Monday, 2 September 2013

Which is better - to be a saved or betrayed Syrian?


A.J.P. Taylor once asked this question.

In 1938 Czechoslovakia was betrayed. In 1939 Poland was saved. Less than one hundred thousand Czechs died during the war. Six and a half million Poles were killed. Which was better – to be a betrayed Czech or a saved Pole?

Is it better to be a saved Iraqi or Libyan than to have been left under Saddam's or Gadaffi's rule? We know the answer. So it would be again in Syria if the Americans intervene to
overturn the very cruel Assad regime. 

People who want us to bomb Syria think: 

Something must be done. This s something. Therefore this must be done.

I remember sitting in the gallery hearing Michael Stewart saying that in a debate in the House of Lords in about 1986 but I do not remember which crisis occasioned the debate. The bombing of Tripoli? It is, unfortunately, endlessly recyclable in foreign policy.

I think intervention in Syria would be a big mistake for the West and for the Syrians, but for Obama to step back is also a disaster. For the first time, now that he has suddenly given the decision to Congress, I think he is a bad rather than merely mediocre President, a mulatto Jimmy Carter. His mistake was to talk about red lines in a rhetorical flourish typical of the student politician I feel he really is. Apparently he did so without taking advice from the State Department.

It really is Amateur Night.

Thank God Britain is off the hook, despite Messrs. Hague and Cameron. Thank God George W. Bush has left the White House. Thank God Mr. McCain, who wants the US to organise regime change in Syria, is not President. It might be a good thing if Ron Paul were. 

1 comment:

  1. This is skullduggery pure and simple. Pockets and people in them. There are players in the U.S. who should be hanged for Dual Loyalty which is a betrayal of democracy and the citizens of the democracy. We can start with John McCain as an epitome example. But no delay
    for the many others.