Two bravura opinion pieces from the Celtic world protesting the bellicosity of Greater England’s morally bankrupt political classes and their determination to condemn others to violent deaths in order to fuel the ego of their rump empire, like some aged serial killer seeking to remind the world of his existence. From the aptly named blog, Keeping an Eye on the Czar of Russia:
“Today will be one of those alleged great show-piece events in the (British) House of Commons. The political correspondents at BBC, ITN and Sky and the sketch-writers in the major newspapers are already dusting off the clichés, including the old favourite, “This was the House of Commons at its best”.
The British always seem to be at their best when they are discussing war – killing people – in reverent, hushed tones.
So… Bombing Syria. Or more precisely bombing ISIL in Syria. The complex alliances in that war are a farce.
Syria was once accepted as just another part of the Arab Spring. Uprisings to establish democracy in Egypt produced a government that the “West” did not like so the democratic government was overthrown and a more compliant government installed. In Libya the tyranny of Gaddafi was overthrown and the country is now just a failed state in civil war.
Western intervention in Iraq failed miserably and produced sectarian bloodshed.
In Syria, the Assad regime was targeted as the next to fall but the “West” hesitated and some of the opposition groups were demonstrably worse than Assad. Notably ISIL.
Western populations are now told that Saudi Arabia which bankrolls Islamist extremism and Turkey which buys ISIL’s oil are “good guys”.
The 9/11 bombers were Saudi. A NATO country kills Kurds who are fighting Assad and backs its ethnic Turks who are fighting Assad. The “ethnic Turks” in Syria are bombed by Russians who are supporting Assad and the Russians are needed to bomb ISIL. The Americans and French are bombing ISIL who are fighting Assad but are not targeting other anti-Assad forces – the so called 70,000 “good guys” who will fight both Assad and ISIL. Well it’s all bollocks. We all know this.
Meanwhile we also know that the threat to British cities (and other European cities) is from home-grown terrorists rather than ISIL’s infiltration into Europe.
I should of course emphasise that I am an Irish citizen and that implies a deep commitment to neutrality as well as a deep distrust of the motivations of post-imperialist players on the world stage.
…Cameron’s contradictory statement to his own backbenchers that opponents of bombing Syria would be going into the lobby with “terrorist sympathisers” is a disgraceful comment.
As Donal Lyons of SDLP tweeted last night:
Hopefully, Mark Durkan, who holds the seat once occupied by Nobel Peace laureate John Hume, will point out that the SDLP needs no lectures from British governments.
So Cameron will win the votes but will hardly win the debate. Only a handful of Tories will defy him but he can count on the support of the DUP and UUP, eager as always to display their British patriotism. Shamefully he will get the support of the Liberal Democrats, reduced to a rump of just eight members…
And Labour hopelessly divided. Only a minority of the Shadow Cabinet will back Jeremy Corbyn. With one eye on their hero, Tony B. Liar, and the other on overthrowing Corbyn and playing out their own leadership aspirations, they will troop into the Government lobby.
In doing so, they do not seem to grasp that the real opposition to this war is being led by nationalists – the SNP, SDLP and Plaid Cymru. The post-colonial conflicts such as Syria do not reflect the national ethos of Scotland.”
With proof of Scotland’s rejection of London’s proposed neo-colonial misadventures here is the cuttingly insightful Wee Ginger Dug:
“If you don’t want to blow up buildings, if you don’t want to wreak havoc and destruction, if you want to seek a peaceful resolution to conflict – then you’re a terrorist sympathiser. If you don’t want to go to war, if you seek to broaden debate, if you believe that fighting for peace is like shagging for virginity – then you’re a fascist. If you want talks not violence, if you seek consensus not victory, if you refuse to fetishise force – then you’re guilty of disrespecting the armed services. Welcome to British values in the 21st century, a century born in war and continuing in war, a country where the peacemakers are condemned as extremists and attack is defined as defence. Welcome to British values, where you support the armed forces by sending them to die in foreign lands where they have no business being.
Scotland is going to war in Syria. Even though just two of our elected representatives support the dubious case for conflict and 57 oppose it. Scotland doesn’t get to choose whether it goes to war, Westminster decides that for us. The Tories we didn’t vote for decide whether Scottish soldiers will fight and die in a foreign land, just like the Tories we didn’t vote for will decide whether our poor and disabled will be able to pay for food in their stomachs or will have to rely on charity and handouts.
The war in Syria has more sides than Cameron has faces. The dodgy dossiers of Tony Blair have been replaced by the phantom forces of Cameron. There are no ground troops despite Cameron’s claims to the contrary. There are no moderates in the Syrian bloodbath. The Kurds have no interest in conquering lands inhabited by Arabs, lands which will never become a part of a future Kurdish state. Many of the other Syrian militias are motivated by Islamism exactly like ISIS, they just disagree on minor points of theology. It’s like saying you’ll support the Britain First against the fascists of the BNP.
We’ve been here before, rushing to bomb and blast without any clear idea of what happens afterwards, getting involved in someone else’s war for the sole reason that the UK Goverment is embarrassed that the French are taking military action but Britain is not. The UK is like the gang member in the playground who is desperate to get involved in any fight that’s going because otherwise his mates will think he’s weak. It’s not about bringing peace to Syria, just like it wasn’t about bringing peace to Libya or Iraq. It’s all about the ego of the British establishment, always has been, always will be…
How many times does the UK have to bomb a Middle Eastern country before it learns that all we create is chaos and casualties, death and darkness. We create a hundred thousand broken lives, we create the grief and anger that leads to screams for revenge. We make the monsters of ISIS and then we run around pointing out the monsters. And the whole sorry saga repeats itself, in a cycle of cynicism and cemeteries.
It’s time to break the cycle. It’s not going to happen in the British state. With every vote in the Commons, with every undeserving party donor or self-publicist appointed to the Lords, the UK’s sham of democracy shatters ever more. A country that goes to war so it can, in the words of Lib Dem leader Tim Fallon, “stand tall”, is a country that Scotland is damaged by being a part of. Let’s break the cycle. Let’s break the British barbed wire that surrounds Scotland’s heart.”
No one doubts the need for political, diplomatic and economic action to bring the conflict in Syria to an end, which includes ending the existence of the transnational Islamic State. That may well necessitate some sort of peace-keeping, or -making, intervention through the authorization of the United Nations and in cooperation with local parties in the region. However the muscle-flexing posturing of the old imperial powers who laid the seeds of the Middle East’s troubles in the first place is not the answer. Especially when their interventions – as with that of Putin’s Russia – are clearly based on strategic delusions, misinformation and downright lies.