Most Americans probably think what’s being discussed today is the first major US intervention in Syria. But nothing could be further from the truth. In fact the US has tried to topple the Syrian government at least three times according to this fascinating BBC report, which includes some rather telling–and notably Orientalist– news reels from the period.
In fact it was “well-intentioned” US intervention in 1949, which helped install a Syrian dictator and create the circumstances that helped lead to the rise of Bashar Al Assad’s father Hafez. Incidentally similar US policies were at work in Iraq where that country’s past dictator, Saddam Hussein, was once viewed as a CIA asset.
I wonder how much of this history is known by those with their hands on the trigger today. And considering that both Assad and Hussein were once viewed as ‘corrective’ opposition leaders- how much thought is being put into the type of opposition leadership that could come to power this time?
One hopes world leaders will read before they shoot–and not just ask questions later.