Syrian Government Most Unlikely Suspect in Massacre
Eight Western nations, including the United States and the United Kingdom, expelled Syrian diplomats Tuesday in response to a massacre of civilians in the Syrian town of Houla on May 25. The new French president even stated that he would not rule out international military intervention in Syria.
Western powers have long been intervening in other countries’ domestic affairs under the banner of “preventing humanitarian catastrophes.” The Houla massacre has undoubtedly offered them a perfect excuse to intervene in Syria’s domestic affairs. It is easy to imagine that they will impose harsher sanctions on the violence-riddled country, and may even launch military intervention.
Without truth, there can be no justice. The top priority right now is to find out the truth behind the massacre. As Syria’s opposing parties are all shifting the blame, we can guess that whoever benefits the most from the massacre is the mastermind.
Previously, the Bashar al-Assad-led Syrian government had started political transition by holding a constitutional referendum and parliamentary elections, and the country’s political situation was heading in the right direction as the government expected. Furthermore, the mediation by U.N.-Arab League special envoy Kofi Annan created a favorable international environment for a “political soft landing” in Syria.
In such a context, the Syrian government was more than willing to maintain the status quo. The massacre occurred at a time when the United Nations was sending more monitors to Syria, and during Annan’s visit to the country. It would not make any sense for the Syrian government to cause trouble for itself and to offer Western powers an excuse to intervene. Therefore, the Syrian government is the most unlikely suspect for the massacre.
Those who want to oust Assad and fish in troubled waters are more likely suspects.
The Syrian government has vowed to find the truth. All parties concerned should have refrained from taking reckless action before the truth comes out. However, certain Western nations have hastily criticized the Assad regime, and imposed diplomatic sanctions on Syria. The Houla massacre is being “politicized” by Western powers seeking to increase pressure on the Syrian government.
Politicizing humanitarian crises is a dangerous tendency. The so-called humanitarian intervention in a country’s domestic crisis has often resulted in a bigger or a real humanitarian disaster.
On the one hand, many military interventions carried out by Western powers were based on false facts and ambiguous statements. For instance, Western powers launched a war on Iraq in 2003 because of Saddam Hussein’s regime’s alleged possession of weapons of mass destruction. The allegation was later proved totally unfounded. Wars based on ambiguous, fragmented truth will only further trample on international justice.
On the other hand, this kind of military intervention usually leads to real humanitarian disasters. For example, before the NATO launched the “humanitarian intervention” war in Libya, domestic conflicts of Libya caused only hundreds of deaths, but the Libya war caused tens of thousands of deaths.
Currently, signs showing that the “humanitarian intervention” will lead to larger humanitarian disasters have already appeared in Syria. If Western countries did not always suppress the Bashar administration and financially support the Opposition, the turbulence of the Syrian situation would not last to today and the Houla Incident would not have happened. In this sense, Western countries should be responsible for this slaughter.
More dangerously, if the West insists making use of the “Houla Incident” to overthrowing the Bashar administration, it will intensify contradictions among different denominations of Syria and lead to real humanitarian disasters that are severer and much more tragic the Houla Incident. It is not that the West countries cannot see this prospect, they just do not care. Their “humanitarian intervention” is hypocritical actually.
Currently, the Houla Incident has pushed Syria to the top of the wave once again. Syria is facing two roads and two prospects. First, various denominations of Syria base their considerations on the overall national interest of Syria and the welfare of Syrian people, learn a lesson from past and choose the road of political reconciliation. This road will have a bright future. Second, various denominations of Syria continue intensifying their confrontations. It will make the political situation of Syria more turbulent and even lead to a result like the result of Libya: The current administration will be overthrown by them and the West and larger humanitarian disasters will occur. This road will have a dark prospect.
All peace-loving political forces must learn a lesson from the past and make up their minds to make the political situation of Syria have a “soft landing.”