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Opinions of Thursday, 20 April 2017

Columnist: John Amponsah

Proud of former president Rawlings blasting Trump

Let me start by stating that I personally don’t know the former president, so this is not an article in support of a friend. I am also aware that the former president has been involved in the killing of others in his past, when he first came to power in a coup d’état. So, he is not an angel with a clean past.

And yet, must we not judge people by their actions on a case-by-case basis? If someone has been wicked in the past, does it mean that they can’t take moral stance on important issues in future? I leave the reader to decide!

This article is a commentary on an article Rawlings wrote entitled “The Immorality of International Politics”, published on Star FM online and also on Ghanaweb and elsewhere online. You can search for it on Google if you want to find it.

In his article about, former president Rawlings lambasts the apparent silence of world leaders after US president Trump unilaterally attacked Syria with 59 tomahawk cruise missiles. What is more, many world leaders blindly supported Trump. The attack on Syria was meant to punish the Syrian government for attacking its own people with chemical weapons, possibly Sarin gas, which is banned by the UN chemical weapons convention.

Former president Rawlings was essentially asking why the Syrian government would resort to using chemical weapons on their own people, given that the Syrian government appears to be ‘winning’ the war? In a war such as theirs, there are no real winners. Many have already lost their lives on both sides. That notwithstanding, and based on what is known about this war, I believe Rawlings has a point. Why will the Syrian government do that? To me, it does not add up.

It is no secret that the West, supported by their Wahabi allies (Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states) have supported insurrection in Syria and in the region since at least 2013. Back in 2013, the same Syrian government was accused by Western mainstream media of having used sarin gas against its people when alternative accounts pointed to Al-Nusra, an offshoot of Al Qaeda which now runs under different names, having procured chemical weapons in Turkey and used them to frame the Syrian government in the 2013 Ghouta attack. Al-Qaeda in their various names and forms are ultimately supported by the US and their Gulf state allies. You can do independent research to confirm this for yourself. Of course, the Syrian government is also in league with Russia, Iran and Hezbollah/Hizbullah. Each group has its own agenda however if things devolve into all-out war because Trump missteps in Syria, nowhere will be safe, including our own little corner on the globe.

I think Rawlings was right in calling for an independent body to investigate what happened in Syria’s Idlib province less than a fortnight ago. Just as it occurred in 2013 in the Ghouta province, the Western mainstream media put the blame on the Syrian government, who by the way claim to have destroyed their entire stockpile of chemical weapons years ago. So, just as I have mentioned in articles I wrote in the past, when such things happen on the world stage, a question to ask is, “cui bono?” Who benefits?

It is important to be conscientious and to do your own research to find things out from different sources when possible. If you only follow the mainstream media, you might end up believing whatever they say, just as the world was fooled in 2003 into believing that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, and the rest is history, including more than 1.2 million human casualties in Iraq alone, by some estimates.

So, ayikoo, Mr. Rawlings! Well done blasting Trump. Well done bringing attention to an important issue – the apparent immorality of international politics, peddled by some agents of powerful nations and blocs. Although I know you are not a saint, on this occasion, I support the principled stance you took on this issue, and I hope it was not just words but that it truly reflected a principled position.