refugee’s (and thus whose only crime was being in the wrong place at the wrong time) than free-Syrian fighters, the conflict has escalated yet again.
As I’ve highlighted before there are many reasons why the West hasn’t intervened and indeed why Western intervention might not be a good idea. But really, were getting to the stage of least worse options. Anything the west could do no matter how silly (arming rebels, airstrikes, giving Putin a wedgie at next international conference, retiring Assad…with a smart bomb as a going away present!), even another screw up like in Iraq, has to be better than the current status quo in Syria.
And its not just Syria that’s at stake here. Allowing the Assad regime to get away with using chemical weapons against civilians is setting a very dangerous precedence. Next time some African dictator has a problem with a couple of protesters or an ethnic minority complaining about they’re rights or something, the world is essentially sending the signal to him that he can gas them without worry. This has the potential to roll back and see the defacto overturning of the all important Geneva conventions. That is the slipperiest of slippery slopes we’re tittering on the edge of and will almost certainly not lead to the sort of world any of us want to live in.
I mean if you’re the Tea Party type who owns a gun in case the government turns tyrannical (ya a little plastic musket‘s the perfect thing for stopping a M1 Abrams tank or a F-15 at 30,000 ft), I’d say sell the gun and buy a chemical warfare suit and an NBC system. Similarly we may as well sent Osborne around the Hague and issue all the judges and lawyers there pink slips as its clearly pointless having such a thing if the likes of Assad are going to be let get away with it.