I am finding it difficult to keep up with the West’s shifting moral compass under Obama and the EU.
Take the issue of whether the west supports separatists in any given country. In Syria the West did support the forces opposed to Assad who wanted to break the country up. Now the West is arming the Kurds, who want to create a separate Kurdish state from a part of Iraq. Yet in the Ukraine the West is against the rebels who wish to create a separate Eastern Ukraine. It is also, of course, against IS forces who want a separate Sunni regime in parts of Iraq and Syria.
Or take the issue of whether the West supports incumbent governments because they have attained power through the correct means in their system. The West supports the governments of Saudi Arabia and Iran, but did not support the government of Syria or Libya. The West asked for a change in the elected government of Iraq which it helped secure. It helped remove an elected President in the Ukraine, but now supports another elected government there. It did not support the elected government of Egypt when there was a military takeover.
Take the issue of who is the enemy? Last year number one Middle East enemy was President Assad of Syria. Today number one enemy is the IS, Assad’s prime enemy. Some now think the West should change from being anti Assad to being in alliance with him against IS.
Doubtless the strategists of the USA and the EU can make a case for each of these positions, and for the changes to them. It is difficult, however, to find a single strand of resolute support for democracy, or continuous support for the free determination of self government by peoples in these shifting sands of soundbites, military interventions and diplomatic pressures. Does it matter that the West’s voices are so inconsistent? Can those who took us to war in Iraq, in Afghanistan and in Libya, and urged us to war in Syria, claim that the Middle East is a better place or more settled for our military activities?