I was no great fan of Obama. But at least when it came to foreign interventions he didn’t cower before the hawks. Notwithstanding his illegal drone programme that targeted US civilians abroad in a series of extrajudicial killings, when it came to Iran, he sought to dampen down tensions. He left the destruction of Libya to France and Britain. And in the case of Syria, he took steps to align with Russia against ISIS.
But these days we have a grotesque caricature of a statesperson in the shape of Teresa May; Macron who could always be spat further than trust might ever carry him, and Trump – a compliant clown of a man who once spoke as though he would turn from the insanity of US foreign policy – all ramping up tensions over the head of Syria, and being all eager to play with lots of shiny things that kill people.
Why? What is it about Syria that has these idiots so “besides themselves”?
It’s not down to Assad being some kind of evil incarnate that they, the forces for good, feel duty bound to remove from the face of the planet. There are disgusting and decrepit enough leaders that the US, France and UK fete and court. (You can name them and/or their respective countries for yourself).
It’s not down to Assad’s alleged use of chemical weapons. Hell, these people (“our” masters) provided Sadam Hussein with all the precursors he could wish for during the Iran/Iraq war – that he used liberally in that war, and that he also used against Kurds within Iraq. It wasn’t until years later, when Sadam decided to do something about Kuwait stealing oil from Iraqi oil fields that things went sour for him with “our” masters.
Look. Do I need to mention that this Syrian nonsense has got nothing whatsoever to do with “bringing democracy” to the country? Surely not. That gets filed alongside the notion of dropping bombs to achieve humanitarian goals. Right?
So if it’s not the intrinsic evil of Assad, and it’s not “democracy” or “humanitarianism”, and it’s not some deep seated aversion to chemicals, then what is behind all this bullshit?
In September 2016, Mike Whitney, authored a piece for Counterpunch titled “Assad’s Death Warrant”. That article leaned heavily on the analysis of Robert F Kennedy Jr and suggests Assad’s rejection of a gas pipeline deal that would have seen Qatar “corner the market” for European gas supplies at Russia’s expense, and his endorsement of an Iranian pipeline instead, is what lies behind the push for regime change. The piece is worth reading. Robert F Kennedy Jr’s original article in Politico is also worth reading. Make of them what you will.
Stephen Gowans has given presentations relating to his book “Washington’s Long War On Syria” that provides very useful historical and political contexts on the country. As he points out, the tension between a radical Sunni agenda and the equally anti-imperialist Baathist agenda is irreconcilable. And it has resulted in bloodshed in Syria before. The video behind this link is some forty minutes long, and again, as with the articles above, if you want to avail yourself of some deeper analysis of Syria beyond some white hat/black hat nonsense, then find the time to give it a listen. And make of it what you will.
Should we throw in Israels preoccupation with Iran and their support of Hezbollah in Lebanon? Probably. I don’t think it has “nothing” to do with what we’re seeing in Syria. Hell, even the simplistic “fear and loathing” of Russia and all things Russian (except under Yeltsin) “our” masters have, and that stretches all the way back to 1800’s Tsarist Russia is an ingredient in the mix.
We know that the UK and US (as well as many others) have given direct logistical, military and financial support to Jihadist gangs or groups within Syria. The Guardian had a very good article on some of the machinations it uncovered back in May of 2016. Interestingly, one of the groups mentioned in that article as receiving support is Jaish Al Islam – that’s the same Jaish Al Islam that has just recently departed from Eastern Ghouta after claiming civilians had been subjected to a chemical attack by the Syrian government. Make of that what you will.
My question is this though.
What happens if Assad survives and the steady flow of information that has been flying in the face of what we’ve been told every night and every day from mainstream/corporate/liberal media outlets becomes a stream, and then a flood washing down from the soggy, broken dam of government bullshit?
Will we, as with Iraq, tut-tut and then go back to our Netflix or whatever? Why do we keep on giving “our” masters a free pass when they, in our name, perpetrate evils on other people in this world? Shouldn’t we, as conscientious citizens, and as a duty, be making it clear and known to our governments, that the price they will pay for indulging in mendacious bullshitt is so high that they simply won’t be able to so much as contemplate stepping out of line?
That’s my question, regardless of where you stand on the rights and wrongs and maybes that are swirling around on Syria at the moment. Do we not all have a duty to seek ways whereby actions of the institutions of the countries we’re citizens of are restrained at our moral insistence?
There is something very wrong with our political culture when leaders can casually bandy about notions of military intervention and war.
Update According to the Guardian, Trump has just “ordered strikes against the Assad regime ”
From the Guardian –
“Trump refers to the “righteous power” of the US, UK and France in acting in the region. He urges Americans to say a prayer. He finishes with: “We pray that god will bring comfort to the suffering and guide the whole region.”