World’s Failure To Help Syria Change For Better, Means Syria Now Changing World For Worse – OpEd


At yesterday’s Stop the War rally in London, Tariq Ali challenged the Cameron government by saying: “If the aim is to destroy ISIS, … then you should be fighting side by side with Assad and the Russians.”

The contradiction between this proposition and the rally’s slogan — “Don’t bomb Syria” — seemed to elude much of Ali’s audience.

Yesterday, on just one city — Darayya — the regime dropped 50 barrel bombs.

For the last four years, barrel bombs have been the principle tools of destruction used in a bloody campaign to crush opposition to Bashar al-Assad’s rule, the leading cause of death of a quarter of a million Syrians, and the driving force resulting in the exodus of half the population from their homes.

Since Russia started bombing Syria, an estimated 1,300 people have been killed, a third of them civilians.

Today, airstrikes, believed to have been carried out by Russian jets, killed 44 people and wounded scores of others in a marketplace in Idlib province.

There are legitimate reasons for doubting the efficacy or wisdom in Britain joining the U.S.-led air campaign against ISIS in Syria, but those currently shouting “don’t bomb Syria” seem to be more concerned about who is dropping the bombs than who is being killed by them.

The Syria Solidarity Movement UK issued a statement yesterday explaining why they did not support the Stop the War demonstration.

Syria Solidarity UK and Stop the War have very different concerns regarding Syria: Syria Solidarity is concerned with ending the suffering of Syrians under the Assad dictatorship; Stop the War with opposing any UK military involvement regardless of consequences for Syrians.

We oppose the British government’s proposal to merely mimic the American ISIS-only counter-terrorism war; not only do we believe it is immoral to fly missions in Syria against ISIS while leaving the even greater killer, Assad, free to bomb civilians en masse, we also believe that any war against ISIS that doesn’t put the needs of the Syrian people first will be a failure that can only prolong their suffering.

The Syrian writer and leftwing political dissident, Yassin al-Haj Saleh, points out that our collective failure to act in the interests of the Syrian people has now turned Syria into a global issue.

“[B]ecause the world did not help Syria change for better, I think that Syria is changing the whole world for worse.”

Paul Woodward - War in Context

Paul Woodward describes himself by nature if not profession, as a bricoleur. A dictionary of obscure words defines a bricoleur as “someone who continually invents his own strategies for comprehending reality.” Woodward has at various times been an editor, designer, software knowledge architect, and Buddhist monk, while living in England, France, India, and for the last twenty years the United States. He currently lives frugally in the Southern Appalachians with his wife, Monica, two cats and a dog Woodward maintains the popular website/blog, War in Context (, which "from its inception, has been an effort to apply critical intelligence in an arena where political judgment has repeatedly been twisted by blind emotions. It presupposes that a world out of balance will inevitably be a world in conflict."

One thought on “World’s Failure To Help Syria Change For Better, Means Syria Now Changing World For Worse – OpEd

  • December 7, 2015 at 9:35 pm

    So the regime dropped 50 bombs in Darayya alone. Would you mind telling how much Al Nusra, or the “FSA”, or ISIS dropped the very same day?


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