I find most discussion of the Syrian Civil War in the United States to be a bit childish. I get that nation-states are best understood as selfish infants that run around breaking anything they can get away with. But we ought to at least try to evolve. The first step in this would be looking at the Syrian proxy war and its origins honestly. It’s becoming harder to ignore the fact that the Syrian civil war would have been dramatically less bloody, and finished long ago if it weren’t for foreign actors. When people bring up the obvious facts of US, NATO or Gulf imperialism and what it has done to Syria, the standard response from the leading lights of our foreign policy community has become, “Well what about Russian, and Iranian Imperialism!!!”. It’s the equivalent of “But he started it Mommy!”. Well they didn’t.
This video lays out the basic facts of the conflict that Fox News and the New York Times are ignoring. It conclusively answers the question: “Who Killed Syria?”
Video Transcript after the jump…
We all know that the war in Syria isn’t really a civil war anymore. It’s a proxy war. The war would have been over long ago, and it would have been far less bloody, if it weren’t for outside powers like the United States and Russia. Everyone who has researched the issue for more than ten minutes understands this. But there is a major misconception in the way we look at this in the West, and that’s what we will address today.
In 2011, it really was a civil war. The story we’re still being told was true. Heroic activists rose up against a brutal dictator. Then the United States jumped in, and changed everything. Under US leadership and coordination, Turkish, NATO, and Gulf elements piled in to support the rebels with arms, media support, humanitarian aid, and a blind eye towards the foreign fighters streaming in to make the rebellion more Jihadist. Without this support the rebellion would have been over long ago, and ISIS would never have become a factor. Russia and Iran responded with military support, air power, their own soldiers and Shia militias from Lebanon, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Without this support Assad would have fallen long ago. It’s the foreign support that has made this civil war as long and bloody as it is. Most commentators concede that what we’re seeing is a proxy war and that that’s a bad thing.
But that’s where the analysis ends. There’s a crucial fact that gets left out. When people lament the Syrian proxy war, they act as if both sides are equally to blame for what has happened. When people complain about US or Turkish imperialism, the response is often, but what about Russian and Iranian imperialism? The crucial fact they are missing is this. Russia and Iran are status quo actors in this conflict. It’s the US and its allies that are trying to change the country.
In 2010, Syria was governed by Assad. It was one of the only countries in the world that was closely allied with Russia and Iran. What did we expect them to do? When the US and its allies launched a massive effort to destroy the Syrian government, Russia and Iran had to respond. The Assad regime is a bad one. But that’s not what destroyed the country, and may be destroying the European Union as we speak. It’s the US proxy war of choice that did that. Russia and Iran didn’t choose this war. We did. We killed Syria. And we didn’t do it for the Syrian people, we did it to score points against Russia and Iran. It’s quite possible that this bloody proxy war is exactly what Washington, DC intended.
Thanks for watching, please subscribe. If you want to know what’s really going on with US policy in the Middle East, I suggest you pick up my essay “Everybody’s Lying About Islam” available now on the Amazon Kindle.