The West’s Crocodile Tears for the Idlib Massacre

Translated by Marco Aurelio Di Giorgio


Every massacre has its own anatomy, and the Syrian one too: perhaps, if not in its greatest part, a geopolitical one. There’s no use in running circles around the issue like Americans and Europeans have done sponsoring this or that side together with their allied monarchies of the Gulf and Turkey. The Syrian war is not like the others, it’s a proxy war on a world scale, which the West has lost, at least for the time being, after Russian intervention in September, 2015, in support of Assad. And in order to take back the lost land in the heart of the Middle East, where, we should all remember, some thousands of American soldiers are operative, we’re ready to accept a version of the facts that has not yet been verified, although it could appear entirely plausible.

In Syria, from one side to the other, there are no angels and demons but only devils and victims. Moscow refuses all UN resolutions against Assad whom on the other side the White House says can remain in his place. Thus, all this indignation for the victims of Khan Shaykhun has a more political purpose and value than any actual one.

It’s meant especially to isolate Damascus – the rear of Hezbollah Lebanese Shiites who Israel fears, which was gaining ground on international level and among Arab countries such as Egypt and Tunisia, interested in collaboration with Assad to counter jihadism.

Accepting the defeat in Syria doesn’t mean justifying the massacres of civilians, who are often just human shields of the fighting groups and even loyalist Syrian forces. It is, instead, acknowledging how much has happened over the course of these years in the Arab and muslim world.

In Syria the civil war started in 2011 as a legitimate protest against a “brutal regime”, enveloped in an important economical and social crisis. But this conflict became very soon a proxy war nourished by the influx of thousands of jihadists from the Turkish frontier, supported by Ankara and the Gulf Sunni monarchies, which aimed to strike down an ally of Shiite Iran.

The United States of America and European powers such as France and Great Britain, which were leading the war in Libya against Gaddafi, have endorsed this conflict, which together with the Arab springs promised to change the face of the area.

Syria was a miscalculation just like Afghanistan had been, and just like Iraq had been in 2003. But the Syrian war also had a few more justifications. The rich Gulf monarchies couldn’t tolerate the fall of the Sunni regime in Baghdad and wanted retribution, and that the minority Alawite government in Damascus, a historical ally of Teheran, should also fall.

The Shiite crescent against the Sunni crescent, with the USA and Europe in the middle as arbiters, just like during the Gulf War in the eighties. Let them butcher each other: we will take the spoils, this was the Western authorities’ logic.

The Americans were willing to make this concession: in Baghdad they had realised they had given Iran another present while the Saudis in eight years of Obama’s presidency have bought more than 100 billion dollars in weapons from Washington and saved the French nuclear industry with another 10 billion. Not appeasing clients such as these wasn’t possible.

For this reason on the 6th of July the ex-state Secretary Hillary Clinton sent ambassador Ford strolling alongside the Hama rebels: it was the undeniable signal that Assad had become the designated target of a military and economic coalition.

A miscalculation is usually followed by another one. Not only did Assad not get overthrown, but from Iraq the Islamic State arose, beginning its march conquering Mosul in June 2014: the USA at first didn’t do anything to stop these bloodthirsty militias from occupying the second most important city in Iraq, and subsequently have led a nothing-less-than suspicious war against ISIS. Even then the American newspapers were littered with maps of a division of Syria and Iraq with the map of a future integralist Sunni state as a buffer state between the Shiites. Even Churchill, who had invented a Hashemite principality together with the French, would have approved.

But ISIS, born from a branch of Al Qaeda, slipped out of hand, just like what had happened with the mujaheddin who had battled the Red Army in Afghanistan to then become Talibans or Qaedists.

The third mistake was to think the muslim radicals could be manipulated. Rather, they became inspirers of terrorism that brought the Middle-Eastern war inside Europe.
This is the meaning of the war in Syria and Iraq in these years.

It’s just to be indignant for the victims of the province of Idlib, but let’s spare at least a part of this indignation for our Western leaders, incapable of solving a mess of miscalculations and interests which has been lasting over thirty years.

The Iraqi war was approved on the basis of a colossal lie on weapons of mass-destruction, Gaddafi, the major ally of Italy in the Mediterranean, was eliminated because he was getting in the way of the French, and now Assad still holds because of Russian support.

And now the second chapter is about to ensue, the one in which Syria gets broken apart: this is what deaths in Idlib are for.

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