Syria is someone’s home and they aren’t going to give up

Bilal Abdul Kareem writes

The horror of Aleppo, words such as “unbelievable” and “shocking” fill news broadcasts. But in besieged Aleppo, the events of the day were normal.

I am a person that believes strongly in dialogue and trying to see multiple viewpoints. However, there are some conflicts that cannot be solved by dialogue and compromise.

Paralysis of the world community

There is a well known saying: “All evil needs in order to spread is for good men to do nothing.” The reality is that Bashar Assad has been able to kill a half million people live on television with the world watching using chemical weapons, and barrel bombs, targeting hospitals and rescue personnel, starving prisoners to death on a daily basis: all of this documented .

Nothing was done to stop the dictator. The numbers are staggering: more than a half million dead and nearly tens of millions displaced. Somehow the focus of this crisis has turned to fighting the Islamic State (IS) group and Jabhat Fateh al-Shams (Nusra) and no one is talking about militarily taking on Bashar Assad.

Syrians receive treatment at a make-shift hospital following air strikes on rebel-held eastern areas of Aleppo on September 24, 2016. Heavy Syrian and Russian air strikes on rebel-held eastern areas of Aleppo city killed at least 25 civilians on Saturday, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, overwhelming doctors and rescue workers. / AFP PHOTO / KARAM AL-MASRI

Syrians receive treatment at a make-shift hospital following air strikes on rebel-held eastern areas of Aleppo on September 24, 2016. Heavy Syrian and Russian air strikes on rebel-held eastern areas of Aleppo city killed at least 25 civilians on Saturday, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, overwhelming doctors and rescue workers / AFP PHOTO / KARAM AL-MASRI

Protecting the Arab Syrian people means fighting the Russians

Oil and natural gas has a way of helping Western powers understand their “responsibilities” very well. The Libyan rebels did not have to beg NATO to come to their assistance. NATO was prepared to intervene and all that was needed was for the hapless Arab League to “request” their help and Voila! Instant help. Is it possible that the huge oil reserves within Libya’s borders had anything to do with it?

The Syrians, however, have very little oil. To be honest, Syria is really only valuable to the Russians and not so much to the West. Syria is home to the only military base the Russians have in the entire Middle East. So to be real, the Russians need Syria in a big way and they have demonstrated that they are willing to fight any and everyone for it.

The West would like to contain Russia’s influence but not so much that they have to commit troops to it. Thus instead of hearing phrases like “coalition of the willing” and “global responsibility”, we are forced to hear slogans like “there is no military solution to this conflict” and “let’s have a ceasefire and negotiate”.

Exactly how do you negotiate with a government which has killed more than a half million of its own citizens? The answer is: You don’t.

Islamic rebel fighters will not call off the fight and share power

Western powers would like to window dress. In the past, Bashar Assad was rarely in opposition to Western interests.

So the idea of an Islamically oriented government in Syria is frightening for the West. It is well-known that the driving force behind this revolution (IS excluded) are Islamic brigades. Free Syrian Army groups militarily play a distant secondary role on the battlefields.

Western powers want another strongman, but they have not been successful, although not from a lack of trying. Western powers have tried to support the FSA, Jamal Marouf, and the Hazim movement. That doesn’t include all of the soldiers they tried to train to fight their enemies (al-Qaeda/IS) under the condition that they would use their new skills only for targets that Washington chose and not against Bashar Assad.

All this has been a huge failure.

The West must understand that the Syrian people are no longer willing to simply march and beg for their rights as they did in March 2011. This is now 2016 and they are a battle-hardened people willing to fight even a superpower in Russia to safeguard their right to self-determination.

This leads to one conclusion: either the West will genuinely recognise the Syrians’ right to self-determination (and not subjugation) or there will be fighting in this part of the world for a long time…..