Syria: An international coalition of America, the UK, and France launched 100+ missiles at key sites for the legitimate Syrian government, with three chemical weapons facilities being targeted by the US-led onslaught. This is the latest in a streak of Western actions targeting the government of Bashar al-Assad for unverified chemical attacks. In recent months, the West has been taking an increasingly hostile tone towards Syria, after dubious accusations that the Syrian government have been using chemical weapons on their own people.
Regardless of your own stance on the strikes, there is one key question that must be answered: why would Assad, who has all but won the civil war against Islamist and opposition insurgents, open himself and his government up to being torn apart by Western ordinance? Why would a man, who has secured his future against all the odds, provoke Western powers into destroying his nation?
It makes no sense. The media agenda is that Assad is a cruel psychopath. That Assad takes pleasure in having his civilians gassed. That Assad is a heartless monster. Though you can’t tell much about a person from a few pictures of them, does this look like a genocidal murderer to you?
Sentimentalism aside, let’s look at the facts.
First of all, all evidence that the most recent chemical attack was down to Assad is simple hearsay, from an international coalition that would benefit from the fall of the Assad government. Syria has become a close ally to Russia, and this is a bad thing for the West – Russia is using Syria as a base to exert influence over the Middle East, an area traditionally dominated by US puppetmasters. Regardless of your opinion on this, it’s plain to see that the US has a geopolitical interest in seeing Russian-aligned nations destroyed. It goes against their neo-imperialist dreams of “spreading democracy and freedom”. It makes it harder for them to do this. Russian influence also threatens some of America’s most significant regional allies, like Saudi Arabia and Israel (even though the Wahhabism of Saudi Arabia and the neo-Apartheid of Israel should be tackled). The US wants to remove Assad to regain their slipping control over the Middle East, and fabricating evidence against a Russian-aligned international pariah like Mr Assad is the perfect way to tackle Russian influence. The reasoning for this attack is simply unsubstantiated rumour, which plays directly in favour of US foreign policy.
Secondly, the West has a history of this. A stable Middle Eastern nation is accused of harming their civilians, or forming dangerous weapons. Intervention is debated, missiles are launched, bombs are dropped. Eventually, boots are on the ground and dead soldiers are solemnly buried here, at home, after dying in an illegitimate war. After the war is “won”, unrest comes back. Rinse and repeat ad infinitum. We’ve seen it in Iraq and Libya. Assad is the next target. As mentioned before, the US will stop at nothing to achieve their foreign policy goals of “liberating” people and spreading “democracy”. This plays into the aforementioned US imperialism/military industrial complex. The worst thing is that the rumours are eventually revealed to be false! When the war is less of a hot topic, it’s revealed that the war was for nothing. Saddam didn’t have WMDs, and thousands of OUR soldiers died because US imperialists said that he might have had some. These interventions all follow a set pattern of lies and rumours, and cause more problems down the road.
At the end of the day, Assad may have actually gassed his own civilians, and he may have done it several times. But, as I think I’ve set out well enough here, it’s incredibly hard to believe.