of East and West Clash Over Syria
justifications of both U.S. and E.U. imperialists and imperialists in Russia
require a high degree of cynicism, because they both exclude what should be
most important: the lives of human beings: innocent, precious, and as worthy of
respect as any of ours."
There is no greater tragedy
for a country than to be at the heart of a regional and global conflict - and
of course, to be ruled by a tyrant willing to do anything to retain power. Such
is the case with Syria, where expectations for that nation's future point
toward the worst. What is the "worst"? The worst is the slow bleeding
of innocent deaths (one press release spoke of headless children) and a generally
terrifying situation that leads one to wonder: What ever happened to kindness and the human condition?
Then comes the ideological
explanations and justifications of one party the other, whether on the one hand, it be the
imperialist interests of the United States, the European Union, or the even
more militaristic attitude of Israel; or on the other, the
imperial cynicism of Russia, which cannot accept the loss of one of its
preferred weapons customers, not to mention its only naval base in the
Mediterranean (Tartus). Both justifications require a high degree of cynicism, because
they exclude what should be most important: the lives of human beings:
innocent, precious, and as worthy of respect as any of ours.
The fact is that the Syrian
bleeding will last long after the U.N. Security Council vetoes of Russia and
China. Bashar al-Assad’s regime can inflict terrible losses on its adversaries,
but it will find it difficult to achieve total victory and retain power as if
nothing had happened.
Meanwhile, the situation in
Syria will absorb the world's attention for a time, but not for long, since
there are so many other dramatic situations around the world. Syria will
eventually fall into oblivion, lost in the daily reporting of combat in cities
with exotic names and victim statistics that offer us little in terms of
understanding the magnitude of personal tragedy.
Russia's aforementioned U.N. Security
Council veto gives the U.S., Europe Union and Arab League none of the measures
they sought. In addition to its desire to continue selling weapons and
retaining its naval base, Russia obviously has other reasons to be concerned.
The Kremlin wants to avoid precedents for further interventions by
Western powers in the domestic affairs of other nations, and would like to see a
return to the old concept of national sovereignty, which despite what leading
thinkers may say, remains as profitable as ever.
In any case, the list of Western
interventions that Russia considered unfavorable - from Yugoslavia to Libya - is
a long one. There is one more point: Russia hasn’t been pleased with the resolution
of the Libyan issue, and as international analysts say, it has felt
disappointed and betrayed - or at least this provides a handy excuse.
For its part, the U.S. has ordered
its embassy in Damascus closed, and President Obama insists on boosting
international pressure and sanctions on Syria. Will Washington, its European allies
or even the Arab League offer indirect support to the rebels? There is no need
to tear one's hair out over this, when everyone believes that their vital
interests are playing out in the country. Doing so will only lend more to the drama.
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