Four basic facts of geopolitics

Opinion
Mazin Qumsiyeh

The majority of victims of the US missile strike on the Syrian airbase were local villagers, including women and children.

The majority of victims of the US missile strike on the Syrian airbase were local villagers, including women and children.

The attack on Syria by the United States, while illegal per international law, ie not sanctioned by the UN Security Council and opposed by Russia and China, comes to remind as all of four basic facts of geopolitics:

1) US Presidents, no matter how “unconventional,” must always obey the rules set for them. Trump came to office opposing intervention in Syria and is now directly siding with the “rebels” and has accepted the 1990s neocon
strategy of regime changes across Western Asia that are supposed to benefit “Israel”.

2) As Henry Kissinger said: “all foreign policy is domestic policy.” With a strong Zionist lobby in the US, and in the absence of any counter lobby that watches over US (let alone world) interests, we are seeing a push for wars designed to help apartheid Israel – whether in Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen, or Syria.

3) Modern warfare kills far more civilians than military – the ratio now is >10 to 1. War is immoral, illogical, and criminal, and has no “good side” or “bad side.” The only positive thing now is that countries that use wars as their main tools (Israel, US being the key ones) will lose because wars have also become also illogical in terms of achievement of policy. Just take as examples in the past 20 years: the US attack on Iraq and Israel’s attack on Gaza and Lebanon. This is now almost a given, like the Newtonian laws of physics.

4) People still have the power to change things. Governments regularly lie to their own people – all governments. But their biggest tools are to a) create fear, b) create apathy (powerlessness). Getting people to be good consumers of propaganda and products is key to government “success” – short term as it may be – and to enrich politicians and their backers. Key to human rights success is for people to be good, involved and informed citizens.

The conflict between the two – governments and people – is the real consequential conflict we face.

It is between short term greed and long term planetary interests.

It is an existential conflict for humanity.

Stay Human

Mazin Qumsiyeh

A bedouin in cyberspace, a villager at home
Professor and (volunteer) Director
Palestine Museum of Natural History
Palestine Institute of Biodiversity and Sustainability
Bethlehem University
Occupied Palestine

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