THE WEST is already intervening in Syria and any escalation can only make matters worse. Early this year President Obama authorised the CIA to support the opposition in trying to topple the Assad regime.
Arms are being channelled mainly via western allies Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey. But fighters and weapons are also entering the country from western Iraq, via US-trained militias, and from Lebanon, via the Phalange, the extreme right wing group. The CIA is vetting which Syrian groups receive arms.
Outside intervention is helping to divide the conflict along sectarian lines. Syria risks becoming the centre of a regional war pitting Sunni regimes in Saudi Arabia and Qatar against Shi’a dominated governments in Iran and Iraq.
To try and shape a post-Assad Syria the US has authorized the Washington based Syrian Support Group to make purchases for the Free Syrian Army (FSA). Syrian opposition groups have been meeting in Germany with US officials for months to plan for a post-Assad government. The Turkish-based Syrian National Council (SNC), has close links with US policy makers; its leadership has been calling for foreign intervention from the early stages.
Assad’s appalling record on human rights has not worried the western powers in the past. The US sent detainees for interrogation and torture to Syria as part of the “global war on terror.” Syrian warplanes also joined the US in attacking Iraq in 1991.
If the US and UK were really concerned about promoting democracy in the region, they would not be supporting the tyrannies in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. The intervention of the United States and its allies brought nothing but blood and destruction to Iraq and Afghanistan. There is no reason to think it will be any different in Syria.
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