War vortex or storm in a teacup?

Posted by Antonis D. Papagiannidis 16/04/2018 0 Comment(s) Economia Blog,

The 105 Tomahawks that were lobbed by US, UK and French naval-and-air forces in the Eastern Mediterranean towards Syrian chemical-war installations are just one indication that the tense situation prevailing in the region way well end in something closer to a war vortex.


True enough, the strikes were of surgical precision; US Defense Secretary James Mattis has been able to retain President (“the Donald”) Trump from waging something closer to war; the Russian bases in Syria were carefully left un-targeted; Turkey stayed clearly away of any participation; Israel was supportive, but arms-length; Moscow issued bellicose/retaliatory declarations but stayed put; President Assad was prompt at getting photographed reaching his office the very day after.


It would be cynical to say that “the West” has been intent just to show resolve – and dissuade an enduring alliance of Damascus, Moscow and Tehran in the Near East (with Ankara in the role of Joker); still, the fact that the horror of pictures from Douma showing the victims of chlorine-gas attacks was sufficient for a pre-emptive strike be launched when the lives taken in the Syria civil war may be reaching the half-million mark with the international community just watching does not compute well (from a humanitarian, but also a geopolitical, angle).


Greece is uncomfortably close to the theatre of such events to assume the placid role of a cold-headed spectator. The future use of Greek bases by American UAVs, or the phone-call of French President Macron to P.M. Tsipras on the day of the Syria attacks are minor events. But … are they?


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