We received email from the President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, on 2013–09–11 outlining his position on the present events in Syria and asking us to share his message with others to make sure where he stands.
We publish this email with our comments below.
|Response to President Obama's Message on Syria
|I just addressed the nation about the use of chemical weapons in Syria.
|Development, use, and possession of chemical and similar weapons (like white phosphorous, depleted uranium, and thermobaric) are issues that do need to be addressed. But they are not restricted to the events in Syria.
Phosphorous, depleted uranium, or thermobaric weapons have been used by the USA and their allies during the past 12 years in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Palestine.
|Over the past two years, what began as a series of peaceful protests against the repressive regime of Bashar al‐Assad has turned into a brutal civil war in Syria. Over 100,000 people have been killed.
|The initial “peaceful protests” were encouraged by external political actors and media from the start. And, as they continued, there began to be calls for a “regime change” and “weaponzing the anti‐regime forces”. And speculations about various foreign involvements continued throughout all the period, and so did provision of weapons to the anti‐government forces. And this is what turned “what started as peaceful protests” into a “brutal civil war” with substantial foreign involvement and encouragement. And this is what has lead to the deaths of over 100,000.
What would the US government do, if its “peaceful protests” were “weaponzied” by a foreign power?
|In that time, we have worked with friends and allies to provide humanitarian support for the Syrian people, to help the moderate opposition within Syria, and to shape a political settlement. But we have resisted calls for military action because we cannot resolve someone else's civil war through force.
|Most of these attempts to “shape a political settlement” consisted in encouragement of the anti‐government forces which were in a state of military confrontation with the government. And this has lead to turning “anti‐government protests” into a “civil war”.
|The situation profoundly changed in the early hours of August 21, when more than 1,000 Syrians — including hundreds of children — were killed by chemical weapons launched by the Assad government.
|Use of white phosphorus, depleted uranium, and thermobaric weapons was made by the USA and their allies in the past 12 years in Iraq and other military operations. And there were many civilian victims, including children. So, the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government, if proved to be true, is not a “profound change”, but a continuation of the brutalities of the War on Terror, in which the US government and their allies played the leading role.
|What happened to those people — to those children — is not only a violation of international law — it's also a danger to our security. Here's why:
If we fail to act, the Assad regime will see no reason to stop using chemical weapons. As the ban against these deadly weapons erodes, other tyrants and authoritarian regimes will have no reason to think twice about acquiring poison gases and using them. Over time, our troops could face the prospect of chemical warfare on the battlefield. It could be easier for terrorist organizations to obtain these weapons and use them to attack civilians. If fighting spills beyond Syria's borders, these weapons could threaten our allies in the region.
|This is highly speculative. Neither failure by the USA to take some military action against Syria, nor any action so taken, will have a certain predictable effect on use of any type of weapons by any government.
In fact, it is the lawlessness of the US government's War on Terror, that has both involved use of white phosphorus, depleted uranium, and thermobaric weapons and has paved way to increased violence and lawlessness around the world.
While the view of the world as consisting of US “friends” and “enemies” in which the USA and its friends are constantly seeking to effect “regime changes” among their “enemies” leads the “enemies” to seeking to obtain any weapons they can to defend themselves from such threats.
The lawless behavior by the USA in the past twelve years has resulted in spread of violence and lawlessness around the world. And another lawless “strike” against Syria will only increase this lawlessness.
|So after careful deliberation, I determined that it is in the national security interests of the United States to respond to the Assad regime's use of chemical weapons through a targeted military strike. The purpose of this strike would be to deter Assad from using chemical weapons, to degrade his regime's ability to use them, and make clear to the world that we will not tolerate their use.
|Such action will be just another lawless act on the part of the US government, which will still further “degrade” whatever was left of the International Legality.
|Though I possess the authority to order these strikes, in the absence of a direct threat to our security I believe that Congress should consider my decision to act. Our democracy is stronger when the President acts with the support of Congress — and when Americans stand together as one people.
|This was a politically sensible act on the part of the President. But issues of war should be subject to International Law applicable in equal measure to all countries, not to democratic decisions by some nation states.
|Over the last few days, as this debate unfolds, we've already begun to see signs that the credible threat of U.S. military action may produce a diplomatic breakthrough. The Russian government has indicated a willingness to join with the international community in pushing Assad to give up his chemical weapons and the Assad regime has now admitted that it has these weapons, and even said they'd join the Chemical Weapons Convention, which prohibits their use.
|There is a clear need to give up weapons of mass extermination by all governments, not just by the government of Syria.
The proposal by the President of the Republic of Syria to give up its chemical weapons should be welcomed, and followed by the rest of the governments of the world, and not the least by the government of the USA.
Calling the government of the Syrian Arab Republic “the Assad regime”, does not befit a head of state of any country. Heads of states should not stoop down to the level of hate‐mongering “gutter journalists” and “political demagogues” seeking to appear to be “morally superior” by calling governments of countries against which they want to provoke a war “regimes”. Heads of states should deal with each other with respect, and refer to each other by their official names and titles.
|It's too early to tell whether this offer will succeed, and any agreement must verify that the Assad regime keeps its commitments. But this initiative has the potential to remove the threat of chemical weapons without the use of force.
|This should be used as a starting point for removal of threats of use of such and similar weapons by all governments, especially by those who used weapons of mass extermination in the past 12 years, like the government of the USA and their allies.
|That's why I've asked the leaders of Congress to postpone a vote to authorize the use of force while we pursue this diplomatic path. I'm sending Secretary of State John Kerry to meet his Russian counterpart on Thursday, and I will continue my own discussions with President Putin. At the same time, we'll work with two of our closest allies — France and the United Kingdom — to put forward a resolution at the U.N. Security Council requiring Assad to give up his chemical weapons, and to ultimately destroy them under international control.
|If applied only to Syria, this will be just another case of the USA and their allies using the UN as a tool of their own politics. To be of real and lasting value, giving up of use of chemical and similar weapons should be applied to all governments, not just of Syria.
Nor is such measure likely to succeed without a radical change in the US foreign policy as it was evidenced by the wars and aggressive behavior by the government of the USA during the past 12 years.
|Meanwhile, I've ordered our military to maintain their current posture to keep the pressure on Assad, and to be in a position to respond if diplomacy fails. And tonight, I give thanks again to our military and their families for their incredible strength and sacrifices.
|If President Obama wants to prevent future sacrifices by the US military due to unnecessary or even patently criminal use by the US governments of its military, then he should stop such lawless uses of the US military strength.
|As we continue this debate — in Washington, and across the country — I need your help to make sure that everyone understands the factors at play.
|The factors at play go far beyond the internal events in Syria. These events are just a fragment of the bigger picture — the global lawlessness of the last 12 years in which the US government has played the leading role.
But the causes of this lawlessness go back to the well‐meaning but failed attempts by the US government and their allies to put an end to the atrocities of the Second World War by establishing the Organization of the United Nations. But so far, this had only a limited effect. There is a clear need to outlaw wars as instruments of politics, and to establish workable institutions of international law applicable in equal measure to all countries.
And while the President is right, that the USA cannot be a world policeman, it can lead the way in establishing such workable institutions of International Law.
But to succeed in that task, they need to learn to see other countries as equals and abandon the view of the world as divided into “friends” and “enemies”. And this means applying the same standards to all countries, including themselves.
|Please share this message with others to make sure they know where I stand, and how they can stay up to date on this situation. Anyone can find the latest information about the situation in Syria, including video of tonight's address, here:
President Barack Obama
|We thank President Obama for sharing his views with us, and we hope that he will use the opportunity presented by the proposal of the President of the Syrian Arab Republic to give up possession of chemical weapons to extend this proposal to all countries, so that development, possession and use of such and similar weapons be made unlawful for all countries, and effective means of enforcement of such law be established.