3/20/2013 News headline : “US condemns Syria for attacking Lebanese land “. In other words, the US department of state is accusing Syria of violating the sovereignty of Lebanon by firing two missiles at Lebanese land. In light of this accusation, let us try to asses how the US Foreign policy functions – from a moral and ethical perspective.
Basically, the US government is very concerned about the sovereignty of the Lebanese land, to the extent of ignoring hundreds if not thousands of Israeli violations of Lebanese airspace. Two months before the “unprecedented” Syrian violation of Lebanese land, according to the Associated Press, about 12 Israeli fighters violated Lebanese airspace in less than 24 hours, breaching and boldly contravening two United Nations Security Council Resolution( 425 and 1701). Add to that the daily incursions of the Lebanese waters and the ongoing occupation of Shebaa farms, which are situated beyond the Blue Line, inside the Lebanese territories. The US Department of State failed to condemn these actions as a violation of sovereignty, while viewing them as acts of self-defense; however, when it involved an Arabic non-ally state – read Syria – the attack is automatically spotted and condemned by the US government.
The United States continuous policy of double standards materializes in its clearest yet ugliest form in the Syrian civil war. After 9/11 horrible attacks on New York, a lot of questions were raised about the global jihadist factions (e.g. Al-Qaida) in terms of their establishment and source of funding. It is widely known that the CIA, in its infamous operation “Cyclone”, armed and financed the mujahedeen ( who became Al-Qaida later on) until the end of the Soviet war in Afghanistan in 1989 ; the very same group, in less than 3 decades, killed in cold blood more than 3000 US civilians in one of the most disturbing events in the 21st century.
Despite what happened on 9/11, the US government took a major stance last week which rewards Al-Qaida, by announcing that it will not stop nor interfere in the arming process of the Free Syrian Army. Ironically enough, one of the biggest factions of the Free Syrian Army is the Al-Nusra Front, which according to the White House is a major component of Al-Qaida group. Therefore, the million-dollar question which ought to be asked to the US government is: should you pay tribute to the same group that committed one of the biggest atrocities against the American people? Knowing that Saudi Arabia and the Arabian Gulf countries’ religious interest dictates the support to the Sunni rebels , and given the oil these countries have, the US will definitely disregard to protect the lives of ( its own) citizens.
Based on the aforementioned evidences in the current Syrian civil war and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the true nature of the American foreign policy comes out clear, i.e. a policy meant to be intricately dependent on the US economic ambitions rather than US civilians interest and well-being. The deliberate manipulation of terms such as “terrorism”, “violations” and “self-defense” clearly unveils the hidden intention of the US government to create smokescreens before the eyes of the American public to distract them from the real issues that pose a pending danger upon their well-being. The more the US government keeps dealing with other nations as cash cows rather than human beings who seek stability and prosperity, the more political stagnation and instability we will witness in the upcoming years.
Academia is the only way through which we can fight this hypocrisy. Universities should start giving more of a quality education to its students by organizing panels and inviting guest speakers addressing the problem of American foreign policy, as it will directly and/or indirectly affect the lives of the Canadian people due to the US geographic proximity and political warmness. At Concordia University, the establishment of the Azriele Institute for Israeli studies is certainly not a step in the right direction: after contemplating the deceptive and notorious policy of the US and Israel, it is hypocritical to see these countries portrayed as global defendants of democracy.
– Tareq Shahwan
(Featured photo: SS&SS, Creative Commons, Flickr
Photo 1: jdubfudge, Creative Commons, Flickr)