“Any regime in the Arab world that is not an absolute puppet cannot be tolerated [by the powers that shouldn’t be]. And who are the nations that we target? Those that are not puppets. We don’t target those like the Saudi regime, which is the biggest human rights violator in that region. It is cutting off people’s heads in public, cutting off hands. It is the most grotesque regime on the planet, and yet we give that regime weapons, and it is no problem whatsoever. The duplicity and hypocrisy of the United States and the West can’t even be measured, it is so enormous. […] And the fact is that American sons and daughters will get involved in this yet again, and this chicken hawks who are pretending to care about the Syrian people are going to be sacrificing not their own sons and daughters; I would like [them] to send [their] own sons and daughters and [their] grandchildren off to Syria when this turns into a greater conflict, because this is what we are flirting with, a world war. A third world war, this is not a joke. We are flirting with a third world war on the basis that, apparently, we care so much about the Syrian people, just like we cared so much about the Iraqi [and] Afghani people.”[1]

Ex-US Marine Ken O’Keefe on Press TV’s The Debate

The US-NATO-Israel alliance and its regional allies (Jordan, Turkey, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia) are funding, training and arming extremist jihadi forces in order to overthrow a sovereign member of the United Nations. This is an obvious breach of the UN charter, which states that “all members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force [note that these are the exact same combination of words used in Hillary Clinton’s leaked e-mail] against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state.”[2] Furthermore, most scholars agree that supplying weapons to non-state actors (i.e. the armed opposition) is contradictory to international law.[3] Even the US-led coalition against Daesh in itself, which has been bombing Syria since 2014, is illegal under international law, as it has neither approval from the UN nor from the Syrian government to do so.[4] Arguments that the Syrian government is both “unwilling and unable” to fight Daesh are ridiculous too, as the Syrian army has lost loads of its soldiers in their fight against terrorism and – in accordance with Russia – is the force that has been most successful in pushing back Daesh in Syria.

Yet, the UN does not condemn all these unlawful actions. Instead, the body tends to copycat the claims made by the West and appropriate its bias. For example, the body was quick to denounce the Syrian government for the Houla massacre after a shamefully biased UN Security Council inquiry, but when a UN mission found that in at least three separate instances chemical weapons were used against soldiers, it was somehow unable to point the finger at opposition forces (see part 3). In his final address to the General Assembly, Secretary General Ban Ki-moon even made the baseless accusation that the Syrian government was responsible for killing the most civilians.[5]

Once the UN decides to be impartial, uphold international law, and hold accountable those who break it, peace in Syria would finally be in sight.

The axis of resistance

Until then, it is perfectly understandable that Syrians welcome all help coming from outside. When Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that his country prevented the collapse of statehood in and disintegration of Syria,[6] he certainly had a point. Without the military support coming from Russia, but also from Iran and Hezbollah, Syria would by now possibly be no more. One might argue that Iran and Russia are only in Syria for pushing their own geopolitical agendas, and that their presence is just as illegitimate as those countries trying to overthrow Assad. However, there is one big difference: contrary to the US-led coalition, they are invited in by the Syrian government, which makes their presence legal under international law.

There is no doubt that Iran and Russia, too, are motivated by their own political purposes, I am certainly not denying that. Going through this analysis, more than a few might come to mind. In my view, however, more than anything else, it is the destructiveness of the US-NATO-Israel alliance that is driving independent countries towards each other, and therefore together towards the one that is now suffering the most, Syria. Because the fall of Syria would most likely be the last blow to a balance of power in the Middle East, we are seeing the emergence of an “axis of resistance.” As Prof. Tim Anderson concludes in his book The dirty war on Syria:

“Washington’s plan for a ‘New Middle East’ has hit a rock called Syria. Despite the ongoing bloodshed and serious economic pressures, Syria is advancing steadily towards a military and strategic victory that will transform the Middle East. […] Syria’s victory will spell an end to Washington’s bloody spree of ‘regime change’ across the region, from Afghanistan to Iraq to Libya to Syria. Out of the death and misery from this dirty war we are seeing the emergence of a stronger ‘Axis of Resistance’. Syria has survived, Iran is stronger, Iraq is joining the Resistance Axis and Russia has moved decisively in counter-weight fashion to back them up. That combination will seal the humiliating defeat of plans for a US-Israel-Saudi-Turkey dominated ‘New Middle East’. Regional unity and independence comes at a terrible cost, but it is coming.”[7]

War or peace?

A victory by Syria could set in motion a process of declining Western supremacy. The US-NATO-Israel alliance, however, is not just going to let this happen. That’s why the propaganda machine has gone in total overdrive, especially concerning the Syrian army’s retaking of east Aleppo. Unfortunately, this does not mean that the threat of war is over. To the contrary, we are quickly descending to a World War III scenario. The global powers are standing directly opposed to each other, not just in Syria, but in other hotspots like Ukraine and the South China Sea as well. As was the case with the First World War, a relative small but provocative event – like the September US attack on an airport in Deir ez-Zor which killed at least 60 Syrian soldiers – could lead to an escalation of war on a global scale. Moreover, as was previously the case during the Cold War, Washington does not regard nuclear weapons as a last resort anymore. In the post-9/11 era, the distinction between “tactical” nuclear weapons and the conventional battlefield arsenal has become increasingly blurred.[8] US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter recently even stated that his country is not pursuing a “no-first-use” policy, which means that it does not exclude using nuclear arms first in a possible war.[9] Hence, the future of humanity is at stake. As Albert Einstein once noted: “I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.”[10]

How to avoid such an escalation? Well, at least for Syria, the answer is simple. In a 2016 interview with Swedish media, a Syrian doctor from Aleppo was asked what the outside world should do to help Syria and its people from the hell of war. His answer was simple: “Leave us alone, forget us.”[11] When asked to elaborate, he said:

“Well, what we need is the US, Europe, Turkey and the Gulf states to leave us alone and stop supporting terrorists. There should be a decision by the UN Security Council that other states should stay out of Syria and that all those who have supported the terrorists should be punished. When you have left us alone, when the borders are closed and you have forgotten about us, then I am confident that the Syrian army can bring us peace.”[12]

Indeed, our most important task is to do nothing, except not to fall for the propaganda. If you want to stay informed, I very much recommend Prof. Tim Anderson’s book The dirty war on Syria. Together with Vanessa Beeley and Eva Bartlett, he is the one of the few honest objective commentators that has visited Syria on multiple occasions. There are, however, more good accounts, most of which end up at the site of the Sydney-based Hands Off Syria. If you are not so much of a reader, I recommend the Youtube channel of Maram Susli, aka SyrianGirlpartisan. In general, just stop following the mainstream press and support independent media.

Notes

[1] “Syria War of deception,” Youtube channel of Tena, 29.08.2013, consulted on 20.08.2016, http://.youtube.com/user/KiwiGirlnCo/videos.

[2] United Nations Charter, Chapter 1, article 2, section 4 (United Nations, 1945).

[3] Zeray Yihdego, “The legality of arming opposition groups and the arms trade treaty: implications for Syria like cases,” Arms Control Law, 19.06.2013, http://armscontrollaw.com.

[4] Sharmine Narwani, “Breaking international law in Syria,” RT, 25.11.2015, http://rt.com.

[5] “UN chief slams Syrian government for ‘sickening’ violence,” Middle East Eye, 20.09.2016, http://middleeasteye.net.

[6] “Russia prevented Syria’s disintegration, Lavrov says,” Press TV, 23.09.2016, http://presstv.ir.

[7] Tim Anderson, The dirty war on Syria: Washington, regime change and resistance (Montréal: Global Research Publishers, 2016), 119-20.

[8] Michel Chossudovsky, Towards a World War III scenario: the dangers of nuclear war (Montréal: Global Research Publishers, 2012), 13-21.

[9] “US not pursuing no-first-use nuclear arms policy: Carter,” Press TV, 28.09.2016, http://presstv.ir.

[10] Alfred Werner, interview with Albert Einstein, Liberal Judaism, April-May 1949, as quoted in Alice Calaprice, The new quotable Einstein (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2005), 173.

[11] Patrik Paulov, “‘Aleppo has been under fire by terrorists for four years.’ Interview with Aleppo doctor about life in Syria’s largest city.” Protetarën, 25.05.2016, http://proletaren.se.

[12] Paulov, “Aleppo has been under fire by terrorists for four years.”