by Courtenay Barnett
Dear beloved it is time for another sermon. We are here, as we all know, to hear statements delivered from the altar of the almighty truth.
I thought of life, love, family, friends, but thought again.
Life is indeed a fact of life – which we already know we shall all live until the inevitable - death - so no need for that discourse today; love is in the air, so I am contented there and shall not share my personal life –so not that one either; family are all fine so nothing to report there; friends are prized treasures so I have to give them something worth reading in this sermon. Those other topics all covered we can move to the topic for today. Events in Syria are on my mind for a few reasons. The precedents of attacks/invasion in Iraq and Libya; the tensions between Russia and the US/West; implications for the potential of nuclear war – to mention a few references and points of concern.
Syria, I am reliably informed by General Wesley Clark, has been in the US foreign policy cross-hairs for quite a while ( see: footnote 1).
A war that has been marching on for some six years with the promise of more to come. Russia has assisted the Syrian government and the terrorists are just about defeated. Problem is that the world now seems more insane than ever under President Trump’s leadership.
The US in a proxy war funds terrorists in Syria while simultaneously professing that it wants to defeat terrorism. So, the US foreign policy objective of overthrowing Assad ( no doubt to have another ‘success story’ such as in Iraq or Libya) continues to prolong the war. Add to that the hatred and demonisation of Putin/Russia and a toxic mix of pursuit of global hegemony brews along with every conceivable effort to proclaim Russia as the enemy unceasingly up to dirty tricks. A diversion to the UK assists, for illustrations of the willing conduct of a vassal state in this regard.
During the Saddam Hussein days we had PM Tony Blair, via the ‘Downing Street Memorandum’, commit to war with Iraq a full year before the illegal attack and invasion was launched. Now we have PM Theresa May proclaiming that it was Russia that set out to poison double agent spy Skripal and his daughter. So stated at a time when the international body responsible for investigating such matters had not done an investigation and the UK parliament had not had the benefit of a debate on the issue. Yet, PM May knew it must be Putin/Russia. And, the US drops some bombs to send a message. It is proclaimed that a chemical weapons factory was bombed. President Donald Trump then tweets “Mission Accomplished”. Didn’t another President so declare back in 2003 about Iraq? So, an alleged chemical weapons factory is bombed and the next day Syrian officials are walking journalists through the site with no masks or any protective gear while the US President and the Western media are telling everyone else that it was a chemical weapons factory just bombed. Makes sense – doesn’t it? Since the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) was scheduled to inspect the site Syria would launch and attack its own people only to be found out and inevitably credibly criticised by the OPCW? Would it, or upon any Russian advice – act in this way? Why court being condemned by the international community of nations, when the war is just about fully won? The day after the air attack happened with hours before the scheduled OPCW visit to come – would Syria act in flagrant violation of international law? While PM May knows it all and knows best – President Trump just bombs the bastards! But which ones? Assad, the Russians in Syria – or – the Syrians people absorbing stray bombs? Strange and stranger as the fabricated plot thickens.
The real point is that since the Syrian government did not invite US action – and - under the UN Charter, the Security Council did not sanction such bombing and the US was not acting defensively nor in hot pursuit, there simply is not a leg to stand on under international law for the US and/or any of its willing European lackeys to be bombing Syria. Guess it must be just humanitarian bombs to assist the poor, long suffering people in war torn Syria where US funded Jihadists are fighting to overthrow Assad that led to this kind of action.
Incredulity aside, let’s consider.
If a person is well informed then there is a greater chance for rational decisions being made – be that President Donald Trump or PM Theresa May.
On a rational and logical basis, since Jihadists are trying to overthrow Assad, and after some six years, with the assistance of Russia, he has defeated the Jihadists and by extension and application of logic, also thwarted the intended ‘regime change’ the US was pursuing by way of proxy funding of the anti-Assad fighters – then what good is to be served by prolonging this war? Where is there a scintilla of credibility for US action when the US funds Jihadists who have now been defeated? Will there simply not be more suffering inflicted on the Syrian people when bombs are dropped and/or Jihadists are funded?
But – of course, this war is not about ‘democracy’; ridding Syria of the evil dictator; - it is about unrelenting pursuit of a pre-determined effort and policy of removing all and sundry anywhere in the world standing in the way of US global hegemony. Viewed in this light:-
Who then is the real terrorist? The Saudis are continually chopping off heads and hands and bombing civilians in Yemen – yet - not a word of condemnation from the US and/or the Western press.
What solace for the Syrian people when the alternative to the rule of Bashar al- Assad is the ‘welcomed rule’ of Jihadists? How does this change serve the interests of the Syrian people?
Why do countries like the US and UK want a regime change in Syria – that is the question.
Answer: Syria has no significant quantities of oil. What Syria does have is a strategic location which borders Israel, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq, and Jordan. It was the British and French, during their glory days of ‘Empire’, which had competed for control of the region. This was before World War II. Post World War II modern day imperialists are engaged in the same game, with Britain and the European NATO allies playing vassal roles to the US. According to US dictates, it has to be Syria first and Iran next. War, war, war and more war.
So, my much loved congregation, there I have stated it for the believers, the non-believers and most importantly – those who seek and pursue the truth.
Truth – the UK and US are governments of unrepentant imperialist actions on the world stage.
Rationality and logic would be much welcomed and indeed I have tried to understand with as much of both as I have been able to muster ( see: footnote 2).
If the Syrian people are to know peace in the near future then the following would have to happen:-
The US would have to change course from the global trajectory that General Wesley Clark had identified; and in a perfect world...
The Russians occupying two strategically important military bases in western Syria would have to withdraw to permit the Syrian people truly to be masters of their own destiny.
Well - since the US sees only war on the horizon in pursuit of its global hegemonic objectives – and - Russia has no earthly intention of giving up its 50 years renewable leases in Syria then what next?
My guess - more of the same with not rationality and/or logic being primarily operative but rather the raw pursuit of power by the major powers operating within the world.
There you have it my people. I did not ask for war; I did not wish it on the Syrian people; they got it because of their geographical location and for reason of being caught in the cross-hairs targeted and aimed at by major powers having their country in their sights.
Would not wish this on my worst enemy – but – people of Syria – you didn’t wish or want war but powers much bigger than you have inflicted it on you.
In straight colloquial language – “People of Syria – you are caught in a bitch of a bind with no rational and/or humane solution in sight”. The US won’t change course; Russia is not moving anytime soon out of the bases and has now invested far too much in Syria funding and fighting the American funded Jihadists to relinquish its position by way of any voluntary decision.
It is power which reigns; not fairness; not international law; not justice; not the greater good of humanity.
The strong dominate and control the destiny of the weak.
And having just stated that - Heaven help you and us all.
Courtenay Barnett is a graduate of London University. His areas of study were economics, political science and international law. He has been a practising lawyer for over thirty years, has been arrested for defending his views, and has argued public interest and human rights cases. He lives and works in the Caribbean.