In Defense of Western Intervention: An Opinion on Syria

Source: AMP News

By Martin Mulvenna, Contributor​
Ever since the 2003 intervention in Iraq, the word ‘intervention’ (especially in the Middle-East) has taken on sinister connotations in the minds of those of the West. Often to use such a word is to invite cynicism. However, it is currently impossible to comfortably escape into this cynical mindset, while every day we are presented with the news that yet another hospital has been bombed, or subjected to the surreal image of children roaming around a warzone – all the while witnessing the once democratic zeal of the Arab Spring being slowly smothered by the servile regime of Assad, backed by an increasingly expansionist Russia.

It is not merely enough for the West to sit back and watch a whole section of Syrian civil society to be grounded into rubble from the skies, apocalyptically botched out by scores of Russian fighter jets, whose targets continually and intentionally blur the distinction between civilian and military targets. The bombing of civilian areas and the use of chemical weapons are just some of the many crimes being committed in Syria that are going unpunished.  How many hospitals must be reduced to ruins before it collectively weighs on the conscience of the West? Yet most are content to merely stand back and offer words of solidarity with the people of Syria. Unless these words can somehow project an aura of protection over Aleppo, then words are what they are.

The feebleness of the Western approach to the Civil War in Syria is personified in Obama’s “Red Line”: that if Assad continued the use of Chemical weapons, it would warrant a military response – Assad called bluff and continues to use them. The apparent weakness of the U.S to live up to its words, is all what was needed for Putin to intervene on behalf of his ally. Yet again the West can only offer hallow words of condemnation while Syria comes under the increasing control of the megalomaniac in the Kremlin. He already has Crimea, why not Aleppo too? The West’s response is systematic of their belief in the fallacy that Putin is a reasonable man. This is a man who is determined to regain Russia’s lost Imperial status and is so far only four letters short of doing so. 

Yet when one entertains the notion of intervention they are instantly labelled ‘hawkish’ or ‘imperialistic’. This is an utter delusion; the West cannot afford to stand back while the principles of basic human rights and Democracy are brutally dismantled in Syria. These principles are not laughable concepts, nor cloaked words to hide any ulterior motive. These are fundamental and cannot be pacifistically ignored, to do so is to invite historical condemnation and merely inflate the ego of those who wish to destroy them. How much longer can we go on appeasing the aggressor? 

Published by The Gown Queen's University Belfast

The Gown has provided respected, quality and independent student journalism from Queen's University, Belfast since its 1955 foundation, by Dr. Richard Herman. Having had an illustrious line of journalists and writers for almost 70 years, that proud history is extremely important to us. The Gown is consistent in its quest to seek and develop the talents of aspiring student writers.

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