During the week Senator Richard Di Natale on behalf of the Greens made a statement on TV news where he directly blamed the troubles in Syria and 600,000 deaths on President Assad. This is my response.
Richard, you need to shut down your very direct blaming of Assad for the issues in Syria and focus your effort on a far broader understanding of the issues in the Middle East. There is plenty of blame to be handed out and Assad is a single individual in a complex ecosystem. As I watched you comment on TV this week I buried my head in shame at your willingness to chant a mantra that is at best ignorant and at worst Zionist! And I’m not the only person who felt contempt for your position.
Syria is a SECULAR country. Freedom of religion was respected, including freedom to be without religion.
Syria under Assad, accepted an initial influx of Palestinians which was substantial (90,000-100,000) and the government through a series of laws, gradually paved the way for their integration into the Syrian socioeconomic structure while preserving their separate Palestinian identity (Wikipedia). Indeed Syria was one of the only countries in the Middle East to give Palestinian refugees created by the fascist Jewish state full rights.
In 2010 Syria was in the depth of a drought and roughly 1,500,000+ people were starving (“Syria: Drought,” 2010). That was the opportunity when the West should have rushed in with aid, what limited aid that was sent was delayed. Australia should have been highly active during this period. There is no shortage of knowledge in the Australian diplomatic service of what is going wrong around the world. And if there is then heads should have long ago been severed. Ignorance of the plight of 1.5+ million people in starvation conditions in Syria by the Australian government is simply impossible.
It was starvation that drove ~1,500,000 of people off farm lands and into cities. This is what they protests were about. The situation was made worse by implementation of concepts of ‘free markets’ and the promotion of large scale water hungry cotton farming. The IMF, as usual, were in there focusing on ‘economic growth’ at the expense of peasant farmers.
The rest of the MENA region has seen growing share of cultivation of fruits and vegetables, often after the urging of international financial organizations like the IMF and World Bank, who argue that these “cash crops” are better suited to the climate, but Syria’s movements towards the this production have been more reluctant. (Wind & Dahi, 2011)
Agriculture accounts for almost 90 percent of the country’s water consumption, according to government and private sector. Agricultural policies encourage water-hungry wheat and cotton cultivation, and inefficient irrigation methods mean much water is wasted. “Irrigation by flooding uses 30-40 percent more water than modern drip irrigation,” said de Châtel. (“SYRIA: Why the water shortages?,” 2010)
They cited studies that showed that the extreme dryness, combined with other factors, including misguided agricultural and water-use policies of the Syrian government, caused crop failures that led to the migration of as many as 1.5 million people from rural to urban areas. This in turn added to social stresses that eventually resulted in the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad in March 2011. (Fountain, 2015)
What happened next was opportunism. Radical Islamists used this suffering to escalate the conflict. Syria is a secular country in an increasingly politically Islamic dominated region. It is aligned with Iran and Russia. It accepts Palestinians as equals. It is in conflict with Israel over the Golan Heights. And Syria has been a buffer to Jordan from the troubles in Iraq. Look at who the players are here.
The UK and US feed arms to the Syria rebels. That has been absolutely confirmed and is without equivocality.
Reports were cited that MI6 had cooperated with the CIA on a “rat line” of arms transfers from Libyan stockpiles to the Syrian rebels in 2012 after the fall of the Gaddafi regime. (Milne, 2015)
Absolutely nothing happens in the Middle East by way of Western meddling without the direct approval of ‘Jerusalem’. These transfers were at the behest of Israel.
Sorry, Roops , old sport? What about your interests in Genie Oil and Gas, Inc., which consists of American Shale Oil Corporation and an 89% interest in Israel Energy Initiatives, Ltd. in Israel?
Don’t you want people to learn that you are part-owner of an Israeli-American company which has landed a shale oil exploration and production license covering 238 square miles in the Judean Hills and on occupied Syrian land, even though this is plainly illegal under international law? (Dickinson, 2015)
Israel doesn’t need the Golan Heights for ‘security’. That a bogus claim based on a style of warfare that is obsolete and in a political environment where Syria has no interest in going to war against Israel. ‘Jerusalem’ covets the mineral wealth of Syria and indeed the gas wealth off the coast of Gaza. Both the conflict in Syria and Gaza are part of a strategy to steal, yes STEAL, Arab property.
So if you want to claim Assad is a ‘dick’ few people are going to disagree with you. But if you intend to claim he is a demon responsible for all the trouble in Syria don’t do it in public on news media! Syria is yet another example of Israel being a rogue state and troublemaker using its western influence to gain what it covets of Arab property. In the case of Syria it is the shale oil reserves in the Golan Heights and Palestinian West Bank. In Gaza it is the billions in gas reserves off the coast.
The suffering in Syria can rightly be attributed to drought; an impact of climate change, the Syrian governments failure to act, the IMF’s distain for the poor, Jerusalem and its covetous nature which is seemingly boundless in the suffering it is willing to inflict, a failure in aid delivery, the West’s war in Iraq also at the behest of Israel... and if you wish—God himself or at least his various henchmen!
The facts are that the West is the holder of greater than 50% of the responsibility for the deterioration of the Syria into an absolute basket case. We failed to respond with aid when people were starving, we provide arms for terrorists and for 66+ years we have done nothing about the brutality of Israel, its war crimes and abuse of UN and IAEA resolutions and signatory requirements or theft of the Golan Heights. Australia failed the people of Syria every bit as much as Assad!
Dickinson, M. (2015, March 27). Rupert Murdoch and the Israeli Genie. Retrieved September 8, 2015, from http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/03/27/rupert-murdoch-and-the-israeli-ge...
Fountain, H. (2015, March 2). Researchers Link Syrian Conflict to a Drought Made Worse by Climate Change - The New York Times. Retrieved September 8, 2015, from http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/03/science/earth/study-links-syria-confli...
Milne, S. (2015, June 4). Now the truth emerges: how the US fuelled the rise of Isis in Syria and Iraq | Seumas Milne | Comment is free | The Guardian. Retrieved September 8, 2015, from http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jun/03/us-isis-syria-iraq
Syria: Drought. (2010, March 28). International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. Retrieved from http://www.ifrc.org/docs/appeals/09/MDRSY001eu2.pdf
SYRIA: Why the water shortages? (2010, March 25). Retrieved September 8, 2015, from http://www.irinnews.org/report/88554/syria-why-the-water-shortages
Wind, E., & Dahi, O. (2011). Syria’s Agricultural Development. Current realities and historical roots. UNIFR. Retrieved from https://lettres.unifr.ch/fileadmin/Documentation/Departements/Sciences_h...