Former Newsweek journalist Tariq Haddad offers his perspective on the allegations against the government of Bashar al-Assad.
Sputnik: Why has the mainstream Western media tried to demonise the Assad government in Syria, by accusing it of using chemical weapons?
Tariq Haddad: We can pretty much say without any doubt that these events were part of a coordinated propaganda effort to influence public opinion in the UK, and in the west more generally, to paint Bashar Al-Assad and his government in a certain light, so it can be a justification for essentially taking Syria’s oil and as part of the wider geopolitical game.
Sputnik: How do you see US foreign policy in the Middle East evolving in 2020?
Tariq Haddad: This is one of those things that get a little bit misunderstood. People like to blame Trump, Obama, or whoever is President, but I think what’s happened with America now, is that the military interests and all the private contractors, all the private equity firms that make money from these arms sales, they are really the ones who are controlling what is going on.
We’ve seen that with Trump, he tried to remove all of the troops from Syria, and then he had to backpedal because I’m sure that he was told at a very senior level, that “we have these oil fields, and we have to stay and protect them.”
Now what news story that will be told is, that “we don’t want [Daesh*] to get their hands on this oil”, but it’s pretty much just so these contractors in the US can keep taking oil for themselves, it’s not to keep it from ISIS.
Sputnik: Will the US’s global popularity decline after the recent aggression towards Iran?
Tariq Haddad: UK and US foreign policy has been in unison for a long time now, and I do think it’s very troubling because it seems to be that the US and UK are just going to be continually breaking international law, as the influence of the Empire declines.
What we are seeing at the moment, is that China is really marking its influence in the wider world, and Iraq is a very good example; the West spent many years trying to install a government there that they approved of, as United States policy has tried to do in many countries all over the world, and China has just stepped in there in a matter of two years or so, and through its belt and road initiative, they have said “ we’ll give you some funding for infrastructure, roads and all that kind of thing”, and now the Iraqi government is aligned with China and Russia.
I think we are going to see the same thing across the wider world, where American meddling in foreign affairs is going to be less accepted, and they are going to be continually driven out of different countries.
*Daesh, also known as IS/ISIS/Islamic State, is a terrorist group banned in Russia and many other countries.