An interesting take on current events from our own Jacob Farr, who delves into the murky depths of western meddling in the Middle East.
Jacob himself will admit he can be rather explosive when it comes to discussing some issues throughout modern political history, and in this piece he holds no punches. According to Jacob, if we look back at historical events of the 20th century then the legitimacy of current war fervour appears frighteningly familiar.
As we look to embroil ourselves in yet another military conflict shrouded in misinformation and deceit, I felt it the right time to return to my blogging ways. After all people who are you going to listen to eh? Journalists with decades of experience or a little old classics graduate in the form of a bearded turnip.
To fully explain the complexities of the Syrian conflict would be awfully difficult and take up the best part of a day so I am going brief here:
It is a conflict where very few if any “good guys” exist and a realm where almost all of the “bad guys” have a stake. The Saudis want to further their influence in the Middle East whilst also countering growing Iranian power; the Iranians want to maintain their influence in the country whilst also looking after economic interests, i.e pipelines; the Russians want the pipeline they spent so long planning with Iran which travels through Syria to come to fruition and the US would like to stop the Russian-Iranian pipeline so that they can have their own Qatar-US pipeline and support the Saudi regime.
Britain and France are, as ever, along for the ride with the United States. Both of whom look to project an image of relevance and stability during domestic political turbulence.
That is my brief summary and interpretation of the main reasoning behind the involvement of the major parties so far – Turkey, Egypt, Qatar etc all have stakes in this dangerous game, but we shall focus on the bigger players within the conflict as the focus on this occasion is the west.
Please excuse me for seeming like a Chomsky anti-imperialist when I cast doubt on the common belief that we have entered the Syrian conflict for the benefit of the people of Syria.
After all, our current Prime Minister, has often had a vigour about her work when ensuring as small amount of children refugees as possible from the conflict enter the country; all of this to appease the UKIP wing of the Tory party as Cameron/May rode the rise of populism and the blaming of the other.
If there was such a concern for children’s lives would we not have welcomed them with open arms? Or is the suspected chemical attack an excuse that the west has been waiting for to pounce upon which could further benefit themselves before the people of Syria?
Yemen, for instance, is a perfect example of where the British government holds absolutely no regard for the suffering of innocent children. It was only in the past year that our government had signed an arms deal with the Saudis, being followed by the US and then Macron’s France in due process. Now the three ‘coalition’ partners – who care so much for the suffering of Syrian children – must miss the dossiers detailing the systematic targeting of innocent civilians by Saudi forces; all using the very weapons we supplied them with.
You cannot help but smell a strong whiff of hypocrisy coming from the leaders of the ‘free world.’
Fallujah is a further example of our hypocrisy. Something in the west we rarely discuss yet a collection of incidents that has had far reaching consequences for the people of the city and Iraq as a whole. Patrick Cockburn of The Independent in 2010, stated that a new study had revealed that the extent of “dramatic increases in infant mortality, cancer and leukaemia in the Iraqi city of Fallujah, which was bombarded by US Marines in 2004, exceeded those reported by survivors of the atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945”.
US marines used chemical weapons in a civilian area – Yes you read that correct. As recent as 2004 the United States used chemical weapons on a civilian population in order to flush out members of a force that had executed BlackWater mercenaries. Not only this but they vehemently denied it, lied to the British about it, and in turn destroyed the already shaky reputation of the west as ‘liberators’ of a superior make-up.
Doubt and Despair
No wonder there is so much doubt today surrounding the decision to go into Syria. Recently, Robert Fisk reported that he could find no primary accounts of the attack when he stepped foot in Douma; unaccompanied after the OPCW claimed that their security could not be guaranteed.
Fisk states that although the people giving the accounts may have been pressured, he found no accounts amongst doctors or residents that a chemical attack even happened. Russia claims the residents of Douma verified the authenticity of the videos we have seen, but in a twist state that they believe the issue to be hypoxia and not a reaction to chemical weapons after heavy shelling from Assad forces.
So what is the irrefutable evidence that Assad forces had committed these attacks? Is it intelligence like dossiers that confirmed weapons of mass destruction in Saddam’s Iraq?
Chris Williamson, MP for Derby North, stated:
“Eminent military experts like Lord West, the former first sea lord and chief of the naval staff, as well as General Shaw, the former commander of the British armed forces in Iraq, have questioned the evidence and the motive (of using chemical weapons)
“They point out that the Assad regime has all but won the battle for Eastern Ghouta. Consequently using chemical weapons that could prompt the wrath of the US military makes no sense.”
This followed by General Mattis of the US stating they were “still looking for the evidence” even though they were sure it was Assad.
So what is the evidence that May, Macron and Trump hold? Social media posts and other anti-Assad witness accounts? Fisk raises a great question that survivors of the chemical attacks could recount the trauma just days after in refugee camps in Turkey but yet there was no one to be found on the ground in the city itself?
The Guardian reported last night that intimidation was used against those remaining not to speak out so perhaps there lies our answer. I refuse not to take any lessons from the Cold War and Iraq; our leaders in the west have lied countless times for the betterment of themselves and for corporate interests. We must demand adequate evidence of such attacks before we can trust our leaders.
After all, there are children dying all around the world in genocides, wars and social upheaval, yet you do not see the usual suspects rolling in ‘for the good of the people’ unless there it benefits their agenda or bank balance – You only have to look at our poisonous relationship with Saudi Arabia to understand this.