Saturday November 25, 2017
Now the day of reckoning has arrived, marked by the meeting of Presidents Bashar al Assad and Vladimir Putin in Sochi. Their conference was also a meeting of militaries, whose cooperation and success on the battlefield against Western-backed terrorists has brought us to this point. So we need to be clear about what happened, and what did not happen.
Syria has been under siege for six and a half years – longer than the siege of France in WW2 – to which the siege of Syria bears some superficial similarities. Such analogies can be misleading – France was under “collaborative occupation” by Germany, while Syria’s situation more resembles that of France in World War One - the similarities are rather in the question ofguilt.
In both World Wars, there was little debate or doubt over who was the aggressor; France was not invaded because of preceding provocations or attacks on Germany, or seizure of its territory. Western powers who came to France’s aid in both wars did so to defeat German forces and restore French sovereignty over its own territory.
Such is the case with Syria, and this crucial point is now emphasised by the successful defeat of the invading and occupying forces. Syria played no part in starting the war in March 2011, either by provocations against its neighbours or in abuse of its own population that might justify “humanitarian intervention” (though noting that such infringement of another state’s sovereignty may in any case not be authorised under international law).