Some are still following the trail to Washington, as they believe that the solution for Syria might somehow be found there. They are under the illusion that America might solve the problem, that it might do something to relieve the impasse that defines the current political reality. It was the same ray of hope that many Arab leaders believed in when Barack Obama first entered the White House. They must have believed that the American president, with African roots, would sympathise with them; that he would give them rights they had been deprived of for decades. Arab leaders engrossed themselves in this naiveté, which lead to nothing but attempts to grain further proximity to America, which after eight years only proved that Obama was the worst US president ever towards the Arabs and the largest supporter of Israel.
Today, while Aleppo finds itself subject to barbaric Russian air strikes, there are still those who believe that Washington will provide the solution. They refuse to believe the evidence that points to the fact that were it not for the US, Russia would not have been able to enter Syria to begin with nor would it have been able to support Assad militarily. There has been open collusion between Washington and Moscow. We wash our hands of the naiveté of these politicians while the thinkers, the op-ed columnists and the political analysts seem to pop up everywhere like mushrooms in the spring.
No right-minded person could believe that Russia entered Syria without US permission. Forget about everything you hear in the media and about the media crossfire you hear between US Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov. Forget all the talk you hear about the outbreak of a world war between Russia and the United States in Syria, as those individuals saying this do not take it upon themselves to look at the reality. In comparison to Russia's massive military and financial support to Assad, the US has offered crumbs to the moderate opposition in Syria and this support is more than likely contingent upon a hundred conditions.
When Kerry says that it is not possible to bring down Assad and his regime without a decision from the UN, while it was his government that invaded Iraq in 2003 without any legal reason or green light from the international body, we know that the Americans are tricking us. We seem to be a people with extremely short-term memories.
Today, we have entered a new phase of history in which personal interests or the interests of one group, party or sect are not considered more important than the interests of an entire nation. We are in the middle of a passing phase in history that will frame the status quo for some time to come. There is no use in half-hearted conversations, ones that flatter or tell partial truths.
The Arab states must learn that the solution to their problems is not in the hands of the US. There is no way that America, which invaded Iraq without any legal or legitimate reason under international law and subsequently sent Iraqis into exile or their graves, will one day be converted into a sponsor of peace, nor will it save the Syrians in Aleppo from the fury of Assad or Putin. The US, which has sponsored the ethnic cleansing of Palestine for more than half a century and denied Arab rights, will never be the dove of peace that protects Syrians from expulsion or prevents their deaths. What everyone needs today is to realise that they cannot rely on America for support. We need to take a pause and remember that Washington is committed to its own interests and to Israel, which it created with Britain. America is the first killer that turned a blind eye to the support that Assad receives from Iraq, Iran and Lebanon.
Obama's America is no different to the America that will come in January when the new president moves into the White House. There will be some changes that work to the benefit of the new incumbent, of course, but general interests that affect the decision-making circle will remain the same. For this reason, I would like to say, do not have any hope because whoever comes next will not be any better.
The Syrians — indeed, all of the Arab people — need not look to anyone for emancipation from despotic regimes. They need only look to themselves and re-arrange from within as opposed to look for the nearest alternatives in Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar or any other Muslim or Arab country that they think might lend them a helping hand.
I have said and I will re-iterate that he who seeks to protect himself with American cover will remain naked. We have seen this in the case of Saudi Arabia, which America deals with in a manner that completely disregards the historical relationship between the two countries. In fact, when it comes to the interrogations that ensued in the wake of 9/11, the US exonerated Saudi Arabia's officials and government and has stated that they do not have any links to the attacks.
Perhaps one of the virtues of the Arab revolutions and the fair share of killing, oppression and international complicity that came with them, is that they exposed all the faults that existed in our relationships with the international community, including the relationship with America and the misunderstanding that it is friends with the Arab world. The Arabs have forgotten that American intent and interests do not know the meaning of friendship, as the US has been guilty of colonialism and occupation as long as they have benefited itself. It will stand beside authoritarian regimes as long as its interests are served.
Translated from Al-Araby Al-Jadid, 4 October, 2016.
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