Monday, September 02, 2013

"I mentioned it once ..."

"... but I think I got away with it." Syria that is.

Amongst the self-congratulations doing the rounds for the wisdom of Parliament in defying the government and voting boldly to do nothing, something is missing. We are hearing much about the revival of democracy, Britain's place in the world, the reassertion of the power of Parliament, the respective performances of the party leaders, and on and on; so much so that you could almost forget that this was about Syria. This piece is a typical example; all about Britain, rampaging through contentious history without overmuch concern for scholarship and finally including one line; "It is right that people feel we should do something about the Assad regime", whilst not bothering to mention that the decision was not do anything about the Assad regime.

Don't bother reading it. Read this instead. It is by a Syrian who is also a British citizen. Alisar Iram writes:
This article has two voices: my voice as a Syrian and my voice as a British citizen. My duality is a duality of vision and culture. Since the chemical attack, life has been very tough because the British Media became unhinged and the British TV channels choked to death with conflicting points of view and more often than not, with distorted, confused or absurd speculations, forecasts, expectations and a mumbo jumbo of truths, half truths, lies, allegations and misleading conclusions which politicians, members of Parliament, political and strategic analysts of every known and unknown orientation, party and affiliation have been presenting to a gaping, puzzled public.
The article fingers the demeaning attitudes that underly the arguments of the anti-war brigade:
...the West does see us, the other, as less than human, people living at the margins of the civilized world, ready to butcher, rape and pillage. They see the armed men, the rogue presidents and the dreadful bearded shabiha of both sides, but they do not see the millions of women, children, peaceful young men and pitiful old men, they do not see the refugees, the starving and the disabled by war. It is those they would be defending if they strike, not Al-Qaeda or the Islamists who have converged like vulture on Syria because of the failure of its regime to defend it instead of annihilating its citizens and cities, thus adding to the Syrian tragedy another horrific dimension.*
And finally,
Some are advocating that they are morally bound not to interfere in a civil war. Is this a civil war? Assad unleashed warplanes, helicopter gunships, ballistic missiles, cluster bombs, white phosphorous bombs, TNT-filled barrel bombs and surface-to-surface missiles, including Scud missiles, not to mention hunger, imprisonment, rape and torture against his people, ending with chemical warfare, yet the world watched indifferently with its morality intact. Please drop the word civil from civil war. This is a war against children, women and the vulnerable. This is a naked, savage, ruthless war against those who are weaker, a war that is spawning and attracting all the evils and all the evil men and the criminals of the world. ... The Price of International inaction is the quagmire we find ourselves immersed in now.
If there was one other thing that disappointed me, particularly from the Labour Party, it was the failure to develop and propose an alternative strategy. The motion in front of them was feeble, Obama's proposal for military action was nothing more than half-hearted tokenism. This was one reason to reject it. But to simply replace it with inaction is unconscionable. Parliament replaced inadequacy with negligence. The consequences remain to be seen.

*For some excellent reportage on the Islamist presence in Syria read this piece by Elizabeth O'Bagy from the Wall Street Journal.


torrent said...

This face looks familiar, don't you think?

The Plump said...

“A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes”

And this one has been clocking up some mileage on conspiracist and Russian and Iranian propaganda outlets.

Note how AP has insisted it is disassociated from this concocted story that conflicts with all the eyewitness reports.

Some people will believe anything.

The Plump said...