The Salisbury and Douma attacks are illustrative of just what happens when a government is prepared to dissimulate or even lie to go the extra mile to make a case to justify preemptive action that otherwise might be challenged. Theresa May is, unfortunately, still in power and so is Donald Trump. In a better world an outraged public would demand that they be thrown out of office and even possibly subjected to the tender ministrations of the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
“In calm retrospect we can appreciate better the disastrous effects of the poison of
falsehood, whether officially, semiofficially, or privately manufactured. It has been
rightly said that the injection of the poison of hatred into men’s minds by means of
falsehood is a greater evil in wartime than the actual loss of life. The defilement of the
human soul is worse than the destruction of the human body. A fuller realization of
this is essential.”
Whether it is the Riyadh or Tel Aviv leading Washington by the nose is somehow irrelevant as the blame for what is taking place is squarely on the White House. The United States has no coherent policy, nor any actual national interest in remaining in Syria, but the strange political alignments that appear to be playing out in and around the Oval Office have generated a desire to destroy a country and people that in no way threaten the U.S. Someone should remind the president that similar scenarios did not turn out very well in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. No one should expect that Syria will be any different.
The United States has been backing various schemes to undermine and force “regime change” on Baathist rule in Syria since 2006, well before the so-called Arab Spring brought protests to the streets of Damascus.