Cease-fire in Syria isn't solely about humanitarianism
By: Rachel Marsden
PARIS -- Let's be clear about what the United Nations Security Council's
resolution for a "humanitarian cease-fire" in Syria really is: an opportunity to
delay the thorough routing of one of the last strongholds of terrorist "rebels"
plaguing the country.
Whenever a politician whines like a blaring siren about humanitarianism, as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley has been doing, my baloney detector kicks in. Not that there aren't legitimate humanitarian crises around the world, but the legitimate crises typically take a back seat to those that politicians can use to manipulate public opinion in order to achieve a political objective.
Haley has been bleating about how a cease-fire is desperately necessary in the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta -- one of the last remaining strongholds of the terrorists opposing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad -- because people there need food and medicine. This is really just an attempt to delay the liquidation of America's allies in the region, the "Syrian rebels."
If you look at the situation from Assad's perspective, any fighters who aren't members of a nation's armed forces are terrorists. Would the American government just sit back and let a foreign country support a group of guerrillas wreaking havoc inside the U.S.? I think we know the answer to that.
The hysteria over alleged Russian interference in American politics has the U.S. establishment freaking out, as evidenced by some comically over-the-top tweets. Imagine if rebels with weapons had set up shop near Washington, D.C., with the objective to oust the president. That's what Assad is dealing with, and now he has Haley using the U.N. Security Council to straitjacket him and his Russian and Iranian allies.
Haley also whined about Russia having taken too long, in her humble view, to support the cease-fire resolution, which was ultimately adopted with unanimous support. Gee, it's so difficult to imagine why the Russians may have needed a few days to think this through. In 2011, they allowed themselves to be convinced that a no-fly zone over Libya would be a nice humanitarian gesture to protect civilians. Instead, it resulted in foreign-backed opposition forces executing Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi, plunging the country into chaos.
Russian President Vladimir Putin met with members of his own security council Monday and "noted serious concerns with the ongoing provocative acts by terrorists in the area," according to the Kremlin.
The Security Council resolution does have a loophole allowing for the continued extermination of Islamic State members and other terrorists, stipulating that "cessation of hostilities shall not apply to military operations against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as Da'esh), Al Qaeda and Al Nusra Front (ANF), and all other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with Al Qaeda or ISIL, and other terrorist groups, as designated by the Security Council."
It's hard to imagine that the Syrian government and its Russian allies will wait around for a determination of whether or not the fighters in the anti-Assad stronghold are marked with the U.N.'s official terrorist label. It's not like they're wearing nametags the way they would at a sales convention: "Hi, I'm Bob from Al Nusra!" Those interested in seeing chaos continue to reign in Syria might wish to have some of the combatants in the area excluded from the list of terrorist groups. It's also still possible that proxy fighters from groups not on the list will be recruited to join the terrorist campaign.
With the end to terrorism on Syrian soil in sight, Russia and Syria need to just get on with the complete elimination of terrorists. The closer they get to achieving that goal, the louder the whining will get.
The apparent goal of the anti-Assad allies is to partition Syria in order to fracture the Syria-Russia-Iran axis and obtain a footing in the country for economic and political reasons. How about just being honest with the American public about that objective and the reasons behind it, rather than trying to manipulate citizens into supporting prolonged interference in a foreign nation based on a humanitarian plea?
COPYRIGHT 2018 RACHEL MARSDEN