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After Douma: The Dogs of War Are Barking

As the West and Russia appear to be on the brink of direct conflict in Syria, and we are reminded of the media campaign to mislead the public in the run up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003, John Wight sits down with journalist Neil Clark to ask: how has it come to this?

The clamour for war in the West, in the wake of the latest allegations concerning the use chemical weapons by Syrian government forces, has brought the world to the gravest crisis it has faced since the Cuban missile crisis.

With neocon ideologues such as Nikki Haley and John Bolton occupying key positions within the Trump administration, with the demonization of Russia beyond anything witnessed throughout the Cold War, and with regional actors such as Israel and Saudi Arabia growing more and more belligerent and aggressive, it is impossible at this stage to discern any space for diplomacy.

How have things reached this point? How, just over 70 years after the end of the Second World War, are we now on the precipice of a major conflagration between two nuclear armed blocs?

The war fever that has broken out among power elites in the West is an index of the slippage of Western hegemony, post-Iraq, and the emergence of a counter-hegemonic multipolar alternative, spearheaded by Moscow and Beijing. Meanwhile, within the region, two antagonistic axes are engaged in a fierce struggle for local hegemony. One axis is comprised of the sectarian forces of Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the other Gulf Cooperation Council states, while the other is made up of non-sectarian forces in the shape of Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah.

Writer, broadcaster and journalist, Neil Clark, joins us to explore, unpick and unpack the miasma of propaganda surrounding this crisis to penetrate the agenda of Washington, London, and Tel Aviv when it comes not only to Syria but also Russia in what is now a struggle of world-historical importance.

Hard Facts is out every Wednesday. You can join in the conversation here.

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