Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Syria and Ukraine – five countries where more-or-less grass-roots or national “revolutionary” movements have appeared since 2011, which were supposed to have changed their countries to offer a better life. All that it is left for us now is to recognize their utter worthlessness. It's true that their regimes had become the focus of popular anger, they were tyrannical and authoritarian – repressive police-states, and mostly corrupt. Those are the facts. Facts which make their desire for change justifiable.
However… facts also show that these allegedly 'grass-roots' movements were fakes — set-up by the foreign policy agencies of the US, as part of its strategy to install the “Muslim Brotherhood” throughout the Middle East. No-one can deny the fact that such movements only took root in countries where the ruling regimes were the opposite of what Washington wanted. In countries where local rulers were staunch American allies – Saudi Arabia, Qatar – nothing of the sort took place. While the popular uprising which occurred in Bahrain was brutally put down without even a tweet in Western media. Double standards? Clearly.
So, where are we, four years later? What have these revolutions achieved? To put it plainly – nothing. Although life in these countries was far from idyllic before, the situation now (with the exception of Egypt) is hugely worse. Countries are in chaos, their states are destroyed and dismembered. Revolution has wrecked national security (with civil wars and terrorism); has produced unrestricted crime (killings, abductions, arms-smuggling); economic collapse (collapse of industry, flight of foreign companies, destruction of infrastructure, and worse); mass exodus of local populations (foreign workers have fled, internally displaced refugees, and refugees fleeing to Europe); persecution of religious minorities (primarily Christians), and the wanton destruction of World Heritage sites and objects.
Although few will cast a tear over a deposed tyrant, we need to bear in mind that for all the viciousness of the Ben Ali clan, life in Tunisia was incomparably better before the revolution there. Tourism flourished, and the operation of European countries within the Tunisian economy was driving the country's development. During Gaddafi's rule, Libya led the whole of Africa in terms of per capita income, education for women was the most advanced in the entire continent, the country had 3.4 million foreign workers, and Libya was even working with the West in the struggle against terrorism.
Syria gradually stepped away from the dictatorship of Hafez al-Assad, but the attempts of his son Bashar to liberalize the country, after his accession to power in 2000, resulted in nothing. The situation in Iraq after the illegitimate incursions of the USA in 2003 also belong in this category – with the same features, and same results. Yet “revolution” was not the sole monopoly of North Africa and the Middle East. In Ukraine, the West conspired to topple a legitimately-elected President (whose election was overseen by European observers, who confirmed rule-compliance) in astonishing violation of rules which were later cited as sacred. Had the Ukrainian opposition only put up with Yanukovych until his term ended, he would almost certainly have suffered humiliating defeat in elections that would have brought peace to the country. Instead of that, civil war grips Eastern Ukraine, where an ultra-right neo-Nazi militia holds the population to ransom – bankrolled by the EU and the CIA.
The consequences of the appearance of these fake 'democratic' movements – whom the West not only actively supports, but may well be 'seeding' – have been catastrophic for their countries, their peoples, and for any residual promise of democracy. Yet still the lessons of all this have not been learned. Their mission trundles on. By way of example, in the most recent months we've watched the rise of further anti-government trends of the same kind in countries unsatisfied with Western-leaning policies and who don't support them (such as Hungary and the Czech Republic). It's quite possible that these countries too might soon see “people's revolutions” — although they haven't pleased Washington.
And yet through all of this we've not heard the tiniest word of criticism of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, or Turkey – who have been directly or indirectly bankrolling Islamic terrorism (al-Quaeda and ISIL), and who all yearn for the ouster of President Assad. Let's remember that Riyadh attacked Yemen with vicious hostility, directed against the sizable Huthi military forces (estimated at 150,000) — which perhaps should have instead have been aimed at ISIL. They would prefer us to say nothing about the Yemen conflict, but the reality of its results are 5,000 dead and 25,000 injured in just a few months – not to mention 1.3 million refugees and 21 million left destitute. The war there has been far more brutal than even Eastern Ukraine. To list only April this year, the Saudi-led coalition carried out 1700 raids – in other words, up to 80 sorties per day. The attacks were unrepentantly targeted at the historic Old City of Sana'a (a city with a 2500-year history) with almost entirely civilian casualties. But the western press doesn't print a word about this. And in the West, if it's not on the TV News, then it hasn't even happened. Double standards strike again.
We could instead take a look at the leading role Turkey has taken in the recent migration crisis. Ankara is responsible for the wave of migrants which has swept into Europe. Unable to complete his Middle East strategy, Erdogan – dogged in recent months by electoral setbacks and foreign policy snafus – decided to get to work on fouling the field for the other players, primarily the Europeans. It's unbelievable and wrong that the Turkish leader – a member of the International Committee of the Muslim Brotherhood – was permitted to address a meeting of supporters in Strasbourg on October 4th — where he launched into a prosaic denunciation of terrorism… not of ISIL, of course, but of the PKK.
On the topic of migrant workers, we should bear in mind the emotional blackmail brought to bear when the body of the three-year-old boy was discovered on the beach of a holiday resort, which was specifically intended to re-ignite European guilt. Of course, the use of this photograph was entirely manipulative – we never see the media post photos of bodies of those loyal to Assad (either because they've been edited out, or out of fear of ISIL retaliation) – people who have been suffering for four years of western-backed and Arabic-funded terrorism? There are lot of such people, they just happen to be on the wrong side. Our western media apparently think that the civilian population includes both guilty and innocent victims.
The reporting of the migrants brought on a peculiar instance of selective blindness in our media. None of them seemed to notice the large presence of young men aged 20-30 amid these “Syrian refugees.” If war breaks out, the need to evacuate women, children and the elderly would be completely understandable. So then – why are young men in the prime of life deserting the nation? Wouldn't they surely want to hang on there, to fight Assad? It seems that their actual goal is the West and its promise of wealth. But this is an inconvenient fact the media choose to ignore. Quite the reverse, in Hungary there's now a storm of criticism about failing to take either genuine or fake refugees – although Western Europe has griped for years that Eastern Europe can't get itself together to manage border issues properly, putting their Schengen Zone at risk.
Turning to the Syrian conflict, the western media has presented it as though 90% of the 250,000 victims of the civil war are somehow the fault of the Damascus government. This is not just grotesque – it's insane. Let's remind ourselves that 60,000 of the dead were government troops, and that a similarly tragic total could be assembled for civilian non-combatants (primarily Alawites) who are against the Islamist rebels. If Assad had genuinely killed so many people he would either have been assassinated, or would have given up his attempts to control the country. The media consistently ignores the fact that the Syrian regime has no monopoly on violence, and that mass killings (which are sadly common in all civil wars) are committed by both sides. The current presentation of events in Syria utterly ignores Islamic atrocities, or absolves them of guilt if those atrocities were taken against Assad and his regime.
Let's look at one specific example. The media consistently blame Damascus for an alleged chemical weapons attack in Damascus in August 2013 – even though US military intelligence and the French Intelligence Research Centre confirm that this didn't happen. But that would spoil a good story — so the press continue to wheel this one out. Misinformation has taken root, due to the blindness, lack of responsibility and malign intentions of journalists.
It needs to be underlined that despite the many flaws of President Assad's regime (which we make no attempt to defend), the armed opposition are made up of maniacs and fascists who are infinitely worse than he is. Whilst most people would agree with such comments about ISIL, it's harder to find those who disagree with the al-Nusra Front, the Syrian manifestation of al-Qaeda which pursues exactly the same agenda. Let's remember, it was al-Qaeda which organized the September 11 attacks, and against whom the Pentagon declared “war.” Yet strangely they're now being propped up in Syria by America's Saudi, Qatari and Turkish allies.
Under the guidance of our American and Arabic “friends,” we too have taken every chance to demonize the Assad regime, accusing it of every kind of atrocity and brutality – including those committed by the Islamist rebels. Even so, there are many tin-pot African despots whose misdeeds outdo Assad's – yet we continue to cheer them on now, as we did in the past. By taking the side of al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood we show just how far we've lost radar contact with reality.
Reality is a precious substance when it comes to geopolitical and international relations, yet the West seems to have run out of it some time ago. Western Europe has blundered off course, with its only mistaken compass-point being the feckless and self-centered policies of the US, and American attempts to recruit all-comers to its misadventures. Only a few countries have not lost their heads – of whom the main one is Russia. Russia's intervention in Syria marked a sea change — a first step to restoring sanity in the Middle East. Alongside this, in spite of all expectations, Iran is steadily establishing its credibility as a force for regional stability and putting down terrorism, aided by some Sunni nations. Obviously both Moscow and Tehran bring their own agendas along with them, but then of course, we had agendas too when things started.
The way things play out in the role these states play will change the course of events in Syria. We need to remember that over recent years, Assad barely made use of his army at all, since it consists primarily of Sunni conscripts. Unlike other Sunnis they haven't slunk away or deserted, and they have enough military experience to serve on the front lines. Primarily they've been deployed in defensive positions around Damascus. The actual offensive operations have been mainly carried out by Assad's Alawite troops. The arrival of Russian forces, weapons, and air support, along with the increasing involvement of Iran and Hezbollah shifts the balance in favor of the Damascus regime. Damascus could deploy its forces with greater confidence during operations to re-take lost territory. The first sign of this happening could already been seen in Dera'a on 4 October, when nearly 1000 Islamists laid down their weapons, with some sources claiming a retreat of the ISIL forces across the Iraqi border.
Of course, western sources lashed out immediately at Russian air strikes in Syria, accusing Moscow of only striking at the al-Nusra Front and failing to hit ISIL. However, these claims were published without the slightest evidence. The arguments these reports are false and crude, do we need reminding about the fatality figures for the Iraq War, or of US drone attacks on Pakistan and Afghanistan? Or about the devastation caused by an American bombing of a Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) hospital in Afghanistan on the night of 2 October, in which twelve MSF staff and seven patients (including three children) were killed, and 37 more people were injured?
Frankly it's laughable to read western critiques of Moscow's assaults on the al-Nusra Front – an al-Qaeda target – in Syria. It's a group which is supported, armed and bankrolled by the Americans. Double standards, yet again. A US-led West is yet again trying to paint Russia as the bad guy, dredging up a caricature enemy image from the soviet-era past, but now the situation is entirely different. It's hard to get one's head around the ravings of some analysts, who claim that Syria will become Moscow's “second Afghanistan.” The two scenarios are so far dissimilar from each other (the theatre of war, the allies, the strength of forces, and much else) that this kind of argument doesn't hold up against the slightest scrutiny.
Let's make no mistake – however this crisis is eventually resolved, the credibility of the West, Europe, and France will be permanently sullied – and their political and economic influence is likely to take a heavy battering. The prevailing feeling of impending doom for the future, felt in many parts of the West arises from its continuous meddling everywhere, and the chaos that it brings.
We wrangle constantly about how to solve the problems we ourselves have created. First the USA mounted an illegal invasion of Iraq and permanently destabilized it. Now the USA is trying to fight ISIL, to whose creation the USA contributed. French operations in Sahel (“Serval” and “Dune”) are merely the results of strategic mistakes of our poorly-planned actions in Libya. The support for ISIL amongst Cyrenians and people in Tripoli is some kind of well-deserved revenge of Gaddafi's on the rest of the world. We have every cause to reflect on our foreign policy mistakes since 2007. What has France become? What happened to French values, the French world outlook, independence, and freedom of speech? We need only consider the inconsistency and blindness of our leadership, and the way that all of our policies have been forcibly dragged down to the level of those of the US, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar. It's time we began thinking about what is in our interests, instead. No-one could say that the armed overthrow of President Assad is part of our interests. Instead this simply confirms the vacuity of ideas, strategies and vision. It's a tragedy! We've been reduced to second fiddle. And we're on the wrong side.
Of course, political correctness mavens accuse us of propping up dictators and countries which have a long history of opposing France. But by refusing to take modern realities into account, or the changes which have happened in the world – quite apart from the steady flow of misinformation that fills the mainstream Anglo-Saxon media – we have utterly undermined our own credibility in the international arena. Sooner or later we will pay a heavy price for our blind and foolhardy alignment with Washington, and the terrorism of Sunni states.