Western countries, particularly the U.S., are directly responsible for the violence and destruction in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Yemen, from which millions of refugees are fleeing:
- The illegal U.S.-led invasion of Iraq led to the deaths of at least one million people, destabilized the entire region, and created extreme conditions in which militant groups like al-Qaeda spread like wildfire, eventually leading to the emergence of ISIS.
- In Afghanistan, the ongoing U.S.-led war and occupation — which the Obama administration just prolonged for a second time — has led to approximately a quarter of a million deaths and has displaced millions of Afghans.
- The disastrous U.S.-led NATO intervention in Libya destroyed the government, turning the country into a hotbed for extremism and allowing militant groups like ISIS to spread west into North Africa. Thousands of Libyans have been killed, and hundreds of thousands made refugees.
- In Yemen, the U.S. and other Western nations are arming and backing the Saudi-led coalition that is raining down bombs, including banned cluster munitions, on civilian areas, pulverizing the poorest country in the Middle East. And, once again — the story should now be familiar — thousands have been killed and hundreds of thousands have been displaced.
“We have reiterated that the Syrian future will be decided by Syrian people alone,” the Russian foreign minister said, including “the destination of Mr. Assad and any other politician in this country.”
I’ve always believed this. The relationship between the United States of America and #Syria, & the broader Middle East, is evolving.
America doesn’t really know Syria. It has always played the political game from a quieter angle, relative to let’s say for example, #Egypt under the rule of leaders like Naser & Sadat.
Still, for the most part, Syria has been traditionally vilified by the US & its allies.
The reality is that there are many commonalities between Syria & America, as farfetched as that may seem. The media has successfully tainted this relationship and the image of Syria, and the #Arab world at large, over the years.
But Syria is the only Arab country with a deeply engrained culture of secularism, a value enjoyed and upheld by the US.
The paradoxes in US politics is what makes everything so troubling and difficult to understand.
America is, as #Assad said in his latest interview with #CBS’s Charlie Rose, the greatest country. It wouldn’t be wise for any leader or country to not seek cooperation with it.
Let us realize however that if indeed the US is a “democracy champion human rights”, it is a flawed one indeed.
African-Americans earned the right to vote only 40-50 years ago. What kind of universal crown jewel of democracy are we?
But as the Middle East endures another era of tumult and “revolution”, so to has America experienced a change.
Day by day, it becomes increasingly apparent that there is a rift within the American population. The people are divided. The politicians are pinned against one another.
So it becomes that much more difficult to understand where America really stands. The reality is America is NOT #homogenous. The people have differences. We are diverse. As we struggle for our national identity, and to perhaps establish a new one, age-old reactionaries who serve as the dynasties of American families exploit time and resources in order to perpetuate injustice at home and abroad.
As we struggle to establish rights for all men and women in America, our politicians are stripping, exploiting and ignoring the rights of other nations and peoples abroad.
There is however, an initiative in the #West, in the US, to make change. I do believe the #Democrats and Barrack #Obama are among the leaders of that potential change, both in the traditions of #American domestic and foreign #policy.
What stands against us, however, is an equally if not more powerful and determined force fueled by fanatical ideology and corporate interest, the likes of the #Koch brothers; the #Bush family; the #Republican Party; #AIPAC; prison-industrial complex; #NRA; #racism; KKK; #Zionism; #Corporatism; Oligarchy.