‘Today the West is bombing ISIS in Syria, tomorrow it will be Assad’
Britain could shift its strategy on military action in Syria. UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon is suggesting the bombing campaign against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) should be expanded from Iraq to Syria.
Prime Minister David Cameron also said he felt Britain’s strategy for confronting IS should be reframed to include airstrikes on Syria. This is part of the UK’s response to the terror attack that took place in Tunisia last week where 30 of the 38 people killed were Britons.
RT:What do you make of the timing of this statement? After the Tunisia attacks the government is under pressure to respond, isn't it?
Marko Gasic: I think this is a double-edged sword. The attacks provide a kind of excuse to continue with this kind of policy of supporting the US in interventionism acting abroad. This is a small door, through which the British forces are going, but they are going in the same direction as the US and that’s the direction of essentially not talking about the UN Security Council, which is an authorized body for questions of this kind, threats to international peace and security that IS obviously is. So in this discussion it’s left to the MPs to vote with their allies but nobody’s talking about the UN Security Council and the UN Charter which establishes the mandate for deciding on whether such actions should occur. And also nobody is talking about asking the Syrian government, which is a legitimate government there for permission for its territory to be bombed, and that’s obviously alarming as well because today it may be bombing in Syria tomorrow it’ll be bombing Assad in Syria. It’ll be a very small difference as far as the NATO spin doctors are concerned. So this is like a little bit of a precedent, to head on making a situation worse going forward which is what usually happens with these Western interventions.
RT:Do you believe Westminster MPs will approve air strikes in Syria because previously they didn’t?
MG: When that comes onto their agenda… They previously didn’t as they saw they were getting into a frontline war with Assad in Syria on a flimsy legal basis, or no legal basis and they were rightly or perhaps - as [Ed] Miliband’s best move during his ten years as Labour leader - put the kibosh on that particular plan. Now they may well be persuaded that they can do something but I really have to ask themselves the question: Are they just helping the same thing that they stopped two years ago happening in two kinds of steps rather than one.
RT:Will this flimsy legal basis be still there though?
MG: There isn’t really a legal basis at all if the UN Security Council isn’t consulted and doesn’t give its permission, and if the local government - the government of the state which they will be bombing - doesn’t give its permission there is no legal basis. It becomes an illegal act. But the aim here is to legitimize, to legalize the illegal, to make possible the impossible. It’s been a history over the entire post-Cold War period. You remember that unilaterally bombing of Yugoslavia was used as the basis for bombing and illegally invading Iraq after that, and subsequently Libya and so on and so forth. So it’s all about creating new realities, as various American politicians have referred to them, which the rest of the world simply has to accept. This is really the plan and Britain in a small way on this particular day is contributing to the fulfillment of that rather nefarious plan.
RT:The Defense Secretary did say he wanted to bomb IS but not to help Assad. Is that possible?
MG: Again it’s setting the future situation up to be one way which he says “Well, we’ve bombed IS now it’s only fair if we bomb Assad.” To normal people that may appear a quite normal piece of logic, but of course IS is a terrorist organization which goes round beheading as many people as it can of the opposite view and is dedicated to destroying states, whereas Assad is a slightly repressive ruler - as are many of the Middle Eastern rulers - in a state where he is a legitimate government so there really is no comparison. But the West does have a history of replacing stable, if somewhat repressive regimes, in the Middle East with the hounds of hell in the person of jihadists and the extreme elements and divided countries, destroyed countries, economies ruined, societies polarized. There has never been a success from this kind of Western involvements but it doesn’t seem to stop Western governments continuing along the same route that they kept failing at previously.
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