How we all won the Syrian War

  • Did you know the civil war in Syria is actually still going on?
  • Did you know people are still dying in their hundreds due to artillery fire, plane bombs, machine guns?
  • Did you know the chance for a peaceful solution to the war is now actually further than ever?

Because you might be excused for thinking that between Putin, Obama and the UN all high-fiving each other joyously, some major development in the civil war had happened; that Assad was punished for his atrocities; that maybe even an end to this horrible debacle is in sight. As a matter of fact, no such thing occurred.

Let’s look at the situation a bit closer. Before: an estimated 100,000 killed in the war, some 99% of them due to “conventional” weapons. A minor opprobrium on part of the Western world, some angry journalists, a vast majority of global population largely indifferent to the conflict; however, as the news begin to seep to the media consciousness, the pressure slowly grows on the Western powers to “do something about it” – more importantly, the French, British and American leaders are itching to prove their moral fibre, hopefully without actually having to do anything.

The gas attack happens, and the shit seems to kick the fan; a few weeks later, however, it’s all over. The situation after: people keep dying; Assad doesn’t need to change anything for at least half a year, possibly more. Now, even if there is another chemical attack, he can clearly point the blame at the rebels: “of course it wasn’t me. I promised not to do it, see?”

The Western leaders can breathe a collective sigh of relief: they did something; they threatened to use power, and Assad refrained from doing… what exactly? Using the weapons he couldn’t control anyway, which are highly ineffective in an actual war, and which killed less than 1% of his opponents? And not even immediately – he still has months to comply with a resolution which is not even there yet.

The public is distracted, as always; the pacifists are satisfied, because there’s no war. The hawks are happy that Assad had, seemingly, his nose bruised. The on-the-fencers who don’t pay much attention to the news can also be glad – after all, everything turned out fine, right? Otherwise why all the celebration?

Putin and the Chinese can congratulate themselves on proving tough and unyielding to the West. And Assad, the main culprit of it all, can continue doing whatever it was he was doing with only the slightest of inconveniences. It’s a win-win-win situation all around.

Except of course for the Syrian civilians smashed to bits by cluster bombs, burned to death by napalm, and torn apart by scud missiles* for months to come. But then, nobody cared about these guys in the first place.

*) all confirmed by independent sources

4 thoughts on “How we all won the Syrian War

  1. And then there is the actual violence on ground level, and as always, women and children are getting the brunt of it. I’ve been following the conflict in Syria and I don’t think there are any good guys left, not with all the atrocities that have been taking place there. Not the different factions making up the rebel resistance, and definitely not the Assad regime. I don’t have a solution. I don’t know how to resolve this mess without there being more casualties.

    Here is a detailed piece I found on Reddit concerning US interest in Syria:

    1. The “no more casualties” is a paralyzing fallacy. There will be casualties whether something is done or not – there still are, even as we speak. The worst possible scenario I can imagine is an ongoing civil war that goes on for years, and that’s the scenario that’s sadly the most likely one.

      Ideally, the UN should be sending the Blue Helmets into Syria, to secure the peace process; that’s what used to happen in the old days. But to do that, it would need to have some actual power and funding, and not be dependent on decisions of political leaders who identify themselves rather with the position of Assad than any of his subjects.

      1. I agree. It’s disgusting really. The UNSC has no teeth. It never had any to begin with, even from its inception. Political interests need to align first before it can be of any use, but even that is dependent on the cooperation of Assad and the rebel groups, which I don’t see happening anytime soon. I hope I’m wrong.

  2. Of course, not. The media isn’t covering it anymore because it is not politically advantageous to continue covering it. Easier to just say “We won” and not worry ourselves anymore about the people dying because they are dying from normal weapons. The whole thing was a political talking point for the American government.

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