Arming Syria Militants Greatest Miscalculation since Rise of Fascism: Guardian
Story Code : 268924
Under the headline “Our Greatest Miscalculation since the Rise of Fascism”, Jenkins asserted that “there is no more dreadful idea than to pour more armaments into the sectarian war now consuming Syria. Yet that is precisely what Britain's coalition government wants to do.”
“For two years pundits have proclaimed the imminent fall of Syria's President Bashar Al-Assad. High on Arab spring, they declared he would fall from the logic of history. Or he would fall because western sanctions would bring him down. Or he would fall because the media, as in the novel Scoop, were with the rebels and had decided they would win,” the writer added.
He pointed out that “Assad has not fallen. He is still there, locked in the lethal Muslim schism that resurfaced with the demise of the region's secularist dictators,” indicating that “they had faults in abundance, but they succeeded in suppressing religious discord, instilling rudimentary tolerance and keeping the region mostly in order. This was in the west's interest, and the rulers, like those in the Gulf, were supported accordingly.”
In this context, Jenkins emphasized that “pouring arms into Syria will no more topple Assad or drive him to the negotiating table than did two years of blood-curdling sanctions. Hague knows this perfectly well, as he knows there is no way arms can be sent to "good" rebels and not to bad ones. He knows that if you want one side to win a civil war, the only honest way is to fight on its side. We did that in Kosovo and Libya.”
He indicated that “Britain's military judgment is no more coherent than its political. It thinks it can conquer Syria… But sending weapons cannot make a difference, and will merely entice Britain into promising troops, unless it wishes to desert the rebels. Like American backing for the Taliban in the 1990s, the idea that "my enemy's enemy must be my friend" could yet see British Special Forces fighting alongside Al-Qaida in Syria.”
Meanwhile, the writer stated that “most of Europe's rulers have other matters on their hands, but Britain and France, two nations whose ancient empires carved up the Levant between them, cannot keep out of it. They see national interest and danger where none exists. They cannot relieve Syria's agony, yet hope some vague belligerence might bring relief.”
“The reality is they hope that belligerence might draw attention from political troubles back home. That is the worst reason for going to war,” he concluded.