Mick Hume, spiked
One special power that Western leaders like Barack Obama and David Cameron retain is the ability further to mess up the Middle East.
The Syrian crisis demonstrates the waning authority and creeping impotence of the West in the Middle East. It also, however, confirms that the US, UK and other global players retain one special power: the unique ability to make a terrible situation worse, by interfering in other peoples’ conflicts around the world.
We have heard the familiar bluster from British prime minister David Cameron and US president Barack Obama, about peace, humanitarianism, saving the children, combatting extremism and weapons of mass destruction. As ever, this interventionist rhetoric has far more to do with bolstering Western politicians’ own authority than solving the problems facing the Syrian people. But what are our something-must-be-done politicians actually proposing to do this time?
They certainly don’t want to repeat the disastrous, bloody invasions of Iraq from 2003 and Afghanistan from 2001. They are not even too keen on launching the sort of long-distance, low-risk aerial war they conducted over Libya in 2011. Instead, Cameron and Obama have proposed arming ‘the Syrian rebels’.
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Syria: semi-impotent West can still make it worse