Last updated: September 02. 2013 1:20PM - 544 Views

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Avoid hasty mistakes

in responding to Syria

The clock is ticking away as the United Nations inspectors try to find traces of chemical agents. The fear is that they may have been dissipated. But as far as the world body chief is concerned, he is already judgmental.

In a brief media talk in Seoul, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that the use of chemical weapons is a crime against humanity and must be punished. “Every hour counts. We cannot afford any more delays. We have all seen the horrifying images on our television screens and through social media. Clearly this was a major and terrible incident,” Ban remarked to underscore his restlessness over the issue.

The movement on the high seas, nonetheless, suggests that Washington is gearing up to take up the role of punisher, and seems to have been emboldened with the support of France, Britain and Turkey.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, while castigating the regime in Damascus, went on to say that Ankara would support military action against it, whether it is backed by the UN or not. So is the stance of Britain, which believes that no more tolerance should be shown towards the Baath Party in Syria. This inevitably sets the stage for a military intervention, and like the case of Iraq it is closely followed on a failed diplomatic track.

Whatever may be the findings of the inspectors visiting the ill-fated areas, it should be kept in mind that no effort should be made to jump the gun. The UN and the world powers have already blundered in the case of Iraq and Afghanistan, where their trigger happiness landed the whole world in a renewed security phobia and recession. The culprits responsible for using the toxic agents should be netted and punished in a way that doesn’t come to bring miseries to millions more in the war-torn country.

The Khaleej Times, Dubai

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