Monday, December 07, 2015

Convoluted Perspective

"[Britain's bombing campaign in Syria will] support terrorism. It will be harmful and illegal, and it will support terrorism, as happened after the coalition started its operation a year or so because this is like a cancer."
"How many extremist cells now exist in Europe? This is where the danger lies. The danger is in the incubator."
"This is a new episode in a long series of David Cameron's classical farce. Where are they? Where are the 70,000 moderates he is talking about? There is no 70,000. There is no 7,000."
"It has to be from the air, from the ground, to have cooperation with troops on the ground -- the national troops -- for the interference to be legal. So I would say they don't have the will and don't have the vision on how to defeat terrorism."
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad
© AFP/File | Syrian men walk past the rubble of buildings destroyed in air strikes by government forces on the rebel-held neighbourhood of Tareeq al-Saad in Daraa city, on August 26, 2015

As Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would have it, Syrian Sunnis who have rebelled against his tyrannical rule are all terrorists. This is how he named them almost five years ago and they remain terrorists. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant on the other hand, is a nuisance. The Syrian regime focuses on unleashing its barrel bombs on Syrian rebels; the presence of Islamic State doesn't appear to bother the regime too much, despite having annexed one-third of its territory for its caliphate.

Aleppo’s  Bustan al-Qasr neighbourhood.
Aleppo’s Bustan al-Qasr neighbourhood following what rebels claim have been repeated bombings by Russian aircraft of civilian areas. Photograph: Hosam Katan/Reuters

Russia has traded a deep-sea port and an airbase in Syria for its whole-hearted support of the Syrian president, and because this agreement found favour at both ends, its military presence is entirely legitimate, and Mr. Assad is big on legitimacy, it appears. The Islamic Republic of Iran is an old friend of Mr. Assad's and they too, along with the al-Quds force and Iranian-backed Shiite militias are welcome to help the Alawites strike out at the Syrian Sunnis.

The presence of the U.S.-led coalition on the other hand, is completely illegitimate, a betrayal of international norms, impinging dreadfully on Syria's sovereign rights. And its sovereign rights are inclusive of bombing the living hell out of its own people; legitimate because they are, needless to emphasize tirelessly, terrorists. While the United Nations upholds the precept of 'responsibility to protect' citizens against the brutality of their own governments, it is null and void when they are terrorists.

barrel1
The remnants of an explosive barrel after the Syrian regime dropped a barrel bomb in Daraa, June 26, 2015. Information Office Of Umm Almiazn
 
Mr. Assad has nothing but contempt for Western nations that haven't the basic courtesy to ask him to invite them to enter his country's airspace. Were that to be done, he would return the courtesy and align his ground troops with their air strikes, making it reasonable to expect that military success would prevail. Mind, Britain et al is striking at ISIL, whereas Mr. Assad is concentrating his forces on rebel 'terrorists'. That's  how confused they are.

As for Syria having become a magnet for Islamist terror? A figment of the West's imagination, attempting to draw attention away from the reality that it is from among Westernized Muslims that Islamist terror arises, contaminating the innocent Muslims of the Middle East.

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