For over two years Syria has been in a state of civil war. This conflict grimly blossomed from the hope sprung from the Arab Spring, from people’s desire for secular, democratic change in government – that’s how I see it at least. I’m not a news journalist, but I have a greater than passing interest in the troubles of my neighbouring countries, and there’s always some shit going on on the national or regional boundaries around me. I don’t pretend to understand the religious and political tensions, decades old, that have somehow flared into this tragedy. For all the talk of Alawites, Shia, Sunni, Salafist, for every mention of Al Qaeda’s Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and the Free Syrian Army (FSA), I get lost in acronyms, and confused by divisions.
Why are the US and the ever-willing coalition about to rain targeted missiles on Assad’s forces with such little, unpublished evidence? Assad’s enemies include ISIS. As far as my troubled mind can see, that means tacit support for Al Qaeda. Obama is going to take the region to the brink, because of a ‘red-line’ he drew after chemical weapons were used in June (most likely by ‘rebels’ for want of a better fucking word). In whose interests, which side in this depressing, senseless, ugly conflict, in whose interests are the use of chemical weapons? Remember, the good guys in the FSA, the faction that is most stable, include that dude filmed eating a ‘regime’ (urgh, the language of propaganda) soldier’s heart. Is it such a leap that the less savoury elements of the guerilla army may see fit to gas a few hundred in order to get the western pricks to bomb and at the same time fill the order books at Lockheed Martin?
The fissures in the US Russian back down of the last 25 years are threatened by this conflict, jawed apart by direct involvement. If you can’t see Israel and Iran and their crackpot cockwand heads of state eyeing up the mother of all battles at the slightest provocation, you’re blind. Iraq will dissolve like cheap sugar in strong tea. The bleed across borders into Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt. It’s grim in my view, but then I’m disposed to think the worst.
I know one thing. If I was in England, I’d be marching. I don’t know if there is anything planned, there hasn’t been the foreplay that Bush & Blair engaged in, there isn’t time to convene a million souls with banners. I hope some of you try – they can’t possibly ignore the will of the people a second time in just over a decade, can they? And if they do, perhaps it’s time for a Western Spring.