As war continues to rage over Syria and thousands are killed, injured, left homeless or forced to flee for their lives, western foreign policy continues to repeat the mistakes of history.
During World War One Britain promised the King of Syria, Emir Faisal that if he assisted in the defeat of the Turks, he could have his own kingdom with its natural boundaries from the Taurus Mountains in Turkey to the Sinai desert in Egypt. Britain and France soon revealed their treachery and at the San Remo conference in1920 Faisal’s newly-created Arab kingdom was split, placing Syria-Lebanon under a French mandate and Palestine under British control.
It is evident that today’s western policy is as flawed as that as back in 1920. The Tory government together with the support of up to 50 Labour MPs will back military intervention in Syria, a move that could bring British forces into direct confrontation with those of Russia.
Cameron will soon ask Parliament for permission to authorise air strikes on Syria, despite no tangible benefit. The rhetoric of “safe havens” is once more being peddled around the bazaars. Cameron insists we would be attacking the Isis, while in fact it is still the policy of the west to remove President Assad and this would remain the underlying strategy.
Western powers have learnt nothing from the past whether it be the duplicity of the 1920s or more recent military interventions. The bombing campaign by western air forces of Libya simply brought misery and chaos, allowing Jihadists to come to the fore and taking the once stable country into anarchy and the dark ages.
Western policy is a shambles and ill thought out. Military action is ineffective and there have been no coherent attempts at diplomacy. The west prefers to support a motley range of Islamic militants in Syria and regal despotic regimes across the wider region, turning a blind eye to human rights. As long as they can sell their arms and have access to oil then nothing else matters.
The only answer to the crisis in the middle-east is a diplomatic one. Negotiations need to take place, beginning with a ceasefire. It has to be recognised by the western powers that however unpalatable, Assad is and has to be part of the solution. The answer has to come from within and the Arab League needs to be at the forefront of any initiative as any solution imposed by the west will simply fail.