Next Stop: Syria

A new study says the British have invaded nine out of ten countries on earth: during the course of their long history of conquest, only 22 nations escaped Britannia’s imperial wrath. And it looks like they’re at it again, with British Prime Minister David Cameron declaring it’s time to arm the Syrian rebels, outfit the Turks with Patriot missiles, and overthrow the Syrian government.

Now that the election is over, and The One is safely ensconced in the Oval Office, the regime change project begun in Libya is getting the green light in Syria. Cameron wants a no-fly zone established: he also proposes giving Bashar al-Assad "safe passage," so he can “self-deport,” as Mitt Romney would say. Repeating the usual propaganda – He’s killing his own people! – Cameron declared:

“It is truly horrendous to hear those stories and just redoubles my determination that now, with a newly elected American president, we have got to do more to help this part of the world, to help Syria achieve transition."

Of course, the Syrian rebels are also killing their own people: check out this execution video, the War Party’s porn. Nice, eh? The refugee camp Cameron visited will no doubt be used to recruit more of these model citizens to do the West’s dirty work in Syria.

Another war in the Middle East – is this what American voters wanted when they voted to reelect The One? Well, no, but they have no say in the matter, as Andrew Harper, the UN representative, made clear in his remarks:

"We need the money to come in. If the international community says there is no money because of the financial crisis – I would say don’t talk like that. People are spending billions of dollars on issues which are not that important. I think in the US they spent $8bn on Halloween."

How dare those Americans spend anything on themselves, i.e. "issues which are not that important." Halloween? Thanksgiving? Christmas? Your birthday? Why, you selfish cretin – don’t you know that funding the Islamist terrorists who are destroying Syria is far more "important" than any use you could find for your own money? Shut up and hand it over!

The Brits, you’ll recall, were the main agitators for the "liberation" of Libya, but this time they’re far from alone, with NATO member Turkey revving up the engines of the regime change machine right across the border. Obsessed since its founding amid the ruins of the Ottoman empire with creating a "Greater Turkey," Ankara is motivated by a radical pan-Turkism that envisions a unitary state encompassing all the Turkic-speaking peoples of the region – as far as China’s western border, and including most of Syria. The military junta that really runs modern day Turkey is eager to put down the Syrian Kurdish minority that, in Turkey, chafes under its brutal rule – where even the Kurdish language is forbidden, and all Kurdish organizations are banned.

Not to be outdone, the Saudis and Qataris are funding the Islamists, with help from the United States, but there is some dispute over which groups should be getting the arms. After months of agitating for Assad’s removal, the US State Department has lately become concerned that the weapons are falling into the "wrong" hands, and Hillary worries aloud that the "revolution" is being "hijacked." Now it seems US policymakers are shocked – shocked! – that the Syrian National Council, the exile group that pretends to run the insurrection, has no female members. I must admit to being equally shocked al-Qaeda hasn’t "empowered" women in its top ranks, either: what’s wrong with these people?

You really can’t make this stuff up: reality is outpacing satirists so quickly that parody will soon go the way of the choral lyric.

There is little doubt al Qaeda and its regional cheerleaders are deeply involved in the Syrian rebellion: indeed, their fighters are in the front lines, detonating car bombs, looting and burning Christian churches, and cutting a swathe of destruction across large parts of the country. Foreign fighters are coming across the border from Iraq, and points as far away as Libya and Afghanistan, flocking to fight a holy war against the Alawite and Shi’ite "heretics."

It is the policy of the West to fuel this religious civil war for a number of reasons, first and foremost the old imperialist principle of "divide and conquer." The Brits, with their long experience of shouldering the White Man’s Burden, are skilled practitioners of the art of subjugation, but the Americans are fast learners – they just need a bit of pressure now and then.

As long as the Arabs are fighting among themselves, opportunists like the Turks, the Saudis, and the Gulf states can alight on the corpse and feed to their hearts content. In the meantime, the Israelis can sit tight and wait for the propitious moment to go after Hezbollah, annex the West Bank, and fulfill the old Zionist dream of a Greater Israel. With the last of Iran’s local alliles out of the way, the stage is set for the Big One: Iran.

Having facilitated the dominance of the Islamist militias, Washington pretends to be horrified by its own handiwork. To prevent this "hijacking" we’ll soon see a NATO-Arab League-sponsored expeditionary force, dubbed "peacekeepers," consisting mostly of Turkish janissaries and British and American spooks, ready to move in after their Islamist allies make short work of the Ba’athists. This will be done in the name of "protecting minorities," i.e. Alawites and Christians, who will eventually be driven out just like the Copts and others are being driven out of Egypt.

We are in for yet another "humanitarian" intervention, with all the pious liberals who worship at the altar of Obama given a fresh opportunity to flex their "national security" muscles. And because these dreary "humanitarians" are so unimaginative, they’ll conjure, a la Libya, another Benghazi Moment – a "humanitarian disaster" so horrific that failure to intervene will amount to a Moral Crime. At which point the State Department matriarchs will get on their broomsticks and swing into action once again, accompanied by numerous "progressive" party-lining pundits.

That the Obama cult’s electoral triumph is scheduled to coincide with the revving up of the regime-change machine is hardly surprising: what’s a little bit shocking is that they hardly wasted any time doing it. Barely twenty-four hours had passed before Cameron issued his Syrian interdict, and the foreign policy wonk circuit was alight with signals the warlords of Washington and London are on the move.

I know of two Republican senatorial candidates who got their heads handed to them trivializing the subject of rape: however, when it comes to the rape of an entire country, America’s liberals are mum.

The Obama administration claims it has a "mandate" to nationalize the healthcare industry, to bail out its corporate cronies, and to raise taxes on "the rich" – i.e. anyone who owns a small business. These are all things liberals love, but will they acknowledge that this supposed "mandate" extends to the foreign policy realm, where it conflicts with the "progressive" agenda as it used to be configured? Or will they reconfigure American liberalism to make way for Obama’s "progressive" wars, in the Middle East and elsewhere?

The War Party is a protean creature, one that takes on any form as long as it suits their purpose: right-wing nationalist, left-wing do-gooder, neocon "liberationist" or self-righteous liberal with a "responsibility to protect," there are guises to suit practically any political situation. In the Bush era, we were subjected to the oily prognostications of Richard Perle (they’ll shower us with rose petals!) and Paul Wolfowitz (Iraqi oil will pay for the war!) Today we are treated to the pronouncements of the three Valkyries of Hillary’s State Department: Samantha Power and Gayle Smith, directors of the National Security Council, and Susan Rice, U.S. Ambassador to the UN. (And Hillary makes four.) It was these "humanitarian" harpies who badgered Obama into going along with the Libyan gambit, and no doubt they are even now bending his ear – not that he needs much prompting.

Domestically, the President isn’t going to be able to accomplish all that much, what with a Republican House and the filibustering Senate GOP’ers. The looming "fiscal cliff," and the restrictions imposed by partisan gridlock, will prevent him from taking any very effective action in this realm. The foreign policy arena is where he can make his mark, unobstructed by either Congress or common sense. Having largely ceded this policy domain to Hillary, he has every reason to sit back and watch her embark on a campaign to carve our her place in history – and set the stage for her destined role as the instrument of the Clintonian Restoration, and the country’s first female Commander-in-chief. The unity of the Democratic party demands it.

According to my theory of inter-state relations, foreign policy is determined by domestic political considerations rather than objective state interests. This explains American fealty to Israel, for example, in spite of the price we pay in inciting anti-Americanism and terrorism worldwide. It also explains why overt US intervention in Syria, in some form, is a virtual certainty, and sooner rather than later.

Syrians look at neighboring Iraq and see the future they fear: their fate is sealed, particularly if they’re Christians or Alawites. Yet why should Western liberals get all excited over the destruction of those reactionary Christians, who are such a nuisance in the US? As for the Alawites, who make up 12 percent of Syria’s population, for some reason I just can’t see liberal pundits rising in defense of an obscure ninth century Muslim sect that celebrates Christmas, Easter, and Palm Sunday: these are not Bosnian Muslims, after all.

Hillary’s campaign to get ahead of the Arab Spring and install US-friendly regimes throughout the region is one of those "far-sighted" grand strategies fated to go wrong in a big way. This is precisely the sort of centrally planned social engineering project so beloved by "progressives" on the home front: in the domestic realm it leads to Solyndra – practiced on the international level, it ends in war.

This is Hayek’s "fatal conceit" applied to foreign affairs: we cannot possibly know enough about the cultures and countries whose fate we presume to direct. The batteries of "experts" and self-appointed world-savers straining at the bit to get their hands on Syria can’t even understand who it is they’re "liberating," let alone predict the outcome of their necessarily ham-handed interventions. It can only end badly – and it will.

If actual American interests motivated US policymakers, we wouldn’t now be allying with al Qaeda and its Saudi and Gulf state sponsors to destroy the last secular regime in the Middle East. Nor would be cozying up to Israel, and guaranteeing its regional monopoly on nuclear weapons – an inherently unstable and deadly dangerous state of affairs.

Instead, the fate of the world’s peoples is in the hands of ambitious politicians and their partisans, subject to the winds of ideological fashion and the whims of an arrogant and avaricious political class. Armed with the mightiest military machine ever known, these paladins of global virtue rampage over the earth at their leisure, murdering and looting in the name of "democracy" and their "responsibility to protect."

Conservative commentators whining about Obama’s victory have come up with the theory – not a new one, by any means – that the American people are so corrupted by the welfare state that their votes can be bought with a handful of food stamps and free contraceptives. I would attribute Romney’s well-earned defeat to other factors, but it strikes me that this analysis is missing something: it isn’t only bread that keeps the masses fat, happy, and ready to vote for their benefactors, but also circuses – which, in the modern parlance, means wars.

Each war we fight is a little morality play, in which Uncle Sam is the avenging angel and the target country is the seat of evil in the world: from Saddam Hussein to Bashar al-Assad, they are all eminently qualified as hate objects – and no match for the US. Like ancient Romans turning "thumbs down" on their victims in the arena, our chattering classes are entertained by these wars of "liberation." They can tweet to each other the evidence of their invincible virtue, while they imagine themselves the lords and ladies of creation.

Has a more decadent and brazenly hypocritical political class ever existed anywhere on earth? Such hubris is bound to be punished by the gods, and as far as I’m concerned it couldn’t come too soon.

Author: Justin Raimondo

Justin Raimondo passed away on June 27, 2019. He was the co-founder and editorial director of, and was a senior fellow at the Randolph Bourne Institute. He was a contributing editor at The American Conservative, and wrote a monthly column for Chronicles. He was the author of Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement [Center for Libertarian Studies, 1993; Intercollegiate Studies Institute, 2000], and An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard [Prometheus Books, 2000].