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

Share

Hits: 3881

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.

[wpedon id=”4696″ align=”left”]

READ MORE!
Bill Clinton
A former U.S. President Bill Clinton's: Past, Present, Future:Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection, Public Domain & Pinterest.Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!Donate to Support UsWe 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.[wpedon id="4696" align="left"]
READ MORE
Russian Military Interventions Throughout the World since 1945
Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection & Pinterest.Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!Donate to Support UsWe 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.[wpedon id="4696" align="left"]
READ MORE
Thank You, Edward S. Herman (1925-2017) – Tireless Champion of Peace
Edward S. Herman died on November 11, 2017, at the age of 92. Fortunately, it was a peaceful death for a supremely peaceful man. In all he did, Ed Herman was a tireless champion of peace.Ed Herman could be considered the godfather of antiwar media critique, both because of his own contributions and because of the many writers he encouraged to pursue that work. Thanks to his logical mind and sense of justice, he sharply grasped the crucial role and diverse techniques of media propaganda in promoting war. He immediately saw through lies, including those so insidious that few dare ...
READ MORE
The Libyan Scenario for North Korea
On March 23, 2018, the US media published an interview with the newly-appointed National Security Advisor John R. Bolton, where he stated that the only solution for North Korea is complete disarmament – following the example of Libya under Muammar Gaddafi. This scenario is exactly what Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un need to discuss during their negotiations.John R. Bolton is well-known as a hardliner regarding Pyongyang. During his work for the Department of State in the 2000s, he was one of the most furious opponents of any dialogue with North Korea, and more recently he advocated a preventive strike against ...
READ MORE
Selective Amnesia: Croatia’s Holocaust Deniers
The mugshots show Ivo Goldstein, a Jewish librarian and book dealer, looking bright-eyed and calm — even after nine days of confinement in a Croatian police cell. One of the prints bears the number 28888 and a date: April 21, 1941. Seventy-six years after they were taken by a police photographer, the photos hang as a triptych on the bedroom wall of Goldstein’s son, Daniel, in a drab apartment block in Zagreb’s Zaprudje neighborhood. Daniel, 85, is a historian and human rights activist. He was nine when his childhood was shattered by his father’s arrest in the newly created Independent State of ...
READ MORE
The Caliphate of Trump
They are the extremists. If you need proof, look no further than the Afghan capital, Kabul, where the latest wave of suicide bombings has proven devastating. Recently, for instance, a fanatic set off his explosives among a group of citizens lining up outside a government office to register to vote in upcoming elections. At least 57 people died, including 22 women and eight children. ISIS’s branch in Afghanistan proudly took responsibility for that callous act -- but one not perhaps quite as callous as the ISIS suicide bomber who, in August 2016, took out a Kurdish wedding in Turkey, missing the bride and groom but killing at ...
READ MORE
End 50 Years of Genocidal Occupation & Human Rights Abuse by US-Backed Apartheid Israel
50 years after the June 1967 Israeli conquest of all of Palestine, the US Alliance-backed, invasion-, occupation- , theft- , genocide-, lying- and race-based pariah state of Apartheid Israel still comprehensively violates all basic human rights of the Occupied Palestinians. The Zionist ethnic cleansing of 90% of Palestine means that the Two-State Solution is dead and demands comprehensive Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against genocidally racist, nuclear terrorist Apartheid Israel and all its supporters. The World must demand an end to race-based Apartheid Israel after the example of post-Apartheid South Africa and its replacement by a unitary state in Palestine with ...
READ MORE
U.S. Special Operations Forces Deploy to 138 Nations, 70% of the World’s Countries
They could be found on the outskirts of Sirte, Libya, supporting local militia fighters, and in Mukalla, Yemen, backing troops from the United Arab Emirates.  At Saakow, a remote outpost in southern Somalia, they assisted local commandos in killing several members of the terror group al-Shabab.  Around the cities of Jarabulus and Al-Rai in northern Syria, they partnered with both Turkish soldiers and Syrian militias, while also embedding with Kurdish YPG fighters and the Syrian Democratic Forces.  Across the border in Iraq, still others joined the fight to liberate the city of Mosul.  And in Afghanistan, they assisted indigenous forces in various missions, just as they have ...
READ MORE
America’s Imperial Empire: The Sun Never Sets but the Mote Remains in the Emperor’s Eye
Post-colonial empires are complex organizations. They are organized on a multi-tiered basis, ranging from relative autonomous national and regional allies to subservient vassal states, with variations in between.In the contemporary period, the idea of empire does not operate as a stable global structure, though it may aspire and strive for such. While the US is the major imperial power, it does not dominate some leading global political-economic and military powers, like Russia and China.Imperial powers, like the US, have well-established regional satellites but have also suffered setbacks and retreats from independent local economic and political challengers.Empire is not a fixed ...
READ MORE
Tito Disappeared in 1937: Yugoslavia was Led by a Russian Agent – FBI Documents
On April 20, 1955, Marijan John Markul entered the FBI’s Los Angeles office and told a shocking story. The man who then introduced himself as Marshal Josip Broz Tito was not actually him, but a Russian agent who assumed the identity of Tito after Josip Broz disappeared in Russia in 1937. This is stated in the FBI’s report from the beginning of May 1955, writes daily newspaper “Kurir”.Secret FBI reports from the fifties were recently opened and released to the public.Marijan Markul was born in Livno in 1909. He moved to the United States in 1936 and received citizenship in ...
READ MORE
The Simulation of Democracy
One of the most complicated and frustrating aspects of operating a global capitalist empire is maintaining the fiction that it doesn’t exist. Virtually every action you take has to be carefully recontextualized or otherwise spun for public consumption. Every time you want to bomb or invade some country to further your interests, you have to mount a whole PR campaign. You can’t even appoint a sadistic torture freak to run your own coup-fomenting agency, or shoot a few thousand unarmed people you’ve imprisoned in a de facto ghetto, without having to do a big song and dance about “defending democracy” ...
READ MORE
The Collapse of the European Union: Return to National Sovereignty and to Happy Europeans?
Imagine – the European Union were to collapse tomorrow – or any day soon for that matter. Europeans would dance in the streets. The EU has become a sheer pothole of fear and terror: Economic sanctions – punishment, mounting militarization, the abolition of civil rights for most Europeans. A group of unelected technocrats, representing 28 countries, many of them unfit to serve in their own countries’ political system, but connected well enough to get a plum job in Brussels – are deciding the future of Europe. In small groups and often in secret chambers they decide the future of Europe.Take ...
READ MORE
Who did Fight for Liberation of Bulgaria in 1877-1878?
Russian professor, Doctor of History Sergey Perevezentsev has touched upon a hidden historical and political motive of the scandal caused by the speech of the Patriarch Kirill of Moscow at the celebration of Bulgaria's liberation from Ottoman oppressors.It would seem that Bulgarian President Rumen Radev said everything correctly in his speech - he called to keep memory of the warriors of many nations killed on the fields of those old battles: Russians, Romanians, Finns, Ukrainians, Belarusians, Polacks, Lithuanians, Serbians and Montenegrins. "Historical tolerance" is preserved, and principle of "multiplicity of truths" is not broken.However, as the historian explained, in 1874 ...
READ MORE
NATO’s Role in the Recruitment of Islamic Terrorists
According to Israeli Intelligence News Source This article was first published in September 2014. Can we believe Hollande and Cameron? Evidence confirms that NATO is behind the recruitment of “jihadist terrorists  While NATO leaders in Newport Wales [September 2014] debate the Atlantic Alliance’s role “in containing a mounting militant threat in the Middle East”, it is worth recalling that in 2011 at the outset of the war in Syria,  NATO became actively involved in the recruitment of Islamic fighters. Reminiscent of the enlistment of the Mujahideen to wage the CIA’s jihad (holy war) in the heyday of the Soviet-Afghan war, NATO headquarters ...
READ MORE
Was Israel Under Existential Threat in June 1967?
Up to June 1967, a border separated Jews living in Israel and Palestinians residing in the West Bank and Gaza. The Six Day War, which occurred exactly fifty years ago, erased that line. Israel has been occupying these territories ever since. This has been the source of an endless conflict between Jews and Arabs. Who started that war? Having won the war, Israel set out to give an answer to that question which would suit its needs.To cement its hold over the new territories Israel had sought to mold the story of the Six Day. The attempt to frame the ...
READ MORE
Americans Pay Price for Criminal Wars From Mass Shootings at Home
America’s horrendous gun violence can be attributed to many factors, but there is one factor that is hardly talked about or explored in public discourse – the apparent link between mass shootings and the rampant culture of US militarism.Mass shootings in the US – involving four or more persons – occur on an almost daily basis. The most recent major atrocity was in Virginia Beach last month in which 12 people were killed. The shooter was reportedly a military veteran.Turns out that US military veterans are disproportionately responsible for violent gun deaths among American civilians. Investigative journalist David Swanson has ...
READ MORE
Historical Origins of the State: Barbarians at the Gate
War has indeed become perpetual and peace no longer even a fleeting wish nor a distant memory. We have become habituated to the rumblings of war and the steady drum beat of propaganda about war’s necessity and the noble motives that inspire it. We will close hospitals. We will close schools. We will close libraries and museums. We will sell off our parklands and water supply. People will sleep on the streets and go hungry. The war machine will go on. What are we to do? The following text is Part III of  a broader analysis entitled War and the State: Business ...
READ MORE
Online Privacy for Journalists
Source: VPN MentorOrigins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection & Pinterest.Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!Donate to Support UsWe 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
Kosovo and Ukraine: Compare and Contrast
There have been at least two countries in Europe in recent history that undertook ‘anti-terrorist’ military operations against ‘separatists’, but got two very different reactions from the Western elite.The government of European country A launches what it calls an ‘anti-terrorist’ military operation against ‘separatists’ in one part of the country. We see pictures on Western television of people’s homes being shelled and lots of people fleeing. The US and UK and other NATO powers fiercely condemn the actions of the government of country A and accuse it of carrying out ‘genocide’ and ’ethnic cleansing’ and say that there is an ...
READ MORE
Fragility of Belarussian National Identity
Belarus is a land known also as Belorussia (White Russia, Weißrussland) in East Europe which was for centuries occupied by a Polish-Lithuanian common state until it became included in Tsarist Russia in the late 18th century.[1] Belarus is facing many identity problems but the most important is the ethnolinguistic challenge to a separate Belarussian[2] national feature.National identityA common national identity is a focal element for the creation of a national state as without a common identity that is based on a fundamental element of group’s identity a psychological sense of common solidarity cannot be developed. However, such solidarity is a ...
READ MORE
Bill Clinton
Russian Military Interventions Throughout the World since 1945
Thank You, Edward S. Herman (1925-2017) – Tireless Champion of Peace
The Libyan Scenario for North Korea
Selective Amnesia: Croatia’s Holocaust Deniers
The Caliphate of Trump
End 50 Years of Genocidal Occupation & Human Rights Abuse by US-Backed Apartheid Israel
U.S. Special Operations Forces Deploy to 138 Nations, 70% of the World’s Countries
America’s Imperial Empire: The Sun Never Sets but the Mote Remains in the Emperor’s Eye
Tito Disappeared in 1937: Yugoslavia was Led by a Russian Agent – FBI Documents
The Simulation of Democracy
The Collapse of the European Union: Return to National Sovereignty and to Happy Europeans?
Who did Fight for Liberation of Bulgaria in 1877-1878?
NATO’s Role in the Recruitment of Islamic Terrorists
Was Israel Under Existential Threat in June 1967?
Americans Pay Price for Criminal Wars From Mass Shootings at Home
Historical Origins of the State: Barbarians at the Gate
Online Privacy for Journalists
Kosovo and Ukraine: Compare and Contrast
Fragility of Belarussian National Identity
FOLLOW US ON OUR SOCIAL PLATFORMS
Share