The terrible tragedy of earthquake in Syria ought to have moved the United States by now to lift its dozen-year-old unilateral sanctions on the tragic nation.
With the sanctions in place, a willing world can’t transfer funds from banks; goods from manufacturers; medicines from pharmas and even humanitarian aids as Syrian ports have fallen silent.
We are talking of a nation where 8 out of 10 Syrians are in acute poverty and over 13 million people need humanitarian assistance.
An oil-producing country has been reduced to burning plastic to keep families warm.
Fuel is saved by giving schools and civil offices a three-day weekend; and sports events likewise are suspended.
From an exporter, Syrians now import grain with whatever funds it’s left with after billions of its dollars and assets were seized by the US-led West with its sanctions.
Thus fuel is no longer subsidized, bread is rationed and a large Syrian family either goes hungry by turn; or girls prostitute themselves to bring food on the table.
The US humanitarian relief for Syrians which you read about in newspapers is either for over its million refugees in Europe or the rebels/insurgents/Kurds it looks after in country’s NorthEast.
It’s the same region where US massively loots Syrian oil — about 80% of Syria’s daily production—with the occupation force it has on ground for over a decade now.
All of this is in the name of “human intervention” by the United States in a bid to replace a democratically elected and defiant Bashar al-Assad who is still in control of 70% of his nation.
“Human intervention” is one of the three key tools—alongside “democracy” and “fighting terror”— imperialists employ but no such humanism is visible when it was apartheid in South Africa; or living hell for Palestinians; or when the White House lawns open up for tyrants, autocrats, despots of the world if they happen to be friends.
The sinful media keeps the humanity ignorant about the fate of millions of Yemenis, Afghanis, Iraqis, Libyans or Syrians; Cubans or Somalians, as it did to what happened in Korea, Vietnam, Yugoslavia etc in earlier decades.
Neither the UN Charter nor international laws, such as Nuremberg principles (1946) to which Washington is a signatory, deters the United States from launching its tool of “human intervention” for its strategic goals.
Syria’s crime all along was its refusal to allow US’ ally Qatar to build a pipeline through its country in 2009 as it was its closeness to Russia, not to forget its gratitude to Moscow in keeping Syria afloat.
It was the basis of a bid to overthrow the Assad regime; an operation which had a number of NATO nations arming and training terrorist groups, as well as resorting to military actions directed against Syrians’ own government, its military and citizens.
A UN human rights expert Alena Douhan has termed the sanctions as disaster for the Sryians.
“I am struck by the pervasiveness of the human rights and humanitarian impact of the unilateral coercive measures imposed on Syria and the total economic and financial isolation of a country whose people are struggling to rebuild a life with dignity, following the decade-long war,” Douhan said.
Douhan appealed for sanctions to be lifted for Syria’s infrastructure to be rebuilt. It’s main cities like Damascus, Aleppo, Homs, Hama and Latakia bear a terrible sight, yet none worse than Raqqa the heritage city which was reduced to rubbles by American bombs.
Raqqa suffered from carpet bombings, heavy artillery strikes, use of banned white phosphorous shells which killed hundreds of civilians.
Aleppo wasn’t left with a water-treatment system which showed up with the outbreak of Cholera last summer; as was the state of its medical paralysis during Covid-19 pandemic.
Today Syria finds its oil stolen, its billion of dollars of assets seized, its considerable remittances from Syrians abroad gone.
This is all what a “regime change” bid has yielded in Syria.
This “human intervention” of course is laudable but not the Russians’ in defence of its ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine.
This is not an “unprovoked aggression”; as it was not in Iraq in 2003 though we are incessantly told Russia’s is an “unprovoked aggression” in Ukraine.
Bashar-al-Asad is not a hero for standing up for its nation and people though Volodymyr Zelenskyy is a wartime hero like few.
Putin must be punished for “war crimes” in Ukraine but trying affixing this on West for its transgressions in Middle East and elsewhere.
Do tell me if you see any “humanitarian” angle in keeping Syrians poor and miserable; to deprive them of their own money for rebuilding; or intimidating the rest of the world which would love to bring Syria back on its feet.
This earthquake tragedy would soon be taken off from your attention. But while it lasts, it would all be tragedy of Turkey and little of Syria.
This is how democracy is saved in our world; and human interventions done without any good to humanity.