IN terms of realpolitik it could perhaps be merely of academic interest should the governments of our 15-member Caribbean Community release a collective statement — by the time you read today's column — to inform the Caribbean people of their stand in relation to the threatened USA-led military strike against Syria.
Yet, silence should not be an option, since the estimated 13 million citizens of this region — small, underdeveloped and generally lacking the wherewithal to influence key players in this looming war by western powers in the Middle East — deserve to be informed about Caricom's stand on the issue.
Besides, as most of the member states have diplomatic, trade and cultural relations with the two key actors — the USA and Syria.
To their credit, the presidents of Venezuela (Nicolas Maduro) and Guyana (Donald Ramotar), meeting in Georgetown two weekends ago, took the opportunity to issue a joint statement pleading for "restraint" to avoid another horrible war in the Middle East.
It so happens that both Venezuela and Guyana are also members of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) as well as the hemispheric-wide Organisation of American States (OAS), neither of which had considered it necessary to offer the appeal for "restraint".
Most encouragingly, however, as the leaders of the powerful and influential Group of 20 nations were assembling for their summit in St Petersburg, hosted by President Vladimir Putin, The Vatican released a letter to the Russian leader in which the Pope made a passionate plea against a "military solution".
The Pope and the UN Secretary General
The core message from Argentinian-born Pope Francis to the G-20 leaders, among them President Barack Obama, who has been increasingly focused since last weekend on a military strike against Syria, was: "I make a heartfelt plea to abandon the futile pursuit of a military solution in Syria..."
Significantly, the Pope's plea reflected the sentiment earlier expressed by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.
He had stated, amid being pilloried by critics in America, that the crisis over Syria's use of chemical weapons against civilians "requires a diplomatic solution, since there is no military solution..."
Well, do Caricom governments concur or disagree with the positions of the UN secretary general and Pope Francis?
Are they prepared to share their thoughts this weekend with the people of the Caribbean — ahead of the coming vote by the US Congress to either reject or endorse President Obama's decision?
For their part, the American people are still chastened by the unforgettable lies told by former President George Bush for "regime change" in Baghdad — achieved at horrific, mind-boggling human cost and devastation of that nation.
But, whether at home, among us or elsewhere in the world, all citizens of the USA should know that here, in our small Caribbean region, there are also deep anxieties over President Obama's impending action.
The March 13, 2003 war on Iraq had been shamelessly propagandised by the Bush Administration as a costly sacrificial undertaking to destroy Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction (WMDs), even after credible United Nations inspectors had already declared there were none.
However, significantly aided by a then cosy British Prime Minister Tony Blair, President Bush's war against Saddam — once a formidable political ally of the USA in their shared hatred for Iran — expediently chose to forget that Washington's once so-called "Hitler of Baghad" had murdered thousands of Iraqis with mustard gas and sarin in four major political offensives during 1988.
Most ironically, this information is sourced not to enemies of superpower America, but to its Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) — that vital arm of Washington administrations so often involved in political subversion against governments in this and other regions of the world.
Of immediate relevance is that when the time came for US-designed "regime change" in Baghdad, the huge lie offered was for destruction of claimed WMDs in Iraq. Now fast-forward to Syria where the claim — including from UN investigators — of the use of sarin gas from the reported stockpile of chemical weapons in the control of President Assad's Government is the official reason being offered by President Obama to launch his planned military strike.
At the time of writing, and while the British House of Commons' historic vote to block Prime Minister David Cameron's initiative to participate in military action against Syria has now left the White House waiting for a vote from the US Congress, President Obama and his Secretary of State John Kerry are revealing an agonising political quandary of their own creation.
Singing from the same page, they separately thought it expedient to stress that the use of chemical weapons by any government against its own people cannot be ignored by the international community. There should be no disagreement with this contention, even though the USA had conveniently ignored it in the case of Iraq — long before its enforced "regime change" in Baghdad.
The Obama Administration subsequently coupled its determination for planned military action against Syria by reaffirming that it was not being done with "regime change" in mind, but, as Secretary of State Kerry subsequently stressed to the US Foreign Relations Committee last Wednesday — "Assad must go"!
What double-speak! "Go" where and how? By what means? And if Assad survives the coming US-led military attack — but with a "degraded" stockpile of chemical weapons — what next? We should soon find out.
Let's hope that the G-20 Summit gives serious consideration to the positions reflected by the UN secretary general and Pope Francis. America's "regime change" war on Iraq is a most poignant reminder for the US Congress.