Opinion / Chen Weihua

Diplomacy and dialogue is the prudent way

By Chen Weihua (China Daily) Updated: 2013-05-03 07:10

Diplomacy and dialogue is the prudent way

This week's news report that the United States government is again considering arming the Syrian rebels is deeply disturbing, as it signals more bloodshed in that country.

So far, despite some reports suggesting that CIA has been involved in the clandestine supply of weapons to Syrian opposition fighters, the US says it has only provided nonlethal aid.

According to the United Nations, some 70,000 people have died in Syria in the past two years, including civilians, rebels, government soldiers and officials.

Although there have been reports that chemical weapons have been used in the country, US President Barack Obama has remained prudent so far, despite pressure from some Republican congressmen.

"Without evidence of what happened, how can I make a decision what to do? I have got to make sure I have got the facts," Obama told reporters.

"It is important that we do this in a prudent way," he said.

Obama knows the grave consequences of rushing to a snap judgment, as George W. Bush did 10 years ago when he invaded Iraq on the pretext that Saddam Hussein had stockpiled weapons of mass destruction.

While a UN expert panel is still investigating whether chemical weapons were used either by Syrian government soldiers or rebels, the Syrian government has accused insurgents of deploying chemical weapons outside Aleppo on March 19.

Not many in the US, certainly not the news media, seem to care whether chemical weapons were used by the rebels.

The UN has continued to appeal for political dialogue and negotiation to solve the crisis in Syria. However, there seems to be no diplomacy under way and Obama seems to have already made up his mind.

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