Friday, August 23, 2013

Syria - who used the gas?

A brutal dictator that 'we' don't like anymore. The guy kills 'his' own people. He has a stockpile of horrid weapons - the kind of stuff that doesn't respect man-made borders. And, if that's true, it's means our pals over there - Israel - are threatened. Reason enough then to send in Bruce Willis to sort out those damn A-rabs...

Deja vu? How about Saddam? Bush and Blair meet up at their men's club to thrash out a propaganda job that claims Saddam's bombs could - will! - reach Londum in 45 minutes.

What do we know? Assad is a dictator who has oppressed his own people. Sure. And 'we' stood by and watched this happen. Sure... but we also stand by and watch David Cameron's pals in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia do much the same. We've stood by and watched China do the same for decades. China though is big enough, not only to bankroll the ailing US economy, but to kick our ass if we question their attitudes to democracy, free-speech, respect of international boundaries and human rights.
Incredible but true, a poor man's Bruce Willis
What else do we know? Apparently - the UN are or were satisfied at least - the Syrian rebels who William Hague wants to finance not only possess chemical weapons but have used them. We also know that the rebels' cause is going pear-shaped, Hibs-style. Assad knows that while 'us' in the 'West' may have hitherto stood by while Syrians slaughtered each other - any really heavy misdemeanour on his part could see the Yanks, the ConDem Brits and the newly bloodthirsty French come in to relieve him of his power and wealth with his likely execution filmed for the YouTube generation - a la Saddam and Gaddafi - to gawk at.

We also know that US and Brutish intervention in the middle-east does not usually end well. Afghanistan is hardly the land o the leal. Iraq has yet to see many of its wonders rated on TripAdvisor by bright-eyed backpackers from leafy Western suburbs. Libya lags someway behind Norway on the democracy, freedom and happiness fronts. Would Barrack 'Death by Drone' Obama be any better?

The answer? I don't have one... though if pressed, I'd go for dialogue over a foreign adventure that will only push the body count higher. It is good though to see some, such as the New York Times and Democracy Now explore the facts and ask questions of both sides while reminding us that the propaganda war is being played by both sides.

Channel 4 - Syria: the rebels battling for Assad's chemical weapons

NY Times - Images of Death in Syria, but No Proof of Chemical Attack

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