Sunday, 1 December 2013

You can’t be SYRIOUS

For months, the West, led by USA, has been threatening military intervention in Syria on humanitarian grounds. For the time being, that threat appears to have diminished as the US and Russia cobble together a plan to rid Syria of its chemical weapons. However, the US says still retains the option to use military force, and with the Western opinion divided, many argue that the option should be pursued as the slaughter of Syrian innocent countries.

Objections to intervention suggest that pouring in more weapons will aggravate the conflict, or we cannot afford another war. But the central question, "when can Western military intervention in a sovereign state be legitimate?" is rarely addressed. The answer is, of course, never.

Firstly, any idea that direct military intervention is carried out to address the interest for suffering civilians is rubbish. Past interventions in Korea, Vietnam and Cuba have all been about maintaining Western political and ideological domination throughout the world. Secondly, when the West or the US in particular, has funded forces to overthrow legitimate governments, as in Angola, Nicaragua and Chile, the only rationale was to preserve and pursue Western economic interests with people enduring unimaginable horrors. Thirdly, recent Western military adventures in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya have been based on lies and caused untold suffering, the deaths of hundreds of thousands and, again, serving largely to maintain Western ‘superiority’.

Does anyone really believe that Western military intervention in Syria, or anywhere else, will begin to solve the problems of the oppressed people? far from it. Many of the weapons in use were supplied by the West, and not least, by the UK, one of the biggest arms exporters in the world. And who supplied many of the ingredients for Assad’s deadly toxic weapons which could not have been produced within Syria? Western intervention has been ongoing for decades and still the Syrian people suffer.

The truth is that when an oppressed people seek self-determination over their future and turn on the source of their oppression it will be bloody and messy. Foreign intervention simply makes it worse, whilst crushing that self-determination. This is not to say that the West should not engage in humanitarian intervention. Millions are suffering in squalid refugee camps and the West’s vast wealth could be used to alleviate that suffering and the burden imposed on poorer countries.