Late last year, as the regime of Bashar Assad was continuing its murderous rampage against the people of Syria, the governments of Iran and Russia offered their diplomatic support. But Bashar also received significant practical assistance from a much more unlikely ally: an Italian surveillance firm by the name of Area SpA. Throughout all of 2011, employees of that company were being flown to Damascus to direct Syrian intelligence officers in the installation of a computer system that would allow the Syrian government to scan and catalog virtually every e-mail that flows through the country… Indeed, the Italian company has plenty of competition from other Western firms …
— Nick Robins-Early, The New Republic
Radical idea: Let’s go with what would actually work in Syria
If the goal is to change the behavior of the Assad regime in Syria, or others like it, money talks. Just as in every other aspect of modern life, money pretty much has the last say. Follow it, and you find the answer to the problem, in almost every case.
More violence in Syria will not work. Lobbing missiles on a despotic regime never works. This we know, it is borne out by history. They will only get more vindictive, more determined, more cruel to their own population.
The only way to change a corrupt regime’s behavior is to either completely annihilate it — as in invading and taking over the country — or by economic means. This is not only the most humane way (if done properly) — it is the most effective.
Of course, any military aid would have to be cut off first. That’s a given — or should be. Typical sanctions are not the way, either, as they usually end up hurting the population as much or more than the targeted regime.
Instead, we need to cut off all business with their military, their government and any large corporations that have a foothold there. Let ’em go cold turkey on those cash infusions. Cut off the life blood.
Because that’s what these corrupt regimes run on, blood money. Money made and spent on the trade in weapon systems, armies, spying equipment, and all their instruments of oppression. They all cost money, and corrupt banks and corporate interests will be happy to do business with corrupt regimes.
This what needs to end.
Here is the ultimate weapon, one that will spare the population, while bringing the regime to its knees.
But will the president, or any politician for that matter, dare suggest it? After all, money is not only the lifeblood of corrupt regimes, it is also, sadly, the lifeblood of our political process these days.
And this is why no one in power is likely to heed my advice (other than the fact that they are not likely to ever read it). Because there’s money to be made in military intervention, while my plan would reduce corporate profits — and thereby set a very dangerous precedent!