Sunday, October 4, 2015

How David Cameron is still talking absolute rubbish about Syria



Last night I had the misfortune of watching the BBC News. I'm not naive. I know that the government of the day hold the BBC purse strings so there has always been a strong pro-government bias in their reporting (whichever party happens to be in power). I also know that New Labour made things even worse when they decided to castrate the BBC for daring to tell the truth about how Tony Blair and Alistair Campbell "sexed up" the evidence used to justify the disastrous invasion and occupation of Iraq.

Even though I'm well used to the BBC failing to hold the government of the day to account, the ridiculous Tory propaganda they tried to pass off as news last night was utterly appalling.

The segment in question was a report about David Cameron's absurd blethering about the Russian airstrikes in Syria against anti-Assad terrorist groups. Cameron had worked himself up into a state of carefully stage managed rage about how Russia were hitting the wrong targets, and how it was an outrage that some of the targets they'd hit had been the "good" US/UK backed terrorist groups in Syria, rather than the "bad" Saudi/Qatar/UAE backed terrorists he's had to pretend to oppose because their sheer barbarity makes it impossible to explicitly support them.


Cameron's humiliation over Syria

It's worth noting how the BBC and the rest of the mainstream media seem to have completely forgotten David Cameron's humiliation when his insane rush to war was defeated by a rebellion of his own MPs just two years ago, making him the first Prime Minister in over 200 years to lose a war vote in parliament

His own MPs saw through through the sheer insanity of attacking Assad when Islamist fanatics were flooding into the Syrian conflict back in 2013, yet he's still not willing to accept that ISIS are a greater danger to the UK than Bashar al Assad's government.

Perhaps Cameron will eventually change his mind if ISIS affiliated groups begin launching terrorist attacks in Britain? But maybe not? Maybe he's a man so filled with impotent rage that he didn't get his way back in 2013 that he'll continue arguing that the UK should assist the Islamist takeover of Syria by destroying Assad's government whatever evidence presents itself that Islamist fanatics like ISIS are a much more dangerous enemy to the UK than an admittedly brutal regional dictator like Assad ever could be?


What does Cameron actually want to happen in Syria?

Cameron's rhetoric is so confused it's absolutely pitiful. He tries to pretend to be opposing ISIS, but then he openly supports the much weaker terrorist groups who are trying to oust Bashar al Assad from power, leaving the door wide open for ISIS to take control of Damascus. 

I don't know who Cameron thinks will prevent Syria falling to ISIS should he get his wish that Assad meets the same fate as Saddam Hussain or Muammar Gadaffi? Is he completely unaware that the rise of groups like Al Qaida in Iraq and ISIS came about in the first place as a result of the power vacuum left by the catastrophically ill-conceived invasion and occupation of Iraq (that the Tory party supported at the time)?


David Cameron hobnobbing with the not at all brutal and repressive Saudis.
Maybe David Cameron thinks the ragtag bunch of rebels who have failed to topple Assad despite all of their backing from the US and UK will be able to hold ISIS back should Assad fall? Can he really be unaware that several of these groups have allowed ISIS to usurp their own fighters and their supplies of US weapons

Maybe Cameron envisages a massive ground invasion by US and UK troops to engage in direct conflict with ISIS? I wouldn't want to be a British soldier fighting extremists so brutal that even Al Qaidi criticise them for their barbarity.

Whatever future scenario Cameron is imagining (if any), he can't be so stupid to think that ISIS wouldn't take advantage of a power vacuum in Syria can he? Perhaps that's precisely what he wants in order to justify a US/UK invasion and occupation of the region?

The BBC News report predictably didn't ask any questions like these, instead allowing his confused and ridiculous rhetoric against the only established power structure (as repressive as it is) standing between ISIS and control of Syria to go completely unchallenged. 


Aside from the strategic incoherence of continuing to attack Assad while ISIS make headway across the region, David Cameron's rhetoric was bizarrely hypocritical too. It's utterly ridiculous to hear the UK Prime Minister refer to a dictator like Assad as "the butcher Assad" when he's oh-so-happy to suck up to vile human rights abusers like Saudi Arabia when he's over there trying to hawk weapons contracts for British arms companies

David Cameron's friends

If David Cameron had any integrity whatever he'd use exactly the same kind of rhetoric to condemn Saudi Arabia as "butchers" for the planned crucifixion and beheading of Ali Muhammed al-Nimr for the "crime" of protesting in favour of democracy. And he'd describe the Chinese government as "serial human rights abusers" instead of sucking up to them by describing the UK as the most open country in the western world to Chinese investment and bribing them with £billions to build our energy infrastructure for us (because the Tories have such a strong ideological opposition to the UK building it's own energy infrastructure that they'd prefer to bribe a repressive bunch like the Chinese government to do it instead of building it for ourselves).

Cameron doesn't speak out against butchers and human rights abusers like Saudi Arabia and China because they wouldn't buy our weapons or build our nuclear power stations for us if he did. He reserves such rhetoric for Assad, presumably because his great (and not at all brutal or repressive) friends in Saudi Arabia see Assad as an obstacle to the spread of their extremist form of Wahhabi Islam throughout the Arab world, and Cameron wants to keep them sweet so they continue to buy more weapons from British arms companies.


The wrong targets?

Another factor that makes Cameron's whinging about the Russian airstrikes seem so absurd and out of touch is that the very night before his manufactured outrage about Russia hitting the wrong targets, the US spent a couple of hours bombarding a hospital in Afghanistan. As many concerns as I have about the Russian's direct involvement in Syria, at least they seem to be attempting to attack combatants in a war zone, not deliberately obliterating a hospital. It doesn't matter if militants are hiding in a hospital, or in a UN compound, it's a war crime to attack such locations. It's phenomenally brazen for Cameron to criticise another country for attacking "the wrong military targets" the day after his closest military ally launched a sustained attack on a hospital killing some 20 staff and patients.


And a partisan political swipe at Labour from the BBC

Perhaps one of the most telling things about the report was the way the BBC News anchor concluded the item by reading out a highly partisan swipe at Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party without allowing anyone from Labour any kind of reply to the Tory party accusation that their middle east foreign policy represents a threat to UK national security. 


If the BBC had allowed anyone from the Labour Party to respond perhaps they'd have pointed out that ISIS, not Assad represent the biggest threat to UK national security, and that Cameron's continued backing of anti-Assad terrorists in Syria is actually helping ISIS by further destabilising the region?

It's absolutely clear that if the state broadcaster in Russia or Syria had aired such a biased, pro-government, anti-opposition report, people would rightly be howling their condemnation, but because it's the BBC, hardly anyone even considers it noteworthy enough for comment that they brazenly favour the government of the day, and allow David Cameron's ill-conceived gibberish about the conflict to go completely unquestioned.


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