Wagging The Dog For Amnesiacs

syria 1

This can’t be real, can it? Doesn’t anyone remember the British Iraq Dossier plagiarized from a US doctoral student thesis? Or what about then US Secretary of State Colin Powell making a fabricated presentation to the United Nations on the case for illegally attacking Iraq for its purported weapons of mass destruction? Fifteen years later Iraq, once a functioning, relatively well-to-do middle income economy, is now a 21st century wasteland.

Well, here we are again. But why now it may be asked? Well, the worlds’ attention has recently been riveted on rogue state Israel unleashing its US supplied military in a turkey shoot of unarmed Palestinian women and children protesting their lockdown in the giant open air prison known as the Gaza Strip. So, while President Trump was trying to get back to his lost “America First” agenda, proclaiming an exit for US involvement in Syria, guess what? There’s Israeli war mongering prime minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu braying in Trump’s ear, Israel first!

For his part, somewhat ironically, as he has been busy trying to bring France’s powerful unions to heel under the banner of fiscal prudence, French President Emmanuel Macron is now quick to squander the resources of his citizens on firing missiles into the air over Syria.

Let’s not forget British Prime Minister Elizabeth May. Before one shred of evidence was in, May and her buffoonish Secretary of State Boris Johnson had been hissy-fitting over an alleged deadly nerve agent attack on ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia by, of course, who else, arch villain Russia. Yet, encumbered by the Brexit fiasco, facing waning popularity at home and, with the Skripal’s now recovering from the alleged diabolical assassination plot showing it up as almost an amateurish gag, why not bomb Syria!

It seems lost on a world so easily manipulated by mainstream media talking heads that even if, and this really is a big if, chemical weapons were used in Syria several days ago, the government of Bashar al-Assad is the culprit. Think about it. Finally after over a half decade of death and destruction the motley collection of jihadist groups that had been armed and financed by the US and its allies were staging a desperate last stand in Eastern Ghouta.

In fact most groups, except for the international terrorist Nusra Front, had already left. This means that if accounts of chemical weapons usage are to be believed, these were perpetuated either by Assad’s forces on his own people recently liberated from under jihadist truncheons and now seen waving Syrian flags in the streets. Or, such usage would have occurred in the last area controlled by the head chopping, women stoning Nusra Front.

However things don’t stop there. What is not fully grasped by most of us watching this theater of the absurd play out in front of our eyes is that there is actually another war going on in Syria besides that captured under the rubric of a Syrian civil war between Assad and an “opposition” supported by Western powers. Another war of influence among Islamists pitting Saudi Arabian Wahabism and Qatari Salafism which, though largely cut from the same head chopping, women stoning cloth, is playing out among their state sponsors. Ring a bell? Suddenly, Saudi Arabia and a closed group of allies blockade Qatar claiming Qatar is supporting terrorists? You’ve got it. And now that all of their jihadist proxies are dislodged from Damascus suburbs, don’t be surprised to see a “deal” being cut to end that blockade.

What is the saddest part of this whole story is that Syria along with Iraq and Libya were all erstwhile Soviet client states that were fiercely secular and imbibed economic models with endogenous economic orientations. This inward focused development model ensured their citizens were healthy and educated and each economy was furbished with a solid infrastructure to provide essential services from water to electricity and transportation. Libya, as is well known, was the wealthiest economy on the African continent under Muammar Gaddafi’s tutelage. The current collapse of Syria’s economy is worse than that suffered by Germany during World War Two.  And all of these secular states had been strong supporters of Palestine against Israeli occupation and apartheid.

When will the citizenry of supposed democracies around the world with their ostensibly “free” press ever begin to connect the dots? Or will all just sigh as platitudes and falsities are delivered by their governments justifying but another breach of what remains of international law?

Richard Westra is Designated Professor in the Graduate School of Law, Nagoya University Japan. His recent books include Socialism in the 21st Century, Unleashing Usury, and Exit from Globalization.


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