“[N]o one in the Middle East takes America seriously anymore,” Independent contributor Robert Fisk writes. “And you only had to watch Obama on Saturday [announcing he would seek support from Congress for a strike on Syria] to see why.”
“[W]hat was amazing” about the brazenness of President Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron over the past few days, Fisk continues, “was the sheer audacity of our leaders in thinking that they could yet again bamboozle their electorates with their lies and trumperies and tomfooleries.
“[O]ur present leaders are now paying the price for the dishonesty of Bush and Blair.”
In the true fashion of Rome, Fisk chides, Obama has decided that everyone outside America is a terrorist, and that he can selectively punish all of them with public condemnations, trade interruptions and intervention-style missile strikes from drones and battleships.
“Once Lebanon and Syria and Egypt trembled when Washington spoke,” he writes. “Now they laugh.”
Take Afghanistan, for example. I had an interesting phone call from Kabul three days ago. And it seems that the Americans are preventing President Karzai purchasing new Russian Mi helicopters – because Moscow sells the same helicopters to Syria. Well, how about that. The US, it seems, is now trying to damage Russian trade relations with Afghanistan – why the Afghans would want to do business with the country that enslaved them for eight years is another matter – because of Damascus.
Now another little piece of news. Just over a week ago, two massive car bombs blew up outside two Salafist mosques in the north Lebanese city of Tripoli. They killed 47 people and wounded another 500. Now it has emerged that five people have been charged by the Lebanese security services over these bombings and one of them is said to be a captain in the Syrian government intelligence service.
His charge is “in absentia”, as they say, and we all like to think that men and women are innocent until proved guilty. But two sheikhs have also been charged, one of them apparently the head of a pro-Damascus Islamist organization. The other sheikh is also said to be close to Syrian intelligence. Typically, Obama is so keen on bombarding Syria for gassing that he has missed out on this nugget of information which has angered and infuriated millions of Lebanese.