Articles > > What do Western Capitals Mean?

Articles - Addostour - Date: 2020-03-12
By: Oraib Al Rantawi

What exactly do the Turks and some Western capitals mean when they talk about a 'permanent ceasefire' in Idlib?

How is that conducive to achieving one of the war on terror's key goals, namely, that of rooting out the last and largest pocket of terrorists in Idlib (where more have gathered than anywhere else in the history of terrorist movements)?

Are they saying that the Nusra Front, Ansar al-Tawhid, the Turkmen Brigades, and the Guardians of Religion should be provided a 'safe haven'? Have they simply conceded an Islamic State in one of [Tahrir ash-Sham/Nusra head Abu Mohamed] Jawlani's last bastions?

Turning the temporary cease-fire into a permanent one is a worthy sentiment with merciful overtones, but an undercurrent of torment – a righteous assertion masking profane intentions, which vary depending on the parties espousing it. No one who is advocating this sentiment reveals the hidden part of the equation: What about breaking the curse of terror in its last stronghold? They have all taken up this humanitarian sentiment as a shield to conceal far from humanitarian motives and objectives. And so we have Idlib teeming with the most blatant and outrageous double standards.

Erdogan's demand to go from 'temporary' to 'permanent' would have been understandable had he followed it up by expressing his willingness to cooperate in sifting the wheat from the chaff (if any wheat is to be found among the militants), and willingness to participate in the war on terror.

But in Turkey, terror has only one definition – the Kurdish movements, nothing more or less. As for constantly bemoaning the Syrian refugees' plight, that has been blatantly exposed as crocodile tears since the 'sultan' [Erdogan] drove tens of thousands of refugees, most of them non-Syrians, to Greece's borders, indifferent to their hunger, freezing bodies, and thirst, in one of the worst kinds of extortion that can be practiced in international relations in the hope of making a few bucks.

For all its atrocity, the humanitarian catastrophe is also being brandished by Washington for ulterior motives: So that Damascus, Moscow and their allies continue to suffer non-stop attrition. Those who wiped Raqqa off the Syrian map yesterday cannot claim to shed tears over Idlib today. It is in the U.S.'s vital interest to keep the Idlib dossier in suspended animation while wavering between temporary and permanent cease-fire. It is not about fighting its traditional enemies, but giving Turkey extortion fodder.

As for the Europeans, the fact of the matter is that they are petrified by the specter of migrations and waves of refugees on top of their fears that the foreign militants, many of European origin, will head for home. The specter of terrorism looms over Europe as well. As for the whole 'humanitarian dimension', while we do not want to desensitize anyone to it, stirring it up in this context is meant to wrap true motivations and interests in a cloud of dust.

Otherwise why has a single European country not withdrawn from the international alliance in the wake of all the high humanitarian costs the Syrians and Iraqis have incurred in the war on terror? A quick tour of the ruins of Raqqa and Mosul would suffice to reveal how the alliance has conducted its war on ISIS, which is no less cruel and brutal than the ordeal Syria's Northeastern cities are suffering today.

There is only one situation in which we will buy the 'humanitarian dimension' argument: When those who espouse it have a vision or plan in place for dealing with the Nusra Front and its allies who hold Idlib city and governorate in their grip, when they stop differentiating between one form of terrorism that they can benefit from and make use of, and another destructive kind that must be eradicated, and when they stop playing their two-faced games.
Those who pursue a scorched earth policy in Iraqi Fallujah, Libyan Tripoli, Syrian Raqqa, and Yemeni Sana'a have no right to adopt humanitarian discourse at all.