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Syrian War – A Lose-Lose Situation For The West As Opposition Of Russia, China And Iran Loom Large!

By Dr. Sawraj Singh

If the West attacks Syria, it has nothing to gain and everything to lose. An attack on Syria can start a chain of events which can lead to extremely disastrous and devastating consequences for the West and the rest of the world. The West used the false excuse of the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and got rid of Saddam Hussein. Now, the western excuse of chemical weapons in Syria will be seen as a pretext for dislodging Assad. However, this time the consequences can be much more dangerous than before. Therefore, the West should very seriously consider the consequences of this action before acting, or otherwise it may be too late and the West may have to regret it for the rest of its lifespan, which can hardly go beyond the middle of this century. Russia, Iran, China, and Syria have warned the West not to go ahead with its plans to attack Syria.

Let us see what the options can be for these countries to retaliate if the West goes ahead with its plans to attack Syria:

Russia

Russia has a long-standing grudge against Poland for its role in anti-Russia activities. Poland played a very important role in the downfall of the Soviet Union and the resulting humiliation of Russia. Poland has insisted on providing a base for the new American missiles which Russia sees as directed against it. Russia can see this situation as an opportunity to teach the Poles a lesson for humiliating Russia and endangering its security. Russia can completely justify such an attack as a legitimate action of self-defense; taking out the missile system which can be used to launch an attack on Russia, and therefore a threat to its security. Such an attack on Poland will not only devastate Poland, but Russia will emerge as the unquestioned leading power in Europe.

Russia can give heavy weapons to Iran or Syria to use against the American allies, particularly Israel. The western attack will put America’s allies, particularly Israel, at a great risk of receiving a crippling, if not fatal, blow.

Russia can increase pressure on Japan in the northern disputed island of Kunashir. This can help and encourage China to take over the Diaoyudao islands, which Japan claims as its own.

Iran

The western attack on Syria can become a do-or-die situation for Iran because of two reasons: First, Syria is the closest ally of Iran. Therefore, if Syria loses, the balance of power will shift against Iran and it will also become the next target for the West and its allies. Second, the war in Syria will be perceived as a Sunni-Shia war. Iran has to fight this war as its own war to defend its religion. Iran can disrupt the shipping lanes and give a devastating blow to the world economy. Oil has become the lifeline of the world economy and anything which can limit the supply and jack-up the price of oil can seriously aggravate the prevailing economic crisis, and probably push it from a recession into a depression.

China

China can take the Diaoyudao Islands, which Japan also claims as its own. This action can humiliate and demoralize Japan. It can also send a strong message to the other countries in Asia that have border problems with China, that if the strongest country in Asia cannot defend itself against China, then they do not have a chance. By cutting Japan to size, China can establish itself as the leading power in Asia just as Russia can establish itself as the leading power in Europe. South Korea, the other important American ally, will be left with no other choice except to move towards China.

Syria

The biggest danger for the West is that if Assad feels that he no longer has a chance of survival, then in his utter desperation, he can take the concept of a suicide-bombing to the ultimate and launch a suicidal attack on Israel by using everything he has. Saddam Hussein used SCUD missiles against Israel. However, Syria can inflict a far more serious blow on Israel before it loses the war.

The Arab League can also face very serious consequences for siding with the West against Syria. Such a war will deeply divide and destabilize the Arab countries. First, the Shia population, which is very big in some Arab countries, will turn against their governments. Second, the secular forces will see the war in Syria as a war between Islamic fundamentalism and secularism. These forces have already seen two of their leaders (Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi) go down. If they let Assad go down, then it will be seen as a big defeat for the secular forces.

Assad is seen as the last remaining secular leader in the region. Moreover, if Assad is able to give a severe blow to Israel before his demise, then he will be seen as a great hero and a martyr not only by the secularists, but by the majority of Muslims all over the world. The Arab League leaders will be perceived as traitors, lackeys of the West, and sell-outs by the vast majority of Muslims all over the world. Already, their lavish and decadent lifestyle is perceived as a great disgrace and slur to the great religion of Islam. Assad will become a great hero and the Arab League leaders will become the big villains.

Even if the West succeeds in dislodging Assad, yet the victory can turn sour. Al Qaeda and the other radical elements can fill the vacuum left by the demise of Assad. These elements hate the West and Israel much more than Assad does. When they will no longer have a common enemy like Assad, then they are likely to turn against the West and Israel. The West and Israel have to fear these elements much more than secular leaders like Assad.

The West should very seriously consider all the consequences of their action before launching an attack on Syria. A military solution is not likely to work and can make the situation much worse. A political solution, and not a war, is needed. The US should also remember that it has lost every major and prolonged war after the Second World War. These wars include the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the wars in Cambodia and Laos, the Iraq War, and the Afghanistan War. Quick victories usually turn into prolonged and dragged-on nightmares. This happened in countries such as Lebanon and Somalia. The quick victory in Libya is already turning extremely sour; the U.S. Ambassador was probably burned alive there.

India and the non-aligned countries should rise to the occasion and try to build a sentiment against the war. India and these countries have much more to lose if a war starts in the Middle East. The price of oil can skyrocket and make their economic crises much worse. The western capitalist order seems doomed to extinction in the middle of this century. However, the Syrian war can hasten the demise of the western capitalist order. It may even happen in this decade, the second decade of the 21st century.

The West should accept the writing on the wall: the western capitalist order and American hegemony have already out-lived their expected life spans. The West should not risk its own existence as well as the survival of the world in order to preserve its domination. It is much better to live in a world where there is no hegemony or domination of any country rather than perish while attempting to protect one’s hegemony and domination. After all, the West can learn to live in a world where everybody is treated with the principles of equality, fairness, and justice.

Dr. Sawraj Singh, MD F.I.C.S. is the Chairman of the Washington State Network for Human Rights and Chairman of the Central Washington Coalition for Social Justice. He can be reached at sawrajsingh@hotmail.com.

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