By Darius Shahtahmasebi
January 26, 2018
sovereignty. From the Washington Post:
“After months of incoherence, the Trump administration has taken a step toward a clear policy on Syria and its civil war. In a speech last week, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson bluntly recognized a truth that both President Trump and President Barack Obama attempted to dodge: that ‘it is crucial to our national defense to maintain a military and diplomatic presence in Syria, to help bring an end to that conflict, and assist the Syrian people . . . to achieve a new political future.’ To do that, the United States will continue to deploy several thousand personnel in the country and help allied Syrian forces maintain control over enclaves in the southwest, near Israel and Jordan, and the northeast, on the border with Iraq and Turkey.” [emphasis added]
The great lie told by the Washington Post editorial board, however, is its attempt to paint Washington’s regime change operation in Syria as crucial to America’s national defense and a “truth that both President Trump and President Barack Obama attempted to dodge.” In doing so, the Post is suggesting that regime change in Syria is the only realistic path for the U.S. to pursue, even when it has become increasingly clear that the longer the U.S. prolongs the war in Syria, the greater the suffering of ordinary Syrians will be.
Considering that the U.S. military’s recent strategy in Syria allegedly involves a 30,000-strong Kurdish and Arab border force that in less than a week prompted a Turkish invasion, it should be clear that the U.S. has no intention of putting Syria on the long-awaited road to peace.
However, according to the Washington Post, the U.S.’ new proposal is justified.
“Critics predictably charge that Mr. Trump is launching another ‘endless war’ in Syria,” the WaPo Editorial Board writes. “In fact, the administration has simply recognized reality: The United States cannot prevent a resurgence of al-Qaeda and the Islamic State, prevent Iran from building bases across Syria, or end a civil war that has sent millions of refugees toward Europe without maintaining control over forces inside the country, just as Russia and Iran do.”
If you ever needed proof that the corporate media actively promotes the U.S. war machine, this is it. None of the above is true. At best, it is purposely disingenuous.
It is widely accepted that it was the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 that not only paved the way for al-Qaeda to take root in Iraq but also laid the foundation for what would later become ISIS (ISIS evolved out of what was previously referred to as al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI).
ISIS was then able to grow from strength to strength in Syria, primarily by taking advantage of U.S. weapons transfers. Further, U.S.-led foreign policy actively weakened the Syrian state since 2011, creating a vacuum for these terrorists to take root.
The Washington Post’s attempt to absolve American foreign policy of its role in the refugee crisis ignores the fact that after the Syrian government was able to retake Syria’s major cities, hundreds of thousands of refugees began returning to their homes.
The references to Iran also raise some issues. If Syria opts to allow Iran to build bases inside its country, international law dictates that no other country should be allowed to interfere with this proposal. The U.S. is suspected of having close to 1,000 bases worldwide, and many of them have encircled Iran. If the U.S. can have bases, so can any other country.
Further, it is not clear under which legal principle the Washington Post is suggesting the U.S. has the right to invade someone else’s country just to oppose Iran.
Regardless, it is because of America’s incessant and obsessive approach of trying to contain Iran that we find Iran emerging as a victor in these conflicts in the first place. If the U.S. hadn’t spent billions of dollars arming radical Sunni jihadists, Syria wouldn’t have had any underlying reasons to put effect to its mutual defense treaty with Iran and allow Iran to gain influence inside the country. Now, Iran’s influence has spread far beyond that of its borders and has made its way to Israel’s doorstep.
If the U.S. wants to counter Iran and al-Qaeda and bring peace to Syria, logic dictates that the U.S needs to try a brand new strategy altogether and respect international law for once. Of course, if recent history is any indicator, this is just as far-fetched an idea as the notion that the Trump administration will ever bring peace to this war-torn nation.