Inside the Outsider

Existential Questionaire

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“It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.” - Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Existential Crisis

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It must be incredibly frustrating for the average person watching the events unfold in Syria. Here we have various factions fighting against the Syrian Government and each other. The largest of these groups is a self-styled Islamic caliphate whose followers willingly practice genocide against people from other faiths or who don't share their ideology. They have no qualms about using civilians as human shields or enslaving whole communities,and commit atrocities beyond the scope of many people’s imagination. And yet, what is really frustrating is that the US, the ‘World’s Policeman’, the country with the world’s biggest military has been so slow and seemingly ineffective in addressing the spread this caliphate.

To properly understand where this reluctance and procrastination stems from, we need to look into the nature and mechanism of US foreign policy. But first let’s take a quick look at the facts. It’s clearly documented that the pentagon ‘accidently’ lost a billion dollars worth of arms in the region which IS now controls. There have been clear opportunities for the US to destroy convoys of militant vehicles and oil tankers from when it started it’s ‘supposed’ war against IS, but instead these convoys have often been given a free reign to carry on their business. It came as some surprise that Turkey had for so long been the source of IS revenue for its oil and hard to believe the US was not aware of, or did anything about this before the story hit the news on the mainstream media. In addition, the US seems to have been wholly negligent or totally incompetent when it came to arming the new phenomenon it calls a ‘moderate opposition group’ – a bit like calling a paedophile a person with a ‘youthful sexual preference’. It wouldn’t have taken a rocket scientist to work out that the ideological jihadist paralells between these groups and IS world result in these weapons being traded or simply passed on. With all this collusion going on, the US has seized on every opportunity to present itself in the media as wholly dedicated to defeating IS, but this is not an entirely accurate appraisal or reflection of their true motives in the region.

The fact of the matter is that the US goal in Syria does not revolve around defeating IS. The US army’s uninvited contribution and military conduct in Syria has  often been an impediment to the Syrian army’s fight against IS. The US administration have made it quite clear in their dialogue and their bombing of Syrian army forces, they would like to see regime change in Syria. They are desperate for any reason, whether actual, presumed, or even false-flag, which would provide them with justification to attack Syrian forces and hopefully depose Assad. What the US administration is seeking to do in the region is to split the balance of power in Syria between the different factions on ethnic and sectarian grounds. The last thing it wants is a unified Syria, especially with a government partial to Iran's Shia influence, even if that country was peaceful before the US and others started their proxy wars within it. In this respect, and if the US gets its way, what we’ll see is the creation of yet another failed state to add to a growing list, where US military involvment, conflict and the resulting human misery seem to perpetuate themselves indefinitely with no end in sight.

Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya are, and it seems will be for years to come, in turmoil. However, there is growing opinion that the US, whose economy is heavily dependent on its military spending, actually gains most from creating conflict in different regions throughout the world. Over the years the  US has had plenty of experience playing different factions off against each other to achieve its political ends. In recent years, it has lost much of its competitive edge on the world stage when it comes to competing for resources against emerging economies. Nowadays it's finding it increasingly difficult to obtain the almost exclusive access it once had to trade with many countries throughout the world. It's now very difficult for the US to compete cost wise with many of the emerging nations such as China, India or even Russia. It sounds completely cynical to suggest it, but if the US’s intention is to create a melting pot of conflicting factions in Syria and thus ensure its continued military presence and involvment in the region, then it would seem to be going the right way. Since the start of the Syrian conflict, it's been trying to choreograph some sort of power struggle for its own ends by supporting different factions - conduct which is consistent with its actions in other countries in recent times. If the Syrian army defeat IS and Assad manages to unite Syria again, despite US efforts, then it begs the question where will the US go for its next big proxy war as the rhetoric of the Russian threat is already beginning to wear a bit thin. Yet, if the US gains a foothold in Syria, which it looks like it already has with the Kurds in the north and the Jordanian backed jihadists in the south, then expect to see a protracted bloody conflict in Syria for many more years to come.

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