The War in Syria just took a turn?
Some would like to believe that, but the recent intervention of America in the war, particularly against the aerial installations of Bachar Al-Assad’s forces would indicate, according to many political commentators, a change in President Trump’s political rhetoric. That of putting “actions behind words”. Is that really the case, though?
Although the sudden airstrike against Syria was a change in American involvement and alignment in the war, it serves as a continuation of meddling in the affairs of foreign powers, particularly those whom it knows is in bed with an ever-present enemy: Russia. In fact, my analysis will probably base itself more on the last half-a-century of America’s foreign policy, than on Trump’s specific action. Many saw him as a figure of hope, to bring America out of its miserable, corporate chains.
As it turns out, so far, Trump has been taking money away from programs that would benefit his voters the most and putting it where it benefits their “bosses” the most instead. He was supposed to avoid a war with Russia, by warming them up to American politics. The attack on Syria has effectively reduced what efforts he’d done in the first few months of his Presidency to ashes, as Russia and China both now decry the actions of the American government.
Let us not forget the reactions of those in middle-eastern countries that neighbor Syria and for the most part, do not like that America seems to want to engage itself further into the conflict. This has definite repercussions, because it looks eerily a lot like how most destitutions of dictators in the middle-east took place, and have always ended up with worse people getting their seats.
At that point, though, the West pulls out and calls it a day. Basically, we’re looking at a repetition of events past, but with the added geopolitical tension that permeates the coming elections of many countries, and the rise of far-right populism and extremism. Opposition to war in foreign countries is a frequent demand in much of these movements, and yet, right-wing populism has not kept the Trump Presidency from being involved in the Middle-east.
Failed States and American Foreign Policing
In the book “Failed States” by Noam Chomsky, we get an outline of just how much America likes to get involved in countries that should a priori seem like people we shouldn’t associate with. What starts as a cordial relationship with a relatively brutal dictator, invariably ends up with some kind of international campaign of fear against that dictator, ending up with an American-orchestrated take-over. It takes the form either of propaganda against that country, “poisoning” the debate to encourage revolution or an outright investigation of some kind of crime the regime might be committing, followed by direct action despite a lack of supporting evidence.
The presumption here is that America is trying to fix a Failed State and install democracy into it. It shouldn’t be surprising that the countries America considers Failed States are generally tied in some way with Russia. Now, of course, Russia has its own Failed States that it turns into puppet states, as America does. Both America and Russia try to police their parts of the world, like two school bullies attempting to force everyone to their side until an epic fight in the schoolyard.
Only, this isn’t school, this isn’t a schoolyard fight. This is a war with belligerents who have the most nuclear capacity in the whole world. Thankfully for all of us, Russia and America have stuck to the Mutually Assured Destruction tactic, considering that nuclear warfare ends with total annihiliation of all parties involved. What does that entail? It entails waging war for territory but only indirectly.
America and its allies waging economic and military war with Russia and its allies.
A politico-economic war of attrition?
It would seem so. For each gain made by Americans seems offset by a reactionary response from the Russian government. Russia feeds off of white supremacy, at the moment, which is required to make America’s allies skeptical of their need to police the world. If the people no longer support waging war with Russian puppet-states, then Russia gets to increase its presence in these theaters of war.
Vice versa, if Russia becomes more democratic, more equal, it suffers from the influence of American culture and thus, problems of endemic racism and sexism start to diminish and make the Russian people skeptical of their beloved leader’s intelligence. Perhaps unknowingly, intellectuals on both sides push forth the rhetoric of their own political protégés. The middle-line ends up supporting both at the same time, but when you support both ends of one battle, you always end up hurting the side that’s winning.
In this war where America and Russia vye for international agreement to continue their exactions upon puppet states (or sometimes completely override it), the end-result cannot be anything else than eventual total war between the two. At that point, the Doomsday Clock will reach Midnight, and it will be time to get to the bunkers.
Conclusion: How to avoid this?
We need to stop seeing wars in the middle-east as being an America vs Russia proxy war and more a continuation of a war that has yet to end, despite news to the contrary in the 90s. The Cold War may come to be dubbed “The Great Proxy Wars” by historians. Where political, economic and military means are used to conquer territory, instead of direct conflict. Once we realize this and the folly it was to rely upon monotheistic interpretations of power, we may emancipate ourselves and humanity not as subjects to a regime but as part of one whole. A self-managed whole.