Its time for the Syrian civil war to end and no amount of editorialising about humanitarian intervention will help bring this about.
|Aleppo before the civil war, this street is now rubble and dust.|
I sometimes wonder if the media and political elites live on the same planet as me. Take an editorial published in last Friday's Guardian under the sub header This battle is an urgent humanitarian catastrophe which could end all hope of a negotiated peace.' The battle in question is the Syrian government and its allies attempt to retake the parts of the city of Aleppo which have been in Islamic fundamentalist hands for the last four years.
According to the Guardian:
The situation in Aleppo is now more critical than it has ever been since the start of Syria’s civil war five years ago and this has come at a bad moment, when western attention is focused on terrorism in Europe or the US electoral campaign. We must, though, now attend to Syria as well. What is happening now could be a decisive turning point in the conflict, which will destroy whatever diplomatic hopes remain of a negotiated solution.
That alone shows the Guardian top floor hasn't learn't a damn thing from the US led intervention in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria. It's as if they believe the West has a god given right to intervene in other people's war's, no matter how much blood they shed or chaos they leave behind.
Natalie Nougayrède did much the same in her opinion piece on Monday in which she all but offered a pretext for military intervention when she wrote: (The forces besieging Aleppo are counting on our indifference)
Aleppo will have consequences for Europe and for its citizens, and there is little cause to think they will be positive.
There are no simple answers to the mess the Middle East finds itself in, but building awareness of how the safety of citizens in Europe cannot be dissociated from the question of protecting civilians in Syria should be a constant focus.
The middle East never found itself in a mess, it was pushed into it by US led military intervention. To suggest Assad poses a threat to European democracies is to turn reality on its head. It's as infantile as when Blair claimed Saddam had plans for the use of chemical and biological weapons, some deployable within 45 minutes against British targets.
What the Guardian and the rest of the mockney bleeding hearts are actually proposing is a rehash of the type of humanitarian intervention which failed the people of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Egypt so dismally, and why wouldn't it when it's a neoliberal creation.
It might be defined by its advocates as a state's use of military force against another state when the chief publicly declared aim of that military action is ending human-rights violations being perpetrated by the state against which it is directed.
In reality it was designed to provide a pretext to invade nations whose leaders were regarded by the US and it's surrogates as being beyond the pale. This sleight of hand chicanery was necessary as ever since the Peace of Westphalia that ended Europe’s wars of religion in 1648, the principle of the inviolability of the sovereignty of the nation-state has evolved to become the bedrock principle of international relations. Today it's enshrined within the United Nations Charter.
When the USA, UK and France encouraged its allies in the Gulf, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey to move the anti-Assad movement away from a mass movement of protest into an armed struggle, the die was well and truly cast. Secular Syrian opponents of the Assad regime were pushed aside by well funded and armed militia groups like ISIL, the Nusra Front, which despite its recent name change is still al-Qaeda's affiliate in Syria, and the host of differing Islamic armed groups who have carved out their own fiefdoms in the areas they occupy in Syria.
The one thing they all have in common is they hate each other as much as they do the Assad regime, thus if they were to defeat it, they would immediately turn their fire on each other. If anyone doubts this I suggest they look to Afghanistan, Libya, and Iraq.
As to the much hailed Free Syrian Army, its main theatre appears to be within Turkey, and the Gulf States, where its senior officers sup heartily on the largess of the CIA, MI6, DGSE and the various Arab Mukhabarats.
If the Guardian truly believes a peace process and diplomacy will end this war they live in cloud cuckoo land. This has become a fight to the finish with the Assad regime clearly having the upper hand. The Anti Assad militias including the Free Syrian Army could have participated in diplomatic talks in Austria but chose not to engage constructively. The main Islamic military groups like ISIL and Al Nursra are not even in the West equation let alone the Assad regime's, thus even if there were a viable diplomatic option it would not end the war.
What the mainstream media always overlooks is the Assad regime is not a one man dictatorship: it has the support of a sizeable section of the Syrian population. It is worth noting much of this support has not wavered despite years of civil war. Assad Syria with all its imperfections is the last of the secular states within the middle east. For all it's faults and they are many, during the years before the war people could at least live a reasonable life. Given time and compromise on both sides it is possible Syria may have emerged as the first truly democratic state in the region. Sadly this didn’t happen, we are where we are.
Tub thumping is not going to help the thousands of people trapped in the rebel suburbs of Aleppo under Islamic rule. To allow food and medicine into these areas at this late hour is all very well, but in all probability it will only enhance their misery as the militias will use it to reinforce their presence.
What these folk need is guarantees of safe passage to leave their homes. While it's easy to scoff at Assad's safe corridors, they are the only routes out of the surrounded city. What is needed is UN designated monitors placed along these corridors which help those who wish to leave the city get to designated areas where they are safe from all warring parties.
This is what the media should be demanding, this is what the diplomats, especially those of Syria, the US, Russia and Iran should be negotiating night and day to achieve.
In short it is time for the Syrian civil war to end. It breaks my heart to say it but this can only come about with a victory for the Assad regime. Any diplomatic conference will not be about dividing the spoils and government ministerial jobs as was once supposed. But demanding the Assad regime cease all reprisals aimed at civilians who had the misfortune to find themselves in rebel territory once the Syrian army was forced out in the early days of the war.