Thanks to how George W. Bush began the Iraq war, the Western world is more cautious today when deciding whether to go to war. The Iraq War serves as a reminder that strong evidence of crimes should be gathered first and then used to avoid and stop senseless global wars.
In 2003, nearly three years after an attack on American soil, claimed by Osama bin Laden, then President Bush made a case for war with Iraq; his administration accused Saddam of being in possession of chemical weapons. Using the fallen towers as a backdrop and by capitalizing on American fear, the Bush administration explained Saddam’s alleged stockpiles of chemical as a tragedy that would be much worse than 9/11.
Unprepared to face another such tragedy, the American public gave George W. Bush a free pass, and he took the country to war. The world learned very early on that the proof provided by the Bush administration to the United Nations was a fabrication. This would change forever the way governments and experts weigh proof of deadly weapons as a basis for war.
The Syrian people are now in a predicament similar to that of the Iraqis who have paid a heavy price – hundreds of thousands were killed and millions were displaced – for a war that was based on bogus evidence
The Syrian Crisis, which started as simple protests in March 2011, grew to full fledge popular demonstrations by April 2011. Encouraged by the outcome of the revolution in Egypt, the demonstrations expanded across the nation, with the protesters demanding the resignation of President Bashar Al-Assad, whose family has held the presidency since 1971.
It came as no surprise that the Syrian Army was deployed to quell the uprisings. Images of rockets and heavy artilleries launched into civilian areas followed by the bloody aftermath of children with missing limbs have captivated the international community, showing the ruthless approach to tame protests. The West, in particular, was quick to condemn the actions of the Assad regime.
However, unwilling to get marred in another war, the Obama administration walked a fine line between condemning the actions of the Assad regime and fully become involved. While deploring the plight of the civilians, Obama was careful to create a red line, the use of chemical weapons, which delineated at what point the US would intervene.
Once that red line had allegedly been crossed, the Obama administration believed it had to make good on its threat. Talks of an air strike on Syria occupied the airwaves. The top officials in the administration were paraded across TV networks to make the case for war with Syria. From US to UK and other European countries, the drumbeats of war were promoted.
Still haunted however by the Iraq War, the American public remember too well the fabrication of proof presented to the United Nations by the Bush Administration. Over 70% of those surveyed are against any strike on Syria.
The atrocities seen on TV, allegedly inflicted by the Assad regime, are deplorable; there is certainly a need for a solution, an accord, a truce or even an end to the infightings. However, America is in no hurry to solve a war problem with another war. For that, we thank George W. Bush for the Iraq fiasco, an indelible reminder, and hopefully, a memorable lesson.