Friday 21 October 2016

Give war a chance

From yesterday's Daily Telegraph, which used to be a better newspaper than it is now.
"Russia aims to effectively end the war in Syria on the eve of the US election, Nato officials WARNED last night."  (My emphatic capital letters. Not important compared to bombed hospitals, but I'm sorry the Telegraph splits infinitives now.)
Why 'warned'? Don't we want an end to the war? 

Yes, I know the regime has committed many times more atrocities than has ISIS in Syria and that Russia has committed countless atrocities.

But what is the alternative? 

And is Nato more worried about civilian deaths or by geopolitics, the war between Saudis and Israel against Iran? 

Edward Luttwak is the best foreign policy analyst there is. In this piece he argues that we now live in a world of frozen conflicts, when outright victories for one side or another are often preferable. Like me, he thinks that we must hope Russia gets on with winning the war for the Syrian government. It is worth reading, like everything he writes.

Why doesn't Theresa May see this?

Because she is not very bright. 

But why doesn't Boris Johnson, who is? 

He has long favoured intervention in Syria. Like George W. Bush and many others he sees himself as a Churchill opposing appeasement. Putin is one in a very long line of leaders confused with Hitler, from Stalin and Nasser to Saddam and Gaddafi.

The evil that Hitler analogies have done is immeasurable and they become more and more frequent the further we get from the Second World War. Almost all of politics is a meditation on Hitler these days. It's the reason why Angela Merkel invited millions of Arabs and other random people without papers into Germany, the reason for the euro and why EU enthusiasts want to take even more power from member states, the reason for all the liberal wars that have caused so much suffering, bloodshed and chaos, the reason why European governments are frightened above all things of nationalism and racism. And are going exactly the right way about relighting those seemingly extinct fires.

In any case, I am not at all sure that the defeat of ISIS in Syria, if Russia and Assad ever get round to it, will be in either British or European interests. Much better, from a realpolitik point of view, if jihadis busy themselves in the Levant rather than in Birmingham or Nice.


  1. The Alliance between Saudi Arabia and Israel deserves more attention from EU...

  2. David in Banja Luka21 October 2016 at 17:11

    "Warned" because Assaad is not the Yanks son of a bitch.

    EU? Most definitely the Yanks bitch.

  3. I almost agree with you here. When you say "Almost all of politics is a meditation on Hitler these days", I'd say "Much of politics now pretends to be a meditation on Hitler, but Stalin isn't remembered".

  4. The title of this post says precisely as much as a recent WH statement - released a couple of days of the rupture in Lausanne [have not kept the relevant clipping, no time to forage for the link].

    I do expect that the future rulers of Syria, Iraq and Yemen will be indebted to whoever manages to broker peace, but neither creditors not debtors seem likely to be anywhere similar to the past.

    Whatever interest might there be in keeping such clients tethered...

  5. Interesting. One must wonder how these villains (by whom I mean London and Washington) are allowed to get away with entering sovereign nations and just killing whomever they want to ensure their weapons sales continue undisturbed.

    The whole world is going to Hell and America and England are leading the way.

    George Michael for Prime Minister!