Why Obama asks approval from Congress to bomb Syria?

Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, a British subject, welcomes with a kiss William Hague, UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, in the EU Foreign Affairs Council devoted on Egypt, (EC Audiovisual Services 21/08/2013).

Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, a British subject, welcomes with a kiss William Hague, UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, in the EU Foreign Affairs Council devoted on Egypt, (EC Audiovisual Services 21/08/2013).

The fact that the American President Barack Obama unexpectedly decided to “seek authorisation for the use of force from the American people’s representatives in Congress”, in order to launch an attack against the Syrian government forces, is the first direct and open recognition of the limits of the American military and political supremacy, after the fall of the USSR. The denial of the British Parliament to support PM David Cameron’s plans to join the US in bombarding Damascus was a premonition of that.

The truth is that the Anglo-American plans for Syria, supported actively by France and less enthusiastically by Germany have been effectively blocked by Russia. The whole affair stands as a proof that Moscow, on the one side, and Washington along with its NATO allies, on the other, are about to reassess their relations. This means there would be frictions until the two sides find again an equilibrium position. Moscow would not allow any more that easily the repetition of what happened in Libya. China is an obvious ally of Russia in this.

Russia: With all it’s got

The European Sting writer George Pepper was quite right on 29 August when he insisted that “Russia will resist with all it’s got the US-European plans for Syria…Russia not only has a lot to lose in Syria but at the same time Moscow has the ability to effectively protect its interests there. The question is up to which point the Kremlin will choose to confront the West militarily”. Seemingly the Kremlin chooses to cross the needed grounds to rein the Americans. Some weeks’ time will show how effective Russia will prove in protecting its interests in Syria and how far is it prepared to go on that.

In Washington the problem becomes even more pressing because all the US allies in the Middle East, many Arab countries and Israel, are in various degrees disappointed with Obama’s decision. More so because it is now clear that this was a personal ruling of the American President. On top of that Obama left to be understood that even in the case the US Congress approves the attack against Syria, his decision to launch it will not be automatic.

Washington stressed

This was pretty clear after Obama stressed that the US military chief, General Martin Dempsey, reassured him that the effectiveness and the success of the operation will not be compromised “if it is launched after one day, or after one week or after one month”. This observation clarifies that the time horizon of the attack is presently quite uncertain. Apparently this is like that, because before the American missiles are fired the US and Russia must have come to an agreement about the whole Syrian issue. It’s as if in this case the American action is totally confined by Moscow.

This is the first time after the fall of Communism that the US is effectively stopped, from doing whatever they like. In Iraq, Afghanistan, the Gulf kingdoms and Libya the West had it its own way despite the negative reactions from Russia and China. Now that Syria’s destiny will largely determine also the plans the US and Europe have for Egypt, Russia has reached its limits and decided it is time to put whatever it’s got on the table.

On top of that, the Russian side (that is President Bashar al-Assad’s regular army) is winning the battle on the ground against the rebels backed by the West. This development may put in danger even the Kurd establishment in the northeast, a piece of the map that is most precious for Washington. Probably this is what the Americans and the Russians have not yet agreed upon, making the ‘Syrian Kurdistan’ a dark spot that holds the whole Syrian issue in the air. Given that the Americans and of course the British and the French have ex ante excluded a ground operation, it is very difficult for the West to defend a holistic position.

More war more massacred civilians

As a result the whole affair will remain unresolved until the West and Russia have concluded an agreement on the ruins of Syria and the hundreds of thousands of its dead, massacred and poisoned civilians. It is clear that the Russians have now the prerogative on the ground and they are quite determined to fully exploit it. The negative vote of the British Parliament opened the way for Moscow to register its first win over the West after the Soviet Union collapsed. Putin will fully exploit this chance. He needs this victory badly given that Russia’s position is questioned even in Europe. The EU is about to absorb Moldova while it increases again its influence in Ukraine. Even Belarus questions Moscow’s powers.

All in all, the people of Syria, Shia, Sunni and Alevite Muslims, Christians and Zoroastrians are all paying with their lives the price of living in a part of the earth, where the big powers have not yet decided whose is what part of it.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Virus Coronavirus: No time to die

Coronavirus: Commission proposes €6.8 million in total to support 1,700 dismissed workers of air carriers KLM and Finnair

Palm Oil: With Malaysia cracking down on production, what’s the alternative?

Does the Greek deal strengthen the Eurozone? Markets react cautiously

Deliver ‘significant results now’, UN General Assembly President tells COP25 climate conference

Trade marks: Commission decides to refer Romania to the Court of Justice for not transposing the Trade Mark Directive

It’s 100 years since US women got the right to vote, but how has gender equality changed?

Amsterdam is developing a fleet of autonomous boats to reduce city traffic

Is Erdogan losing game and match within and without Turkey?

Record-high number of civilian casualties in Afghanistan: UN Report

‘All efforts must be made’ to ensure peaceful elections for Guinea-Bissau, Security Council hears

5 ways to reduce risk while fuelling IT innovation and growth

‘Virginity testing’: a human rights violation, with no scientific basis – UN

Can India reduce deaths on one hazardous road to zero? This group is trying

Four things workers want implemented by their bosses post-pandemic

Central Africans ‘need our help now’: UN’s deputy relief chief

Last year, this coral reef was teeming with life. Now it’s dying – and it’s up to us to save it

State aid: Commission approves €1 billion Danish and Swedish measure to recapitalise SAS

Despite progress, companies face gender equality ‘backlash’: UN business body

MWC 2016 LIVE: BlackBerry acquires Encription, talks Microsoft and health

The digital transformation is a skills and education opportunity for all. Companies must use it

How to change the world at Davos

Sex education: the application of sexual and reproductive rights in the fight against HIV

We lack a global framework for saving our environment. Here’s how we change that

We must build resilience to face the future – but will we be fast enough?

On the first day of 2019, over 395,000 babies to be born worldwide: UNICEF

FROM THE FIELD: Enslaved Guatemalan indigenous women wait for reparations

What makes us happy? AI scanned 700,000 journal entries to find out

EP Group leaders on Brexit: “the agreement is not open to renegotiation”

Commissioner for Crisis Management in Kabul: EU steps up humanitarian assistance with €32 million

State aid: Commission approves prolongation and modification of German scheme to support electricity production from renewable energy sources

Corruption thwarts attempts to build a better world and ‘must be fought by all, for all’

Iran: UN rights chief ‘deeply disturbed’ by continuing executions of juvenile offenders

Impossible Brexit options: WTO or new referendum?

Brunei’s new penal code would enshrine ‘cruel and inhuman punishments’ UN rights chief warns

The Junior Enterprise concept: Business & Education

Switzerland: prepare for population ageing to maintain high living standards

FROM THE FIELD: Balancing act for Philippines farmers

Challenges behind a technological way at health

Education remains an impossible dream for many refugees and migrants

Parliament declares the European Union an ‘‘LGBTIQ Freedom Zone’’

State aid: Commission invites comments on State aid rules for the deployment of broadband networks

COP21 Breaking News_09 December: List of Recent Climate Funding Announcements

‘Ground Zero’: Report from the former Semipalatinsk Test Site in Kazakhstan

Joint U.S.-EU Statement following President Juncker’s visit to the White House

Sponsored content: when QUALITY meets OPEX in manufacturing

First EU-wide protection for whistle-blowers agreed

UN, Somali Government seek $80 million in immediate relief for flood-affected populations

UN recorded 64 new allegations of sexual exploitation or abuse in the past three months

Jellyfish are taking over the world – and climate change could be to blame

‘Still time’ to stop a ‘bloody battle’ for Libya’s capital, insists Guterres

Commission concludes that an Excessive Deficit Procedure is no longer warranted for Italy at this stage

Eurozone: Avoiding a new Greek accident

The business case for diversity in the workplace is now overwhelming

How India is solving its cooling challenge

G20 LIVE: G20 Leaders’ Communiqué Antalya Summit, 15-16 November 2015

UN nuclear watchdog will help verify DPRK nuclear programme, if agreement forthcoming

Medical students against male supremacy

Climate activist Greta Thunberg urges MEPs to put words into action

Further reforms in Sweden can drive growth, competitiveness and social cohesion

More Stings?

Comments

  1. If Obama goes ahead and attacks Syria without approval from the House, the GOP side is bound to find some fault and use any fallout to impeach him. That’s the nature/friction of US politics these days.

    This way Obama covers any such GOP action.

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s