Syria next?

Media worldwide have been bent on a speculation since Colonel Gaddafi was dragged out of a drainpipe and met a violent end: the killing of Gaddafi would send shivers down the spine of Syria's al-Assad regime.

This coincided with the tit-for-tat ambassador withdrawal between Damascus and Washington.

The U.S. withdrawn its ambassador to Syria Oct.24 over "fears for his safety" in the face of what the U.S. said a growing campaign of incitement against him being orchestrated by the Syria regime.

The Syrian government gave a quick response the same day ordering home its envoy to Washington for the sake of consulting on its relations with Washington, actually raising the diplomatic stakes.

With NATO operations in Libya coming to an end, which is said to conclude on Oct.31, some of the NATO members somewhat suggested Syria could be the next target.

France, which started the air strikes on Libya, is currently pushing for UN to take "responsibilities" and sanction the "bloody repression" in Syria.

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe was cites as saying, "France is asking the UN Security Council to assume its responsibilities and sanction the bloody repression"

"I hope we will soon reach an agreement on multilateral action that can step up pressure on the Syrian regime," Juppe said.

The U.S. vice-president, Joe Biden, last week triggered the speculation by saying that the military model used in Libya - US air power in support of rebels on the ground backed by French and British special forces - could be used elsewhere.

Further, the U.S. Senator and former Republican presidential candidate John McCain has also hinted that there is a real chance of intervention in Syria.

Speaking at the World Economic forum, he said: "Now that military operations in Libya are ending, there will be renewed focus on what practical military operations might be considered to protect civilian lives in Syria."

It seems that NATO, especially the U.S., finally relished and so cherished the rare victorious fruit from its battle fronts on the foreign soils, and Libya acts as an outlandish model which has satisfied the appetite of the powers involved for the unchallenged position being super military might, as well as its logic: Might is Right.

But, whether or not NATO would recalibrate its focus upon Syria is not merely a question of its willingness and ambition to sweep away all the "anti-West regimes", but more of a question--whether or not the Libya military model could be replicated elsewhere, and how far the proxy war can go.

At least, one thing needs pondering: To launch operations is to "protect civilian lives" from "bloody repression", but "friendly casualty"--civilians killed through mistaken bombing, accident and negligence, is any less bloody?

[Source: By Li Hongmei, Xinhua, Beijing, 26Oct11]

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