Syrian Minister of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform relieved his compatriots by announcing on Sunday that the 156 forest fires that recently ravaged his country had finally been extinguished. Except for a few Mideast media outlets, most of the world has largely ignored this environmental catastrophe and the consequences that it’ll have for the Syrian people who have already been suffering from nearly a decade of externally waged Hybrid War. These forest fires devastated some of the most important agricultural regions of the Arab Republic, which could worsen food insecurity, unemployment, and living standards.
Considering how proudly they often virtue signal their concern whenever similar events happen in the Amazon, Southern Europe, or the US’ West Coast, one might have naively expected most Western activists to at least comment on this tragedy, yet they’ve mostly remained silent. This raises the question of why they could seemingly care less, which can be answered with a few theories. The first is that they’re Western-centric, whether consciously or otherwise, despite many of them sometimes professing anti-imperialist and leftist rhetoric. To them, the “Global South” doesn’t matter as much as the “Imperial Core” where they live.
Secondly, there’s a visible overlap between Western environmental activists and those that sympathize with liberal causes abroad. Syria is the target of liberal-driven information warfare which alleges that it “deserves” the regime change war that’s been waged against it for so long because its government is led by a “dictator”, not a democratically elected and legitimate leader like President Assad truly is.
Sympathizing with the Syrian people who lives in areas of the country currently under the writ of Damascus might wrongly be seen by them as tacitly endorsing the same state which many of these activists condemn and not as humanitarian solidarity.
The third theory combines the prior two and speculates that some Western activists might secretly cheer these forest fires if they believe that the worsened living conditions that the victims will be forced to endure might make them more susceptible to supporting anti-government goals. This Machiavellian mindset is predicated on the belief that the victims might be more easily manipulated into acting as “useful idiots” in support of the same regime change cause that external actors such as many of these same Western activists endorse. It’s an inaccurate reflection of reality, but it might nevertheless be what at least a radical few of them are thinking.
There’s also the chance that all this speculation is amiss, though it must be objectively recognized that conjecture of this sort will naturally arise whenever there’s a clear inconsistency in the activist community. Those who closely follow certain topics such as the examined one of environmental devastation are expected to be aware of major events like the Syrian forest fires, especially since some leading Mideast outlets reported on them, so their silence is deafening and makes one wonder whether it’s driven by ulterior motives. Even the famous environmental activist Greta Thunberg is strangely silent about this tragedy.
Her lack of any public commentary about Syria’s devastating forest fires is all the more hypocritical since it was just last month that she told the world that the similar tragedy unfolding on the US’ West Coast at the time “needs to dominate the news. All the time.” It’s unknown why she’s ignoring the exact same thing that recently happened in Syria, but those who feel passionate about raising global awareness of it and exposing the double standards of Western environmental activists are strongly encouraged to share this article under her social media posts in order to attract her followers’ attention in the hopes of pressuring her to finally say something.
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This article was originally published on OneWorld.
Andrew Korybko is an American Moscow-based political analyst specializing in the relationship between the US strategy in Afro-Eurasia, China’s One Belt One Road global vision of New Silk Road connectivity, and Hybrid Warfare. He is a frequent contributor to Global Research.
Featured image is from OneWorld