President Donald Trump speaks at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla., Thursday, April 6, 2017, after the U.S. fired a barrage of cruise missiles into Syria Thursday night in retaliation for this week's gruesome chemical weapons attack against civilians.

US Syria Airstrike Like Alice in Wonderland, ‘First the Verdict, Then the Facts’

© AP Photo/ Alex Brandon
Middle East

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Nikolai Gorshkov
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https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201704071052415198-syria-conference-us-airstrike/

In a serious setback to the promise of an impending peace process in Syria the United States have hit a Syrian airbase alleged to have carried out a chemical attack on a rebel held town, without any proper investigation of the incident.

Only a day before the US strike, international donors in Brussels, as well as Syrian and Western politicians and experts in London were discussing ways of helping Syria to kick-start reconciliation and reconstruction.In a suspicious coincidence, an alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria killed dozens and injured many more people.

The US reaction was exactly what participants in the London conference on Syria were warning against.

Baroness Caroline Cox, an independent member of the House of Lords:

“There’s a lot of questions about allegations of the use of chemical weapons, a lot of queries about who really was responsible, how it happened, and it seems that the British government and international media — at least in the West — have immediately cast the blame where they choose to cast the blame, rather than waiting for an independent investigation, which will be the right thing to do.”

Former US Congressman Dennis Kucinich could not help but compare the US reaction to Alice in Wonderland:

“There is a scene where there is a judgement taking place and someone shouts out: ‘first the verdict, then the facts!’ And this is what’s happening right now — the verdict is being rendered without an inquiry, without any effort to find out what the facts are. It’s very suspicious,” Mr. Kucinich said.

“Syria and every country is entitled to the presumptions under international law, which mean that they are entitled to a day in court without the rough judgement of military power, which paradoxically would kill more Syrians because of an event that killed Syrians.”

To the former British Ambassador to Syria Peter Ford, the real scandal is that:

“…the British government no longer appears to care about terrorist groups holding stocks of chemical weapons like sarin. We don’t know for sure, but it seems quite possible that the reason for the explosion was that a chemical weapons dump was bombed by the Syrian Air Force, but these dangerous chemicals [are] being held by jihadi groups. This is at least as likely, in fact, I think more likely an explanation than the claim that the Syrian Air Force bombed with chemical weapons.

“If this is true than it’s an absolute scandal that the British government is excusing the possession by al-Qaeda-related groups of sarin! Not long ago the British government claimed that it was a top priority to prevent sarin and similar products falling into the hands of terrorist groups! And yet here we have the British government excusing their possession and trying to shift the blame onto others. This is the real scandal.”

Baroness Cox has raised her concerns before Parliament, looking at “the British government’s support for the so-called rebel opposition groups, many with Islamist or ISIS [Daesh] related ideologies.”

“These issues need to be raised, discussed, recognized and addressed,” she said.

Dennis Kucinich pointed out that US action in Syria is a violation of international law.

“Any strike upon Syria would compound that and would violate the UN Charter and the Annexes that do not provide for any excuse for aggressive warfare. In addition to that, the Congress of the United States has not authorized any military action. In fact, the President cannot establish that Syria is a threat to national security of the United States,” Mr. Kucinich said.

“I am hopeful that interlocutors between the United States and Russia will find a way to deflect the aggressive intent of what the President said, and will be able to provide a vehicle through international law and through the international justice process by which President Trump can communicate his displeasure. I think it would be far more appropriate to use available international fora, including the world court, to send a message, than to send a message through a military strike.”

Former Ambassador Ford warned against applying double standards in such situations:

“We do know that in Mosul on the 17th of March, the Americans bombed a house where there were approximately 200 civilians. This is documented — this is not a claim. Even the Americans accept that their planes were operating in this area. And yet this is just shrugged off: “oh, this is just collateral damage,” and no one calls for investigation there. Well, I say there should be investigation into both Idlib and at the same time, into the Mosul bombing of 17th March, when an even greater number of people were killed.”

Dr. Marcus Papadopoulos, editor of Politics First, believes that without listening to the Syrian government’s side of the story, we won’t get a complete picture.

“The conflict in Syria is not black and white as is being projected by the British government; it is a lot more complicated than that,” Dr. Papadopoulos said.

“Coverage of the Syrian government by the British press has been very negative but if you read comments sections of British online publications, you’ll see that the British people are not as susceptible to being brainwashed by their media and by their government as they were in previous years. For example, during the wars in Yugoslavia and leading up to Iraq. I think the British people are a little bit more aware now that their media and government are more than capable of lying to them and lying to them on a huge level.”

The tide is turning, said Ambassador Ford and Western powers can only delay the inevitable.

“The trajectory of the conflict over the last five years shows that the Syrian government and its allies are gradually getting on top of the foreign backed rebels, mercenaries, and I expect that this will continue whatever the British government, whatever the American government tries to do to put spokes in the wheel.”