Editorial: On Syria, Liberal Interventionism, and Responsibility to Protect


Photos from Syria are too gruesome to publish. Clicking on the black square will take you to a reddit site which has complied them. Caution advised.

Last week, there were allegations that President Assad has gassed his own citizens. A U.N. team sent to inspect the site were delayed and attacked.

To the naysayers who doubt that Assad would not have used chemical weapons in the twilight days of a civil war that he was gradually winning, we have this to say: the last century was filled with despots who were not rational — Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot — and mistakes had been made trying to rationalize their actions. Even the Allies used a heavy-handed approach in firebombing Dresden towards the end of the Second World War, motivated by revenge, war-weariness, and need for the enemy’s morale defeat.  In such light, Assad’s motivations become clearer.

By repeatedly emphasizing a hypothetical ‘red line’ over chemical weapons (while ignoring other inhumanities in Syria, from shelling civilian quarters to using cluster bombs and landmines), the West has painted itself into an intractable corner. To do nothing will undermine its credibility and embolden Assad (and many a tyrant observing how the West will respond to this crisis).  On the other hand, it is dangerous to rush into action; in Tunisia, in Egypt, and in Libya where the West intervened, the results of the Arab Spring are increasingly murky, and for Britain and the United States, at least, it will be their fourth military action in the Middle East in twelve years, and the public is growing weary.

This house had supported the Syrian rebels throughout 2011 and 2012. However, it now seems the rebels are dominated by hard-core fighters, who tend to be Islamist Manicheans, under whom, we reckon, whatever little religious freedom tolerated under President Assad, will evaporate. Therefore, this house advocates for an UN-brokered ceasefire, guaranteed by an international fleet in the Mediterranean, while the U.N chemical weapons inspectors do their job on the ground. Out of this ashheap, we believe a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural Syria can still be salvaged.

10 thoughts on “Editorial: On Syria, Liberal Interventionism, and Responsibility to Protect”

  1. And now, faced with dumb or dumber, “this house” chooses dumbest. “You just keep thinking, Butch. That’s what you’re good at.”

  2. Those Poor People…But Fellows:

    Really, does anyone out there Really think this is about any thing other than OIL? Syrian oil exploration first began in 1933 during the French Mandate, by the Iraq Petroleum Company (a consortium made up of Shell, BP, Exxon-Mobil, Total, and Gulbekian which is now PARTEX Oil and Gas, a partner of ADNOC in both ADCO and GASCO in Abu Dhabi and a shareholder in PDO, OLNG and Mukhaizna in Oman, maintaining a 75 year old partnership with the Governments of Oman and Abu Dhabi.

    Follow the OIL SLICK and the PERSONALITIES beneath it and that will tell you all you need to know about this lamentable situation in Syria.

    It is about OIL, people. OIL.

    Your Obt. Svt,
    Col Korn,
    Chief o Mayhem, In the Great WW-2 (An tha Cold War)
    Currently Chief O Security an Sanitation,
    OXOjamm Studios.

      1. Sorry Brother-man, there are 40 oil fields in this yet untapped area and that just four wells alone can produce in a single day more oil than all the fields in Kuwait currently produce. So-Called “Proven reserves” that rank Syria 34th in the world are only based on the low figure so-called Proven Model” which has been manipulated to let the world think that Oil is NOT the main reason for the Jacking of this poor country.

        Your Obt. Svt,
        Col Korn,
        Chief o Mayhem, In the Great WW-2 (An tha Cold War)
        Currently Chief O Security an Sanitation,
        OXOjamm Studios.

  3. There was another, maybe main reason of Dresden: to deny the Germans a key transportation (rail and river) and communication hub near the eastern front and aid this the Soviets. There were also war industries still operating there.

    1. The only so-called “War industries” operating in Dresden were the slaughter-houses.
      It was payback for bombing London.

      Your Obt. Svt,
      Col Korn,
      Chief O’ Mayhem, In the Great WW-2 (An tha Cold War)
      Currently Chief O’ Security, Sanitation an the Complaint dept.
      OXOjamm Studios.

  4. The ghosts of Iraq loom large. The US and UK governments have no credibility when it comes to this kind of action. How can we possibly trust any of their dodgy dossiers and “intelligence” reports after being lied to about Iraq?

    This is all just posturing on the part of Western governments and political leaders who are desperately trying to look “strong” in some sort of ridiculous international pi$$ing contest. What can the West do? Wring it’s hands, mutter some platitudes about “never again”, bomb a few sites and then… walk away. Because the public appetite to do anything more does not exist. Iraq and Afghanistan have also shown that the West is very good at killing lots of people but its ability to reshape societies and countries does not exist.

    The international emperor has no clothes.

    There are no simplistic “good” guys in Syria. Its a complicated, chaotic free for all stoked by internal tribal and religious tensions and fanned by outside interests on the part of regional and international powers in pursuit of their own political agendas.

    And the ones that suffer will be the ordinary people caught in the crossfire. It has always been thus.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s