[FB Paste – comment on intervention]

‘We shouldn’t rely on the West to overthrow Bashar, mainly because it was a waste of time and effort (was not going to happen), people should’ve gotten the hint a while ago, and anyone who still doesn’t see that at this point is frankly delusional, this is where I disagree strongly with the SNC.

On the principle of intervention, although I fluctuate (but tbh only due to potential religious prohibitions of taking something like the West as an ally – and interchangeably the question of whether it is ethical to accept the lesser evil (as it is stlll an evil) – but nothing else) overall I’m not against intervention in principle as it is the clear lesser evil in certain situations where short-term Western benefit is a necessary cost – there’s a reason that Muslims in Bosnia called their kids ‘Tony’ (regardless if that happened to be ‘cool’ for the anti-establishment in the West or not) and there’s a reason Yazidis on Mount Sinjar hold placards saying ‘thank you USA’. The reality is that the USA had other interests in those cases that *coincided* with a humanitarian action, this isn’t to say that the USA was ‘good’ because it saved Bosnians as it was killing half a million Iraqi children by sanctions at the same time, but it is to say that in such situations activists should seek to take advantage of that coincidence simply because of the reality of cost.

Every state/civilisation has a legitimising narrative and every legitimising narrative inevitably has two edges to it, a sharp one and a blunt one – no narrative of no state (no matter how powerful) can have no downsides. The West legitimises its abuses in the name of democracy, human rights etc., and so when an uprising for that sort of thing takes place the ‘anti-establishment’ instead of calling their bluffs actually went and said ‘fuck human rights, its a conspiracy’. And it also happens to be highly hypocritical because this policy of pushing for ‘Western state boycott’ in other parts of the world (encompassing a blank refusal to ‘deal with the system’ irrespective of the costs) is completely at odds with the reality of ‘dealing with the system’ domestically in the West – in other words those anti-establishment parties that push this policy abroad don’t ‘boycott’ the state at home, they engage with it (happily or otherwise) as a necessary means for survival and to accomplish social goals. *Domestic* anti-establishment politics in the West doesn’t consist of a 24/7 refusal to deal with the state since that’s unrealistic, unpractical and incurs high social costs. Those who push for the government to increase benefits lets say are still *dealing with the state* and its criminal bagage. Not doing so will leave people have their benefits sanctioned (which is bemoaned as a crime, yet alone something like thousands of people getting killed). It is priviliged politics, in other words.

Only those who have no idea whatsoever of how it is to live in a post-colonial military state, or attempt to garner radical ‘activist rep’ career will try and make those people out to be traitors (and them thousands of miles away presumably ‘patriots’). Indeed the assumption that those who have suffered at the hands of imperialism the most ‘not knowing what they are talking about’ when they’re asking for intervention now is orientalist and pathetic.

More crucially the two other assumptions underlying the position of the ‘automatically-anti-interventionist’ brigade is that a) the people in the region asking for intervention now would be unable to control their destinies against inevitable attempted Western manipulation in the future and b) that the ‘anti-establishment’ opposing intervention now can guarantee them a long and prosperous future of non-interventionism in exchange of ‘none this time’ – this is idiotic to the extreme since they are in absolutely no position (of power etc.) to make such a ‘pledge’ (couldn’t stop anti-ISIS intervention a year after Bashar saved his skin in 2013 by safeguarding CWs). Furthermore it ignores the fact that intervention is happening now whether they pretend to or not (and regardless of whether they are in their states of hibernation when there is no threat of attacking the regime and stop following the conflict), its not as if these countries have retreated from the arena and the massive death toll of not hitting the regime is a (hypothetically) worth-it cost.

The fact is if you leave post-colonial situations fester to their fullest extent you’re not ‘fighting’ colonialism, you’re allowing the manifestation of its evils to burst to the fullest effect. (the reality is that today’s left would have been undoubtedly saying ‘Hands off Rwanda’ 20 years ago, and probably did)

But yeah, ultimately I am against spending more time and effort at this point trying to get the West to intervene, one cannot continue to be deaf, we should be trying to get them to stop harming the rebellion by seeking to blockade it which has been their policy since 2012. The guys at أمريكا تدعم الأسد(America is supporting Assad) have finally got it. We won’t have much help mind you from those ‘activists’ trying to get the West to actively block Arab arms to the rebels, but that’s what we should do.

The human cost has been tremendous, but, and I don’t know if this is appropriate to say, there there might be some sort of conciliatiatory point if Bashar can be taken out without having NATO intervened, as there is value (if massive cost) of ‘doing it alone’. If anyone were to hypothetically intervene *now* against Assad I would probably personally be against it (although its not my prerogative) as the rebels have finally got support from the new Saudi King (who at the rate he’s going I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets assassinated a la King Faisal), after replacing the puppet that was Abdullah (not placing a value judgement on Salman being ‘good’ or not, just saying that he’s clearly different from his predecessor – rebel advances of recent months are directly related to him coming to power, as are reports of schisms with Sisi, rapproachment with Qatar and Turkey etc.) – again though, not my decision.’

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