by Yuan Zhenyu
BEIJING, Aug. 29 (Xinhua) -- As Washington hastily beats the war drums to prepare an attack on Syria, which could take place any time soon, key rationales remain missing to justify the action.
For starters, the UN inspection team has yet reached a conclusion on the alleged use of chemical weapons, although Washington already pinned the blame on the Syrian government without coming up with any hard facts to support its claim.
Before the UN findings were read out, any U.S.-led military action will not have the backing of the UN Security Council.
The world's commonsense is that it's the UN, not Washington, should play the leading role in marshalling an international response to the Syria crisis, because the most representative world body is the best platform to make the most objective analysis and take the most appropriate action.
Bypassing the UN to attack a sovereign state not only runs counter to international norms, but also tends to create chronic chaos as a unilateral move often comes with no permanent solution to the problem.
But history shows that Washington oftens opts to go ahead to attack a sovereign state despite a lack of UN mandate or sound proof. The Iraq war was case in point.
Here thus comes the second question: what is Washington trying to achieve with the military strike? It seems that the U.S. administration does not have a clear objective.
To topple Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad? Apparently, Washington has given "no" for the answer.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said Tuesday the options considered by President Barack Obama are not about "regime change."
The Washington Post reported earlier that Obama is looking at a limited military strike on Syrian targets, involving sea-launched cruise missiles or possibly long-range bombers.
To protect civilians in Syria?
That is the answer given by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. But even putting aside the fact that the culprit is still unknown, protecting civilians does not justify the U.S. attack.
Foreign intervention of any kind will only aggravate the situation rather than help end the conflict. It is the Syrian civilians, who the U.S. claims to defend, that would suffer the most in a prolonged civil war.
To teach Assad a lesson? To show that the U.S. is serious about "red line?" It would be extremely irresponsible for the U.S. government to risk regional stability, and spend millions of American tax payer's dollars, just to demonstrate "I mean it."
Last, but not the least, Washington does not have a rational evaluation of consequences.
It might not be a "catastrophe," as Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said, but the aftermath of a strike would be dire.
An immediate outcome could be a wide-spread regional conflict. In the face of a U.S. attack, Syrian army, and probably its Hezbollah ally, would launch rockets at neighboring Israel, who has vowed to respond "with force." An Israeli counter strike would detonate the highly explosive Middle East in no time.
Meanwhile, the ripple effect would hit hard on world economy's fragile recovery.
The looming attack has already sent chills through world economy, as global stocks tumbled Tuesday while oil and gold prices surged to multi-month highs.
As Washington has repeatedly stressed that it wants a "comprehensive and durable political solution" instead of a military one to the crisis in Syria, it is time for Obama to show his good faith.
Syria requests UN to investigate three extra chemical attacks
UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 28 (Xinhua) -- The government of Syria on Wednesday asked the world body to investigate three alleged chemical attacks carried out by rebels in the Damascus suburbs last week, a Syrian envoy told reporters here.
"I have just addressed on behalf of my government a letter to both the secretary-general of the United Nations as well as to the president of the Security Council," said Bashar Ja'afari, Syria's permanent representative to the UN.Full story
UN inspectors visit alleged chemical attack site in Syria
UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 28 (Xinhua) -- UN inspectors visited several locations in the suburbs of the Syrian capital in their second-day on-site probe into the latest alleged use of chemical weapons in Damascus, and have not asked for an extension of the 14- day mandate, a UN spokesperson said on Wednesday.
"Today, the chemical weapons investigation team was able to visit several locations in the suburbs of Damascus, including impact sites, where it collected additional information and samples," UN spokesman Farhan Haq said at a news briefing.Full story
Britain not to take military action until UN completes investigation on Syria
LONDON, Aug. 28 (Xinhua) -- A British government motion published on Wednesday suggests the country may not take military action against Syria until the United Nations completes its investigation on the alleged chemical weapons attack.
The motion, agreed by senior British officials attending the National Security Council meeting, said that "every effort should be made to secure a Security Council Resolution backing military action before any such action is taken."Full story
Lebanon not to allow strike against Syria in its airspace
BEIRUT, Aug. 28 (Xinhua) -- Lebanese caretaker foreign minister said Wednesday that his country would not allow the use of its airspace to carry out strikes against neighboring Syria.
Adnan Mansour told Voice of Lebanon radio that "no military action should be carried against Syria before the UN investigation team completes its report on the use of chemical weapons."Full story