Itchysilk writer aka Flying Saucer offers a brief and insightful look at the current affairs being played out in Syria.
Significantly as Flying Saucer discusses; Syria has become a battle ground for two old foes.
Battles for Syria, one of the oldest civilisations on earth have raged for thousands of years from the; Babylonians, Romans and Assyrians. Syria located just North of the African border, is a pot of different ethnicities and cultures, most notably, the Sunni, the more ‘orthodox’ Shia and the Alawites, the religious sect to which Bashar Assad’s family belong.
We cannot of course fail to be aware of the current crisis in Syria which has seen two old foes, USA and Russia seemingly ignite their antagonism, mistrust and push for dominance that was characterised by historically significant incidences like The Cuban Missile Crisis. Assad and Syria have become the focal points for a ‘crisis’ which has a far-reaching impact on the global theatre.
Bashar Assad was elected to power in 2000 for the Syrian Ba’ath party following the passing of his father in office earlier that year. Ten years or so of relative calm were over turned in less than one year in 2011. It was in effect the Arab Springs protests where swathes of people protested against governments, spurred on by new liberal media outlets such as; Al Jazeera and facilitated by social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter that seemed to be the catalyst to the current Syria civil crisis. Since that time, Assad has been defending his regime against rebel forces and fighting a bloody civil war which to date has claimed over 50,000 lives and displaced millions more.
Backed by Iran and Russia, Assad has been repelling the ‘rebel forces’ who seek his displacement. As is the nature of propaganda, the West has tended to portray Assad as an amoral tyrant who has scant regard for human life when in fact he is more popular than Western media might suggest. We only need to go back a few years to unearth a list of those leaders/individuals who were demonised after attempting to follow a discourse that did not fit or indeed benefit the West. Part of this discourse presents those opposing said tyrannical leaders as ‘courageous’.
In Syria, the rebels have been presented as valiant Syrian resistors of oppression to fit in with the overarching Western narrative of the Arab Spring, when in fact they are drawn from around the world by the IS recruiting machine, which is of course funded by the USA-in effect, the rebels and terror groups are in fact one and the same. This confusion between terrorists and legitimate rebels is the key reason the US and thus the UK have not intervened more directly in Syria. In October 2016 US, republican politician and Vietnam veteran Richard Hayden Black, speaking with Iranian Press TV, stated had the US not intervened by supplying ‘moderate rebels’ following Russia’s deployment of forces to Syria ‘the war would be over by now’.
The Syrian regime is a close ally of both Iran and Hezbollah, openly empathising with the plight of Palestinians; for these reasons alone, like Libya, it is a prime candidate for regime change in the eyes of the West ergo USA. Indeed, this seems the over-arching discourse in media coverage-without regime change there will never be peace.
The powerful and disturbing pictures of innocent people being affected by the current unrest cannot fail to move the most hardened of individuals but it must not be forgotten that these images are part of propaganda machine that seeks to gain our support. Less not forget that of course those who support Assad will themselves, also have a propaganda machine pushing their own line of bias-it’s the nature of war-to win at all cost.
While Putin wants to avoid a repeat of events in Libya where Russia’s key ally, Gaddafi was eventually killed, the West in turn want to ensure that any attempt to take their key power advantages are not put under threat-in effect Syria is the vessel for global demonstrations of power which judging by the complexities of the crisis could see unrest for many years to come.
Featured image by Andre Carillho
Remember this is opinion and comments devoid of abuse are encouraged.