Hand-wringing about Syria comes far too late. Western powers who colluded in the invasion of Iraq were so shamed by what happened in the aftermath that in Syria they focussed exclusively on the aftermath, funding ‘civil society’ workshops and ‘citizen journalist’ training. They overlooked the small detail that the Assad regime was and is too strong to fall without outside intervention. In Iraq the West focussed only on the ‘now’ and forgot about the ‘after’, but in Syria they focussed only on the ‘after’ and forgot about the ‘now’.
Tragically, the lessons learnt from Iraq have cost Syria dear.
[Letter as published in the Evening Standard
13 June 2013]