“To us, it looks as though Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld never left the White House. It’s basically the same policy, as if US leaders had learned nothing and forgotten nothing in the past decade. They want to topple foreign leaders they regard as adversaries, without even making the most basic calculations of the consequences. An intervention in Syria will only enlarge the area of instability in the Middle East and expand the scope of terrorist activity. I am at a complete loss to understand what the US thinks it is doing” – Alexei Pushkov, chair of Russia’s State Duma’s international affairs committee, quoted in the Christian Science Monitor.
Those of my readers with a gentle or sensitive disposition should not, repeat not, watch the YouTube video below. This is a serious warning. Ever since I first saw it on that great little blog The Moon of Alabama two weeks ago, I have been wrestling with myself over whether or not to post the video myself. There were good reasons on both sides of the argument.
On the negative side there is no doubt that it will be deeply upsetting and horrifying to nearly everyone who watches it and as the person responsible for placing it on this site, I could be accused of a piece of exploitative sensationalism. Nor did I wish anyone to misinterpret my use of this film as an expression of support for the noxious Assad government in Damascus. It most definitely is not that.
On the other side of the argument the video brutally captures the essence of the people whose side Obama, Cameron, the French and goodness knows who else seem about to take in the bloody civil war in Syria. It savagely illustrates an aspect of the opposition to the Assad regime that has been grossly under-reported in the Western media, for reasons all to do with the post 9/11 transformation of the press in America and Britain into cheerleaders for government. Both seemed compelling reasons to blog the video. But still I hesitated.
It wasn’t until I read today that Tony Blair had emerged from whichever hole in the ground he currently inhabits to voice his support, courtesy of the columns of The Times newspaper, for armed Western intervention in Syria, using many of the spurious human rights arguments that he employed to justify the invasion of Iraq – especially when the WMD rationale was exposed as an outrageous lie. It was then that I made up my mind to post the video.
When a leader such as Tony Blair has been exposed as a brazen fabricator who tricked his country into war and caused the countless deaths of innumerable innocent civilians, nothing he ever says afterwards can or should be believed. In The Times, Blair argued that Western intervention was necessary to save Syria’s civilian population from Assad’s brutality and the “affiliates of Al Qaeda” who hope to exploit the instability.
There are two lies implanted in Blair’s words. One is that the real reason for the West waging war against Syria is not humanitarian but self interest. Destroying the Assad regime and replacing it with a post-Gaddafi Libyan style leadership, which presumably is the West’s ideal, would isolate Iran and strengthen Israel, the West’s proxy in the Middle East, and empower the Saudi/Gulf plutocrats whose oil sustains Western economic growth. Pacifying the region, embedding its leadership and placing it under stable pro-Western influence is what this is all about. It’s called neo-conservatism folks, the idea that brought you Bush, Cheney and now Obama. Samantha Power’s finest hour beckons.
The second lie concerns Al Qaeda. What Blair does not mention is that but for the invasion of Iraq, Al Qaeda would never have had a foothold in the region and would not now be vying for power in Syria. The group was ruthlessly put down by Saddam who regarded Osama bin Laden and his gospel as deeply menacing, as the West knew well.
With their invasion and overthrow of Saddam, Blair and Bush facilitated the growth of Al Qaeda in Iraq just as Obama and Cameron nourished it in Libya and just as they have sustained and fed the jihadists of Syria who feature so brutally in this video. The West’s role in creating Al Qaeda may be debatable but there is no doubt that no-one has done more to sustain and license the group and its violence.
The only outcome of an Obama/Cameron intervention in Syria will be another massive boost for the jihadist cause. After all they are the only people really fighting the Assad government; the pro-West Free Syrians are mostly languishing in comfort on the Turkish border. To the victor will go the spoils.
The quality and nature of these jihadists are bloodily evident in this video which, by the way, has almost entirely been ignored by the mainstream media. The two children executed by the Syrian freedom fighters, whose deaths are shown, were accused of being loyal to Assad and so were sentenced to death by an anonymous judge in a kangaroo court and gunned down by hooded, chanting stooges. Had the two boys been slaughtered by pro-Assad gunmen would their deaths have been so quickly ignored by our media?
When the Cruise missiles begin to streak through the night skies and our television screens are lit up by brightly colored explosions, remember that it is these people, monsters who took young innocent lives in the name of an extremist, medieval sect of an otherwise tolerant religion, who will gain most by all that follows.
Next on that list are all those in the West – in America in particular – who have been suckled by the eternal terrorist threat, surely the most lucrative boondoggle in history: the spooks who spy on us all, the corporations who make the drones and the missiles and bombs, the arms makers, the generals, the media moguls and the politicians who feed off our fear.
All these people, each thriving off the violence of the other, will be hoping that Barack Obama, the man who came to power by opposing one immoral war will press the button to start another one. It looks like they may get their way.