Monday, October 17, 2016

The Aleppo Crisis - Reality versus Propaganda

The war hawks in Washington are anxious for America to directly intervene in the Syrian civil war, and are alleging that Syrian president Assad and his Russian allies are deliberately targeting civilians in the besieged city of Aleppo. They point to a "humanitarian crisis" and insist that something must be done. Some points need to be made here:

1) Washington has been arming, funding, and training the Syrian opposition to Assad for several years now. So the truth is that we have already intervened, and that intervention has arguably lengthened the war and intensified the crisis. Washington thus bears part of the blame for the situation as it currently exists.

2) Washington alleges that Assad and his Russian allies are deliberately targeting civilians in Aleppo; however, to date I have not seen any evidence of this. They are attacking Aleppo because that is where the opposition forces (and the barbarians of ISIS) have entrenched themselves. If they want to fight these groups, they must engage them where they are - and they are in Aleppo. If they left Aleppo alone, these groups would entrench themselves further and have a secure base from which to launch attacks at their leisure.

3) The only way for Washington to intervene would be to directly engage with the military forces of Syria and Russia, thus virtually ensuring World War III. Do the hawks seriously think that we would gain anything by turning the whole world into a giant Aleppo? Are we really prepared to kill tens of millions to (supposedly) alleviate a problem affecting thousands?

4) Washington's past interventions do not create much of a basis for hope. We have ruined Iraq, Afghanistan, and Lybia, and we have no apparent plan to do anything much different in Syria. The so-called "moderate opposition" to Assad is not so very moderate after all. We invite yet another disaster by turning the country over to it.

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