The UN-Arab League’s new peace envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, says he is not confident about the prospect of restoring peace in Syria. After giving his first major public comment on the conflict, it is not surprising to hear the veteran Algerian diplomat voicing his lack of confidence.
This is because he is either completely misinformed on the violence in Syria; or, more likely, because Brahimi is deliberately misinforming the rest of the world about the problem at hand.
It should be a matter of deep misgiving that, only days after the former Algerian foreign minister took up the post, his first port of call was to have a private meeting with French President Francois Hollande in the Elysee Palace, Paris. The former colonial power is hardly a neutral party to the raging conflict in Syria. France, and the other Western powers, are up to their neck in the bloodshed that is spilling across the Levant.
For months now, it has been reported that France, along with that other colonial has-been Britain, dispatched Special Forces to operate covertly in Syria, helping the insurgency wage a campaign of sabotage to bring down the government of President Bashar al-Assad. Only last weekend, the French government made its policy towards Syria abundantly clear when Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, visiting refugee camps in Turkey, announced that the Syrian authorities should be “smashed”.
Fabius even went as far as calling for Assad’s personal liquidation by adding that “he should not be allowed on this earth”. Let’s just dwell on that for a minute. The French government is in effect calling for the overthrow of a sovereign government and the assassination of a head of state. Such language is the policy of a lawless rogue power that has abdicated any pretence of abiding by the charter of the UN.
How can Brahimi expect to be taken seriously as an honest broker when he openly defers to a criminal party in the conflict – a party that is acting wholly illegally in its interference in the affairs of a sovereign state?
Brahimi, who previously served as the UN representative to Iraq and Afghanistan, is replacing Kofi Annan as the so-called United Nations-Arab League “point man” in Syria. Annan quit the task earlier this month after his six-point peace plan initiated in April was systematically scuppered by Western, Arab and Turk-backed foreign militants trying to overthrow Assad over the past 17 months.
At the time of his resignation, Annan told the Financial Times on 2 August that his proposed ceasefire was doomed because “sustained international support did not follow… The ceasefire quickly unraveled.” This startling admission – albeit couched in typically vague diplomatic language – should have made front-page news. What Annan was saying then was that the international backers of the Syrian insurgents – that is the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Turkey, Israel and the Persian Gulf Arab monarchies – did not support the initiative. In plain language, these powers killed the UN-brokered ceasefire. That Annan did not explicitly lay the blame is to his discredit.
This crucial factor reveals the real nature of the conflict in Syria. It is not, as the Western governments and their media have been asserting, a popular uprising from within the country that has led to a battle between state forces and rebels. This scenario suggests that Syria is wracked in a civil war between national factions. But this assessment of the situation is a travesty of the truth. It so happens that Syrian government’s claims are closer to the truth. That is, that the country is being assailed and destabilized by a foreign-backed insurgency.
Russia and China are in agreement with the official position in Damascus, and that is why these powers have rejected Western attempts through the UN Security Council to oust the Assad government. Both Moscow and Beijing correctly view the Western agenda towards Syria as a politically driven plan for regime change. The Western narrative of painting the Assad government as “a brutal oppressor” plays to a moral pseudo-concern for the protection of human rights and thereby gives the Western powers cover for illegal intervention – in the same way that they did in Libya last year, using a fake “responsibility to protect” pretext to unleash a seven-month bombing campaign to overthrow the government in Tripoli that led to the murder of the country’s leader Muammar Gaddafi.
Since the covert intervention by Western powers in Syria, along with their regional allies, has greatly escalated the violence in that country in recent months, the above narrative of “brutal oppressor” is no longer plausible. That is why Western governments and media are now talking in terms of “civil war” and portraying the conflict as one between a reprehensible regime and freedom-loving rebels.
But the Western narrative of “civil war” in Syria is also beneath contempt. Just in the past week, it has been revealed that British and German military intelligence are acting as the eyes and ears of the armed militia in Syria, directing them to sharpen assaults against the Syrian state forces in the commercial capital of Aleppo.
Most of these armed groups have infiltrated Syria from foreign countries such as Libya, Iraq, Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon, Yemen and even as far away as Pakistan and Chechnya. It is now widely reported that these mercenaries are affiliated to al-Qaeda and other extremist Salafist groups that have a long history of collaboration with the US, Britain and Saudi Arabia going back to the guerrilla war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan.
This global proxy mercenary army – that was previously the West’s supposed enemy in the “war on terror” – is now doing the bidding in Syria of the US, Britain, France, Germany, as well as Turkey, Israel and the Persian Gulf monarchies. This US-led axis wants to overthrow the Syrian government, which it views as being resistant to Western hegemonic objectives in the Middle East. These objectives include thwarting the pro-democracy movement of the Arab Spring and undermining Syria’s ally, Hezbollah, in Lebanon, with a view to shoring up the unsustainable pro-Western Zionist regime. The Western objectives also include undercutting and eventually overthrowing the Islamic Republic of Iran, and thereby circumscribing the influence of Russia and China in the vital energy-rich Middle East and Central Asian regions.
What is happening in Syria is an imperialist proxy war. The people of that country are being subjected to an all-out campaign of terrorism and sabotage to bring down the West’s perceived enemy in Damascus, to replace it with a regime that is pliable to Western geopolitical objectives.
Reliable sources in Syria report that there is negligible popular support for the Western-backed mercenaries running amok in that country. Indeed, the general populace seems to be living under a foreign-backed reign of terror, with no-warning car bombs in the capital, Damascus, and the second, northern city of Aleppo, and whole villages being massacred by Salafist gangs trying to fuel a sectarian bloodbath. Families tell of being turned out of their homes under pain of death, to make way for sniper posts and bomb factories, their loved ones being kidnapped and held to ransom.
The heinous game plan is to turn a once pluralist society of Shia, Sunni, Christian, Druze, Jew and non-believer into a charnel house of sectarian bloodletting in much the same way as Libya and other countries that have succumbed to Western “protection”.
Given the appalling reality of violence in Syria, and in particular the criminal Western involvement in fomenting, fuelling and directing foreign-backed subversion, it is surely a sickening farce to portray the situation as a “civil war”.
Yet this is what the new UN envoy, Lakhdar Brahimi, is seeking to do. After his private audience with Francois Hollande at weekend, Brahimi lamented the violence in Syria thus:
“A civil war, it is the cruelest kind of conflict, when a neighbour kills his neighbour and sometimes his brother, it is the worst of conflicts. There are a lot of people who say that we must avoid civil war in Syria. Me, I believe that we are already there for some time now. What’s necessary is to stop the civil war and that is not going to be easy.”
Brahimi is distorting the reality of Western mass murder and subversion in Syria. He is serving to lend contemptible cover to those external forces that are tearing Syria apart by giving the mayhem a veneer of “civil war”. In that way, he is following in the disgraceful footsteps of Kofi Annan and is proving to be less a point man for the UN and more a point man for the US.