Fighting for power in west Asia

Two wrongs do not a right make. There’s little doubt that Bashar al-Assad has used brute military force to hang onto power, treating his own people as pawns in the great game of West Asia.

Published: 17th April 2018 04:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th April 2018 01:07 AM   |  A+A-

Two wrongs do not a right make. There’s little doubt that Bashar al-Assad has used brute military force to hang onto power, treating his own people as pawns in the great game of West Asia. But what have the US President Donald Trump and his triumphal allies Britain and France achieved? They have pounded an already battered Syria yet again with more than 100 missiles. Without waiting for the Organisation for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to begin their investigation in Douma, just 16 km from Damascus. Instead, Trump and his friends, true to their calling, depended only on Pentagon reports about Assad’s ‘chemical arsenal’. 

There’s no two ways about it: Assad deserved to be punished if he had actually used dirty weapons against his own people. He has countered that it was not him, but the rebels. Without a probe by a UN-backed body, there’s no way to know the truth. And despite Trump’s brag talk, it’s admittedly a precision strike, no more. Assad is safe and sound as before, secure with his backing from Russia and Iran. In fact, he is in recovery mode. Does that mean all this was only shadow-boxing between the West and Russia taking the shape of a regional conflict, leaving much of West Asia in ruins?

Reports suggest the strike has improved the French premier’s ‘he-man’ rating! Well, Russia did move a UN resolution condemning the Syria strike, but it had few backers, except for China, from the big boys club. Syria has been smashed beyond recognition by the civil war, but it’s still a step away from utter chaos, at least in the areas controlled by Assad. Perhaps that’s why all players, including the Saudis, Israel and the Emirates, maintain a ‘this far and no further’ tone. 

However, keeping Syria on the boil will not help anyone in the long run. A semblance of peace and coercive, intensive diplomacy may. A new political order, maybe a neutral hand like India, with no to axe to grind, can chip in. Believe it or not, Damascus may not mind Delhi.

Stay up to date on all the latest Editorials news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

facebook twitter whatsapp