Riadh Sidaoui. Writer, political scientist, director of the Arab Center for Political and Social Research and Analysis in Geneva (Caraps)
Two weeks after the Western strikes in Syria, Riadh Sidaoui comes back with us on this military intervention and its consequences on the ground, bringing a critical look to Western interventionism in the Middle East.
– How do you read about the military attacks on Syria today?
First, it is a violation of international law and the sovereignty of an independent country, without a mandate from the UN Security Council. In another aspect, these are limited strikes, with no real consequences on the ground. And we can clearly see the strategic vagueness of the United States and France as to the follow-up to be given to this intervention, which, moreover, did not cause serious damage in Syria.
Finally, it is a matter of preparing Western public opinion to accept the fait accompli, by demonizing and criminalizing Bashar Al Assad, because the Syrian regime’s army and its Russian and Iranian allies are victorious in the military field and almost dominate the military. -total Syrian territory.
Which is difficult to accept for the Western staffs, who thought they would end Al Assad after a few months. It’s also a way to save face. The balance of power is totally to the detriment of the West.
– This intervention is part of the long series of Western military interventions in the region: Iraq, Libya …
The fundamental difference between previous Western military interventions, in Iraq and Libya in particular, is the presence of Russia in the affair; after having remained passive in the overthrow of the Iraqi and Libyan regimes, it has demonstrated unwavering determination.
Russia has not let go of its Syrian ally, with strong involvement in diplomatic (UN systematic veto) and military (military intervention at the request of Syria from 2015) battles. The United States, after the fall of the USSR, believed they could shape the world to their wishes, but in the meantime new powers have emerged: China, Russia, Brics… which regularly oppose American interests, which plunges the world in a new cold war.
– In retrospect, how do you judge these Western interventions?
They have been and continue to be real catastrophes that only bring chaos and civil war. They claim to defend democracy and human rights, which is absurd because democracy or the political system does not import and impose itself from the outside, but are the result of a long historical process and dynamics. internal.
In reality, Western powers run after their various interests, which is nothing new in international relations. All the countries in which they have intervened are republics and not monarchies, all of which have also participated in the wars against the State of Israel and are staunch supporters of the Palestinian cause.
These countries are rich in oil and natural resources. What is more, these military interventions have almost all been financed by the Gulf oil monarchies, who are reluctant to any idea of democracy and human rights. Today, all of these targeted countries are in a state of state disintegration; civil wars and terrorism reign supreme there.
– How do Westerners see the results of their interventions today?
There is real silence in the face of the total chaos that reigns in Iraq and Libya. We wage war, we destroy, we speak of a dictator who must be removed, then after his overthrow, we forget the considerable damage and immeasurable human suffering; we forget the deaths and the irreparable destruction of societies and the human beings who compose them.
After all, this is just a troublesome diet that we got rid of! After militias flourish or terrorism spreads, that’s not our problem.
– In your books and conferences, you denounce the double standards of Westerners …
Indeed, I consider that Western interventions have always been hypocritical. I often give the example of Bahrain, which I think is exemplary. Why did they not support the legitimate demands for more democracy and social justice of the Bahraini people? Why did they let the Saudi tanks put down the rebellion? Quite simply because democracy and human rights are only a pretext to intervene.
In my latest book, From the Arab Spring to Daesh, I denounce the compromises of the Westerners and their carelessness, even their complicity in the appearance of ISIS, in particular the financing by the Gulf countries, the support of Turkey to certain groups or the post-Saddam Hussein American management, which it is the real breeding ground for this terrorist organization.
Interviewed by Sellal Lamara on Friday April 27, 2018