After four years of brutal fighting and the emergence of an unthinkable terror; the self-Proclaimed Islamic State Caliphate in Iraq and Syria, and yet the entire world is still reassessing what went wrong with Syria after it is too late and the number of casualties are in the hundreds of thousands.
ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and Levant) has been given enough space, arms and finance to destroy what was left of the Syrian state with the blessings of Western Powers including USA and EU and the support of Middle Eastern powers such as Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. These countries aimed to defeat Assad and his regime regardless of the human price tag that came along with it, as long as their countries don’t get directly involved militarily and the rising Iran role is curbed in the region.
Little did they know that they have created one of the worst human miseries in the history of the region with a potential of exacerbating even further in the upcoming months and years. The world started to actually react more vehemently when Syrian families and refugees started to land on their shores and airports in the thousands igniting the biggest migration in the history of Europe since the Second World War.
It would be very easy to point finger towards Assad deeds as a dictator and feel very good about oneself like most Western Politicians do. Usually, when asked most of these politicians would cite the same ridiculous explanation that Assad’s reaction towards the opposition created extremism and terrorism. That is being said when the same countries like USA, Germany, France, etc. are targets themselves to all sorts of terrorism from the very Jihadists they support in Syria.
Bashar Al Assad inherited the reign Syrian state directly from his father Hafez Al Assad who ruled Syria from 1971-2000 by an Iron Fist. The very Syrian constitution was changed overnight after his father’s death to fit Bashar Al Assad profile since he was still below the legal age of 40 according to the older constitution. While appearing more open to reform and reconstructing the Syrian State he inherited from his father, Bashar Al Assad did not give up on his elders’ repressive policies and the single party political system until 2012 after the civil war ignited. His party’s ideology is similar to that of Saddam’s which Pan Arab Baathist Syrian Party. Nevertheless. Assad is a “Syrian” ruler and the emphasis here is on the description of being “Syrian” which cannot be said about most of his adversaries and enemies on the Syrian ground and overseas.
Toppling dictators is a noble cause and has always been glorified by media is the ultimate American gift to the world in the past few decades. US President Barack Obama as his predecessor seems to be addicted in taking pride of trying to oust dictators worldwide, usually with horrifying consequences that supersedes any benefit from ousting these dictators at least on the short run. Examples in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen and even Egypt are prime example of how interventionist policies hurt its target and adopter equally on all levels.
Obama’s United States have been supporting what they labeled as “Moderate Opposition” for four years in a row with financing , training and advanced weapons. The result is that the so-called “Moderate opposition” which is made up primarily of Al Qaeda supporters who turn the weapons to either Jabhat Al Nusra (Al Qaeda Branch In Syria) or to ISIL fighers. In Barack Obama’s administration eyes, the Muslim Brotherhood are a peaceful organization and a “moderate” representative of Islam. Despite being banned in 3 major predominantly Muslim countries like Egypt, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates, Obama chose to be more Royal than a King and still consider the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist organization as a moderate opposition especially against the Syrian regime. For over 4 years, the United States, United Kingdom, France, Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia have been maintaining that Assad is the problem and hence they cannot be part of the solution. Ironically, the same statement reversed and applied on the same countries could be very true as well. After all they are the same countries that have escalated the war in Syria by vehemently supporting extremists and terrorists just to topple Assad. Should Assad regime have done the same to their relative country i.e arming and financing militant opposition, his regime would have been automatically condemned as a rogue and terrorist supporting nation.
So there we have it, the culprits behind the Syrian exodus that resulted from its civil war; A Syrian dictator who, A mad Turkish Caliphate wannabe, an actual newfound caliphate comprised of international terrorists, a lying, deluded and hesitant American President and Saudi Wahhabi financiers. On the background there is a shaken European Union that follows blindly the US footsteps and even repeat its political statements on the very day like choirboys. Finally, tyrannical Iranian regime and an ambitious Russian President who seeks to keep his last remaining stronghold in the Middle East intact by all means necessary. Amongst all of these players come the Syrian people who were torn by decades of autocracy and lack of proper opportunities then torn apart by a war
The European Union politicians generally believe that there is a price to pay for freedom as they paid for theirs dearly in two world wars and a cold war period. Accordingly, they almost unanimously believe that all dictators or whomever they deem as one in other countries should fall by all means necessary as long as it doesn’t involve European lives lost. They actually believe they are self entitled to make that choice on behalf of other nations and in many occasions close the door on any compromise or negotiations till it is too late to negotiate. This case has occurred in Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, and now taking place in Syria.
These EU leaders along with the United States finance the dispatch of military hardware and arms to be handed directly to opposition who they don’t know. They have even facilitated shipping tens of thousands of militants to fight against the Syrian regime who in turn gets more vigilant and violent in its response by the day..
Furthermore, the Arab League is probably one of the most useless international organizations in times of peace, which are rare in the Middle East, but in times of wars surprisingly it becomes even more useless. At the beginning of the struggle, and under pressure from Saudi Arabia, the Arab League chose to freeze the membership of Syria thus ending any possible means for political negotiation between the Arab Nations and Syrian regime representative. This extreme hardliner stance have exacerbated the situation into the bloodbath that is Syria of today. Not content by this Saudi and Wahhabi clerics called upon Jihadist worldwide to fight the Syrian and defeat the Syrian regime that they labeled as a Deviant Shia follower. Saudi government along with the Qatari one have even taken matter a notch further by directly threatening the Syrian President that he either have the choice to leave office by negotiation or through military actions thus establishing an unprecedented event since Saddam Hussein reign of an Arab sovereign nation directly threatening the leadership of another Arab nation.
From Russia with Bombs: The Russian involvement in the Syrian War
Vladimir Putin is regarded by Westerners to one of the most controversial world leaders in recent decades yet he is still one of their most decisive and reliable. Criticized for a local record of alleged anti-democratic measures, nevertheless he managed to overturn Russia decade of disarray and restore Russia as the main archrival of the United States in less than a decade.
Unlike the Western leaders whom he has given an ample time to get things in order in Syria , Putin grew weary of the Western politics in Syria especially in regard of fighting terrorists group like the Islamic State and Jabhat Al Nusra. He witnessed firsthand the inefficiency of USA and NATO countries tactics that hasn’t led to anything but the further expansion.
Feeling the brunt of the escalating wave of terrorism worldwide and being one of its victims, Russia has decided to join the war effort against terrorism in Syria. They have been officially requested by the government of Syria to join the war in order to help the ever expanding ISIL influence in Syria. While the Syrian army have done substantial efforts to curb on the rise of ISIL, the influx of weapons, money and recruits from Turkey , Saudi Arabia and United States have been too much to fight by the Syrian army alone. Hence the Syrians have called upon their only reliable ally left which is the Russians to defeat this growing terrorism which was sweeping Syrian lands under the pretext of the revolution.
The inefficiency of the US Military leadership to end Al Qaeda and Taliban in Afghanistan despite a 14 year long campaign against the two terrorist groups was being replicated in the case of Syria and Iraq against ISIL terrorists. The fact that the mentioned terrorist groups have been growing in strength and numbers drawing a major question mark on the efficiency of the American war machine in the war on terrorism.
On the other hand, it seems that the Russian targeted military strikes have done in one month what most of the NATO strikes were unable to do over a year. According to Russian official sources the Russians have managed to effectively strike 1623 ISIL and Jabhat Al Nusra targets in just the month of October 2015. Thus, effectively greatly diminishing the power of the overhyped and over bloated ISIL terrorists group.
Moreover, If it was perfectly acceptable for the Allies to receive the vital assitance Communist Russia (Former U.S.S.R) led by its brutal dictator Joseph Stalin to fight and defeat Nazis, then it is perfectly acceptable to the Allies to receive the vital assistance of he Non-Communist Russia led by its President Vladimir Putin to defeat ISIL barbarians.
The Joke that the United States along with NATO alliance are fighting wars in the Middle East for the sake of Middle Easterners’ freedom and democracy is not funny any longer. Repeating that joke in Political press statements and in exacerbates the situation and depletes any future US administration from its last drop of credibility in the region. Needless to mention, that without a doubt the United States and NATO have interests in the Middle East that should be respected and understood. However, painting these economical and political interests as seeking liberty for the poor souls in the Middle East is a joke that no one is laughing about anymore.
The United States under Obama administration ignited a new Cold War with Russia which was believed to have ended decades ago. As a result to uncalculated blunders in Ukraine and Syria along with Obama’s neo propaganda machine portraying Vladmir Putin as the devil incarnate, Putin has taken matters personally. He will never cease to humiliate and belittle Obama on every possible conflict theater in the globe. Putin will continue on this path till the last day of Obama in the oval office. It is worth mentioning that the ferocious propaganda campaign was ignited by pro-Obama media camp along with his administration direct intervention in Ukraine that ignited the Civil war in the same country.
According to Pro- Obama New York Times “The strikes have involved aircraft never before tested in combat, including the Sukhoi Su-34 strike fighter, which NATO calls the Fullback, and a ship-based cruise missile fired more than 900 miles from the Caspian Sea, which, according to some analysts, surpasses the American equivalent in technological capability”
What seems more surprising is that the very Anti-Russian propaganda machines have actually believed their own propaganda till they were shocked that they reality outside the boundaries of the Hollywood movies seems different. For decades they have preached that Russia is a long gone as a superpower and the complacency that associated with this notion has resulted that in the current state of affairs in the world. This very notion has allowed the United States to breach all agreements with Post Soviet Russia of respecting the boundaries and spheres of influence of both superpowers which accordingly has led to the revived cold war status that the world is witnessing now.
Even the US State department in another abysmal show of power in October 30th 2015 that Russia is no longer regarded as a Superpower by United States and they cited the shrinking Russian economy as the cause of that strange assessment. This assessment seems to be what is exactly wrong with the current US administration which is its total lack of reality check. Calling a nation that holds more nuclear weapons and warheads capabilities along with deadlier delivery methods than the United States as “not a Superpower” is beamish assessment to say the least.
The sanctions imposed by USA and Western Nations on Russia have encouraged the Russian leadership to make the best out of a terrible situation. They gained and restored old alliances in the likes of Egypt, China and even European (NATO) countries like Greece and Cyprus are on Russia’s good term now.
The New Middle Eastern Alliances :
The leadership void left by the United States in the Middle East is quickly filled by Russia and France. The French and Russians policies are paying so far as record sales of Arms, Hardware and Technology are being recorded in 2014 and 2015 for both countries. The American influence receding and so goes the arms deals. For Example Egypt signed over 10 Billion dollar Arms deals with Both France and Russia just in 2014-2015. More deals are about to be signed with the same countries along with Germany, China and others.
The leadership of Egypt represented by President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi found more common goals and understanding with the French and Russian leaderships than they did with the weak leadership of Barack Obama. Obama have never worked a single day towards a peace in the Middle East in fact it was always the opposite and the end result after 7 years of Obama rule is millions of dead, injured and displaced Middle Easterners. After all why would have to work for peace or he has to proof he is a man of peace! He was already awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for just showing up in the Oval office in a choice that has belittled the significance of this award because of this strange choice.
All the governments that had supported the so called “Moderate Opposition” in Syria who usually ended up being “Moderate Terrorists” are the ones who oppose any Russian military strikes on Jabhat Al Nusra,Al Qaeda Affiliates and the Islamist overrun Free Syrian Army. Their logic is flawed since they usually mention that the Russia involvement will complicate matters in Syria. A news flash for them, Syria is already very complicated and torn apart.
The fallout from the Syrian civil war is already affecting Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Turkey along with all of Europe. Not just all of these countries receives masses of refugees but also possible ISIL and Al Qaeda terrorists who want to expand their operations in other countries in the Middle East and Europe. Accordingly , Russians can’t do any worse than the nations involved have already done. In fact Russians may end up saving what is left of Syria and stop the influx of refugees and Jihadsists from Syria to the rest of the world.
The sad fact that there is no serious secular opposition fighting in Syria is very alarming but still the same coalition leaders are in denial of this fact. A simple example for this is the failure of the United States 500 Million USD to train what the Obama Administration labeled as Moderate Opposition with only 50 Syrian opposition applicants. They ended giving up the American weapons they received to Al Qaeda affiliated groups and handing them several trucks of high caliber state of art weapons. The scandal resulted in ending the program in October 9th 2015 just few months of its initiation.
Regardless of how anyone can describe President Vladimir Putin, it is better to have an ally like him during a War on Terrorism than President Barack Obama who bails out at the first chance from US Allies worldwide. In fact , his leadership was a destabilizing factor for some of his allies worldwide particularly in the case of Egypt. Obama desperately attempted to empower Islamists in Egypt disregarding all consequences and accordingly the current Egyptian leadership has reassessed the credibility of the USA as a standing ally of Egypt during the latter war on terrorism.
It may be high time for the world leaders to step down from their high horses and look at the situation they helped to create in Syria from the ground level. Syria is now a lost country with a little hope for a future. These leaders should rest assured that the more this situation drags on, the more it will be nearly impossible to solve and Syria will be another Somalia but with much deadlier weapons and much closer proximity to the west.
There are no heroes in the Syrian War with an exception of the average Syrian people who got themselves trapped in crossfire between the warring factions. These people are the ones who left their homes and crossing thousands of miles mostly on foot or unseaworthy ships to save their family lives.
At the end of day it is better to negotiate with a dictator to share or relinquish than self righteous madmen who chop people’s heads and claim it is part of their religious duties.
Definitely Bashar Al Assad is not the poster boy for a bright future of Syria post the war or anything near it but until his replacement becomes someone else than the other Mass Murdering self-proclaimed Caliph Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi or another of the many stooges who are totally disconnected from Syria, he remains to be the only option to end the war. After that ultimate goal is attained it will be up to the Syrian people and its army to decide who will lead them in the future.
Forcing Al Assad out of power will leave a vacuum that will not be replaced without an even larger scale of war and Europe, USA and the Middle East should brace themselves with more millions of Syrian refugees in an even larger exodus than the one that took place in Summer 2015. The Syrian dire situation exacerbated by Obama, his European and Middle Eastern allies requires a much more levelheaded and pragmatic approach to end this civil war.
The other insane alternative is actually destroying the Syrian army and occupying Syria. For anyone with a modicum of intelligence knows how that worked out in Iraq except this time Russia will not sit idly and watch that happens. A divided Syria similar to post WWII Germany will be the most optimistic outcome but a Third World War will be the most likely outcome.
Crying for freedoms and democracy without carrying the responsibility of solving the crisis is what is being provided to Syrians who are dying in the thousands and flocking in the millions. None really started to worry about the Syrians fate till they approached their shores in Europe and only then they started to realize the gravity of the situation.
And unlike popular belief in Europe and USA , the Middle Eastern countries like Egypt despite its economic blues is currently hosting over half a million Syrians who are treated as residents. Egyptians have welcomed their brethren in Syria with open arms and so did other countries in the Gulf States without the complaints similar to those EU Politicians.
The facts above will never be comprehended by ivory tower politicians, bleeding heart liberals and keyboard freedom fighters who will likely huff and puff then return to their normal daily pleasures without a care in the world about actual Syrians, their children or their destroyed livelihoods and nation. They will just keep repeating what they have been preaching for the past four years because they have nothing to lose. All of those mentioned above can prove this statement wrong though by declaring hosting a Syrian Family at the home of each politician, activist or supporter for keeping the war going till the fall of Bashar Al Assad, but none is likely to do that and take actual steps to help.
They would rather bask in glorifying themselves as supporters of human rights without actual help to those humans whose rights they claim to defend. The only real help to those Syrian refugees came from normal everyday citizens in Europe and the Middle East who actually welcomed them and even hosted some families.
It’s the very same dilemma of the post millennium world which neglects the fact that dead people never get to enjoy democracy. Keeping people alive and safe surmounts any other goals regardless how noble they can be.
There is moral choice to be made in Syria and unlike the popular belief a moral choice is actually a choice between evil and lesser evil. The evil is keeping the war going on an attempt to topple Al Assad and his regime regardless of the death count that keeps increasing within the civilians thanks to the rampant terrorist groups all over Syria and the heavy handed strategy to counter them by the Syrian regime. The lesser Evil is conceding to the fact the propping the extremists to fight the Syrian regime has failed in every possible way except in creating mass murders and an exodus out of Syria to those who managed to survive the onslaught of war. Al Assad maybe toppled later by his own people or army generals but right now that will have to remain a purely Syrian matter and not any other country’s concern.
The top priority should remain is ending the bloodshed immediately by defeating the extremists and terrorist groups then calling upon those among the opposition to discuss the terms of peace and sharing some power till a political process takes place in Syria with supervision of the UN and Security council members. Of course such a solution will not be in favour of countries such as Turkey , Qatar, Saudi Arabia along with the United States, who all invested an incredible amount of efforts and money to topple Bashar in vain. The regimes of countries like Saudi Arabia , Qatar and Turkey are actually very wary of being subjected to Syrian regime acts of revenge that targets them should Bashar Al Assad somehow manage someone to stay in power. Hence these countries are acting like desperate gamblers in a Las Vegas casino who keep throwing money on the table in because they can’t afford to stop otherwise they would lose everything. However, these countries’ own calculations are their own problems and the lives of innocent Syrians should be the top priority for all civilized nations , hence ending the war by all means should be the ultimate goal now. All countries seem to have a say in the fate of Bashar Al Assad except Syrians themselves which is abysmal and debunks any claims that this is a war to Liberate Syrians. Liberating Syrians means respecting their choices regardless how inconvenient these choices are for others. Turkey , USA , Qatar, Saudi Arabia governments should mind their business and start rectifying the disasters they created in Syria but of course that is highly unlikely to happen since we have precedence in Afghanistan , Iraq and others when the allies helped to destroy these countries and were not so generous towards the efforts toward rebuilding these same countries.
The Syrian state thanks to the proxy wars and funding terrorists have been shattered. Many of its historical impeccable heritage such as Palmyra were destroyed to ISIL vermin and other Jihadists. All of this is happening while some governments couldn’t care less about anything Syrian including its people but only care about toppling Assad. The insanity and the low measures used to reach that goal is nearly unmatched. Time has proven to the whole world that toppling a dictator while seemingly a noble cause is always catastrophic if done by anyone other than the natives of that dictators’ country. The question of whether to topple a dictator or not should be replaced by who will replace him once he is toppled and who are exactly the enemies of that dictator.
Vladimir Putin war against ISIL and Syrian Opposition and the official support from the Syrian Regime has elevated him to be the main player in the game and is the only capable party of ending this war by military or peaceful means. The United States and EU stance that Assad has to go first before negotiations take place is ridiculous since none outside the State of Syria have the right to call who is a legitimate president and who is not.
The road to Damascus of changing the pattern of how the world has been dealing with this Syrian crisis may start in Vienna. It may require some unholy decisions to save the lives of Syrians and others in the Middle East. The Vienna Conference taking place in October 2015 maybe the first step in a reasonable settlement for the Syrian civil war after nearly five years of indifference. Whether Assad will remain, a president is irrelative as his troubles will not be over even if he manages to stay a President of Syria.
Finally, one could wish to end with the statement of a former congressman and Republican Presidential Candidate, the Libertarian Guru Ron Paul about the Situation in Syria :
“I wish the American people would finally demand that their government end its destructive policy of trying to change any regime that does not bow to Washington’s demands. I wish the US Congress respected our Constitution enough to demand that the president seek a declaration of war before attacking a foreign country…
I wish the CIA had not trained rebels to fight alongside al-Qaeda in Syria. I wish we would reject the shrill cries of the warmongers. I wish the US media was more than just a propaganda arm of the US government.
I am not thrilled that Russia is bombing Syria. I wish nobody was bombing Syria.”