No war, no cry!
The missile strike on Syria was another embarrassing phase in the tragic episode that started in 2011. The joint operation by the United States, the United Kingdom, and France was a sheer show of power—nothing more, nothing less. What’s worse is the use of humanitarian language for such actions further tarnishes the belief in international humanism.
The history of “humanitarian intervention” goes back to the 19th century, as the term is invented to legitimize colonialism by the British. It was revived after 9/11 to justify military intervention in Afghanistan. Although, iit was n fact reinvented for intervention in Kosovo even before that, Kosovo remained the least controversial case of humanitarian intervention. Those who argued against Diane Johnstone’s book Fools’ Crusade (2002) and David Chandler’s book From Kosovo to Kabul (2002) remained on the sidelines.
Since then, the argument of humanitarian intervention is notoriously used for the U.S. and British occupation of Iraq. Despite that, the intervention of Iraq not only led to a great tragedy of war, political chaos, and total devastation, but also proved to be based on lies and hoaxes. It did not stop the politics of intervention in the name of humanity in Libya and the invention of the so-called international legitimacy of the Responsibility to Protect doctrine (R2P).
In all cases, the humanitarian interventions led to disaster and proved to be utter forms of hypocrisy on behalf of Western powers. Now, the same argument that the U.S., the U.K. and France are “punishing Syria for the Syrian regime’s use of chemical weapons in Ghouta” sounds even less convincing than ever.
Again, it is not the first time that Western liberals have not only supported the so-called “humanitarian military measures” but have indulged in war mongering. It is once again what Richard Seymour called “The Liberal Defense of Murder” (2008). The American liberals, who despise Trump otherwise, not only cherished him for the military attack but also put pressure on him to be on this track since he has come to power.
In fact, the whole Syrian affair has a dark story to unfold sometime, as the war is enflamed by Western powers and their regional allies and proxies in order to achieve a regime change in Syria. Besides, the hostility against the Assad regime has much less to do with his authoritarianism than his alliance with Iran. Finally, Obama came to the understanding that the best way out was to make a deal with Iran during his second term in office. It was the only hope for peace in Syria, but that is over now.
A “humanitarian military intervention” is a contradiction of terms period. Those who believe in humanitarianism should oppose all sorts of military aggression and stand up against those disguised as humanitarian interventions. It has utter importance, not only in the name of peaceful politics but also in the name of the credibility of international humanitarianism.
After all, it is the abuse of universal values and hypocritical politics, which stipe humanitarian ideas and efforts of their credibility and pave way to the rise of anti-Western conspiratorialism and anti-Semitism as its counterpart. Finally, for pro-peace politics, the maxim is “no war, no cry!”