I’ve found the recent Russian intervention in Syria so depressing, I’ve had to stop reading about further developments on it. I just think about the death toll; all those people in Syria who have fought against the Assad regime in the hopes of a democratic future for their country; those who thought the US would never just simply abandoned them; many of them now getting destroyed by Russian bombs. All because Putin’s regime will seemingly do anything to keep Assad in post, a position that can only continue so long as Syria is in a perpetual state of war – and the fact that Syria will continue to be in a perpetual state of war so long as Assad leads the regime making this whole thing a sickening, gory Mobius Strip in real life.
Putin has always collaborated with the Assad line that anyone who does not agree 100% with the Syrian regime is a terrorist. He might have even thought of it himself. It is a stroke of evil genius. The whole idea behind Assad taking this line was to use the West’s idiotic Bush era “if you’re not with me, you’re against me” line directly against it, and by doing so to preserve his regime regardless of what said regime chose to do its own people. After all, if it’s Assad v the terrorists, who would be able to take the terrorists side? The rise of Daesh is the greatest gift imaginable to Assad, and he has played push and pull with them since they first appeared, hardly being able to believe his luck. They are like something that emerged fully formed from his subconscious.
The Russians actively don’t want to destroy Daesh, at least not yet. For the purposes of propping up Assad it is vital that the Free Syrian Army is destroyed first as they are a far bigger threat to the regime. Also, most of the actual fighting currently is between the regime and the FSA anyway. Then, when the destruction of the FSA is achieved (which looks, tragically, increasingly likely after the Russians have stormed in), getting rid of Daesh should be relatively easy for the Russians. Or so they think anyhow.
The West, and by that I really mean the United States, had one chance to do something to decisively end the conflict in Syria in 2013. They had the chemical weapons as a clear cut reason to intervene – the Russians would have obviously tried to stand in the way of this, but ultimately wouldn’t have been able to at the time given what was at stake. Now, there’s no end to the war in sight. What the Russians either can’t understand or don’t care about is that Assad can never rule a becalmed Syria ever again. Unless he’s willing to enact genocide and kill millions on top of the hundreds of thousands he already has. Which, I suppose he may well be.
Even worse for the world at large (as if thousands of Syrians being killed or fleeing to Europe wasn’t horrific enough) is the looming spectre of a Sunni-Shia war, mostly fought with the Saudis and the Iranians as the backers of each respective side, becoming very much more likely as a result of this Russian intervention.
Most of this, reading it back, sounds rather fatalistic and/or melodramatic. But in actual fact, I think I may be playing the horror down a little. All I know is, you lot will have to go on reading about the war in Syria and particularly the Russians part in it all now – me, I can’t take it.