(This Q&A article was commissioned by, and appears exclusively in WhoWhatWhy.org)
As Syrian expatriate Dr. Rim Turkmani was watching President Barack Obama give his brief nationally televised address to the American people and the people of the world last night, she says she had two contradictory feelings. “I felt good that it was not a war speech,” says this British-based member of the political office of an organization called The Syrian State Current, a movement that is seeking non-violent democratic change in Syria. “But what upset me was his repeated referring to what is happening in Syria as a ‘civil war.’ There is an element of civil war in the violence in Syria, but more importantly it is a proxy war between the US and Russia, and it has to be acknowledged that the US and Russia are the key players.”
Dr. Turkmani is an astrophysicist who teaches at Britain’s Imperial College in London. As a native of Homs, a city that has suffered much death and destruction in the current civil war between Syrian rebels and the government of Bashar al-Assad,, she knows the evils the regime is capable of. She spoke with WhoWhatWhy’s Dave Lindorff the other day about the Syrian crisis:
Lindorff: What is your analysis of the current situation in Syria?
Turkmani: The regime of Bashar al-Assad is fully capable morally and practically of using poison gas against Syrian people. After all we have witnessed far worse atrocities committed by him. But we don’t think that US interference through missile strikes will help the situation at all, because there is a complex war on the ground already — both a civil war and an international one. Adding a new direct military player with a new strategy and new aim will just complicate things further. It will not help either side win or bring Assad to the negotiating table.
For the rest of this article, please go to WhoWhatWhy.org