John McCain and others in Washington are calling for military intervention in Syria. The President has said he is reluctant to get involved unless Syria uses chemical weapons which would be for him “a red line.”
The US press is quick to point out that Syria is one only eight nations that has not signed the treaty against chemical weapons. So it seems reasonable for our leaders to assume Syria is a rogue state that has some intention of using such weapons. It also seems reasonable then for the United States to demand that Syria open itself to inspectors to make sure it has no chemical weapons. But here is what the US press, for the most part, isn’t saying:
What is often being left out of the story, is the fact that neither Israel nor Egypt have signed the treaty either. Neither of them is being asked to comply, which means Syria alone is being asked to disarm in the face of a much more powerful neighbor which it believes has both chemical and nuclear weapons.
Another little detail being left out of the story is that Syria has already agreed to rid itself of WMD’s if all the nations in the area (including Israel) follow suit. The resolution was introduced at the UN but was tabled when the US threatened to veto it.
It is well known in the Middle East that the US has refused to be inspected for chemical weapons, and has supplied chemical weapons to Iraq to use against Iran. The US constantly says it seeks peace in the Middle East, but we also want to sell weapons there as well. It is well known that the US wants to set standards for other nations, but we are unwilling to follow them ourselves.
Instead of bombing or even pressuring Syria to disarm its chemical weapons, our first step should be to rejoin the international community by ending American exceptional-ism. We should follow the international laws we wish to promote. We should rid ourselves and our allies of the weapons we call immoral when in the hands of others.
For as long as we see ourselves the lone exception to international standards, we are the biggest rogue state of them all.