Jo Cox saw Syria as Syria. She didn’t get it confused with Iraq

The Syria Campaign: Many Western politicians and observers have not bothered to listen to Syrians. They see the country solely through the prism of the illegal invasion of Iraq and the disaster that unfolded there. Whilst a passionate opponent of the 2003 Iraq war, Jo listened to Syrians and knew that Syria was a completely different situation.

[In October 2015, Jo wrote:] I opposed the war in Iraq because I believed the risk to civilian lives was too high and their protection was never the central objective, or even a high priority. I knew, as we all knew, that President Bush wasn’t motivated by protecting civilians but by weapons of mass destruction and a misguided neo-con view of the US strategic interest.

But we must remember that Syria is not Iraq.

We have to learn the lessons of Iraq, without being paralysed by it. We have to learn the lessons of Iraq without forgetting the lessons of Bosnia or Rwanda. [Continue reading…]

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2 thoughts on “Jo Cox saw Syria as Syria. She didn’t get it confused with Iraq

  1. Dieter Heymann

    The reason why this Caliphate is so strongly centered on Syria is more complex than Jo Cox’s analysis. Here is why. The followers of Al Baghdadi deeply believe in an apocalyptic ending of the world eventually. They believe that there will be only 12 Caliphs and that Baghdadi is the eight. They believe that the armies of the apostates (Rome) will meet the armies of the Islamic State for a final battle at Dabiq near Aleppo in Syria. Even if Assad had never been the ruler of Syria the followers of Baghdadi were obliged to capture the otherwise ridiculously insignificant town of Dabiq which they did at great cost in casualties. To secure that capture they needed a significant hinterland.
    After the battle of Dabiq was won it would be: on to Jerusalem.
    The Islamic State was drawn into Syria for reasons which had little to do with Assad’s ruling.
    Assad made recruiting easier but did not lure the Caliphate into Syria. That was the belief of what the obligations of a true Muslim were. Fight for the righteous at Dabiq.
    For the Caliph Assad is above all an apostate who has to be killed no matter what. And so are the rulers of Jordan, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. All apostates.

  2. Paul Woodward

    The creation of the ISIS caliphate has everything to do with the collapse of the Syrian state. Had Assad responded constructively to the popular uprising in 2011, ISIS wouldn’t exist.

    ISIS’s precursor, Al Qaeda in Iraq had no particular interest in Dabiq (in spite of its historical/ideological significance). Syria’s primary significance at that time was that it provided a safe haven for jihadists fighting in the insurgency against the U.S.. And AQI’s primary goal was to fuel conflict between Sunnis and Shia.

    Once the war started in Syria, ISI advanced into Syria through the formation of Jabhat al-Nusra which fought and still fights against Assad. It was only after Nusra separated from ISIS in 2013, that the caliphate project took off.

    What you’re referring to as Jo Cox’s analysis isn’t clear, but what anyone who’s been watching Syria for the last five years should be in no doubt about is that the destruction of that country, the deaths of more than 400,000 Syrians, the creation of millions of refugees, and the destabilization of the whole region have primarily been the result of the actions of the Syrian government with the support of Iran and Russia.

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