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Goebbels’ disciples tackle Syria

Professor Domenico Losurdo pinpoints several inconsistencies in the Western rhetoric against Syria. They reveal that the problem is not where we think it is and that the discourse aims to justify a war, not to report the facts.

| Urbino (Italy)
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Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has made a 180 degree turn during the last election campaign. He has since committed his country to war against Libya and dreams of a confrontation with Syria.

What is the nature of the conflict that has engulfed Syria in recent months? Through this article, I wish to invite all those who uphold the cause of peace and democracy in international relations to ask themselves a few basic questions, which, for my part, I will try to respond to by giving the limelight to newspapers and journalists which can not be suspected of complicity with the leadership in Damascus.

1. In the first place, it would be advisable to find out what the conditions prevailing in this Middle Eastern country were before the Assads (father and son) and the current regime came to power in 1970. Well, before then, "the Syrian Republic was a weak and unstable state, an arena in which regional and international rivalries were played out;" the events of recent months have pushed Syria back to its "pre-1970 state." Such are the terms used by Itamar Rabinovitch, former Israeli ambassador to Washington, in The International Herald Tribune [1]. The first conclusion that can be drawn is: The revolt supported primarily by the United States and the European Union could push Syria back to a semi-colonial condition.

2. Are the condemnations and sanctions of the West and its desire for regime change in Syria really driven by indignation at the "brutal repression" allegedly exercised by the government against peaceful demonstrations? In fact, already in 2005, "George W. Bush wanted to overthrow Bashar al Assad. Again, this is what the former Israeli ambassador to Washington reported, adding that the policy of regime change in Syria is the same one being pursued by the Tel Aviv government: The time has come to do away with a group of leaders in Damascus that support "Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza" and who, in addition, have close ties with Tehran. Indeed, "deeply preoccupied with the Iranian threat, Israel is of the opinion that extracting the Syrian brick from the Iranian wall could usher in a new phase in regional politics. Clearly both Hamas and Hezbollah are treading more softly now." So, the target of the revolt and its related maneuvers is not only Syria but also Palestine, Lebanon and Iran: The goal is to deal a decisive blow to the cause of the Palestinian people and to consolidate the neo-colonial domination of Israel and the West in a crucial geopolitical and geo-economic area.

3. How to achieve this objective? In the Corriere della Sera of 29 October, Guido Olimpio explained that: In Antakya (Antioch), a Turkish region on the border with Syria, the "Free Syrian Army, an organization that is leading the armed struggle against the Assad regime is already at work, with weapons and military assistance provided by Turkey. Moreover, adds Olimpio (in the Corriere della Sera of 13 November), Ankara "has issued threats against the creation of a twenty-mile buffer zone inside Syrian territory." Thus, the government in Damascus not only faces an armed revolt, but an armed revolt backed by a country with a military apparatus of primary importance, which is a member of NATO and threatens to invade Syria. Whatever the errors and mistakes of its leaders, this small country is now the target of military aggression. With a strongly expanding economy, Turkey had been showing signs of impatience with the domination of the Middle East by Israel and the United States. Obama responded to this by pushing the leaders in Ankara towards a neo-Ottoman sub-imperialism, obviously controlled by Washington.

4. From the analyses and testimonies that I have reported, it clearly emerges that Syria is up against very difficult conditions in order to safeguard its independence, in the face of a formidable economic, political and military power. In addition, NATO threatened, directly or indirectly, to inflict on the Syrian leaders the lynching and murder tactics used to finish off Gaddafi. The ignominy of the aggression shouldn’t escape anyone. Except that, by making the most of its overwhelming multimedia firepower and new manipulation technologies thanks to the Internet, the West portrays the Syrian crisis as an exercise of brutal and gratuitous violence against peaceful and non-violent demonstrators. There is no doubt that Goebbels, the evil and brilliant minister of the Third Reich, has gained a following; one cannot but recognize that his disciples in Washington and Brussels have even surpassed their unforgettable master.

[1] "The devil we knew", by Itamar Rabinovitch, The International Herald Tribune, 19-20 November 2011.

Domenico Losurdo

Domenico Losurdo History of philosophy professor at Urbino University (Italy). Since 1988, he has directed the Internationale Gesellschaft Hegel-Marx für Dialektisches Denken and is founding member of the Associazione Marx XXIesimo. His last published work in Italian is La non-violenza, Una storia fuori dal mito (Laterza, 2010); in English is Liberalism: A Counter-History (Verso Books, 2011).

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