21 comments on “Yes, this works

  1. The more interesting question is why “we” are so fiercely opposed to Assad anyway. So far as I can see from Wikipedia, which is normally on the liberal side of things, he’s just running a fairly standard dictatorship which have been routine in world politics for most of history. He locks up enemies of the State, some of them get tortured, hey ho; typically apparently Islamists and Communists, both of whom would need locking up whoever was in power (though a Western government would give them more comfortable jails, I daresay).

    I just don’t see what marks Syria out as in some way especially worthy of our ire. It’s much the same as the old Soviet bloc, “rightist” dictatorships in South America, etc.

  2. And the justification for the intervention is the use of Chemical weapons…

    Well Saddam gassed the Kurds… and no one seems to have given a damn about that…

    And to see the BBC be gung ho really makes my head spin; honestly up has become down with all the all the bullshit flying around on this…

  3. “remove the billions he’s stolen.”

    Remove? You mean, steal the stuff back?

    Worked for OJ.

    Nevertheless, I think this is the best idea I’ve heard in literally hours!

  4. Ian,

    I suspect the answer is stability, or rather, lack of it. The general rule, as I understand history to demonstrate, is that you can pretty much do what you want as long as you don’t fuck things up for everyone else. So we even managed to be relatively happy with ‘islamic socialist’ nutter Muammar AlQaddafi / Gaddafi just as long as he was swanning about the desert in tents and not screwing things up for everyone else. When he started to lose his grip on power, he had to go and we were more than happy to help the people who put him down.

    I can’t really see what was different between the early days of the Syrian uprising and the Bahraini one, except the govt of Bahrain managed to step on it quickly and return to stability.*

    If one were being really optimistic, one might surmise that the western world had in fact learned from the marxism-related adventures of former colonies in the second half of the 20th century; namely, don’t antagonise the people who are likely to win, help them instead, and then trade with them.

    But frankly that argues a political and diplomatic depth that I simply don’t believe the executive to posess.

    *interestingly, Bahrain and Syria are pretty much mirror images in terms of sectarian rift; Bahrain is ruled by minority Sunnis but the majority of the population is Shi’ite. Syrai is ruled by an Alawite (Shi’ite) minority and the majority are Sunni.

  5. It would work right up until he said “give back my money or the next village gets it”. Can’t see ‘liberal’ public opinion wanting to keep the cash and see the village get gassed.

    The BBC line is astonishing. And suspicious. Five minutes after Cameron takes to war and we are committed they will be back to 24×7 broadcasting of the “Stop the West” ‘coalition’.

  6. The Beeb’s attitude puzzles me too.

    When the White House was Republican and Downing Street was Labour and the UK followed the US’s lead, then Blair was just Bush’s poodle.

    But now that there’s a Democrat in the White House and a Conservative in Downing Street, failing to follow the US’s lead is a grave risk to the ‘special relationship’, which was only ever a fiction to start with.

    So how does that work?

  7. From reading elsewhere, it would appear that PeteC – the Qatari pipeline – may be on the money, looking at the bigger picture.

    For me, I can’t get my head round that the west would prefer Al Qaeda to win this battle, rather than Assad.

    At the end of the day, it’s a civil war; as others have said elsewhere, it’s much easier from outside to win a war against a state than within a state.

  8. “Sounds a great deal better than killing tens of thousands of people not called Assad.”

    Pie in the sky usually sounds good. Doesn’t make it a genuine possibility, though. The Hollywood-style hacking proposed obviously doesn’t exist outside of fiction. No-one can ‘hack in’ to a bank and remove Assad’s money. If the money’s in a financial institution the US can pressure, they can force the bank to hand over control of his accounts, and if not there’s nothing anyone can do short of taking out the entire bank.

  9. The West has frozen all the Assad assets we can anyway. Essentially, we’re following due process, just like with any regular criminal. And since I’d give the devil the protection of the law, I guess, albeit rather more reluctantly, I’ll extend the same privilege to Assad. If he wants access to the cash, he can go to The Hague and clear his name there.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-18897218

    One thing I wonder about is how sophisticated our black ops in Syria are, and what would be required for Syrian WMD capacity to be depleted mysteriously.

  10. @PST

    The BBC are just critic whores. There’s no interest in lining people up to say ‘well that’s jolly good’ unless it’s about a Brit winning at sport.

    So whatever course has been chosen, line up all the people who think the other course would have been better. That’s what get’s the phone-in’s and comment pages juiced. And that’s all that BBC news seems to be about.

  11. Just a little thought: he has just gassed over a thousand innocent civilians in their beds. Personally I have a big problem with that. And so so fucking what if somebody else did it somewhere else 30 years ago and we didn’t care then. If I had been an adult 30 years ago I’d have had a big problem with that too.

    P.S. We froze Mugabe’s assets; didn’t change a thing. Who needs money when you have power.

  12. Where’s your evidence?–Real evidence not the WMD-lite shit Clamerclown and the federal tyranny are peddling. People may have been gassed–but by whom?. Assad, for no real military advantage, is going to do something that will give those wanting to move in on him the chance to do so?. By all means freeze Assad’s accounts but stop the money/support to the Islamists opposing him. The only even-slightly decent end to this mess would be both sides losing.

  13. Mr Ecks>

    Next you’ll be telling us the Gleiwitz Incident wasn’t a Nazi-orchestrated pretext to invade Poland, right? That we can’t be ‘certain’ that the Nazis weren’t just invading Poland to secure their own borders from Polish aggression? I mean, why would Hitler have risked his domestic powerbase by doing something that would ‘give those wanting to move in on him the chance to do so’? And those reports about so-called ‘concentration camps’ must be false because Hitler would have had to be completely mad to build them where it’s claimed he did…

    See the problem with those excuses yet? (And no, I’m not suggesting you deny the Holocaust. Just that the same justifications can be used to ‘prove’ things we all know to be completely false.)

  14. No actual evidence that he has stolen billions.

    This same accusation was made against Milosevic but in the one case where they thought they had found something – some gold from the Yugoslav treasury – it quickly turned out that it had been deposited after Milosevic was replaced by the western supported coup and western investigations ceased.

  15. I sometimes wonder how the parable of the Good Samaritan would have turned out if the Samaritan had happened by while the robbers were still there. Passing by on the other side of the street until the robbery is over, shutting our ears to the cries, and only then popping in to patch up the victims after the bad guys have gone seems to be how we interpret it nowadays. What would Jesus do?

    But you can understand it. The modern approach was born after the world wars, when we said ‘no more war’ and made the rule that we only intervene to preserve international peace and security. You might be kept up at night by the screams of the kids next door, but every man’s home is his castle, and he’s not threatening *us*, so that’s OK.

    The problem of Syria is that the people saw what we had done in Libya, rebelled against a tyrant, and kind of hoped/expected the West would help them along. We didn’t. For all sorts of reasons of varying degrees of sensibility and self-interest, but in large part because after Iraq and Afghanistan the general public at home was not in the mood for yet more Middle Eastern quagmires.

    So the people of Syria discovered what they already knew, and what had kept them under the thumb of the dictator all these years, which is that ordinary citizens cannot take on the government. No, not even if they have their own guns.

    And therefore since the West would not help, they turned in desperation to anybody else who would. And thus Al Qaida and the Islamists took over the resistance, and now have got another shot at gaining control of an entire nation state after they lost their last one in Afghanistan. Nice one! Allahu akbar! So all that money spent shutting down their operation in Afghanistan was a pointless waste.

    And the really fun bit – every tin-pot dictator around the world is watching what we do. They’d like them some chemical weapons as well, but they knew they’d get into trouble if they did. But would they? They’re bound to figure out the actual rule before long – you can have whatever weapons you like, so long as you only threaten to use them on your own people. And their people will work it out too. Nobody’s coming to help; they’re trapped in there forever.

    And if they ever do get free, they’ll remember what we did.

    What does not grow, dies.
    Peace or liberty. History teaches the same lesson over and over again, but we never learn.

  16. Dave–what are you on about.?

    How does the situation of Hitler–domestically secure and trying to start WW2 on terms favourable to his nutty schemes–compare in any way to Syria. Assad is under heavy attack (and don’t read any degree of sympathy for the twat into that statement) from Islamist nutters supported by the US federal tyranny who are trying on another false flag WMD style con.

    As NiV says it is undoubtedly true that vast numbers of Syrians turned out to protest at the start of this mess against Assad as they have had a gutful of his tyranny. Are we to believe that the ordinary people of Syria then “asked” Islamists for help as NiV says?. Because the West would not help–when we’ve been sending weapons from the start?. Should we have sent armies (that we can’t afford) to hang Assad-he deserves it and his wife–and occupy Syria as we have done so very successfully in Iraq and Afghanistan?.

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