Is Syria Next?

Written by Dr William Mallinson

With the desperate bombing of Libya eventually petering out, I think it unlikely that the exporters and imposers of western freedom will try and attack Syria, for the following reasons.

First, Turkey will not countenance the idea, since its Kurdish population would immediately latch on to any action by the Kurds of Syria. Second, Turkey's current policy is to support Syria and lambast (quite rightly) Israel for its massive abuses of the Palestinians. Third, the Syrian army would be a major problem, since it is better equipped and controlled than Libya's army. Fourth, Syria is near the epicentre of the Middle East tinder-box, and a NATO attack could create more problems than it solves for the Jewish State. Fifth, Iran would undoubtedly exploit the situation to its advantage. Sixth, Syria (according to CIA figures for 2009), accounts for less than half a per cent of world oil production. Thus, the slavering majority shareholders would not benefit much, if at all. Libyan oil production is over four times as much as that of Syria. Seventh, Russia, having seen how the US, its keen-to-please Canadian proxy, Britain and France have abused the terms of the UNSC resolutions, will simply not allow an attack on Syria. The so-called opportunist rebels in Libya, having been illegally armed by the so-called West, are themselves killing plenty of civilians. As I have written in an earlier article, 'Russia is watching carefully, and will act when necessary..', I appear to have been proven correct so far, as we are currently witnessing some skillful Russian diplomacy, and not the empty braggadocio of possible war criminals like Sarkozy, Cameron and Obama.

Libya was selected by the 'forces of freedom' (and business) as a soft option. However unsavoury the Gaddafi system was becoming for some, abuses in Libya pale into near insignificance when compared to those of the Saudi regime, where the population is too frightened to even demonstrate, and where women are treated as hidden male property. They did not stone adulterers to death in Libya! Several other Middle Eastern regimes are worse than that of Gaddafi. Saudi Arabia is too important a customer of US, British and other arms companies to bomb!

It is important to consider the deeper historical causes of this whole farrago of hypocrisy: the Sykes-Picot agreement of 1916, and subsequent ‘arrangements’, when Britain and France simply carved up the Middle East, creating many unnatural borders, which are essentially business borders (the primitive pseudo-science of geopolitics comes to mind, with its attempts to justify geostrategy). Libya falls into the same category, having also been subject to the imposition of unnatural borders, for which one can thank the Italians, French and British. Remember the two countries of Cyrenaica and Tripolitania? Imposing anything, whether 'freedom' or borders, is rarely a good idea. Yugoslavia was also an artificial creation. And look what happened.

So, in short, we should forget the humanitarian double-speak, and put our own houses in order before trying to create civil war in other countries.

As Einstein wrote in 1934:

'The armament industry is indeed one of the greatest dangers that beset Mankind. It is the hidden evil power behind the nationalism which is rampant everywhere.' Let me also add the oil companies, or at least their behaviour, to this. Einstein also wrote, fifteen years later: 'The economic anarchy of capitalist society as it exists today is, in my opinion, the real source of evil.' Frankly, I put the whole dirty attack on Libya down to the basic human factors of insecurity, greed and ambition.





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Student of International Studies
written by Atul Menon, March 05, 2012 

It is true that Syria is definitely on a completely different level of human rights violations and dangers when seen in comparison with Syria. However the actions of NATO and the west on Libya has definitely left Russia feeling betrayed. The whole Syrian issue once again does bring to mind the aspect of whether there really is a R2P protocol necessary with regards to large scale human rights violations. While all the security actors who are currently deciding Syria have their own interests at heart, at the end of the day one has to decide between the lesser of 2 evils.
Russia may not want to act aggressively in Syria because Russia has a base there as well as arms agreements. As for Russia and China together, one could understand that if one day their respective regimes were to fall in political turmoil, they would not want outside interference as well. In the case of USA, I see their policies as very hypocritical world. While they were eager to act in Iraq, Libya and Syria on the bases of human Bahrain they recently concluded a multi million dollar arms deal at the end of 2011. When the revolution happened there and the Bahranian kingdom suppressed the peaceful demonstrators, USA did not have much to say and neither did the western backed news channels.
At the end of the day the International system does seem realist in perspective. Countries act largely according to where they see that they can benefit the most. The only thing that is left to choose is between the lesser of 2 evils. Would we rather see a Syria controlled or backed by the western ideals of democracy (that may or may not take root), or an authoritarian Syria backed by Russia and China where individual's basic rights continue to be suppressed.


Director ISF Cyprus
written by Yiorghos Leventis, March 05, 2012 

Thanks for your comment Atul Menon. Could you please clarify how is the comparison between Syria and Libya in the first sentence of your comment? You referred to - by mistake it seems - to Syria twice ...



Student of International Studies
written by Atul Menon, March 07, 2012 

Yes, I apologize for the mistake.I did in fact mean to refer to Syria and Libya. I do acknowledge that both Bashar Al-Assad (and Hafez's regime) and Muammar Gaddafi over the last multiple decades would have no doubt had a deep hand in mass violation of human rights. By stating that there was difference in the level of human rights violations, i am referring to the most recent events that have been unfolding: Human Rights Watch and similar groups estimate that around 7000-8000 people have been killed as a result of the brutal crack down by the Syrian regime within the last year. Of course, as far as I know, I am not aware of Gaddafi's hand involved in any such atrocity in the time frame that we are witnessing such in Syria. Once again I may be wrong, I am still a new student to the realm of International Studies but am still excited to express my opinion and allow it to be challenged to better my own understanding. One can also wonder what would have happened had NATO not interfered in Libya, perhaps we would have witnessed similar if not worse events unfolding there now, had nothing been done.