Saturday, April 14, 2018

Quote of the Day

Today, the discourse of fascists and ‘anti-imperialist leftists’ is virtually indistinguishable. . . . This ‘anti-imperialism’ is one which equates imperialism with the actions of the US alone. . . . This pro-fascist left seems blind to any form of imperialism that is non-western in origin.

. . . There are many valid reasons for opposing external military intervention in Syria, whether it be by the US, Russia, Iran or Turkey. None of these states are acting in the interests of the Syrian people, democracy or human rights. They act solely in their own interests. The US, UK and French intervention today is less about protecting Syrians from mass-atrocity and more about enforcing an international norm that chemical weapons use is unacceptable, lest one day they be used on westerners themselves. More foreign bombs will not bring about peace and stability. There’s little appetite to force Assad from power which would contribute to ending the worst of the atrocities. Yet in opposing foreign intervention, one needs to come up with an alternative to protect Syrians from slaughter. It’s morally objectionable, to say the least, to expect Syrians to just shut up and die to protect the higher principle of ‘anti-imperialism’. Many alternatives to foreign military intervention have been proposed by Syrians time and again and have been ignored. And so the question remains, when diplomatic options have failed, when a genocidal regime is protected from censure by powerful international backers, when no progress is made in stopping daily bombing, ending starvation sieges or releasing prisoners who are being tortured on an industrial scale, what can be done?

I no longer have an answer. I’ve consistently opposed all foreign military intervention in Syria, supported Syrian-led processes to rid their country of a tyrant and international processes grounded in efforts to protect civilians and human rights and ensure accountability for all actors responsible for war-crimes. A negotiated settlement is the only way to end this war – and still seems as distant as ever.

– Leila al-Shami
Excerpted from "The ‘Anti-Imperialism’ of Idiots"
Leila's Blog
April 14, 2018

Related Off-site Links:
U.S. Launches Attacks on Syria – Mark Katov and Greg Myre (NPR News, April 13).
In "Clear Violation of Domestic and International Law," Trump Bombs Syria – Jon Queally (Common Dreams, April 13, 2018).
American Air Strikes in Syria Do Nothing to Further Justice for the Victims of the Attack on Douma – Phyllis Bennis (The Nation, April 13, 2018).
Pro-Assad Official Says Targeted Bases Were Evacuated on Russian Warning – Reuters (April 13, 2018).
We Are a War-Making People – Charles P. Pierce (Esquire, April 13, 2018).

UPDATES: Despite Trump's Bluster, It's Unclear What Syria Strikes Accomplished – Peter Beaumont and Andrew Roth (The Guardian, April 15, 2018).
The Search for Truth in the Rubble of Douma – and One Doctor’s Doubts Over the Chemical Attack – Robert Fisk (The Independent, April 17, 2018).
Syria Controversy: Don't Believe the Official Narrative – Max Blumenthal (Truthdig, April 23, 2018).

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
The War Racket
Saying "No" to Endless U.S. Wars
Rallying in Solidarity with the Refugees of Syria and the World
Making the Connections
Quote of the Day – May 28, 2017
Quote of the Day – September 7, 2015

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