Saturday, May 17, 2014

The war in Syria: navigating an impossible story

"All of Syria is in fact being crucified. In fact, despite their differences, Syria’s warring parties are united in the blood of Syrians – and Palestinians – which they shed on a daily basis. When over 150,000 Syrians, including 10,000 children are dead, and 6.5 million are internally displaced, and 2.5 million have fled beyond the country’s borders, no one is innocent. As for the pseudo-intellectuals who are keeping track of one body count, and ignoring the other, they must wake up to the fact that there is only one pool of victims, the Syrian people"
Ramzy Baroud

The killings and struggle for power continues in Syria. Syria is in ruins.  The Syrian war has become not just a struggle for power in Syria, but a regional struggle for Syria. 

What began in 2011 as peaceful protests for human dignity and political reform, inspired by the uprisings across the Middle East, degenerated into civil war after the Assad regime used military force to crush the popular protest. 

The result was the transformation of a popular protest into a military struggle that drew in major proxies- including Russia, US, Iran, France, Saudi Arabia, Israel and the UK.

As Eric Margolis writes:
Most of the uprising against Damascus began on the borders with Lebanon and Jordan, from where US, British, French and Saudi intelligence services organized, trained, and financed anti-Assad groups. Turkish intelligence, MIT, also fuelled the uprising in the north. 
This writer strongly believes Western special forces armed with the latest anti-tank weapons covertly supported anti-government forces – just as in the western-organized overthrow of Libya’s leader, Muammar Khadaffi.
Ramzy Baroud reminds us in his article Navigating Syriathat the Syrian war  is a stage for bloody political intrigues involving the US, UK, France, Israel, Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations who fund, arm and support the anti-Assad rebel forces, and Russia and Iran, who support, fund and arm the Assad regime. 

Russia, is the main backer of the Assad regime, with additional aid and support provided by Iran and Hezbullah.

The US, UK, France and Middle East countries, particularly Saudi Arabia have continually escalated the military conflict with their backing of the armed opponents of the Assad regime.

This is despite the rebel forces being dominated by extremist Islamist jihadi forces similar in beliefs and methods to al Qaida.

There is clear evidence that the US, UK and European countries are directly involved in training and arming the anti-Assad forces, with Saudi Arabia acting as the coordinator and distributor of arms. 

As Baroud notes, both sides perpetrate horrendous war crimes, destroy cities, massacre civilians, inflict perpetual sieges on civilian populations and commit unhindered violations of human rights massacres.

Baroud argues that neither side has the answers to the crises gripping Syria.
The Syrian narrative is very complex because a ‘just solution’ is not a matter of a clever articulation of words. Aside from the Syrian camps, parties involved include Western powers, Arab governments, Israel, Russia, Iran, and a cluster of intelligence agencies and legions of foreigners, on all sides. The agendas are mostly sinister. The media campaigns are driven by lies. The story of the Ghouta chemical attack of last year is particularly poignant. A war was about to break out, led by the US and cheered on by Arabs. A recent investigation by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh suggests that the whole thing might’ve been a plot, involving Turkey, to indict the regime. He argues that the Americans knew it, yet still were ready to go to war
Baroud concludes his article by imploring us to stand with the Syrian people, not with the oppressors, who are both warring sides and their many supporters. 
But how do you navigate an impossible story? The answer: You side with the victim, no matter her colour, sect or creed. You remain committed to the truth, no matter how elusive. You drop every presupposition, abandon ideology, permanently discard dogma, and approach Syria with abundance of humanity and humility. We need to understand the roots of this heinous war, but we also need it to end for the good of the Syrian people. The Syrian conflict should not be a stage of bloody political intrigues for the West and Russia, Israel, Iran and the Arabs. Syria is not a God-given inheritance of the Assad-clan and their friends, or a space for another extremist experiment, as was the case in Afghanistan and Somalia, or another imaginary battlefield for social media leftists, whose claim to socialism is an occasional Facebook profile photo of a clasped fist, or an earth shattering quote about defeating capitalism.

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