The Ghouta massacre and the West's failure

The innocent people in eastern Ghouta pay the price for the inability of the imperialist powers, the US and Russia, to reach an agreement that would end the bloodbath.

March 5, 2018 21:51
The Ghouta massacre and the West's failure

Mass destruction in eastern Ghouta. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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The massacre in Ghouta, Syria is a direct result of the inability of the international community to abandon the Obama heritage of doing absolutely nothing to help the democratic Arab revolutions.

Eastern Ghouta, a swath of towns and farms outside Damascus that is the last major rebel-controlled area near the capital, is bombed regularly. Although the UN Security Council members, among them Russia, passed a resolution calling for a 30-day ceasefire in all of Syria, Ghouta’s people are still being massacred by the Bashar Assad regime.

According to media reports, Russian President Vladimir Putin said his forces had managed to evacuate “quite a big group” of civilians from Ghouta and that Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan had helped broker the evacuation. Although it is evident that awful crimes against humanity are being carried out in Ghouta, it seems that neither the West nor the Arab states are willing to lift a finger.

It is true that Assad is responsible for the crimes committed in eastern Ghouta; however, had the West – including Israel – prevented him from murdering so many innocents on daily basis, the situation could have been entirely different. In contrary to what the Syrian regime claims, the civil war in the country does not stem from any kind of “international plot” against Assad but is the result of the people of Syria taking to the streets, demanding freedom and democracy in their own “Arab Spring.”

The civil war intensified as the regime could not stabilize the country and sought the help of foreign forces, that readily obliged, acting for their own sake and interests. There was a serious possibility to topple Assad during the past few years; however, the Obama administration did not support the Syrian revolution and signed an agreement with Iran, an act that saved the regime in Damascus. The refusal of the US to side with the Syrian revolution brought the Russians into the towns and cities of Syria and enabled Islamic State (ISIS) to step into the war.

The US stopped showing any interest in the fate of the Syrian people once it was clear to the Obama administration that ISIS was rising in Iraq. The Americans did not display any interest in the anti-Assad Free Syrian Army, and sided with the Kurdish forces. The Kurds accepted the idea of becoming US proxies and in return the Americans promised them the establishment of an autonomous Kurdish government near the Turkish border.

This caused Turkish President Erdogan to change his policy and seek support from the Russians in his fight against the US-backed Kurds. In return for Russia’s support, Ankara agreed to direct Russian intervention in Syria. Thus, the torn city of Aleppo was doomed.

In addition, the Gulf States decided to finance Islamic militias in order to wipe out the Popular Committee militias that arose early in the Syrian revolution and which could have replaced the Alawite rule. These Islamic forces occupied eastern Ghouta.

Today, the war continues to rage due to foreign intervention. Although ISIS – America’s bitter enemy – was vanquished, the US refuses to take action to stop the war.

The massacre in Ghouta is a direct result of the inability of the international community to abandon the Obama heritage of doing absolutely nothing to help the democratic Arab revolutions. Thus, the failure of the Sochi conference, initiated by the Russians in January to enforce their solution in Syria, left Bashar Assad in power.

The international dynamics whereby the US pressed the Syrian opposition not to participate in the conference due to American mistrust of Putin has yielded another problem: the Iranians approached the Israeli border, and together with Hezbollah constitute a threat to Israel’s safety.

The innocent people in eastern Ghouta pay the price for the inability of the imperialist powers, the US and Russia, to reach an agreement that would end the bloodbath. After seven years of war, after 400,000 people were murdered, after two million houses were demolished and 10 million Syrians became refugees, it is crystal clear that the West is responsible for the terrible fate of the Syrian masses, butchered by the war criminal from Damascus. The West is indifferent to the bloody war in Syria and is unwilling to do its job and put an end to years of butchery.

As bad as it is, the situation is actually much worse than it seems, due to the betrayal of the Arab countries: the Arabs themselves, including their Palestinian brothers and sisters, who fight against Israel in the UN, refuse to raise their voice against the ruthless Syrian regime. The Palestinians, including the international BDS-style Left that supports them, rely on the ayatollahs’ regime in Iran, the autocratic regime of Turkey and the post-communist but still Stalinist Russia in their quest to delegitimize the State of Israel, and are hence unwilling to demonstrate their solidarity with the poor victims of Assad.

As far as the Palestinians and their Leftist cheerleaders are concerned, there is no reason to lift a finger against the bloody alliance of Syria, Russia, Iran and Turkey, as long as they act against Israel. This is the result of years of political idleness that characterized the Obama administration, which refused to help to forge a different international order.

The Obama heritage must teach us a lesson: without a strong State of Israel, the Jews will be abandoned, and their fate will be entrusted to the hands of the most reactionary forces. However, the Israelis must learn a moral lesson in addition to the political one: raise your voice against any genocide upon earth and do the best you can to stop it. Israel, that rules the Golan Heights (and praise the Lord for that), must think how it can utilize its strategic advantage and intervene in a situation where innocent men, women and children are murdered by chemical weapons. It is our moral duty.

The author is a graduate student in Tel Aviv University’s Department of History and a blogger at The Jerusalem Post.

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