Back in October, when Russia committed forces to the conflict in Syria, I predicted that “At last there may be an end in sight to the disaster that Western foreign policy has landed upon Syria, formerly one of the most stable and secular nations in the Middle East.” (see that blog here)
Now, just five months later, it looks like an end to five years of conflict may have finally arrived, as Russia begins to remove its forces from the field. This was never an actual civil war, with the fight against Assad’s government being funded by and often fought by non-Syrian interest groups.
During three weeks of a successful ceasefire in Syria, our news media has given more coverage to the refugee crisis than to this positive turn of events that holds the promise of ending that crisis. If this peace holds and settles, it will soon be possible for millions of Syrians to return home and rebuild their nation. Despite all the fervent anti-Assad propaganda fed to our media it is worth remembering that there was no refugee crisis before the war began. The vast majority of Syrians were happy living in beautiful Syria, with a secular government more democratic and uncorrupted than some of our major allies, and more popular than that of Francoise Holland in France.
War is horrendous and in my book (below) I suggest it is possible for humanity to live together in peace and harmony without the need to slaughter each other in its pursuit. But as long as we accept organized killing as a normal feature of civilization, wars will continue to bring death, destruction and anguish. Who is unleashing this and whether it arrives in Hellfire missiles or barrel bombs is not the point.
When we are not destroying things we display a remarkable ability to create them, and the one is not dependent upon the other. Let us hope and pray that this recent ceasefire leads to lasting peace and a return to normality in this beautiful part of the world.