April 13, 2018

Word: There's no reason to attack Syria

Owen Jones, Guardian -  Here they go again. There is no case to bomb Syria. This is meant quite literally: no case has been presented to the country. What would the targets be? How extensive would the operation be? What would be the strategic goals? What would success look like? What would be the potentially adverse consequences – minor issues like a massive re-escalation of Syria’s murderous conflict or war with Russia, that kind of thing – and how would they be prevented? Ah, but these are mere distractions, because something must be done, and anyone who says otherwise is heartless in the face of atrocities, or de facto stooges of Bashar al-Assad, or both. All over again, it is we, the opponents of war, who are treated as the ones with the real questions to be answered, by a media elite that, over and over again, fails to scrutinize a disastrous western foreign policy. History repeats itself, observed Karl Marx, “first as tragedy, then as farce.”

Assad is a monstrous dictator responsible for heinous crimes. I am not in denial about the nature of Syria’s regime. But any military intervention will leave him in power, unless the west is planning a full-scale invasion and full-blown war with Russia – which strikes me as unlikely. Apparently, a military strike will deter him from using chemical weapons against his own people. This was the promised outcome when Trump sent dozens of missiles hurtling towards Shayrat airbase in April last year: that did not happen, and here we are again.

Either the west launches a symbolic attack the regime can easily absorb, achieving nothing. Or it executes a massive series of strikes that proves a game-changer after a seven-year civil war that has already taken the lives of hundreds of thousands, and re-escalates the conflict.

There are liberals who made so much of their horror at Donald Trump’s ascent to the White House, saying that having an authoritarian egomaniac as the world’s most powerful man was a threat to world peace, even that he was a modern-day Mussolini or Hitler. Now that he wants to drop bombs, they suddenly cheer him on.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Whatever moral legitimacy that the west may have still possessed has now been lost.