The stage is finally set for an imperial military intervention in Syria. After last week’s attack near Damascus involving chemical weapons, Obama’s convenient red line, US naval forces have started closing in on the targeted country. If recent history is anything to go by, facts will not matter in the end; whether it was the Syrian government that used the chemical weapons or the sponsored rebel militants out to bring it down. We can safely trust the sophisticated propaganda machine of the empire to lay the crime comfortably at the door of the Assad regime. After all, the regime-change ending of the gory drama had been written much before any use of chemical weapons - even before Obama declared it the red line.
Why else would the US, along with its Nato allies and middle eastern proxies, prop up the militants and groom them, arm them and fund them, give them logistical support and legitimacy? Certainly not for the sake of democracy, as the militant extremists do not believe in the concept. In fact, by strengthening the militant factions of the Syrian opposition, the US and its partners in the unforgivable crime against Syrians have made it impossible for the Assad regime to come to some agreement with non-violent groups struggling for democratic reforms. Certainly not for any humanitarian reason, as the violence unleashed by these sponsored rebels has resulted in unprecedented human suffering for the Syrian society.
We have seen the US establishment go to any lengths to achieve its strategic objectives, which is essentially another name for forwarding the interests of imperial capitalism. Large-scale death of innocent civilians and widespread destruction in targeted countries caused by a direct military intervention has never deterred it from pursuing its greedy designs. As a routine, it overtly and covertly funds dissidents of every possible hue in places where it wants to sow chaos. It lies to the hard-working American citizens through its teeth to justify using their tax money on wars they do not need. Given its eagerness for direct military action in Syria, and the calls for foreign intervention by its pet-rebels, in all likelihood, it facilitated the use of chemical weapons by the rebels to provide it the excuse to do something that it has been itching to do for some time now.
While the hypocritical farce enacted by the “sole superpower” unfolds in the Middle East and around the world, complete with its grave ramifications for billions of people, the bulk of the international community has failed to comment on the shameful new clothes of the emperor, choosing instead to go along with its lies. Except for a handful of leaders, who do not mince their words while criticising the imperial ambitions behind the noble mask of US-led interventions, direct and covert, no real challenge to this murderous pursuit of global hegemony has been posed by governments in big and small countries. One could understand the silence of its Nato poodles, but even contenders for the leadership of a multi-polar world, like China and Russia, find it difficult to call a spade a spade.
The tamed mainstream Western media parrots what it is told, reinforcing the patently false narrative spun by the empire and its cash-driven think tanks. In fact, the same propensity to go around in circles within the framework prescribed by the empire is glaring even in the Pakistani media. Seems like the US efforts to cultivate the Pakistani media since it surfaced as a pro-people independent power centre during the rule-of-law movement has paid dividends. The result is that an impression has been created that the Syrian government is killing its citizens, and the rebels, when they are not being passed off as those resisting the tyrannical Assad dictatorship, are held equally responsible for the woes of the Syrian people; not less not more.
The garb of promoting democracy and human rights behind which the US and its partners regularly hide while fomenting militancy and engineering civil wars in targeted countries, a garb wearing thin and tattered by recent operations, is still treated with deference. The glaring contradictions are seldom questioned; the silence on part of the torchbearer of “civilised” values over assaults on democracy and human rights in Egypt, Israel and Middle Eastern kingdoms toeing the line. The aftermath of the empire’s most recent interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya is never considered a valid starting point to decipher its tall claims. The state of democracy and civil rights in the United States are not brought to the discussion table.
It seems we live in a world that’s been turned on its head. Obama who has presided over some of the worst war crimes, who approves illegal killings by drones every Tuesday, who is responsible for expanding the war in Afghanistan, starting one in Libya and bracing up to start another one in Syria, won the Nobel Peace Prize and has not been stripped of it despite his love for violence and bloodshed. The standard global prescription for raising taxes entails taxing the poor and easing the burden on the rich. The US and its partners, who have unleashed a “war on terror” on the world, are seen blatantly supporting and sponsoring terrorists in the Middle East and elsewhere. Western governments that espouse freedom of expression and transparency are ruthless in their war against whistle-blowers, who have uncovered gory details about their unconstitutional and criminal conduct.
How long will the reign of falsehood continue? How many innocent lives must be snuffed out and how many peaceful cities must be destroyed in the name of humanity, peace and democracy, before this madness comes to an end? How many regimes must change before the leaders of our world wake up to the evil of imperialism and the human suffering it causes? It is late already and too many people have unnecessarily suffered at its hand. But without a challenge, the naked emperor struts around killing more and more people, turning more cities to ruin, empowering and arming barbarians. The least we can do to turn the tide is to declare that he is naked.
The writer is a freelance columnist.