- Posted September 9, 2013 by
Parallels: Syria 2011-Present & Spain 1936-1939
At the time of the bloody conflict on the Iberian Peninsula from July of 1936 until April of 1939, world governments were concerned that the war could spill over the borders and result in yet another "Great War", World War II. While that did not materialize, looking back one can see how the varied powers which later were drawn into "The War to End All Wars", carried on a proxy war as the Republicans and Nationalists battled for control of Spain.
The conversation surrounding Syria has also been replete with concern that the war in that Middle East country will also spill out over its borders and engulf the world once more in a global conflict. Some remain confident that the outbreak would remain within the region and not spread. But the parallel is evident.
In the Spanish Civil War there were atrocities committed by both sides. None had clean hands. In today's battleground again the players, the Syrian regime and the Syrian rebels are found wanting with neither side saints.
During the Spanish Civil War, led by Great Britain and France, an agreement was drawn up to keep weapons from being imported into Spain. The USSR and Germany signed on as did Italy and Mexico, but no one abided by the embargo. France, one of the originators of the embargo, is alleged to have been one of the worst violators of the agreement. The US unofficially signed on to the pact to keep arms out of the hands of both Republicans and Nationalists.
A similar type of embargo has been attempted in the Syrian conflict, but has failed miserably. Now nations on both sides of the conflict are openly supplying arms and support to the side which they support.
There are more similarities.
Ernest Hemingway etched into history a vivid accounting of the Spanish Civil War, both the romanticized appeal and the lethal reality, in "For Whom the Bell Tolls". Other Americans joined in the fray along with Hemingway as the battles wore on.
In today's conflagration, there are stories of Americans and others sneaking into Syria to fight with and support rebel forces. How soon before a book details the horrors of the Syrian Civil War in novel form?
Many are seeing the current war as a shadow war between Iran, Hezbollah and their supporters against the US and the West's influence in the Middle East. Many saw the Spanish Civil War as a shadow war between Germany and Italy with the Soviet Union and the great powers of Great Britain and France.
From the Cornfield, are we repeating history?
Have we learned nothing in the last 80 years or so?
Should the US of A, as it did with the Spanish Civil War, officially stay out of the Syrian Civil War?
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