by Tim Anderson | 20 July 2016
|Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Dr Tim Anderson|
In an interview with Muslimpress.com, Tim Anderson, the author of The Dirty War on Syria emphasizes on US policies to create a "New Middle East". Here's the full text of the interview:
MP: In your book, The Dirty War on Syria, you have argued that there are overwhelming evidence showing links between the “big powers” and the terrorist groups. Would you explain that?
Tim Anderson: In Chapter 12 of my book The Dirty War on Syria I document the independent evidence and admissions that demonstrate that the USA has directly or indirectly (through its allies Saudis, Qatar, Turkey and others) funded and armed every anti-government armed group in Syria. US Vice President Biden and head of the US armed forces Martin Dempsey have confirmed this. Washington has backed these terrorist groups in an attempt to build its 'New Middle East'. It aimed to weakened Damascus and remove the threat of a combined Iran-Syria-Hezbollah-Palestine axis.
MP: Do you think the United States has been successful in creating a “new Middle East”? What could be the next step that Washington would take to dominate the region?
Tim Anderson: Washington's plan for a New Middle East - with complaint states across the region - is failing. Their Plan B is to partition or otherwise divide Syria and Iraq. Their Plan C will be to withdraw while pretending that they have helped bring peace to the region.
MP: What roles have the advocates of “humanitarian war” played in Syrian crisis? Do you think there’s a link between them and the US government? How?
Tim Anderson: There certainly is a relationship between the chief big power - the imperial power - and the 'humanitarian war' idea. In my view, however, there is a deeper link between the idea of 'humanitarian intervention' and western colonial mentality. Western liberals and many leftists have been even more enthusiastic about this than western conservatives. We see it in media sources such as the UK Guardian, the BBC, the New York Times and embedded NGOs such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International. In US politics it is notable than the 'humanitarian war' drive comes more from the Democrat Party side than from the Republicans. This 'liberal colonialism' has a long history, at times drawing on the ideas of the 19th century English liberal, John Stuart Mill. He famously promoted individual liberties but did not believe in the independence of colonised peoples.
MP: Is there evidence that shows Assad has used chemical weapons on civilians? What are the facts on this issue?
Tim Anderson: There is zero credible evidence that the Syrian Arab Army has used chemical weapons. I deal with the evidence of the East Ghouta incident of August 2013 in Chapter 9 of my book. Much of the evidence that exposes the fabricated claims against 'Assad' come from North American sources, such as the MIT scientists Lloyd and Postol and from veteran US journalist Seymour Hersh.
On the other hand, there is a lot of evidence that the NATO-GCC backed sectarian mercenaries used chemical weapons on many occasions, sometimes trying to blame their actions on the Syrian Government. They were partly successful in this propaganda, mainly because of the indolence and irresponsibility of the western liberal media. Syria's chemical weapons stockpile was a deterrent against (nuclear armed) Israel. It is now destroyed.
MP: How do you see the future of the Middle East? Will there be more uprising against Western interference and therefore more sovereign states or will there be more puppet governments controlled by Washington?
Tim Anderson: An independent Middle East, in my view, can only come from a realignment of regional groupings. The Arab League is virtually dead, having backed big power intervention to destroy two secular Arab governments, Libya and Syria. It is now almost completely dominated by the Gulf monarchies. A new regional alliance seems more likely from an expanded 'Axis of Resistance', comprising Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and the nationalist Palestinians - and now drawing in Russia, Iraq and probably Yemen. If such a grouping is not built, big outside powers will continue to intervene.
Tim Anderson has degrees in economics and international politics, and a doctorate on the political economy of economic liberalisation in Australia. His current research interests relate to (i) Development strategy and rights in development, (ii) Melanesian land and livelihoods, and (iii) Economic Integration in Latin America. He is a Senior Lecturer in Political Economy at the University of Sydney. He has studied the Syrian conflict since 2011.