LETTER: Syrians must forge their own path for the future

To the Editor:

I have been a frequent reader of RidingTheTiger, and have thus far been impressed by the quality of the articles.  The authors have presented interesting facts in a clear manner, and for this I thank them.

As we watch the current situation in Syria unfold, I’d like to weigh in with some perspectives, strictly as a neutral observer in the conflict.

It might be unpolitically correct politically incorrect to say this, but I don’t see a need to take a side in the current Syrian conflict. As I see this as a fundamentally Syrian matter. Some Syrians want Assad gone whilst others want him to stay. This decision is one to be made by the Syrian people themselves, and it is not up to other countries to make the decision for them.

The common perception of the Syrian situation in the United States is that Assad is a brutal dictator killing and cracking down on innocent protesters. However, just like the rest of the propaganda that the controlled media in the United States puts out against their enemies, we should all be skeptical. After all, those of us living in the United States should remember that this was the same media that told the world that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction, resulting in a devastating war in Iraq. The lies went further than the media, though. The US State Department presented fraudulent evidence that Saddam had purchased yellow-cake from Niger, and that he had ties to Osama Bin Laden. Yet, here we are, years later having seemingly forgotten that the media and the government lied to justify a war in Iraq.

Then of course, we have the conflict in Libya. The liberal left in America that proudly objected and spoke out against George Bush’s invasion of Iraq seems to have proudly cheered Obama as he took action against Libya, claiming what transpired there was a “Success story”. The way the American media portrays Libya sets the stage for an invasion of Syria. Just like in Syria, Libya was portrayed as a dictatorship with the entirety of the population united against its tyrant ruler. The reason why it was so hard to dislodge Gaddafi was because he was using African mercenaries to compensate for his defecting military officers. The perception in the average American mind is that Gaddafi is out of power; Libya has regained its seat in the United Nations and the Arab League, and Libya is now becoming a democracy. It’s a shame that western media is not reporting the fighting which goes on in spite of Gaddafi’s death. In Bani Walid, A town in the Misrate district, Gaddafi loyalists retook the town and tore down the flag of the NTC, replacing it with the green flag of the Jamahiriya.

Of course, just like the propaganda in regards to Iraq, the truth was much more inconvenient for the neo-conservatives and liberals alike. A large part of the population was loyal to Gaddafi. This should come as no surprise due to the fact that Gaddafi provided the Libyans with free health care and education. He also funded public works programs that created running water, electricity, and homes for the Libyans. Moreover, every fact-finding mission that was dispatched to Libya disproved the myth of mercenaries. The so-called “African mercenaries” were simply African Migrant workers and Afro-Libyans. Even left-leaning organizations like Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, as well as former members of Congress Cynthia McKinney and Walter Fauntroy were forced not only to admit that the mercenaries were a myth, but that there was and is still a campaign of borderline genocide carried out against the Afro-Libyans by the rebels.

With the lies fresh in our minds, why should we buy into the propaganda that is being spread about Syria? It is true that there have been protests against Assad. However it’s also true that the Syrian rebels have been engaging in attacks against civilian targets. Whenever Israel launches an attack against the Palestinians, the American and British media demand that Israel be allowed to defend itself, even if the attack was unprovoked. By this logic, shouldn’t Assad also have the right to protect his nation from armed and violent gangs?

As someone who is not Syrian, I have no right to make a decision over what path the Syrians should take. However, if I could say one thing to them, it would be not seek the help of outside nations in deciding their fate. For them to appeal to any of the nations that belong to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization would certainly be a fatal mistake. The Syrians who are calling for a no-fly zone and other forms of western intervention should take a long hard look at Nour Malaki’s brutal crackdown of the Iraqi people. They should look at the prolific amount of arms trafficked by the United States, Great Britain, and France to brutal dictators all around the globe. They should take a look at the consequences of economic “neo-liberalism” advocated by western leaders and by the IMF and the World Bank.

If perchance there are any Syrians reading this, you may think of your current situation as bleak and desperate, but consider the future.

-Alexander S.
February  17, 2012
Syracuse, NY, USA

About William van Nostrand

William van Nostrand is a native of Chicago, Illinois and is currently the Chairman and Editor-in-Chief of RidingTheTiger.org. He holds a B.A. in Economics as well as a minor in cultural anthropology. His interests are highly varied and include late medieval European architecture, German romantic classical music, and travel.
  • http://blog.thierryvanroy.be/ Thierry Vanroy

    Although I agree with the premise, the author should not forget president Assad is in fact FOR reforms. That’s why all pro-Syrian protests around the world are supporting him, even if they disagree, he is the only one promising TRUE reforms.

    Also, if only the author could see what I have been reading these past weeks.

    • Alexander S

      I don’t necessarily disagree with you Thierry, but I wanted to maintain a strictly neutral tone in presenting this information. Strictly because if there was any Syrian frustrated with Assad reading this, I would not want them to be alienated by a Pro-Assad tone. Secondly, In all reality, I cannot be pro-Assad strictly speaking, as I am not Syrian, have no stake in their future, and thus have no right to decide for them.

      • http://blog.thierryvanroy.be/ Thierry Vanroy

        There’s a lot going on in Syria, but to get a firm grasp on the situation, I had to go through a plethora of information in four languages. There is a huge split between the two geopolitical spheres of influence, it is nearly impossible to stand independent from either one, because that would be omitting the manipulative stance of the West.

        To see what’s at stake, I recommend this article from Thierry Meyssan, who has been in Syria for several months: http://www.voltairenet.org/End-of-game-in-the-Middle-East

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