The USA have long considered themselves the world's crisis resolvers, testing this in Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan. Adam Mowafi argues they must accept that Middle Eastern nations must learn to fight their own battles before intervening in Syria...
As I look at the crisis in Syria, I fully understand the reasons for and against foreign intervention and my sympathy lies with the civilians of Syria who are being forced to choose between an Islamist-led, Al Qaeda-trained fighting force with some FSA thrown in there or a monstrous dictatorship. My concern, however, is countries such as the US who feel it is their moral obligation to enter the fray. If it was not for the fact they turned a blind eye to chemical weapons being used by Israel or Iraq, their justification of lofty values might have made a semblance of sense. But since that’s clearly not their problem one can assume there must be ulterior motives for the US’s willingness to get involved, other than being like an overly-armed Unicef.
Either the US is completely oblivious to the fact that every time they intervene in the Middle East whether it was Iraq, Iran, Afganistan or Libya, over a period of five to 10 years, far more people end up dead than would have without the intervention. Maybe they just want neither side to really win to keep their position as the Middle East’s kingmaker. In either case, it’s no surprise why many find themselves unable to support any kind of US action in Syria, especially since their meddling so far has only served to radicalise the rebel side. When the Syrian revolution began, it had widespread support from everyone bar the likes of Russia and Iran, but when the US and its allies began arming groups which have no chance of winning, encouraging more and more radical elements to join and then stating they would be led by a Muslim Brotherhood off-shoot which had left Syria decades ago things started to unravel. The problem is, the orginal groups could have formed a united front against Assad which could have lead to his downfall in the near future because they had growing support from the Syrian people. Instead, the support the western allies have shown the rebels have instilled a fear of them inside the average Syrian citizen. Many don’t want the rebels to win the on-going battle for fear of what would happen next.
Inherently, forced outcomes never work. Whenever you rationalise violence for the greater good, it’s automatically is doomed to failure because in all cases, unless the vast majority of a country turns against its leaders there will never be unity afterwards. In Iraq, Libya and Iran, America acted for the greater good, which essentially means picking one side over the other. The problem is when the other side is not that small of a minority and do not disappear overnight. They tend to come back, over and over again, and this is precisely what will occur in Syria. America is hoping for a false narrative to win but the millions - and there are millions who sill support Assad - will never accept it and millions will end up dying in the long run. If America intends to intervene, you will be hearing “50 died today, 80 died yesterday,” and so on and so forth for years, just like Iraq. And just like Iraq, people will stop caring. Do the 1.2 million people who died in Iraq since operation Iraqi Freedom began have no value because they were killed after Saddam’s statue fell?
In Egypt, we made our mistake; we elected the Muslim Brotherhood. But we then rose up in our millions to correct it. We were allowed to screw up and it is something that has helped unite us. By intervening in Libya, Iraq and maybe Syria, all the US is achieving is delaying, with considerable cost to life, the true uprisings of each of those nations. That means the US needs to understand Arab nations’ need to get their act together and help themselves because, however painful it is and even if it means fighting our own internal wars, it is the only true way to prepare for life after dictatorship.