Shoot first ask questions later

The United States recent missile attack on Syria could be summed up in one simple statement:

“Shoot first, ask questions later”.

Without any investigation on whether a chemical attack actually occurred in Syria and if so who was responsible, the United States decided to blame the Syrian Government and punish it by launching over 100 missiles on targets in Syrian territory.

This attack on a sovereign country breaks international rules, namely those of the United Nations which only condones such an attack if the country carrying out the attack is itself under attack or when the United Nations itself sanctions such an action.

Neither condition applied to the recent US missile attack on Syria so the United States simply ignored the international “rules-based order” which it is always claiming to uphold.

The international body OPCW which is the recognised, technically- capable body to investigate chemical weapons usage, has been invited by the Syrian Government to investigate the claims of this alleged chemical attack on the Syrian people and has offered its support in that investigation. It clearly has nothing to hide.

A responsible response to the allegations would have been for the United States and its hangers-on, the UK and France, to wait for the result of this investigation before deciding to be judge/jury and the punishing authority.

It is distressing that our own government without any independent investigation of the alleged chemical weapons use in Syria, “jumped to attention”, “saluted Uncle Sam” and supported the United States’ missile attack on Syria.

The time is well overdue for Australia to develop and implement a foreign policy independent of the United States, one which reflects the desire of the Australian people to keep out of U.S. wars, work for peaceful resolutions to conflicts and give support to those suffering the misery and disruption of wars.

Bevan Ramsden