Syria, you’re starting to look like Libya.
It worries me how the situation in Syria is panning out, indeed it is starting to draw strong parallels with the conflict in Libya, only with a pinch of Cold War. Let’s just look back for a second; In early 2011 the Egyptian people rose up against the dictatorship of Mubarak, and in front of the entire world, from the eyes of the news choppers and the camera phone YouTube uploads we saw an inspiring spectacle, a popular uprising against the big bad wolf. Syria sought to do the same against their ruler Bashar al-Assad, only the Syrian people did not have the welcoming support of the army, as did the Egyptians before them. The soldiers fired into the crowd with live ammunition, and things got very ugly. Not long afterwards the Libyan people rose up against Muammar Gaddafi, and it all got very horrific. But with the support of an armed coalition effort, and an organised force on the ground, the autocracy was brought down. This was not achieved without loss on both sides, the atrocities that were committed by the mercenary army and loyalists serving Gaddafi were gut wrenching, I remember the stories of mercenaries who had executed countless scores of people with fire and automatic weapons. Bloody as they were, the regimes came to an end – except for Syria.
The uprising continues, and now the country is on the brink of a full civil war. The acts of those under the command of Assad are worsening, and becoming just as outrageous as the ones in Libya, only without the hope of closure any time soon.
Homs, dubbed the ‘capital of the Syrian revolution’ has taken the brunt of the government retaliation, with over six thousand dead since the start of the protests in march last year. Assad is claiming that the military responsible for the attacks are not under his command; whoever is behind this all it is starting to become too familiar, as revolution and violent crackdowns are becoming something of a recurring theme in the middle east (at least in terms of what the news channels have to say).
So what are the ‘higher powers’ doing about all this? Where’s the world police when you need them? Well the British are sending in the boots, and the US are trying to form a coalition that vetoes the actions in Syria, look at it like a ‘stand up against the school bully’ gig, only with on an international level. Meanwhile the UN is tripping over its own bureaucratic red tape as the community fail to make any valid action. The main reason for this is the ‘rift of interest’ that has been further realised over the past week. China and Russia are condemning the American vetoes on the Syrian Government, claiming they have their own agendas to pursue in the middle East. What could this be? Isn’t it obvious? Just like everyone else, the Russians and Chinese seek territorial eminence, oil and the strengthening of their own diplomatic ties in the region. Russia is a large buyer of Middle Eastern oil, and China is bitter towards any Western attempt to directly (or indirectly) hem in their influence.
Now I don’t want to jump to any conclusions, but where exactly have we seen this kind of nonsense before? Superpower agendas hidden behind puppet play, each side whispering into an ear of the doll as they pull it apart? Oh that’s right, the bloody Cold War, Vietnam!
Like I said, I’m not saying this is going to be the next big time waster’s war, but the whole incident is practically shining ‘past mistakes’ in our faces, screaming “You really want to go down that path again buddy?” We seem to have this uncontrollable urge to knowingly take another bite out of the sandwich that gave us food poisoning the first time around, with promise of a greater stake in the crude supplies, or another place to mark your territory…
Maybe the ‘east-side’ gang think they can deal with the situation more efficiently than strafing runs and political gang-ups. Sergei Lavrov seems to think so, although this story isn’t as straight forward as that, because some media sources say one thing, and some say another. In this case it’s the confusion over what the Russians are really doing, are they looking for a peaceful resolution as they claim, or are they actually giving weapons to the soldiers, and patting the dictator on the back? There’s too much static and hypocrisy to decide, I just hope this isn’t a recipe (or should I say) an excuse for the superpowers to fight it out over Arabian soil.