Tuesday, 23 February 2016

The international betrayal of Aleppo has global implications

The international betrayal of Aleppo has global implications

 Sam Hamad:

 'As I write this, the apocalypse, namely an Iranian-led pro-Assad ground force, encircles Aleppo - the largest and most strategic rebel stronghold, while Russia rains death upon it from above. There is nothing "post" about this "apocalypse".

 Last week in Munich, the great powers sat down in a Syrian-free environment and agreed not to a ceasefire as was first announced, but rather a "cessation in hostilities", as John Kerry was quick to correct. The agreement allows Russia to continue its attacks on what it determines to be IS and the Nusra Front, al-Qaeda's Syrian franchise, which, as everybody knows, means continuing its attacks on the rebel-held areas on behalf of Assad.

 The US, of course, knows that Russia has overwhelmingly not attacked IS or Nusra, but has rather targeted any armed Syrian opposition to Assad.

 What this agreement means is the possibility of some aid reaching starving Syrians - something again that will be in the hands of the regime - while Russia continues its bombardment of Aleppo with the "official" acquiescence of the US and the rest of the "International Syria Support Group".

IS, whose entire raison d'etre is based on capitalising on sectarian slaughter and the notion of a war against Islam, can only be empowered, as it has been at every stage of this war, by the destruction of free Syria and millions more lives cast into precariousness and touched by brutality.

 It's a recruitment dream for IS.

Europe, in all its grubby privilege, will continue to cry about a "refugee crisis", often allowing far-right forces to determine the narrative, while supporting a policy of pure appeasement that allows refugees to be made on a titanic scale. Apologists for Putin, Iran and Assad will no doubt accuse those of us who call for aid to the rebels in Aleppo of "warmongering", but the war is already here and has been for five years.

 Those who wonder precisely what we mean by aid to the rebels, might consider the fact that so far, according to the US, 250,000 Syrian lives aren't worth a single anti-aircraft weapon - weaponry which would allow Syrians to defend themselves from aerial assaults.

 In the 1930s, those who claimed the mantle of democracy and liberty, undertook a policy of appeasing forces of fascism in Spain, Italy and Germany - it was this passive policy, far from warmongering, that led to one of the darkest periods in history. It's the same darkness that now threatens to further engulf Syria. Those who think that it will be confined there are living in a fantasy world.'

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