On Syria: President Bill Clinton’s Advice To America

“If you believe that maintaining power and control and absolute freedom of movement and sovereignty is important to your country’s future, there’s nothing inconsistent in that [the US continuing to behaving unilaterally]. [The US is] the biggest, most powerful country in the world now. . . . But if you believe that we should be trying to create a world with rules and partnerships and habits of behavior that we would like to live in when we’re no longer the military political economic superpower in the world, then you wouldn’t do that. It just depends on what you believe” — President Bill Clinton

Syria

The Obama Administration recently announced its willingness to attack the Syrian government claiming that President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons on the Syrian people. It is uncontestable that chemical weapon were used in Syria as nearly 1,500 civilians are reported dead, including at least 426 children. The Syrian government and the rebels have each been accusing one another of carrying out these horrendous attacks, but no one outside of those in the conflict knows exactly who did it. Based on an unfounded intelligence assessment, Obama’s administration has concluded that Assad used the Sarin gas on his people, even when the administration could not come up with any concrete evidence to support its claim.

Without a doubt, the use of chemical weapons is a violation of International laws. If it is indeed proven that Assad gassed his people, punitive measures should be brought upon him, but it should be ratified by the International Community, and not by the unilateral military strike of the United States. The call for a unilateral punitive military strike against the Syrian government in conjunction with the coalition of the willing (France, Britain, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, UAE, etc) without the approval of the United Nations Security Council is equally a violation of the same law the United States claims to protect, and two wrongs can never make a right.

The U.N chemical weapons inspectors have just submitted their reports to laboratories in Europe and the results are yet to be determined regarding who gassed the Syrian people. Also it was reported that Mrs. Carla Del Ponte, the former International Court For Criminal Justice prosecutor and a respected member of the United Nations Independent International Commission Of Inquiry On Syria,  that ‘’there were strong concrete suspicions that Syrian rebels that were seeking to oust Al Assad had used the nerve agent sarin.” The insistence of Obama’s administration on unilateral military action against Syria in spite of U.N. Secretary General Ban ki Moon’s call for diplomatic solution and other evidence pointing to the rebels as the culprits of this crime is a testament of this administration’s commitment to the “American Grand Strategy” of remaining the world’s only military superpower.

The reality is that our policies and practices are still being shaped by the 1992 Defense Planning Guidance (DPG) draft. The draft’s core themes are as follows: (1) the U.S. will prevent the re-emergence of another rival since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, (2) the U.S. will export democracy, promote its interests and American values, (3) And finally the U.S. will adopt unilateralism, and act independently to achieve its strategic objectives when United Nations stands in the way.

Our commitment as a nation to hegemonic military power driven by the DPG draft has actually given birth to one political party system with deep-seated committed to “unipolar supremacy.” President Bill Clinton magniloquently ordered bombing strikes in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Sudan without the approval of the International community which was a pure violation of the U.N. Charter. And President George W. Bush grandiloquently ordered the invasion of Iraq which also violated the UN mandates. As a result we lost thousands of our honorable soldiers, and hundreds of thousands of Iraqi men, women, and children.

We cannot continue to craft our foreign policy on autopilot anymore; the world has changed and is still changing in ways we have no control over. In December 2012, the National Intelligence Council, which comprises of 17 U.S. government intelligence agencies came out with its Global Trends 2030 report. According to the report, by 2030 power will once again shift to Asia, just as it was before 1500. The report stated that by 2030, Asian countries will surpass the US and Europe combined in overall power indices- economically, militarily, population, and in terms of technological advancement.

Given all the above revelations, if we are truly concerned about genuine freedom for the human race it’s high time we take to heart as a nation the advice of President Bill Clinton in address on Global Challenges at Yale University in 2003: “If you believe that maintaining power and control and absolute freedom of movement and sovereignty is important to your country’s future, there’s nothing inconsistent in that [the US continuing to behaving unilaterally]. [The US is] the biggest, most powerful country in the world now. . . . But if you believe that we should be trying to create a world with rules and partnerships and habits of behavior that we would like to live in when we’re no longer the military political economic superpower in the world, then you wouldn’t do that.”

      

 

 

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2 thoughts on “On Syria: President Bill Clinton’s Advice To America

  1. amirbedaghi2013

    As you know Assad’s horrific crime against humanity in chemical attack shocked all of the world ,,, needless to say that syrian civilians need help desperately to stop the horrendous massacres how can we sit back and watch thousands of small children die in horrendous ways let alone the adults..It’s horrendous. It’s a massive humanitarian disaster

    Reply
    1. babatopeadedayo Post author

      Thank you for taking time to read my piece despite the busyness of your time, and also for your comment. I totally agree with you that the situation in Syria is a massive disaster, and my thoughts and prayers are always with them. The world knows that chemical weapons were used in Syria, but whoever used those deadly chemicals is yet to be determined, and I am in total support of punitive military strike against those who used chemical weapons on innocent citizens. But all am saying is that we (US) can go about punitive military strike in ways that will bring about the redemption of global reputation given the world’s experience with President George W. Bush invasion of Iraq. As a student of International politics, I know the reactions of other countries toward the US. People all over the pay attention to what is going on in America as much as we don’t know anything about them. Trust is the glue that holds any relationship, our biggest challenge is the restoration of the trust we once enjoyed with the rest of the world. Our accumulated reservoir of goodwill with the rest of the world has shrunk and the way we are going about the strike on Syria will even shrink it further.

      Reply

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