I don’t know about you, but the world I live in is not safer than it was post 9/11. The war in Iraq got rid of a dictator, Saddam Hussein; but it left a vacuum which together with foreign back-pedalling on Syria has created the evil ISIS/ISIL. The independent group Iraq Body Count believes over 150,000 have been killed in Iraq since 2003.
With global help, Libya took care of the megalomaniac Muammar Gadaffi. But it failed to secure the arms that sustained him for 42 odd years. That ‘mistake’ created a fiefdom of uncontrollable militia across Libya. Experts see a link between the collapse of the Libyan state and the war that nearly finished Mali. It is believed that Libyan bands travelled across the desert into the hands of Boko Haram and that the mercenaries who failed in Timbuktu are fighting on Boko Haram’s side in Nigeria.
So what went wrong with Syria? How did the chubby relationship between the west and Bashar al-Assad get sour? How did the reformist prince who would open his country’s doors to the enchanting arms of democracy suddenly become such a repulsive foe? Who among the tribal warlords is the trusted democrat to make Syria the model America of the Arab world?
What is behind the new thinking that the entire world should democratize overnight? Why are the teachers of freedom and diversity so antagonistic of the diversity brought by traditionalists, communists, feudalists and whatever else exists out there? Why have can’t we see that our attempt at force-feeding the rest of humanity with the addictive diet of our version of may be creating the manure for the growth of extremism?
The extremist corridor created by the Syrian imbroglio is a magnet attracting young people fed on violent video lionising murder. Al-Assad continues to dig in even as his bloodthirsty enemies are sworn to eternal revenge.
UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi has just failed at his second attempt at brokering peace. This is how he explained it to the beleaguered people of Syria “I apologise to them that in these two rounds we haven’t helped them very much.” That is an understatement. The refugee camps are as filled as the morgues. Time is a luxury the displaced do not have.
Would support for Assad stop the bleeding, recover lost ground and return our world to what it was before the madness began? That’s the question the world needs to answer before it reaches the point of no return.