In reaction to recently alleged chemical attacks upon civilians in Syria, President Trump has launched a major US missile attack against the Assad regime – from US warships in the Mediterranean, just east of Cyprus.
Those who know their history (or even those who loosely play generic war games on a PC) might understand how a chain of alliances can lead to all-out war. This bullish US aggression could be a turning point for the world, perhaps even our ‘Franz Ferdinand’ moment. Because behind the humanitarian outcry, what Trump has done is to force the allies of Syria – namely Russia and Iran – into a corner. They only really have two choices now. Either they must come to the aid of their ally militarily, or abandon Assad and back off – allowing the US and the West free rein in the region: essentially green-lighting them to take whatever action they wish.
Hell, it could even give Israel ideas to follow suit in Palestine. It’s hardly like Netanyahu takes much notice of international rulings on the matter any way.
China could feasibly respond to US aggression in the region too – particularly if backed by Russia, and odds are tipped in their favour. Your best chance of taking down a giant is if you attack it from all sides, after all. The Middle East is an increasingly dangerous chess board. It has been for decades – centuries, even. It’s not just resources, it’s strategic; the doorway between two worlds.
And, of course, if the US are dragged into full-scale war, there is no doubt they will ‘call the banners’, particularly with a man like Trump at the helm. That means Britain, Canada, and probably most of Europe too. Because any western nation, EU member or NATO ally who doesn’t back Trump’s regime in any and all military actions, particularly a conflict as significant as that with Russia, would almost undoubtedly find themselves on a geopolitical naughty step. Blacklisted, sanctioned, or God knows what else.
Let me describe that another way: World War III.
The Humanitarian crisis – but which one?
Since the colonial period died away, and sabre-rattling for its own sake became frowned upon, Western governments have faced the pesky detail of having to ‘justify’ their military actions. From their point of view, things were probably so much simpler when they could just shout “for King and country” and order two hundred dragoons over the hill.