No Boots on the Ground

Unlike Jesse Eisenberg, the Syrian conflict has not got ‘part of my attention, the minimum amount.’

In fact, I am following the issue with rapt attention in my capacity as a responsible global citizen. As the broadcast media in my part of the world force feeds me to daily doses of 24-hour coverage over one or two stories, I have switched loyalty to foreign media to satiate my hunger for this on-going critical development in the world.

No Boots on the Ground is what President Obama has proclaimed in a build up to a possible retaliation against Syria for Chemical Weapon use on its own citizens. To make it easy for my domestic audience, no boots on the ground implies no American will set foot on Syrian soil or cross airspace and therefore no human casualties from the U.S. side. Not a long drawn out battle but a strike limited in scope and action so as to communicate the U.S. Government’s angst at the Syrian regime for violating international standards of no Chemical Weapon use.

Let me squeeze the world into a residential colony for just a minute, to emphasize upon an important point. Residential colony is named ‘World Peace Federation’. Big Show (America) residing in the most admirable house in WPF has Davey Boy Smith a.k.a British Bulldog (U.K.) and Andre ‘The Giant’ (France) as close allies. Other members of this society include The Iron Sheikh (Iran), Vladimir Kozlov (Russia), Ed Farhat (Syria), and etcetera etcetera. The watchdog of the society, responsible for its nurturing happens to be the Undertaker (UN).

One fine day, Ed walks home drunk and perpetrates domestic violence on his family. The cries for help can be heard by all the residents of this ‘peace loving’ society. There is a hush-hush silence amongst the majority of residents (unnamed in the listing above) who prefer to stay away from someone’s personal matters. As Undertaker investigates, Big Show, a family loving emotional person feels betrayed and wants to teach Ed a lesson in morality and decides to go after him with his big fist. The bulky martial art expert Vladimir steps in between, ensuring momentary calm. Now this begs a question: if this society was not a figment of my imagination and a real-world example, would you be acting the role of Vladimir or Big Show?

If surveys and media reports are to be believed, majority of Americans including the Congress where this issue is currently being debated do not want to be involved in Syria. “Why does America always have to be the world’s policeman?” is one question being increasingly debated not just outside the U.S but within as well.

Now who becomes the world police is not something I plan to debate here. Whether U.N. Security Council is seen as an agile enforcer against weak aggressors like Iraq or an incompetent body against most pressing world issues is altogether a different debate. The fact that residents will keep celebrating and fighting over the course of their existence is a given. A watchdog with a mandate from every resident is the need of the hour and should be the norm than passing the baton of policing (willingly, submissively or cunningly) to one country.

Let me inject my beliefs here: I echo the sentiments of President Obama and the case he is trying to build out of this issue. I also believe that such a unilateral action will have far greater ramifications than can be seen in this fit of justified anger.

Use of chemical weapons is the reddest line that the world must collectively enforce. Believing the hullabaloo around the visit by U.N. inspectors and the subsequent U.S. classified briefings, chemical weapons were indeed used in Syria. Syrians were responsible for it, be it someone from the regime or the rebels or if they were not, the onus to prove otherwise lies with them.

Policing and law must go hand-in-hand. World police should remain under the ambit of the world law and not the other way around. I expect this core tenet to be not disturbed by running ahead of due process. Let us (US) wait for U.N. to submit its report. All clinching evidence in their possession must go to the U.N to strengthen the case. If U.S. is not convinced of the action (or inaction) the UN takes it has all the right in the world to withdraw from such a body in totality. With folded hands I pray to the mighty WPF society for sound prudence to prevail in these testing times. Crimes do happen and will happen. Justice can be delayed but yes, should not be denied! It has to be a collective responsibility not a one man (country) crusade. As I draw to a close, I hope my prayer reach the high and mighty. In an ideal world, the underdeveloped nations should rise up and emulate the developing countries. The latter must up the ante and strive to challenge the fiefdom enjoyed by the developed countries in the field of commerce, economics, science, etc. The world needs competition, not of wars and weapons but of progress. Make the world a better place for you and for me. Let’s thumbs up to peace!

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