Here we go again. Syria is being bombarded already. After the tragic events which occurred in Paris on Friday, where over 100 civilians were killed in cold blood by extremists, who are claimed to be linked to the Islamic State, France has instantaneously mobilized its air forces in retaliation.
Being dubbed ‘France’s 9/11’, it does indeed echo the aftermath of the collapse of the Twin Towers, when it suddenly became urgent to clamp down on the “War on Terror”: a crusade designed to root out an entity which posed a grave threat to Western society. Al Qaeda was the target of this campaign. This eventually led to the blitzing of Iraq by the US and Great Britain.
Now, ISIS has been hurriedly linked with the attacks. In the aftermath of this heinous incident, France, on the same night, demanded that strikes be carried out in Syria; against the alleged perpetrators of the events. The world is no longer safe – we must act to prevent this happening again! Well, so the Western narrative would suggest.
World leaders described this attack as “an act of war”. NATO, as a result, has mobilized and become alert. This was made clear on Saturday, the day after the shootings occurred. It was bound to happen eventually; NATO’s ‘Article 5′ states that, an attack on one NATO ally is an attack against all. This could pull together many members of the 28-state alliance that composes NATO, and drive them into the onslaught too.
After French President Francois Hollande’s call to “mercilessly” obliterate ISIS, Raqqa became the designated target, and has been bombed remorselessly since, in coordination with US forces. It has been broadcast over the mass media as a necessary action, to obliterate any further threat to the West. This is France’s solution to prevent more war occurring: make war to stop further war. The Orwellian doublethink phrase: “War is Peace” springs to mind.
France therefore claim this blitzing of Raqqa is a campaign to bring about peace in the region, and stop civilians being harmed.
Yet it will not bring peace. Syria is becoming increasingly destabilized from its ongoing Civil War, which has been ravaging the land since 2011. It was initially a divided country anyway; an after-product of French colonization in the early 20th century. And the proxy wars against the Assad regime and ISIS, instigated by the great powers backing rebel groups, who all have different agendas, has sparked complete and utter turmoil in the land from this.
In all practicality, this campaign for “peace” will only add to the current chaos. The more you ponder it, the more the strategy itself sounds nonsensical.
Increasingly, harm and unrest will further develop in the region as a whole. ISIS, the alleged attackers, claimed they are carrying out an offensive against the “crusading nation of France”. It’s seemingly evident, from ISIS’ own comments, that the attacks were fueled by opposition to the West anyway. While perverted and twisted in its ideology, ISIS had evidently set France as a target. Not only that, ISIS was actually able to gain prominence in Iraq, due to the West’s bombardment which formed a power vacuum in the land.
So as a result, extremism has gained a platform because of this conflict. It has helped create further division in the country, and has made life harder for the people living there. The West should learn from the past. After 9/11, and Iraq was invaded, this lead to more widespread chaos being caused. Syria has been drifting in the same direction as Iraq for some time now, and it is obvious that blitzing it further will only cause more chaos. People are worried that the refugee crisis will have a knock-on effect; enabling extremists a free pass into Europe. ISIS did warn that refugees would sneak into Europe to destabilize the continent. Yet, the exodus of refugees was sparked because Syrians were vying to escape their war-torn homeland in the first place.
With Russia entering the fray in recent months, instability will rise even more. Russian President Vladimir Putin will no doubt want to protect the Assad regime, as Basher Al-Assad has proven to be a significant ally for Russia in the Middle East. As Russia holds an agenda that conflicts with the West, Syria, serving as a battleground for their proxy wars, will become more devastated. More refugees will try to gain a pass into Europe. More lives will be torn apart. More extremist groups will rise up, and pose a greater threat to not only the West, but to the Middle East too.
Clearly the West hasn’t learnt from Iraq. This conflict should be left in the hands of diplomacy, and in the hands of those who will be first and foremost affected i.e. the Middle East nations themselves. Further external aggression will only add more fuel to the fire.