With the issue of intervention into the Syrian Civil War occupying the deliberation of many conscientious people at the moment, I wanted to do my best to clarify a position that I think is worth maintaining: the notion of Western intervention in Syria is completely unacceptable. This is not to say that the notion of intervention as a whole is necessarily unacceptable (that is not an issue that I will be addressing here) but rather that the governments currently pushing for an invasion, namely the USA, UK, and France, have no legitimate basis to do so. In order to make this point, I would like to scrutinise the three principal alleged motivations for intervention that these governments profess to maintain.
The first is that the usage of chemical weapons as a supposed ‘red line’ that must be adhered to. It should be made clear that there is considerable evidence that the rebels themselves carried out a chemical weapons attack in Khan-al-Asal near Aleppo using sarin gas last March. A 100-page report was delivered to the UN by Russia in July, but fell on largely deaf ears, which strikes a deep contrast to the focus that the West has granted to the recent allegation of a similarly substantiated attack committed by the opposite faction. Even more worryingly however, is the fact that the USA have admitted to using chemical weapons in recent history, for example the usage of white phosphorus and depleted uranium during the invasion of Iraq in the town of Fallujah in April 2003. With rates of infant mortality, cancer, and leukaemia exceeding those reported by survivors both of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the USA’s legacy of chemical-weapons usage could be argued to surpass that of either side in Syria.
The second motivation to be considered is the notion of the West supporting the rebels, which is grossly incompatible with its purported primary interest for its more general foreign policy, namely the ‘War on Terror’. Launched largely in response to the 9/11 attacks on the USA, the campaign has seen an aggressive international effort to eliminate extremist-Islamist organisations, most notably al-Qaeda. However the West’s alleged intentions are profoundly discordant with any consistent level of support for the rebels in Syria, be it by arming them, providing them with a no-fly zone, or openly intervening on their side, as they are comprised significantly of the very Islamists, many of whom have links to al-Qaeda, that have been declared the principal enemies of the last decade of the West’s foreign policy.
The third alleged motivation to be scrutinised is the supposed respect by Western governments for the ideals of democracy and human rights, which again is completely incompatible with their historical record. For one, the USA is thoroughly supportive of the Israeli state in Palestine, which is one that has repeatedly transgressed international law and UN-sanctioned restrictions whilst establishing a racist two-tier apartheid system that could not inaccurately be described as amounting to an ethnic cleansing. This goes in addition to further campaigns that encompass examples such as the installation of Pinochet’s military dictatorship in Chile, funding the Mujahideen in Afghanistan, and supporting the Indonesian government whilst it commited genocide in East Timor, as well as more contemporary examples such as the lending of crucial endorsement to subsequent repressive regimes in the Middle East such as Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. Beyond this we should not forget the unapologetic colonialism pursued by the UK and France in the past few centuries that have in some cases amounted to instances of mass murder occurring that were far greater in proportion to anything that could ever be conceived being committed in Syria.
In the light of the West’s unmitigated eagerness to invade Syria, which can be explained away as grossly incompatible with actions that it has and is continuing to commit, an implicit agenda that the mainstream media is much more hesitant to make explicit emerges. This is one of a sustained strategic effort to establish its hegemony in the Middle East, and more specifically of neutralising Iran’s principal geopolitical ally in the region, whilst deceiving popular support (or at the least maintaining apathy) under the guise of unquestionably noble, but undoubtedly untenable, premises. The West’s professed motivations to invade are nothing more than a figurative buffet of lies of which only those willing to poison themselves would take a bite.
Written by Sylvester.