’Disconnected from reality: The more UK supports opposition, the more war goes on’

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May. © Toby Melville
The UK’s stance on regime change in Syria has not changed with Theresa May taking office and is unlikely to change as the British government is extremely close with some Gulf States and relies on selling weapons to them, analysts say.

The motto ‘Assad must go’ has been a mainstay of the West's rhetoric. Washington’s decision to suspend talks with Moscow on a Syrian ceasefire has hampered the peace process. The US blamed Russia for being ineffective in the fight against ISIS. In response, Russia said the US appears ready to “strike a deal with the devil” to achieve its aims in Syria.

In Europe, voices have also spoken out in favor of regime change in Syria.

"We need humanitarian aid to get through to people who are in absolutely desperate need in Syria and we need a political transition to a Syria without Assad," UK Prime Minister Theresa May said in an interview with ITV News. 

Last month, Theresa May said it was better to help refugees in their own countries, so why is she supporting regime change in Syria, which could force more refugees to Europe?

RT asked political analyst John Bosnitch why the British Prime Minister is supporting regime change in Syria, which could force more refugees to Europe.

First of all, we have just to start with the terminology. They don’t even recognize a legal government as a government – they refer to them the ‘regime’. That means they have already made a decision to attack the regime illegally by military force,” said Bosnitch.

In Bosnitch’s view, “we’re seeing here is a continuation of the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde political program in Westminster: say nice things on the one side to keep the public quiet, and then bomb the hell out of the civilian and the government representatives in a legitimate independent country.”

According to the analyst, there is no consistency in the UK government.

And we’ve already seen the people are rejecting this kind of government by moving out of the EU in a Brexit vote that basically the government couldn’t control, its own people turned against it,” he said.

Fig leaf for naked emperor of the US-led Empire

RT also asked Bosnitch why the international community is being silent while it's proven the US and its allies are supplying weapons to rebels, which end up in the hands of terrorists.

We continue down the same road. The international community? What is that? When we hear the international community discussed in the media – especially in the Western media – what we’re talking about is NATO and the few key EU countries. All of those countries are led from Washington,” he said.

In his opinion, nothing will change in the international political situation until there is a real international community. That would mean, he said, “an international community, which includes countries, which are not nuclear powers, which includes countries, which are neutral in any given conflict.”

You should bring people from the other side of the Earth to administer peace in areas, where they simply have no links. That is the opposite of what is going on. The so-called international community is a very, very inadequate fig leaf for the naked emperor of the US-led Empire,” Bosnitch added.

UK govt disconnected from reality

The British view on Syria hasn’t changed since the new PM came in and London still believes regime change is the only solution, said Kamal Alam, research analyst from the RUSI think tank

We must come to the conclusion that from all of the countries in Europe Britain has been one of the biggest supporters of the Syrian opposition,” he told RT. “They are ignoring the facts on the ground: the more they support the opposition, the more the war goes on, the more refugees will spill out of Syria. The Syrian government has proven to be legitimate and they are still standing after five years. A lot of governments are changing their stance, but the UK is still behind those governments.”

At the same time, Alam said, there are significant numbers of military and political figures in London and Whitehall who believe the policy the government is pursuing is wrong.

There have been several members of Parliament that have visited Damascus and have since come out publically and said that we must work with the Syrian government no matter what the failings of the government might be. You’ve also had three former heads of the British army - General [Lord] Dannatt, Gen Richards, and Guthrie - say that we must work with President Assad and the Syrian government to conclude this. If you remember Boris Johnson also said that before he was Foreign Secretary. But once he became Foreign Secretary he changed his narrative,” Alam told RT.

The main problem, the analyst said, is that the security services officials backing UK policy on Syria are disconnected from reality since they’ve never been on the ground and haven’t seen the situation in the country.

I think that is uphill struggle, because the British government is extremely close to many Gulf States and they rely on selling their weapons to Gulf countries, which then means they cannot change their policy in Syria,” he said.

Alam also said that it is important to help Syrians in Syria rather than outside the country adding that Europe would not be able to deal with another massive influx of refugees.

Germany tried to with the best of intentions, but they got it wrong. Similarly Eastern Europe and Central Europe are struggling, so is France. England has not actually taken many refugees – less than 20,000. So, Britain, while making a lot of noise about the humanitarian cause has not taken many refugees. And they really need to help Syrians in Syria rather than helping Syrians outside of Syria,” he told RT.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.