“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.
I am torn, Ed, about this situation. I lived through American intervention in Vietnam, Central America and the Mid East which made the existing situations far worse than before we got involved. The very last thing I want to see is more young Americans sent halfway around the world to engage in a war that is not ours. That said, should we simply stand by and watch these people kill one another in the most brutal of fashions? We did that while the Armenians were being slaughtered, we did that while 6 million Jews and 4 million others were murdered. Can we really do nothing again?
the problem lauretta is that the US is not entering this conflict as a dispassionate neutral concerned only to stop the carnage and to save civilian life. the US, like its allies in Europe and the Gulf states, is on the side of one of the combatants, the anti-Assad rebels many of whom are Al Qaeda oriented, and having a dog in the fight, as it were, the US and its allies will enter this conflict with an agenda that has less to do with saving lives and more to do with unseating Assad.
Our new allies.
Obama must go down as the biggest disappointment in history. He promised so much, an new era, but the reality is sadly different.
It simply amazes me how people still fall for the west propaganda. I have always used the barometer that if britain is condemning a country then they cant be that bad as britain is no supporter of ‘human rights’. In the last 10 years i have adopted that same barometer to the U.S sadly. These countries along with other imperialist states like france, spain, holland etc masquerade as a world police. When the UN, which is fast becoming a dead duck, doesnt support these ‘police’ nations’ they just ignore the UN anyway. They hook up with the Arab league, who are made a cabal of tyrants, and issue ultimatums to countries who happen to reject their ‘ways’. Of course its disguised as concern for ordinary civilians etc etc which is laughable cause these ‘police’ countries would round up its own citizens, be they benefit ‘scroungers’,teenage parents,pensioners,drug addicts,free education/healthcare ‘scroungers’ and anyone else who is a ‘burden’ and put them in a concentration camp/ghetto if they could get away with it. Their ‘concern’ for other innocents around the world is stomach churning. Hitler could learn a thing or two from the dictators of the west. I call them dictators as even their elections arent democratic any more. They are rigged so much that it doesnt matter which main party wins be it republican/democrat or labour/tory they still do the same thing. Dictators pretending to be democracies. Mugabe/Putin take note.
And i will say it again, the american administrations’ that were involved in Ireland were no friend of Ireland. Their only interest was irish/american votes. Who can forget hilary clinton with her false tears of ‘compassion’ visiting our country and meeting the ordinary women of our land? This motherly figure soon showed her claws when she gloated over the death of a human being, lest we forget, gaddaffi when he met a horrible end. Whether you like gaddaffi or not, i thought the west didnt act like animals?
Libya by the way is in turmoil at the minute, just like Iraq thanks to the west intervention on ‘humanitarian’ grounds.
Why isnt the ‘entire’ world clamouring to condemn Assad? When i say the entire world i mean the continent of south america, Africa and Asia? Do these continents opinions’ not count? Maybe they havnt got t.v’s or internet in these regions? Maybe they still use smoke signals to communicate? Or maybe they arent intelligent enough to understand the ‘world police’ are ‘protecting’ them? Or just maybe their opinions should not be heard as it may astound the gullible here in the west that these people dont like the ‘world police’ either? It may astound the gullible in the west that the ‘entire’ world isnt looking for another country to be brought to its knees by ‘heroic’ bombers 2 mile in the sky??
Or maybe just maybe we are falling into the racist trap that we are superior to these ‘lesser’ nations- we are imperialist collaboraters perhaps?
Ed So what is your response to the killing of at least 100,000 people in Syria. Stand aside until Assad armed and supported by Russian oligarchs and Putinistas kills another 100,000 ? Of course Bush’s war on Iraq was a disaster. But does that forever paralyze the international community from responding to blatant war crimes. The Arab League has placed blame for the killing of 1000 + civilians by chemical weapons on Assad. The killing of the boys in your video is horrible but it is not an excuse to turn a blind eye to Assad’s crimes. Unless one concludes that there can be no rule of morality in international affairs.
If humanitarianism was the motivation for these threats Ed, then the US and Europe as well as the Saudis and their friends would have intervened in Syria years ago. Contrast the paralysed response of the West to the early violence in Syria to what happened in Libya, when a few threatening words from Gaddafi led to a no fly zone and a massive military intervention. I don’t think that citing humanitarianism after at least 100,000 people, and perhaps twice that number have been killed, many more times that figure wounded and goodness knows how many people rendered into refugees is at all credible. I would be very leery of these claims of CW use as they are eerily reminiscent of Bush’s WMD claims against Saddam and we all know how well based they were! I suspect the real reason for the sabre rattling is the growing military losses suffered by the Syrian rebels and the realisation in DC and Europe that Assad is winning. And then there is the undeniable fact that for the third time, Afghanistan and Libya being the other two, the US and its Western allies will arm and make war in concert with people who afterwards they will tell us are the worst cut throats on the planet, who we must move heaven and earth to defeat. I am sorry Ed. It stinks.
Looks like business as usual. Obama is no different from Bush and Cheney. I remember the integrity and character of the former senator from South Dakota George McGovern who astutely observed before his death in 2012, that we ( our government) created a hornet’s nest in the Middle East.” And the Jesuit priest and anti-war activist Father Daniel Berrigan who when asked if he thought our government had anything to do with the 9/11 attack, said, “Well, the work remains the same whether they knew about it or not. I don’t think any of them would have any moral boundaries about what they would do. They were aching for revenge and they got us into a bottomless pit.”