Un-Bombing Syria & Iraq

What “we” do to “them”

By summer 2015 the US, along with its Arab and European allies — including France — killed at least 459 Syrian civilians–men women and children–as part of their war against the so called Islamic State, ISIS or ISIL. The ISIS “stronghold” of al-Raqqa is actually a city of over 200,000 people. And “we” are killing civilians there all the time. This is to say nothing about the US coalition — including France — which utterly smashed the Iraq state in 2003-2013, resulting in 190,000 Iraqi lives lost (including 134,000 civilians) and $2.2 trillion in damage. In preparation for its illegal war in Iraq the US and Co. starved an estimated 500,000 Iraqi children to death during the 1990s alone.

US bombs hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan
US bombs hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan

On September 29, 2015 Saudi Arabia, along with its coalition –including the US — killed 131 Yemeni civilians attending a wedding party. They did it again on October 8, killing 15 more.

On October 21, 2015 the US killed 22 Afghani civilians and medical workers when it bombed a hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan. This was not the first time the US bombed a hospital…

This is merely a taste of “what we do to them”–how the “civilized world” systematically massacres civilian populations in the greater Middle East, for 25 years and on a nearly daily basis. And in each case there is little to no global outcry or calls for solidarity with “humanity.”

What “they” do to the world

At no point over the past 25 years did the governments of Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen or any of the several other countries bombed to into dust ever invade, sanction or attack the “civilized world.” However, the destabilization of the greater Middle East–including the killing of large numbers of civilians–gave rise to a popular form Islamist military opposition–Jihad–or “terrorism” as the “civilized world” has labelled it. Jihadists or terrorists in the form of Al-Qaeda, ISIS, the Taliban, Boko Haram and Al-Shabaab operate largely out of the power vacuum left by razing countries through bombs, and they overwhelmingly target Muslims. This month alone (November, 2015) ISIS killed 224 Russian civilians by downing a plane in Egypt, 43 Lebanese civilians in coordinated blasts in Beirut and 129 French civilians in Paris in coordinated attacks there. Following every single one of these attacks ISIS claimed to be acting in retaliation for airstrikes or ground warfare in Syria–namely by Russia, Hezbollah and France. ISIS claimed to be retaliating against US airstrikes in Iraq when it beheaded James Foley and a series of western journalists in 2014. All this is to say nothing about the ceaseless terrorism and civil war claiming the lives of hundreds of thousands of civilians in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan since 2011–the overwhelming majority of whom are Muslim.

Gunfight near Bataclan theatre, Paris
Gunfight near Bataclan theatre, Paris

– In sum the so called civilized world bombs the living daylights out of the Middle East; Jihadists retaliate by committing huge acts of terrorism around the world –

In War there is profit…lots of it

US defense contractors are making record profits by flooding the region with weapons and maintaining a “perpetual war” in the Middle East. Those who profit from killing civilians in large numbers are precisely the corporate interests (defense, aerospace, media..), right wing neo-conservatives and wealthy policy makers in Washington, fueling “terrorism,” and creating as well as selling an enemy to the public. The truth is that we, the “civilized world,” have been killing civilians, destroying countries and bringing long term ruin as a matter of policy in that part of the world since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1990. “We” are not the solution. We are one of the greatest reasons for the destruction of human life in the region. The proof is in the endless cycle of violence between western governments on one side and Jihadists on the other–tearing our world apart. “We” created an enemy in our image. Just look at the orange Guantanamo / ISIS detainee uniforms.

The only option on the table

Instead of advancing so much as a new strategy against ISIS, or even pulling out of Syria and Iraq because it is not in their people’s interest, France and the US are simply bombing Syria summore, and summore, and summore…a rather idiotic and unsophisticated policy given its failure over the past two and half decades–no? (What the hell was France doing bombing Syria in the first place? –Think about it!) Following the Al-Qaeda’s attack in Madrid, Spain pulled out of Iraq in 2004 to save itself from war and terrorism. Say what you want about the giving in to terrorism, this strategy actually worked!

Un-bombing the Middle East–i.e. no longer killing civilians in that part of the world–is not going to all of a sudden create “peace.” (That kind of talk is for warmongers). However, it is the minimum requirement to get rid of the Jihadist terrorism we have spawned. There is no other way.

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