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Saturday, September 07, 2013

Syria and Sarin

President Obama needs the persuasive ability of Winston Churchill to convince Americans about the need for moral leadership against the use of Sarin poison gas in Syria.  Perhaps General Petraeus and his strategic military leadership will help.

Americans are politically divided about a lot of issues that don't rise to the threshold of life versus death. Issues like immigration reform, Obamacare, Medicaid and tax equity would disappear like sea smoke on a sunny day if US citizens were threatened with death by Sarin, a weapon of mass destruction poison gas. 

Even the National Rifle Association would oppose the use of Sarin poison gas against innocent civilians!

Syrian citizens who were victims of Sarin didn't have a choice on August 21, 2013, when the government of President Bashar al Assad murdered over a thousand of Syrian citizens with the poison gas.  Assad's leadership has been threatened in a protracted civil war.  Assad obviously doesn't "get" that his leadership might as well have been "gassed", along with the innocents he murdered, because no dictator can survive the genocide of his own citizens.  It's just a matter of time before Assad is taken out as President of Syria, either by assassination or jailed as an international criminal.

Meanwhile, the dead innocent people who were caught in this genocide are the evidence of this violation of the Geneva Protocol, "The Protocol for the Prohibition of the Use in War of Asphyxiating, Poisonous or other Gases, and of Bacteriological Methods of Warfare".

CNN reports images of men sprawled on a tile floor, shirtless and convulsing. Children, too, seemingly unable to control their shaking and flailing. Panic and screams in the background.

These are some of the hard-to-stomach images that the Obama administration has shown a select group of senators in closed-door briefings to make the case that a limited military attack on Syria is justified.

CNN obtained 13 different videos seen by members of the Senate Intelligence Committee that depict the gruesome scene of an chemical weapons attack in Syria on August 21. The administration told senators that their authenticity was verified by the intelligence community.

The attack, allegedly carried out by Syrian forces under President Bashar al-Assad, touched off a critical foreign policy question: Is a military response merited?

The videos capture a moment of panic, as those who are standing try to feed water to those who appear incapacitated. Prayers are repeated.

Meanwhile, retired four star General David Petraeus has gone public to help explain the risks of not responding to the Syrian genocide.

General Petraeus is a highly skilled military professional.  

Petraeus backs Obama administration on Syria

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Retired Army Gen. David Petraeus announced Saturday he's behind the White House's plan for limited military strikes against the Syrian government.

In a statement, President Barack Obama's former CIA director called for Congress to support the administration's call for airstrikes against President Bashar al-Assad's forces, warning that rejecting the president's request would embolden "Iran, North Korea, and other would be aggressors."

"Failure of Congress to approve the president’s request would have serious ramifications not just in the Mideast but around the world," Petraeus said.

Petraeus also said that the planned aerial assault "is necessary" to both enforce the international laws forbidding the use of chemical weapons and to degrade Assad's overall military capabilities.

Petraeus’ statement was endorsed by Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona), who described the retired general as “the most respected military leader of our time.”

In addition to the persuasive skills of the knowledgeable General Petraeus, the list of knowledgeable people who support taking action against the murderer Assad includes Secretary of State John Kerry, the former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Senator John McCain and the President of France Francois Hollande.  

Obviously, this short list of impressive leaders will need to engage in a non-stop communications campaign to educate the understandably reluctant American public about the urgency of responding to Assad's Sarin attack.  

Unfortunately, politically divided Americans are asked to unite about a crises happening half way around the world. Moreover, the crises in happening in Syria, a Middle Eastern nation where the people are nearly as culturally different from Americans as Aboriginal Australians are from Alaskan Eskimos

But, regardless of how politically divided we are, Americans must care about our fellow human beings who are victims of genocide.

Syrians murdered with Sarin will not be an isolated incident if Assad gets away with genocide.  Although Assad's days are numbered, his evil act opened the door to other evil dictators to potentially use the same tactics to subdue rebellions.  Syrians attacked by Sarin eventually deserve the satisfaction of justice.  More important, responding to the Syrian Sarin attack will be a badly needed warning to future perpetrators of genocide because, tragically, there always seems to be another one lurking in the wings of tyrannical power.  

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