Monday, April 29, 2013

Sleepwalking to Syria

Well, here we go again.
First we had the great Iraq WMD hoodwink.
Remember that? "Eye Rack has thousands of WMD and they can hit the UK in 45 minutes" blah blah.
Followed, many months/years and thousands of deaths by "Well, perhaps the intelligence was wrong".
And then the "If we kick out the Taliban from Afghanistan, we can capture Bin Laden and all the word's problems will go away".
Followed years later by "We really ought to get out of Afghanistan (because we are not winning)".
Then, there was Tunisia. "Hoorah! Tunisia has had a free and fair vote and elected a democratically chosen government".
Followed by "What do you mean, they elected an Islamist government???"
And then there was Libya.
"Now that's an easy target. Let's send in the cruise missiles and finish this all off".
Some time later, we have total anarchy in that country with grateful Libyans showing their gratitude by desecrating the graves of British soldiers.
Egypt? Yep. Same old, same old.
"It is time to ditch our best friend, Mubarak, and pretend to support democracy in Egypt."
Followed by "Oh shit! They have put the Muslim Brotherhood in power. Now what?"
(As I write, I hear Cameron offering weasel words on Radio 4 about having "learned lessons from Iraq...."
Total bullshit!

So, what about Syria?
A quick look at the history of that country will show how it was a fragmented, disorganised collection of  tribal and religious factions, all too intent on fighting each other, rather than trying to make a go of their new country.
In the end, Bashar Al Assad decided enough was enough and pulled the country together, using a mixture of sensible political decisions and some ear thumping. He ended up with a country that seemed to manage OK; some factions accepted that what he was doing was for the greater goo and there were a few who didn't like what he was doing, generally because he was preventing them from dipping their sticky fingers into the till.
Nevertheless, he did manage to achieve some sort of peace and stability.
When he died, his son took over and he began to ease up on some of the stricter aspects of his father's government. With typical Arab perverse logic, this caused people to kick over the traces and he was obliged to bring back some of the draconian measures he had been hoping to relax.
So, as could be expected, other factions protested this action.
Well, you can't please all the people all the time... etc
And so we arrive at the situation today. The many factions who want the largest slice of the pie for themselves began an armed insurrection, financed and armed by "friendly" governments in that part of the world. They are doing this for purely religious reasons; Assad's Alawi sect is a sort of watered down Shia sect, while those governments supporting the insurgents are Sunni. They are not brave enough to take on their larger Shia neighbours in Iraq & Iran so they are using proxies (suckers) to do their work in Syria.

And we come eventually to the governments of the Western powers.
They have been beating an anti Assad drum for many months now. Today, they have increased the stakes, accusing Syria of using Sarin gas against its own citizens.
Personally, I think this is complete twaddle; from what I have seen of the "victims" on an on-line video, they do not appear to be suffering from this or any other nerve gas. They were allegedly frothing at the mouth. And that was it. Well, if you are afflicted by nerve gas, you begin to lose control of bodily functions one by one. Muscular movement becomes uncontrolled, the victim becomes incontinent, losing control of bladder and bowel functions. This is quickly followed by a loss of control of the involuntary functions such as breathing and heart beat. Once you lose control of these, death soon follows.
From what I can gather from the news, in the recent alleged attack, one person was killed but this was hardly surprising as an artillery shell had dropped on this person's house. I could not find any reports of people dying in the clinics following the frothing at the mouth.
So, this no doubt explains the reticence of the US government when it comes to allegations of nerve gas use by the Syrian government. Basically, they don't know. But this is not stopping them from ramping up the propaganda war, either in Washington or in London.
I would suggest that the frothing at the mouth occurs more frequently in Washington and London!
Our 'leaders' are positively straining at the leash to have a go at Syria but are being held back by their own history over the Iraq fiasco, when they were caught red-handed using bogus evidence to start a protracted campaign of killing as many Iraqis as possible. So why is the US so keen to have a go at Syria? What did the Syrians do to upset them? Well, nothing really, other than being allied with Russia and Iran, oh, and standing up to Israel. In typical bully fashion, the Americans are saying "OK, I won't hit you because I am scared you will hit me back. So I will smack your mate instead".
And they also really should develop a better long term memory; Iraq was only the most recent war started on the basis of trumped up charges. Who remembers the invasion of Grenada or the Gulf of Tonkin incident?
During my time in Aden, despite the UK government having agreed a timetable for independence for that colony, the US government was the biggest  cheerleader for the anti-British terrorist groups in the region, maintaining a constant clamour at the U.N. against British 'Imperialism' (soon to be replaced by American imperialism).

Anyway, back to Syria and the uncertain future of that nation. This week, I heard an interview on the BBC with a person from the Al Nusra at a terrorist training camp in Jordan. During the interview, he was quite clear about his ambitions for Syria; he wants to take over the country and turn it into a rigidly Islamist state, operating totally under Sharia law.
Smashing! Just the job! Just what the world needs is another loony tunes nation.
This group is openly pro-Al Qaeda and could be seen as their proxy in the region. They are also gathering in Lebanon, presumably to continue their mischief in that unfortunate country.
Is that what the west needs? More uproar, killing and misery in that region? No. I don't think so, but that is exactly the recipe the Washington & London idiots are facing. The problem is; they either do not understand this or they are hell bent on maintaining instability and strife around the Middle East.
How long, I wonder, before we discover that the US and perhaps the UK, have been secretly arming (directly or indirectly) Al Qaeda's surrogates in the region? Remember, they have form here, having armed Bin Laden and his oppos in Afghanistan before it all went wrong.
As I said at the start, "Here we go again"!

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