Something told me that awarding Barack Obama with a Nobel Peace Prize barely 10 months into his first term as President was a bit premature.
According to the Nobel Committee, the group charged with determining the recipients of Peace Prizes, Obama received the award due to his promotion of nuclear nonproliferation and his attempts to reach out to the Muslim world. The US President’s latest attempt to reach out to the Muslim world includes bombing Syria, a country that is in the midst of a civil war.
President Obama claims that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has used chemical weapons against the rebel forces attempting to topple the Syrian presidency. But President Obama’s claims are being disputed:
“These [chemical] weapons are in Assad’s possession, we have intercepts of people in the regime before and after the attack acknowledging it, we can show rockets going from Assad controlled areas into rebel territory with the weapons,” asserted Mr. Obama.
But if the White House has already shown that evidence to its partners in the United Nations Security Council — including, most crucially, the veto-wielding members Russia and China — it has failed to convince the vast majority of them of its veracity.
Heading into St. Petersburg, the only nation to say it will join in a military intervention not sanctioned by the Security Council is France.
Despite the dissent on what to do about Syria among the nations represented at the G-20 summit, Obama has vowed to move forward, with or without those nations’ support. He has asked the Senate and House of Representatives to allow “limited strikes” against the al-Assad regimes, purportedly these strikes are an attempt to cripple the regime and to serve as a sort-of retaliation for using chemical weapons.
Obama claims that he does not want to declare war against Syria, he just wants limited strikes and no US servicemen will be deployed. But how exactly can the President’s representative, Secretary of State John Kerry, claim–with a serious face–that dropping bombs on a sovereign nation is not in fact a declaration of war?
A Senate subcommittee has already approved the strikes and now the matter will move to a full vote.
It looks like the US is one step closer to our next entanglement in the Middle East.
Jamila Akil is a Community Manager at Beyond Black and White. Follow her Twitter @jamilaakil>