Peter Ford was the British Ambassador to Syria from 2003-06. Having been in Syria, he has the first-hand experience of the tumultuous events that have engulfed Syria. The diplomat is now retired but is vociferous in his condemnation of British and Western policy on Syria. In a recent interview on BBC, the former ambassador clearly stated that no conclusion could be definitely reached that the Assad regime used WMD. There are two versions. The American version which says that the air force of Assad bombed the rebels with a gas bomb. There is another version given out by Russia that during a bombing raid a bomb hit a stored gas cylinder of the rebels, and it exploded.

Ford was of the view that only an independent investigation can clear the air. He further went on to add " Remember the run-up to Iraq. The experts, the intelligence agencies, the politicians were convinced that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. They produced reams of evidence, photographs, diagrams. They were all wrong. It was all wrong. It's possible they are wrong in this instance as well. That they are just looking for a pretext to attack Syria". This interview was broadcast on BBC.

Removing Assad

The West European powers along with Turkey have for long been advocating the removal of Assad. Unfortunately, these nations do not have the fire power to remove Assad, who has the backing of Russia and Iran.

They would like the USA to take the lead to cover up their inadequacy. Donald Trump has accepted the bait and launched an attack on Syria. The American version in the light of earlier historical events like the Tonkin Gulf incident and the allegations against Saddam of having stockpiled WMD is suspect. Probably there is a deeper game afoot, and allegations that Assad has used WMD in the last bombing is just a ruse to attack and overthrow him.

Not plausible

A point brought out by Peter Ford is worth pondering. He says that Assad is not mad and there is very little likelihood of him having used a gas attack when the area had no military significance. As per him the attack by Assad was not plausible for the simple reason that he had nothing to gain with such an attack.

In fact, he was aware that in case he used WMD, the Western powers and America would double their efforts to remove him.The missile attack has widened the rift between Russia and America and it was made clear to Tillerson in Moscow, that another similar American attack will have wide repercussions. The secretary of state was on a visit to Moscow recently.

Trump and reality

Donald Trump has backed away from most of his campaign promises, and it appears he is in the grip of the hardliners. One reason for this is that he had no political philosophy and is a plain and simple business man, thrust into the seat of the most powerful post in the world. He would well realize that the world is changing and everything does not happen like in the old days when a British warship could fire shells and subdue a nation in 38 minutes. This occurred in 1896 in the Battle of Zanzibar.