Tuesday 27 August 2013

Why the West needs to stay out of Syria

Why the West needs to stay out of Syria

You don't need more than a pair of eyes to see that what is happening in Syria is nothing less than a modern day tragedy and that something needs to be done to put an end the the slaughter of innocent civilians.

What started as a negligible conflict with odd mentions in the forgettable pages of newspapers has grown on to the front page of every newspaper and the subject of discussion around dinner tables across the world. Syria in now in a state of civil war and someone needs to go in and put an end to it before more innocent lives are lost. But not the West.

For centuries now, the Western world, the US and UK in particular, has charged around the rest of the world with the purpose of correcting all its ills. With a swagger and bravisimo that can only be likened to that of a rapper or an arrogant public school boy, it has gone across continents and people, flattening everything in its way and executing its own version of justice on evil dictators for no apparent reward but the sight of children with decayed teeth chasing cameras and army vans down dusty roads.

While we in the West, often cushioned from reality by our form of civilisation and the illusion of choice, smile to ourselves and discuss how gracious we are for stepping in to help the helpless who would have otherwise been trodden by their oppressor, we often forget that the normalcy that we leave with them can be also be as strange to them as the chaos we went in to fix was to us.

Syria, like the rest of the Middle East, is a unique tapestry of long standing issues and conflicts. The knowledge of the intricacies of these issues and how best to deal with them is only available to those who have grown up in and around it. Interference from the likes of the US and UK in these sort of conflicts will do nothing less than add another layer of conflict that leaves everyone involved even more uncomfortable.

Also, if history tells us anything about the West charging across the world to solves problems, it's that the West gets it horribly wrong more often than not. Think Iraq 1991. Think Iraq 2003. Think Afghanistan 1979. Think Afghanistan today

If the true intention of the West is the solve the crisis so that the people of Syria will live in peace, then it has to get the Arab League involved. If by some miracle this current crisis is solved by blowing up some strategic targets or arming the rebels, it is only a matter of time before conflict starts in another country in the region. What then? The West needs to put its ego aside and the lack of respect for the way of life in the Middle East and hand over the initiative. Otherwise, this could be the beginning of an even uglier series of events.

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