OPINION – The fruit we are harvesting today in Syria is seeded by the U.S., by enforcing democracy in a region through means that are not necessarily democratic in nature.
This proclivity of enforcing ideas started back in 2003 when George W. Bush introduced democracy to the people of Iraq and gave enough firepower to a civil war aimed at overthrowing Saddam Hussein. And Obama followed the same practice in Libya by overthrowing Muammar Gaddafi’s regime by sparking a civil war in a bid to introduce a democratic political structure.
Things do not end here since Obama’s administration is partly to blame for a Pentagon-led violent coup in Ukraine to get rid of Viktor Yanukivych, which resulted in civil unrest there as well.
What are U.S. intentions in Syria?
If we analyze the whole scenario from a different angle, then it would not be wrong to assume that U.S. intentions were never to promote peace in the regions because the whole world witnessed what Iraq had to go through and what a particular ideology has brought into the region.
The story or Libya and Syria is not different from Iraq either. In other words, two more Iraqs have been created by the U.S., but it doesn’t end here by any means. Such moves were bound to have a ripple effect, which has started to show signs in the region.
Let’s clear the picture a bit more. U.S. President Obama’s chief aim in Syria is not to defeat the fundamentalist ISIS and Al Qaeda there but to replace that country’s secular leader Bashar al-Assad, who is, on the basis of the above-cited evidence, far more popular in Syria than Obama is. Yet Obama says that militarily overthrowing Assad would be the “democratic” thing to do.
Further concluding the above statement, is the U.S. helping the world’s top terrorist organizations in Syria just to introduce democracy? Is that the cost the U.S. is willing to pay in order to further its agenda? The question here is what kind of democracy the U.S. is following that allows decision makers to conduct such violent acts that involve the murder of innocent civilians, especially children and women. Just months ago, when humanity quite literally washed ashore, the whole world was shaken after seeing the innocent body of a Syrian kid lying on the shore of Turkey. The image was disturbing, but what was even more disturbing was the fact that it is end users who are paying such a hefty price for decisions that were not even made by them.
Quite recently, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter stated that “the U.S. is no longer a democracy” – a statement that means quite a lot coming from the mouth of someone who led the nation during an era when its ideals were on the right path.
Moreover, in the case of the U.S., it would not be wrong if we conclude that war is organized murder, as they have utilized the most vulnerable forces (in every sense of the word) to wage offshore wars, in which the numbers of deaths of innocent people is in the millions. What kind of democracy promotes violence or uses coercive measures in order to establish so-called peace, which the whole world is waiting to see?
Russia enters the fray
On the other hand, this is the first time Russia has conducted an assault beyond its borders on such a large scale since the Cold War era in Syria. With Russians entering the region, things have changed, with several airstrikes taking out several ISIS assets on a regular basis. U.S. officials have claimed that these strikes have not been successful at all, as they are less about taking out extremist groups in the conflict-ridden region and more about fighting to keep Bashar Al-Assad’s regime intact, which was what the conflict was about in its early days.
In a recent UN session, Russian President Vladimir Putin urged the international community to join hands and extend services in the region to fight against the menace of ISIS, which, if not controlled, will spread globally. However, the U.S. Defense Chief’s accusations tell a different story altogether. According to him, Russia is just protecting enemies of Assad.
U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter further elaborated on the current situation in Syria by stating, “Russia states an intent to fight Isil on the one hand, and to support the Bashar al-Assad regime on the other. Fighting Isil without pursuing a parallel political transition only risks escalating the civil war in Syria – and with it, the very extremism and instability that Moscow claims to be concerned about and aspire to fighting,” at an impromptu press conference. “So that approach is tantamount … to pouring gasoline on the fire.”
The Russian Defense Minister on the other hand, vehemently denied American claims, stating that strikes conducted by the Russian Air Force successfully took out militants and communication equipment which belongs to ISIS before demanding that the U.S. look to avoid flying within Syrian airspace for an uncertain period of time – a warning that the White House is not willing to heed.
In a more recent development, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov jointly announced that the main priority for both countries is to find a political solution for the mess in Syria. They also reiterated their mutual desire to end the conflict by launching fresh diplomatic initiatives.
U.S. and Russia using different tactics in Syria
The prime mission in the region is to eliminate ISIS, but for that very purpose, the U.S. and Russia have adopted different approaches. The U.S. believes that defeating ISIS will not be possible without removing Assad, while Russia sees Assad as a heroic fighter against terrorism, as recently characterized by Putin in a 90-minute meeting with Obama.
American intentions are clear in the region, as they not only want to end terrorism but also the long regime of Bashar al-Assad to introduce democracy and ensure that peace ensues through this ideology. However, it appears to be an interesting waiting game considering that Washington is once again pursuing the same approach that has never worked in such a volatile region and is a mission that is already set for failure.
Russia looking to go alone
But this time, Russia is in the picture, and the Kremlin clearly showed support for Assad’s regime, and unlike the U.S., the Russians are not willing to make the mistake of “dropping arms supplies” which fell into the wrong hands. Russia is too thorough to do something like that. Moreover, taking the case of Ukraine where the Pentagon meddled more than it should have, Russia wants to achieve its goal in Syria on its own and does not want American interference.