Here’s Why France Should Be Blamed for the Destruction in Syria

Why is France so interested in Syria? According to the Guardian, France’s policy in Syria has been “more forward than any other Western country”:

[France] was early in calling for President Bashar al-Assad to step down, still insists he must go, and recently joined airstrikes inside Syria against the Islamic State.”

France joined the United States in bombing Syrian territory (without a U.N. mandate) even before the United Kingdom did. In 2013, France stood by Obama’s side despite the fact the United Kingdom’s parliament voted not to join Obama’s efforts to “punish” Syrian president Bashar al-Assad for crossing Obama’s imaginary red line. France has also been a staunch backer of rebels fighting to overthrow Assad since the conflict began.

Not many people know this, but Syria was a former French colony prior to World War II. Both Syria and Lebanon were promised to France under a secret agreement reached with Great Britain following the fall of the Ottoman Empire in 1916. However, even in recent times, France was not overtly anti-Syrian. When Bashar al-Assad took power in 2000, France bore no real ill will towards him. Former president Nicolas Sarkozy openly praised Assad for defending the rights of Syrian Christians.

It is a bold statement to blame France for the current situation in Syria. However, as discussed by Dr. Ayse Tekdal Fildis in an academic paper entitled “The Troubles in Syria: Spawned by French Divide and Rule”:

“Great Britain and France transformed what had been relatively quiet provinces of the Ottoman Empire into some of the least stable and internationally explosive states in the world.”

As part of the Ottoman Empire, Syria did not exist as an entity and was more commonly referred to as “Greater Syria,” “Geographical Syria,” or “Natural Syria,” which was actually comprised of Jordan, Israel/Palestine, Lebanon, and modern day Syria.

Colonially speaking, France was never welcome in Syria. As noted by Randall Baker, an “international expert on historical perspectives in the analysis of contemporary environmental policy and problems,” Syria directly told France they were not welcome to interfere in Syria as early as June of 1919. However, France went ahead and took Syria by cunning force following the San Remo Conference that year, allowing Amir Faysal Ibn Husayni to remain king of Syria only if the country remained under French control and influence. In practice, this gave Syria some leeway — until an interventionist in the form of Alexandre Millerand took office in France. Unsurprisingly, after Syria’s Congress declared Faysal king of the “United Syria Kingdom,” which was to be an unconditionally independent state, France declared this declaration to be null and void.

Instead, Millerand imposed five unconditional demands on Syria: (1) the unconditional acceptance of the French mandate; (2) the acceptance of French-Syrian paper money based on the Franc (sound familiar?); (3)the abolition of conscription and reduction of the army (sound familiar?); (4) French military occupation of the railway and stations from Riyaq to Aleppo; and (5) punishment of persons implicated in hostile acts against the French.

Despite the fact that Faysal accepted the ultimatum in principle, France decided it was time for him to leave. On July 26, 1920, the French government intervened outright and occupied Damascus, overthrowing Faysal and his nationalist government. With this complete takeover of the Syrian region, France also gifted itself the ability to veto any Syrian legislation, making “a charade out of Syrian political life.”

Not surprisingly, there was great resistance to colonial rule from the officers of the Arab army (sound familiar?).

In order to fully take control of Syria, France relied on a divide and rule strategy to undermine Arab nationalism. This strategy involved dividing Syria into segments to block any chance at an overriding sense of nationalism. However, interfering in Lebanon at the same time, a country that also did not exist as an entity under the Ottoman Empire, also played to France’s strengths in disallowing any sense of unity in the region. As Dr. Fildis notes:

“The Maronites saw Lebanon as their own Christian homeland; Sunni Muslims, however, demanded unity with Syria and looked towards the wider Arab world for their source of identity. Therefore, there was no common identity in Greater Lebanon at its birth and no instinct to become a nation; it was just a Christian-dominated French power based in the Middle East.” [emphasis added]

The chief architect of French policy in Syria prior to and during World War I, Robert de Caix, opposed the creation of a unified Syrian state as it would supposedly “have an Arab and Muslim orientation, would be hostile to France and would project a dangerous influence on French North Africa.” It should be noted that dividing and partitioning the resistant Arab states into smaller, weaker states that would pose no threat to American allies in the region is deemed to be one of the core reasons the West is continuously backing wars in the Middle East to this day.

In the context of this divide and rule policy, it should be no surprise that Syria is currently ruled by an Alawite regime — a minority in Syria — which continues to be a problematic issue. As Dr. Fildis explains:

“Some of Syria’s religious and ethnic minorities, such as Kurds, Armenians, Jews and various Christian sects, were widely dispersed and did not have a geographical base to give rise to political unity, whereas the Alawites and Druze were compact regional minorities with considerable political unity.” [emphasis added]

In essence, one of these groups was always going to have to take charge to the detriment of the other political and religious identities, and unity would always be an issue. As Dr. Fildis explains, the French are directly responsible for this calamity:

“Their autonomy mainly had been fostered by the French in an attempt to break Syrian unity. By the end of the mandate, Alawite and Druze areas were incorporated into the larger Syrian state by the French. Nonetheless, minority consciousness, reinforced by a combination of geography, religious differences, communal segregation and regional separatism, had a damaging impact on Syrian political life even long after the mandate.”

However, due to this distaste for France’s actions, the European power’s stranglehold over Syria was short-lived. France’s attempts to destroy Syrian nationalism and prevent any sense of unity in the country ultimately backfired. In that context, it is clear that France had no interest in creating a democratic state for the Syrian people given Syria’s self-governance was putting them on the road to democracy.

As explained in an article published by the Globalist, adapted from an essay by Ian Buruma entitled, “Year Zero, A History of 1945,” France was still fighting for control of Syria as World War II was ending and the formation of the United Nations was well underway, bombing Syrians in Damascus, Aleppo, Hama, and Homs. The British immediately helped Syria oust French forces, and Damascus celebrated the French withdrawal. According to the Globalist, General Charles de Gaulle stated in response to Britain’s interference:

“We are not in a position to open hostilities against you at the present time. But you have insulted France and betrayed the West. This cannot be forgotten.”

So how can Syria’s current political upheaval be directly attributed to the French? Well, as noted by award-winning writer, Dr. Halla Diyab:

“The era of the French mandate created a bad and destructive political habit that Syria picked up through time to internalize and feed for decades to come: political radicalization ‘the legacy of which was almost a guarantee of Syria’s political instability.’ Political upheaval and instability [were] dominant political feature[s] of Syria until [the] Assads came to power.”

Is France looking to reclaim what they believe should have been theirs following the fall of the Ottoman Empire? Or are we really to believe that France is motivated by human rights concerns and a keen interest in counter-terrorism?

France’s commitment to counter-terrorism should be questioned outright. As the Atlantic observed, France retaliated against the infamous 2015 terror attacks in Paris by ramping up its military operations in Syria, despite the fact that the attacks could have been in response to a number of French military operations across the globe. The Atlantic states:

“It’s worth noting that the ISIS statement translated by SITE makes no explicit mention of Syria. The French military has been heavily involved in operations against Islamist militant groups outside of the Middle East over the last few years, including one group that has pledged fealty to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Islamic State’s self-proclaimed caliph. France has deployed 3,000 troops to West Africa—a region where they’ve historically had great influence, as a colonial power and otherwise—with a presence in Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Ivory Coast. The fight in Mali has centered on al-Qaeda affiliated militants, but in Nigeria and surrounding countries, France has been the Western nation most invested in fighting against Boko Haram, the brutal Nigerian Islamist organization. Earlier this year, Boko Haram pledged allegiance to Baghdadi.” [emphasis added]

The Washington Post has therefore attributed France’s keen interest in influencing events in Syria as rooted in three key factors. First, the writers argue, France is attempting to reinforce itself as a great power. Second, France is offering an alternative foreign policy to that of the option of the United States military (though what this entails in practice is not clear). And lastly, France can enhance and strengthen ties with the anti-Assad Sunni nations in the Middle East, who also share “France’s deep distrust of Iran” (Syria’s closest ally).

Clearly, France has renewed its aggressively colonial stance in recent times. The importance of the global energy markets, as evidenced by France’s ulterior rationale to take out Gaddafi in Libya, cannot be understated. Syria presents a threat to French interests as an Iranian-dominated bridge between Russia and Europe would cut France out of this energy-rich area completely, something which was previously theirs prior to the end of World War II. By overthrowing Assad and creating a puppet government of France’s own (currently known as the Syrian National Council), France would be able to alleviate the economic threat an Iranian alliance poses to the anti-Assad interests in the region and assert itself as a colonial power in the heart of the Middle East, taking back what was once theirs.

As noted by anti-war Youtube channel Stormcloudsgathering:

The West is in a state of decline. Their influence is waning. If the U.S. and their allies fail to remove Assad from power, what they will be faced with is more than just a strong Shia crescent [a reference to the Iranian dominated bridge of Iran-Iraq-Lebanon-Syria]. If they fail, they risk being edged out of the entire region and replaced by Russia. This would give Russia an enormous amount of leverage in global energy markets, and this of course has serious implications for the petrodollar.”


Originally published on 2016-12-22

Author: Darius Shahtahmasebi

Source: Anti Media

Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection & Pinterest.

Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!

Donate to Support Us

We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.

READ MORE!
Why are We Sending $38 Billion to Rich and Powerful Israel?
Last week’s announcement of a record-breaking US aid package for Israel underscores how dangerously foolish and out-of-touch is our interventionist foreign policy. Over the next ten years, the US taxpayer will be forced to give Israel some $38 billion dollars in military aid. It is money we cannot afford going to a country that needs no assistance to maintain its status as the most powerful military in the Middle East.All US foreign aid is immoral and counterproductive. As I have often said, it is money taken from poor people in the US and sent to rich people overseas. That is ...
READ MORE
The USA is No. 1 in the World!
Statistics from 2014 Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement! Donate to Support Us We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations. Save Save
READ MORE
“Operation Unthinkable” (1945) and US-NATO’s Threats to Wage War on Russia
Five days before the celebration of the 71th anniversary of Nazi Germany’s capitulation to the Soviet and allied troops in the WWII, the new NATO Supreme Commander in Europe Curtis Scaparrotti announced that he came to beat the drums of war again. Ignoring the historic facts and legitimate Russian interests in its around, in his first speech after assuming office he condemned alleged “Russian aggressive behavior that challenges international norms” and called the bloc members to “fight tonight if deterrence fails.” This commonplace declaration fairly correlates with the military and media strategy the Western ruling class adopted decades ago. Even putting aside the ...
READ MORE
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (L) looks on as Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi speaks during a meeting at the Plaza Hotel on September 19, 2016 in New York. / AFP PHOTO / DOMINICK REUTER
“Fool me once, shame on you; but fool me twice, shame on me.” Ancient proverb, (sometimes attributed to an Italian, Russian or Chinese proverb)  “Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius, and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.” Ernst F. Schumacher (1911-1977) (in ‘Small is Beautiful’, an essay, in The Radical Humanist, Aug. 1973, p. 22).  “The powers-that-be understand that to create the appropriate atmosphere for war, it’s necessary to create within the general populace a hatred, fear or mistrust of others regardless of whether those others belong ...
READ MORE
Netanyahu, Palestine and Ethnic Cleansing
Well, once again, Israeli Prime Murderer Benjamin Netanyahu astounds. One would think that there must be some limit to the bizarre statements that issue from his mouth, but no, we learn again and again that he is willing to push the bizarreness envelope to places where, like the crew of Star Trek’s Enterprise, no one has ever before ventured. His latest flight of fancy even seems to have astonished his worshipful U.S. government, which characterized his statements as ‘inappropriate and unhelpful’, harsh criticism indeed from that bastion of Israeli love. And what is it that Mr. Netanyahu has said? This writer ...
READ MORE
Holodomor in the United States
Yet another scandal is exploding on the Internet. The administration of free encyclopedia Wikipedia removed an article by a Russian researcher, devoted to assessing the loss of US citizens as a result of the Great Depression of 1932-33. Outraged bloggers began mass distribution of articles in the Russian segment of the popular blogging service Live journal. The material led to heated debates, while the so-called historical flash mob continues. Russian researcher Boris Borisov touched a really hot topic in his material on the estimated number of victims of the American Great Depression, which in turn, apparently caused a very strong reaction ...
READ MORE
US Foreign Policy: Hegemony or Stability, not Both
US foreign policy has for decades been predicated on achieving and maintaining global peace, security and stability. In reality, it has for over a century constituted an overreaching desire to achieve and maintain global hegemony. And where US efforts focus on achieving hegemony, division and destruction follow. From the Middle East to Eastern Europe, and from Southeast Asia to the Korean Peninsula, US intervention politically or militarily all but guarantee escalating tensions, uncertain futures, socioeconomic instability and even armed conflict. The Middle East and North Africa   US efforts in the Middle East since the conclusion of the first World War have focused ...
READ MORE
Permanent War against Humans and the Planet
War is evil; permanent war is permanent evil. It is evil to humans but also to other species and the planet; the weapons used destroy us but also contaminate and destroy nature. Despite a general knowledge of the evils of war and acceptance of peace and the rule of law, war has become a permanent feature of the 21st century -destructive, cruel, dehumanizing and vindictive. Its message: those who can kill and destroy the most have the upper hand. Major General Smedley Butler said it in a speech in 1933: “war is a racket.” Butler, who had joined the Marine ...
READ MORE
Untold History of Lithuania: A Chicago Teacher Showed Her Grandfather was a Nazi Collaborator
Barring unexpected delays, Silvia Foti is months away from fulfilling an old promise that’s become her life’s work: to write a biography of her late grandfather, who is a national hero in his native Lithuania. Foti, a 60-year-old high school teacher from Chicago, made the pledge to her dying mother 18 years ago. She has spent a long time studying the life of her grandfather, Jonas Noreika, as well as acquiring the writing skills necessary for chronicling it and finding a publisher. But rather than celebrating Noreika’s legacy as her mother requested, the biography that Foti wrote confirms and amplifies the findings ...
READ MORE
Trump is Advised by Liars, Like Bush Was
As will be shown here, the U.S. federal government, under President Donald Trump, is repeating the very same deception of the public, in regard to Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, that it had perpetrated back in 2002, against Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, under U.S. President George W. Bush. (By contrast, and for secret reasons, the U.S. federal government does everything possible to downplay the barbarisms, such as are occurring in Yemen, that are perpetrated by the fundamentalist Sunni Kings of Saudi Arabia, and Emirs of Qatar, even while exaggerating the barbarisms by the fundamentalist Shiite clerics who control Iran — a key ally ...
READ MORE
Empire’s Aggression on Syria
With the pounding of 59 Tomahawk land attack cruise missiles on Shayrat airbase in Syria the Empire has widened its aggression in the strategically crucial country. The sounds of destruction announce imperialism’s and aggression, interference and intervention. This is the sound of “peace” imperialism likes to impose on peoples of other countries. Speaking from his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, Donald Trump, the US president, branded Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, a “dictator”, and called on “all civilized nations to join” the US “in seeking to end this slaughter and bloodshed in Syria and also to end terrorism of all kinds and ...
READ MORE
The “Snipers’ Massacre” on the Maidan in Ukraine
The massacre of almost 50 Maidan protesters on February 20, 2014 was a turning point in Ukrainian politics and a tipping point in the conflict between the West and Russia over Ukraine. This mass killing of the protesters and the mass shooting of the police that preceded it led to the overthrow of the government of Viktor Yanukovych and gave a start to a civil war in Donbas in Eastern Ukraine, Russian military intervention in Crimea and an international conflict between the West and Russia over Ukraine. A conclusion promoted by the post-Yanukovych governments and the media in Ukraine that ...
READ MORE
Britain’s Collaboration with pro-Jihadist Forces in Kosovo
In British mainstream commentary, the 1999 NATO bombing campaign against Slobodan Milosevic’s Yugoslavia is seen as a ‘humanitarian intervention’. Tony Blair still receives much praise for coming to the defence of the ethnic Albanians in Kosovo, whose plight was surely serious as they were subject to increasingly brutal abuses by the Yugoslav army towards the end of 1998 and early 1999. Yet the NATO bombing that began in March 1999 had the effect of deepening, not preventing, the humanitarian disaster that Milosevic’s forces inflicted on Kosovo. The bulk of the atrocities committed by Yugoslav forces took place after the NATO ...
READ MORE
World Conquest: The United States’ Global Military Crusade since 1945
GR Editor’s Note The following article by professor Eric Waddell was first published twelve years ago by Global Research in December 2003 in the immediate wake of the invasion and occupation of  Iraq by US and British forces, with a postscript added in 2007.  The article provides an incisive historical perspective on America’s “long war” against humanity, which is being carried out under a fake humanitarian mandate. Let us be under no illusions as to the intent of the US and its allies. We are dealing with World Conquest under the disguise of a “Global War on Terrorism”.  Michel Chossudovsky, December 24, ...
READ MORE
The West Against the Rest or the West Against Itself?
What is the bigger story? The West Against the Rest or The West Against Itself? The Illiberal Quartet of Xi, Putin, Rouhani and Erdogan is in the line of fire of haughty homilies about Western “values.” Illiberalism is arrogantly and provocatively depicted in the West repeatedly as a Tartar Invasion 2.0. But closer to home Illiberalism is responsible for the social, civil war in the U.S. as Trump’s America has long ago forgotten what the European Enlightenment was all about. The Western view is a maelstrom of a Judaeo-Greco-Roman, pseudo-philosophy steeped in Hegel, Toynbee, Spengler and obscure biblical references decrying an Asian attack ...
READ MORE
Crimes against Humanity: Britain’s Complicity in Saudi Arabia’s Terror Campaign against Yemen
The ‘mainstream’ Western media is, almost by definition, the last place to consult for honest reporting of Western crimes. Consider the appalling case of Yemen which is consumed by war and an ongoing humanitarian catastrophe. Since March 2015, a ‘coalition’ of Sunni Arab states led by Saudi Arabia, and supported by the US, Britain and France, has been dropping bombs on neighbouring Yemen. The scale of the bombing is indicated in a recent article by Felicity Arbuthnot – in one year, 330,000 homes, 648 mosques, 630 schools and institutes, and 250 health facilities were destroyed or damaged. The stated aim of ...
READ MORE
President of the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK) Ramush Haradinaj, a Kosovo Albanian former guerilla commander who served briefly as prime minister, speaks during an interview with Reuters at the AAK headquarters in Pristina December 4, 2012. REUTERS/Hazir Reka
The Balkans has always been cursed by a recurring theme: that each entity within it can, at some point, become greater and more consuming in territory than the next neighbour. Each nation has, and in some instances continues, to nurse dreams of enlargement, pecking away at borders and assuming that few will notice.  Strategies of expansion tend to have one problem: they are hard to evaluate in the way of conventional agreement, contract or conspiracy. For decades, historians of various shades would attribute to Imperial Germany a conscious, global goal of conquest, mistaking the plans of contingent invasion with actual policy. In ...
READ MORE
The Geopolitics of American Global Decline: Washington vs China in the 21st Century
For even the greatest of empires, geography is often destiny. You wouldn’t know it in Washington, though. America’s political, national security, and foreign policy elites continue to ignore the basics of geopolitics that have shaped the fate of world empires for the past 500 years. Consequently, they have missed the significance of the rapid global changes in Eurasia that are in the process of undermining the grand strategy for world dominion that Washington has pursued these past seven decades. A glance at what passes for insider “wisdom” in Washington these days reveals a worldview of stunning insularity. Take Harvard political scientist ...
READ MORE
Myths and Facts аbout the 1967 Six Day War
June 5 marks the 50th anniversary of Israel’s Six-Day War of conquest. Any objective examination of that war, and the events leading to and following it, make clear that the dominant narrative in the United States is reality turned upside down. It is “fake news” that is perpetrated on the public by the corporate media continually, right up to the present day. The Six Day War began on June 5, 1967. Israel launched the war against Egypt, Syria and Jordan with what could correctly called a “sneak attack,” although it is never referred to that way here. In the vocabulary of ...
READ MORE
The US Military Bases Abroad are Disrupting the World Order
In years before 2014, the Afghan think tanks would opine that the US may wind down the Afghanistan’s conflict through the end of this year, inferring that the goal of founding the nine large military bases across the country is almost accomplished. Many would delightfully say that Afghanistan is phasing into a new chapter with the flames of war quelled as the US government insisted on troop withdrawal. Entrenching military headquarters in strangers’ territories has no excuse or legal ground under any circumstances. The Afghan nation would cast aside objection to this permanent military foothold thanks in most part to the ...
READ MORE
Why are We Sending $38 Billion to Rich and Powerful Israel?
The USA is No. 1 in the World!
“Operation Unthinkable” (1945) and US-NATO’s Threats to Wage War on Russia
False Flags and the Trump Administration
Netanyahu, Palestine and Ethnic Cleansing
Holodomor in the United States
US Foreign Policy: Hegemony or Stability, not Both
Permanent War against Humans and the Planet
Untold History of Lithuania: A Chicago Teacher Showed Her Grandfather was a Nazi Collaborator
Trump is Advised by Liars, Like Bush Was
Empire’s Aggression on Syria
The “Snipers’ Massacre” on the Maidan in Ukraine
Britain’s Collaboration with pro-Jihadist Forces in Kosovo
World Conquest: The United States’ Global Military Crusade since 1945
The West Against the Rest or the West Against Itself?
Crimes against Humanity: Britain’s Complicity in Saudi Arabia’s Terror Campaign against Yemen
Greater Albania and the Balkans
The Geopolitics of American Global Decline: Washington vs China in the 21st Century
Myths and Facts аbout the 1967 Six Day War
The US Military Bases Abroad are Disrupting the World Order
Policraticus

Written by Policraticus

SHORT LEGAL DISCLAIMER: The website’s owner & editor-in-chief has no official position on any issue published at this website. The views of the authors presented at this website do not necessarily coincide with the opinion of the owner & editor-in-chief of the website. The contents of all material (articles, books, photos, videos…) are of sole responsibility of the authors. The owner & editor-in-chief of this website is not morally, scientifically or legally responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in the contents of all material found on this website. The owner & editor-in-chief of this website is not responsible for the content of external internet sites. No advertising, government or corporate funding for the functioning of this website. The owner & editor-in-chief and authors are not morally, scientifically or legally responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in the text and material found on the website www.global-politics.eu

Website: http://www.global-politics.eu