‘WHEN I see the official Syrian opposition, I see a group of people who have declared that they are in favour of democracy, human rights and a future for minorities, including Christians, in Syria,” David Cameron told the House of Commons last Monday.
So, it looks as if the post-Assad Syrian government will be a coalition of Liberal Democrats and Greens, with a strong focus on equality, women’s rights and fast-tracking same-sex marriage.
That is what Dave sees. Evidently he does not see a child being employed by those same rebels to cut off a Syrian soldier’s head, or Abu Sakkar, commander of the Independent Omar al-Farouq Brigade, cutting out a soldier’s heart and liver and putting the heart into his mouth with the exultant cry: “Oh, my heroes of Baba Amr, you slaughter the Alawites and take their hearts out to eat them!”
Our hawkish American allies, unlike Dave, are prepared to acknowledge such atrocities and sanitise them, as with Senator John McCain’s remarks last week: “Horrible things are happening on both sides but with Bashar al-Assad’s forces it is a tactic that they use to intimidate and cow the population.”
Whereas, when the rebels do it, it is not intended to intimidate or cow the population – just youthful high spirits, or an impulsive bloodlust, or some kind of tribal ritual it would offend against the canons of multiculturalism to condemn. Got you, John. Or could it be that this former military person, along with Dave the Loser and William “Fourteen Pints” Hague, feels it is high time the helicopter gunships crested the horizon again to the music of Ride Of The Valkyries? I love the smell of political bovine excrement in the morning.
Dave is now leading the Syrian war party (in default of leading the Conservative Party, which has slipped its leash). It is the latest, obvious move in staking his claim to be Heir of Blair.
Dave is becoming increasingly exercised about the use of chemical weapons in Syria: any day now he will be telling us the intelligence on Assad’s WMD deployment is “extensive, detailed and authoritative”. In fact, UN reports are inconclusive, but if sarin gas has been used it has been deployed by the rebels as well. Following Blairite precedent, that should not deter Dave from arming al-Qaeda. In post-Blair Iraq, in the past two months alone, more than 2,000 people have been murdered.
Dave told the Commons that unless support for the rebels is stepped up “the political transition that we want to see will not happen and the extremists will continue to flourish”. The political transition that who wants to see? Not the British public, that is for sure.
As for displacing the “extremists”, the rebel slogan “Alawites to the grave, Christians to Beirut!” betrays the sectarian character of their cause: it is a Sunni/Shia war of extermination. On 27 May the rebels massacred the Christian village of al-Duvair on the outskirts of Homs. This was just the latest in a genocidal persecution of varied methods: in Khalidiya, Christians and Alawites were imprisoned in a building which was then dynamited. Christians are 10 per cent of the population, Alawites 13 per cent: the Sunni rebels are committed to eliminate 23 per cent of the Syrian people. Up to 400,000 Christians have already fled the country. Who cares? Christians are the ignored section of humanity whose sufferings are off the liberal radar.
Yet Dave, as usual, is backing a loser. The recapture by Assad’s forces last week of Qusayr and the Golan crossing into Israel signalled a turn in the tide of war, as has the re-occupation of rebel-held suburbs of Damascus and Aleppo. The 150 Iranian Revolutionary Guards who have trained government forces in secret camps have made a significance difference; so have the veteran Hezbollah fighters supporting Assad. Russia has supplied batteries of S-300 surface-to-air missiles to see off Nato intervention: Vladimir Putin will not tolerate a second Libya. China is discreetly supportive. The crippling of the Turkish government has also helped Assad, the unrest largely sparked not by the threat to bulldoze a park but by Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s massively unpopular interventionist policy in Syria.
The rebel forces encompass al-Qaeda, its 10,000-strong ally Jabhat al-Nusra, Ahrar al-Sham and other jihadists. Bashar al-Assad views London as a city where his wife can indulge in shopping; his al-Qaeda opponents regard it as a priority target for explosive, chemical or biological weapons.
So why does Dave want to arm al- Qaeda and facilitate its takeover of Syria’s arsenals? Because he is a grandstanding geopolitical illiterate, far out of his depth, is the inescapable answer. The clever money is on Assad still being in power when Dave has followed his hero Blair into despised oblivion.