Commentary: Perils of trigger-happy foreign policy in Middle East



Three Western countries on Saturday once again demonstrated trigger-happy foreign policy by launching airstrikes on Syria based on mere allegations about Syria's use of chemical weapons.

In cooperation with Britain and France, the United States attacked Syrian military facilities, calling it a response to the alleged gas attack by Syrian troops in the rebel-held town of Douma near Syrian capital Damascus on April 7.

The Syrian government has strongly denied the allegation, which has not been independently investigated and verified. So far, the United States and its allies have not provided any hard evidence to hold Damascus responsible for the alleged gas attack.

The U.S.-led military action against Syria will remind people of a similar attack a year ago, which was also launched under the pretext of punishing the Syrian government for the alleged use of chemical weapons.

The use of chemical weapons should certainly be condemned and dealt with resolutely by the international community. But thorough investigation should precede any punishment and action, especially military ones, to hold those responsible to account. Such actions should first be fully authorized by the United Ntions.

Such unauthorized use of force, without a thorough investigation, not only violates the territorial integrity of a sovereign country, but also escalates the tensions in war-torn Syria as well as the Middle East region as a whole.

The attack came despite warnings from Russia and Iran, which demanded a proper investigation by international inspectors. Consequently, it will intensify the animosity between the United States and Russia and Iran.

History shows the dangerous consequences of Western countries' military interventionist policy which has wreaked havoc time and again in the volatile Middle East, from Iraq to Syria.

The invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the airstrikes on Libya in 2011 both failed to ensure peace and further destabilized the Middle East and resulted in millions of civilians being killed, wounded and displaced.

Ironically, the United States itself, as well as many of its European allies including France and Britain, have paid a dear price for their military moves in the Middle East, as illustrated by the costly war against terrorism at home and abroad. U.S.-led military strikes against Middle East countries have sown destruction and hatred, forming a hotbed for the rise of terrorism that has eventually spread to Western countries.

Under the UN Charter, any dispute should be settled through dialogue, negotiation and compromise, and all members should refrain from using force against another sovereign nation.

If the United States and its Western allies really want to address the rising dangers of terrorism and the worsening situation in the Middle East, they should first discard their trigger-happy foreign policy in the region and any other parts of the world.