The Syrian scenario, by now, is considered something very evasive. There is a legitimate government, ruled by Bashar al-Assad, which is strongly and militarily contested by rebels. There is a President of the United States, Barack Obama, who won the Peace Nobel Prize in 2009 and who wants to attack Damascus, in 2013. There is a report of the Associated Press, which tells us that there have been an estimated 1.450 deaths and 15.000 wounded in Afghanistan during Obama’s first presidency (2008-2012). But, most of all, there is an inaccessible country, like Syria, where people die everyday and western journalists are unable to give us an exhaustive reportage of the situation.
Anyway, it seems like the most confirmed thesis is the one that claims that what’s happening in Syria is a fight between neighbors. The recent mass use of chemical weapons took to the extreme level a conflict that already existed, and that involved almost ten different States. Assad is directly supported by the Republic of Iran, and indirectly by Russia and China. Rebels, on the other hand, have the (economic) support of Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.
What’s the real issue at stake?
At a glance, “only” the democracy and the freedom of the Syrian population. No oil and no gas, or at least, not at a convenient price. Actually, Syrian land looks like a perfect model for future wars. In the last century, especially during the Cold War, civil wars have been often often used by the US and former USSR as an attempt to impose their supremacy amongst each other. Some precedents? Vietnam, Afghanistan, the Iran-Iraq war and Libya: in all these situations, the United States were deployed against the Russian government, even if the Cold War officially ended in 1991. Nowadays, with a Syrian government collapse, the US could weaken Iran and Lebanon.
This is just a supposition, however, although it has become increasingly popular throughout the years amongst public opinion and on the Web.
Anyway, the real and unsolvable question is another: as a Western country, do we have to respect the principle of sovereignty of Syria or do we have to consider the situation as a violation of Human Rights? In other words, should interpret the conflict as a matter of internal security or threat to international security and therefore as a reason to intervene? Only one of these principles can be applied. Which one will we choose?