THE BLOG

President Obama: Please Listen to John McCain and Lindsey Graham

07/06/2013 16:01 BST | Updated 06/08/2013 10:12 BST

Slaughtering Syrians by conventional weapons is acceptable:

Bashar al Assad can carry on killing his own people aided by Iran, Hezbollah and Russia and no one will stop him as long as he follows the rules. If chemicals and gases are used there may be consequences, so al Assad is well advised to use all kinds of heavy weapons excluding chemical weapons and kill Syrians and no one would complain or criticize.

I am not aware of any evidence that killing a person by a knife, a bullet or a tank shell hurts less than if gas is used. If the result is death, what kind of weapon is used is academic and therefore Bashar al Assad has got the message.

In August last year US President Barack Obama had made it clear that the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime would represent "a red line" - though he subsequently backed away from this as a firm commitment to take military action. Recently Obama said that the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime is a "game-changer". According to press reports the red-line has been crossed several times.

On 5 May The Washington Post reported that John McCain (R-Ariz.) said on May 5th that President Obama's "red line" on Syria was written in "disappearing ink."

On Monday 3 June, the U.N. panel charged with investigating Syria's hostilities issued a report in Geneva, indicating that there was evidence that "limited quantities of toxic chemicals" had been used in March and April, twice in Aleppo, once in Damascus, and once in Idlib. White House officials said on Tuesday June 4th that the Obama Administration is seeking stronger evidence.

Meanwhile in Paris, France's Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius was quoted as saying: "lab tests in Paris confirmed numerous uses of the nerve agent, adding that those who resort to chemical weapons must be punished".

Mr Fabius said various samples taken from unspecified locations in Syria and tested in France showed the presence of sarin.

"There is no doubt that it's the regime and its accomplices" that were responsible, he told France 2 television in an interview.

Mr Fabius said the test results had been handed to the UN.

But he did not specify where or when the agent had been deployed; the White House has said more proof was needed.

The UK also says it has tested samples which give evidence of the use of sarin gas in Syria.

According to a Foreign Office spokesman, Britain "has obtained physiological samples from inside Syria which have tested positive for the nerve agent sarin".

The UK statement added: "There is a growing body of limited but persuasive information showing that the regime used - and continues to use - chemical weapons" in Syria a BBC report said Wednesday June 5th.

The shameful silence of the world and particularly of the US administration has enabled the regime to disregard all political solutions and to stick with the military option to defeat the opposition and stay in power.

The Obama's paralysis had enabled Al-Qaeda to set up shop in Syria and worst of all has boosted Iran and Hezbollah and encouraged them to put their full military might behind the al Assad's regime.

No US boots on the ground:

The Syrian people, the opposition and the Free Syrian Army are not demanding military intervention. All Syrians with a few exceptions have rejected an Iraqi or Libyan style intervention. They don't want troops on the ground. They want no-fly zones in the North near the Turkish borders and in the South near the Jordanian borders. This will provide protection for the Syrian refugees and may encourage more defections from the regular Syrian army to the FSA. The second thing they demand which can be easily provided by NATO is anti-aircraft and anti-tank weapons. Whilst Russia and Iran are supplying armaments to the Syrian army, it makes lot of sense for the West and the so-called Friends of Syria to help the opposition. The murderous Syrian regime is getting economic and substantial military help from Russia, Iran, North Korea and Hezbollah. The Free Syrian Army is getting limited assistance from Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

I must say this; Senator John McCain, Senator Lindsey Graham and former Senator Joseph Lieberman have got it absolutely right on Syria. President Obama must listen to them and do the right thing. John McCain told the Dead Sea Conference recently: by arming the right rebels, there will be a chance for what McCain calls "level playing field".

I happened to listen to Senator John McCain during the World Economic Forum at the Dead Sea on Saturday 25 May. He urged President Obama to help the "moderate" Syrian rebels to distinguish them from the extreme groups linked to Al Qaeda. When I asked him why the president does not listen to you, to Lindsey Graham and Jo Lieberman, he said "my friend we are working on this".