Sunday, September 25, 2016

James W Carden — How Libyan ‘Regime Change’ Lies Echo in Syria

Earlier this month, a select committee of British parliamentarians released a reportwhich condemned the U.K. government under David Cameron for its role in the 2011 NATO intervention in Libya. The report makes plain that the principal basis on which the intervention was predicated – that then-Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi was on the verge of committing a wholesale slaughter of the rebel stronghold Benghazi – was a lie propagated by Western and Gulf State media outlets.
It also shows the extent to which the crisis was driven by Libyan exiles who – perhaps quite understandably – had an axe to grind with the Gaddafi regime. In this – and in other ways, as we shall see – the Libyan crisis shares a number of similarities with the Syrian crisis. Indeed, it would be fair to view the debacle in Libya as a dress rehearsal for the war outside powers have been waging against the sovereign government of Syria for the past five years.… 
Cui bono?
From the very start, the opposition to Assad included sectarian extremists who chanted: “Christians to Beirut, Alawis to the grave.”…
Russians are dumbfounded that the West is oblivious to the fact that the Sunni "opposition" is committed to eliminating Christianity in Syria.
The journalist and analyst John Rosenthal translated a Jan. 12, 2012 report from Homs by a Dutch Jesuit, Father Frans van der Lugt, who was later murdered, likely by al-Nusra militants, in April 2014.
The Jesuit missionary observed that: “Most of the citizens of Syria do not support the opposition. … you also cannot say that this is a popular uprising. The majority of people are not part of the rebellion and certainly not part of the armed rebellion. What is occurring is, above all, a struggle between the army and armed Sunni groups that aim to overturn the Alawite regime and take power.
“From the start the protest movements were not purely peaceful. From the start I saw armed demonstrators marching along in the protests, who began to shoot at the police first. Very often the violence of the security forces has been a reaction to the brutal violence of the armed rebels.”
The fact that a "Jesuit missionary" is even permitted in Syria says volumes. This is not permitted in countries under Islamic rule (sharia).
… the U.S., ever at the beck and call of the Gulf State autocracies who are our actual enemies, Assad has became the target of regime change enthusiasts in the U.S. and Europe. Their designs have wrecked large swathes of Syria, resulted in an unprecedented migrant crisis, destroyed the lives of many millions, gave rise to ISIS and strengthened the very same Islamist radicals who attacked us on 9/11 and who remain the sworn enemies of the West.
Consortium News
How Libyan ‘Regime Change’ Lies Echo in Syria
James W Carden is a contributing writer for The Nation and editor of The American Committee for East-West Accord’s eastwestaccord.com. He previously served as an advisor on Russia to the Special Representative for Global Inter-governmental Affairs at the US State Department.

4 comments:

Bob said...

Why does it have to be a popular uprising?
The 'popular uprising' against the Egyptian military was defeated. Popular uprisings by Palestinians were crushed by Jordan and Israel.

Is ISIS a popular uprising?
Is the desire by Kurds for a state of their own a popular uprising?

Save your moral narratives for peacetime.

Tom Hickey said...

Should the US be backing the overthrow of a liberal democratically elected government to replace with with an illiberal theocracy?

Leaving moral arguments aside, this is against everything the US stands for and strategically it is also a blunder in that it further undermines US soft power based on what America supposed stands for. Furthermore, it is allying with jihadis to use them as proxies. That's what started this whole thing when the US employed jihadis to create havoc for the USSR there by proxy. Regardless of what one may think of this morally, it is certainly questionable politically, strategically, and tactically. It resulted in "blowback" that cost the US a huge amount of blood and treasure (estimated at 5T and running), and eroded US soft power.

In addition, the dominant religious faction in the West is Christian but the media propaganda has masked what is actually going on in Syria and elsewhere with the suppression of Christianity is fundamentalist Islamic states and areas controlled by fundamentalists.

I personally think that there is a moral argument and so do a lot of other people, but there are also geopolitical geostrategic and political considerations of significance that are not being debated in the West and especially the US, where there is both a media blackout of the facts and and propaganda proactively concealing the facts.

Bob said...

Should the US be backing the overthrow of a liberal democratically elected government to replace with with an illiberal theocracy?

In an earlier thread you raised the concept of needs versus wants. The answer to your question may be there. Then there is the issue of whether Washington's "need" is practical and what are the best means to achieve it. Indeed, US foreign policy in Syria and the ME is questionable.

In addition, the dominant religious faction in the West is Christian but the media propaganda has masked what is actually going on in Syria and elsewhere with the suppression of Christianity is fundamentalist Islamic states and areas controlled by fundamentalists.

Solidarity amongst Christians? Seems to be a weak political force compared with support for a secular government and society. Yes, if we in the west were in as dire a situation we would be supporting our own version of Assad.

Tom Hickey said...

The US establishment has convinced itself it needs to to be the global hegemon to save the world. Many Americans view that as a frivolous want, especially when the US itself has major domestic issues. This is in large part what the current election is about. Whatever the outcome a large portion of the public is going to be disappointed and many will be outraged.

The US elite is conflicted. It wants to present the US as a liberal democracy and the beacon of freedom, a shining city on a hill. But it acts like at empire run by an oligarchy. Actions speak louder than words.

The question is the tradeoff between soft and hard power. The US is currently presenting the face of hard power and trying to disguise it as soft power as the world's cop and the one to take over the white man's burden from the British empire.

Big gamble. A significant percentage of the world's population views the US as a rogue state and the greatest danger to peace.

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2015/08/americans-dont-know-that-the-rest-of-the-world-views-u-s-as-biggest-danger-rogue-state.html

This is an about face from right after WWII. It's hurting the US domestically and internationally. The hard right is benefiting from this both domestically and internationally, as the left spins off into irrelevance and the failure of the status quo to deliver for many people, if not most, is resulting in the rise of reactionary movements and leaders.