Monday, August 26, 2013

Assad is a devil but his opponents are all demons too

From Rev'd Dr Peter Mullen:

If this nice sunny weather holds up for a few more days, it will be just perfect for Armageddon. Is that crackpot Obama really about to fire Cruise missiles at Syria? Is this past-master of slippery prolixity – by the side of whom Neil Kinnock himself was a pathetic amateur - at last going to stop talking and actually do something? This is the bloke, you remember, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize barely two minutes after coming down from his Inauguration podium. Syria is a ball game several leagues higher than Libya, Iraq or even Afghanistan. And Damascus is not far from Megiddo and the Bekaa valley, the prophesied scene of the Last Battle.

Many commentators say that, for its own reasons, the USA has been itching for a small war for years. They tried to have one with North Korea earlier this year, until they were told to back off by the Chinese. Obama seems about to plunge them – and us all – into a very big one. But why should any international statesman embark on such irresponsibility? “The use of chemical weapons is a red line,” he replies. Well, chemical weapons are very nasty indeed, but so are all weapons. When did you last come across a friendly hand grenade or a genial cluster bomb? But already 100,000 people have been killed in the Syrian civil war, so surely any red lines were crossed months ago? Assad is armed to the teeth with sophisticated missiles supplied by Russia and he has the declared support of that country which has strategic interests in Syria, including the use of a warm water port by its navy.

Everyone agrees that Assad is a nasty piece of work and guilty of terrible crimes against his own people. But take a look at the people opposing him. These number thousands of barbaric terrorists, jihadists, Salafists, members of psychopathic Sunni sects, would-be martyrs for Islam, more than half in love with uneaseful death. And if Blair was Bush’s poodle, Cameron and Hague are Obama’s lapdogs. When Vladimir Putin visited London recently for talks with David Cameron, he asked a pertinent question: “These people murder their opponents, cut them open, remove their livers and eat them. Are these the sorts of men you seek to supply with arms, Mr Prime Minister?”

The consequences of an attack on Syria are incalculable, and there is no rational foundation for such a reckless exploit. Assad is a devil but his opponents are all demons too. Leave them to it then, for if Satan be divided against Satan, how shall his kingdom stand? We need to examine the realpolitik background to this perilous scenario. All over the Middle East, North Africa, Somalia, Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan there is a militant Islamic insurgency. In Syria this is at its most intense and dangerous because it is the proxy likely to provoke a colossal war between those regional rivals Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shi’ite Iran. The Saudis are already sending military aid and fighters to depose Assad, while the Iranians are supporting him through the machinations of that barbarously and wonderfully named organisation, Hizbollah, the party of God.

Add to this nice little prospect Russia and the USA, world powers armed to the teeth with nuclear weapons, and apocalypse cannot be left off the agenda. It’s been a lovely, long hot summer – just like 1914.

Rev'd Dr Peter Mullen is an author and former rector of St Michael's, Cornhill in the City of London.


Blogger Naomi King said...

We are watching Obama declare war on Russia to deflect attention away from the total collapse of the dollar and the US economy and way of life.

26 August 2013 at 10:52  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Good, clear and concise article. So thank you for that, Dr Mullen.

It is an impossibility to identify "good guys" and "bad guys" in these ultra-complex Middle Eastern situations. To me it seems to be, substantially, the next chapter in the endless Sunni vs Shia struggle in which the minorities, Christians especially, are being utterly crushed. We must keep well out of it, but give humanitarian aid generously to all factions.

The arrogant cultural assumption that we can remove a strong man and bring about our kind of democracy is a total self delusion, of the sort held by immature "A" level students. It beggars belief that supposedly mature leaders of so called democratic countries can hold such views. I do not believe that democracy and fair, open and equal pluralistic societies can be created in countries where Islam is the dominant religion.

26 August 2013 at 10:58  
Blogger Bad Granny said...

So grateful to hear somebody putting uncomfortable truths so articulately.

26 August 2013 at 11:07  
Blogger Bad Granny said...

So grateful to hear somebody putting uncomfortable truths so articulately.

26 August 2013 at 11:08  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

If Assad remains in power, Christianity will survive in Syria. If—with the help of Obama, Cameron and Hague—he is removed from power, Islam will triumph and it will be the beginning of the end for Christianity. Already, as Raymond Ibrahim writes, ‘entire regions and towns where Christians lived for centuries before Islam came into being have now been emptied’. One of his sentences haunts me: ‘In October 2012 the last Christian in the city of Homs—which had a Christian population of some 80,000 before jihadis came—was murdered.’

26 August 2013 at 11:27  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

26 August 2013 at 11:37  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

Good article. Why governments are yet again rattling the sabre, after the experiences of Libya, Iraq and Afghanistan is beyond me. Yes the Assad regime isn't particularly cuddly, but what takes its place could be a hell of a lot worse. Take a look at the Syrian opposition and say yes if those are the people you'd want running a country.

From what I've read about this situation, it seems the government of France (the former colonial power) is all for intervening and the British seems to want to as well. In America, they are more weary with a senior general noting it isn't in America's interest to get involved; who knows what Obama will do.

And there is a practical reason for not sending in the gun boats, which in itself seems like a not so funny joke.

France and Britain, with ever diminishing armed services, are incapable of launching an overthrow of a UK Parish council,let alone a government with Russian tech and backing . Ergo they need America, at the very least, for the satellite and 'background' help (as per Libya).

Now if France wants to go ahead and invade Syria, let them go right ahead. Watch them get bogged down in another conflict which will drag on for years. But Britain and America for goodness sake, let it alone. Britain is in the midst of slashing its army and airforce to the bone, the navy has lost its aircraft carriers (new ones are being built, for since time in 2100, but with no, ahem, aircraft) and very soon shall consist of a couple of fishing boats in Great Yarmouth harbour.

We could go all hollywood and revive some of the museum ships, but whereas Americans have the USS Missouri, we have HMS Victory, of Nelsonic fame and HMS Belfast in the Thames. Yes a wooden 18th century warship and a pre World War II Cruiser is what Dave'll need to overthrown the Syrians and stop the Russians. They might die laughing, I suppose.

26 August 2013 at 11:40  
Blogger Nick said...

Obama and Cameron are like a couple of drunks outside the pub. Neither are able to stay out of a fight, regardless of what it is about.

The foolishness of these two men is staggering. It is hard to see what they are going to achieve by military action against Assad. Giving him a bloody nose is not going to stop him, just make him more resolute. The only way to stop him is the annihilation of him and his supporters, of which there are many. That in itself would amount to genocide, and the Russians would not allow it to happen.

The issue of chemical weapons is a red herring. To a civilian, it makes little difference whether you are gassed or blown apart by a shell. Both are vile. The chemical weapons issue is a political artefact which leaders use a trip-wire to justify what they really want - military action.

In terms of their attitude to human life, I see no difference between Assad and the rebels. Give the rebels Sarin and they will kill women and children too. Both sides have no respect for human life and are consumed with hatred for each other.

I wish Obama and Cameron would go home and sober up.

26 August 2013 at 11:49  
Blogger IanCad said...

If we stick our noses in this we will be helping to create a united Muslim empire to further oppress Israel.
Why, Oh why do we keep interfering in this area?

26 August 2013 at 11:52  
Blogger Brian Gould said...

Certainly each side is as bad as the other, if not a good deal worse. Obama knows that and doesn't care about Syrian civilians. His concern is the enlargement of Iran's sphere of influence, in effect a new Persian (or Parthian) empire.

26 August 2013 at 11:56  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

An accurate assessment from Peter Mullen. We should not under any circumstances get involved in this bloody mess.

This is Islam's baby - France was the mid-wife so leave it to them. Not one penny, not one drop of British blood should be expended in this foreign war.

26 August 2013 at 12:05  
Blogger Corrigan said...

I love reading Peter Mullen. He reminds me of those characatured, liverish old vicars you saw in the old Punch cartoons, red-faced and riding to hounds with their clerical tails tied up behind them on the saddle, and their whiskers streaming back on the wind. It's a pity he was born 100 years too late.

26 August 2013 at 12:13  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...


100,000 dead and the possibility of a Western alliance getting involved and you come out with this shite?

26 August 2013 at 12:39  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

Do we see the possibility of Shia muslims using power over key sites like the Strait of Hormuz- necessary for oil export- as part of Sunni-Shia conflict?

I note Ron Paul some months ago saying it had already been decided to go to war with Syria. (He, like us here, thinks it is a terrible decision.) All that has been happening is softening up public opinion. I'd have to look back to see what his source was, but I can well believe it as that is what happened in Iraq, as we all now know. Besides which we cannot afford more military intervention which puts us in further financial difficulty.

26 August 2013 at 13:07  
Blogger Corrigan said...

Sorry, Dread. I know the world was just hanging on this blog waiting for you and Mullen to tell it what to do.

26 August 2013 at 13:17  
Blogger David B said...

Any case for Western intervention, I suggest, should depend on there being a number of criteria met.

There should be an end result in the medium future that is much better for the people of the area.

There should a clear method of getting there that does not in the short term turn out to be even more damaging for the people of the region.

And there should be a very high probability of achieving these aims in a way that does not drive the world into bankruptcy or a wider conflict.

The experience of Iraq and Afghanistan should tell all concerned, I think, that there is no such outcome, no such path to such an outcome if there were one, and no high probability of walking down the non-existent path to the non-existent outcome.


26 August 2013 at 13:19  
Blogger The Judicious Hooker said...

Corrigan: my thoughts entirely. O for more vicars of that ilk!

A mire indeed.

Yet another inter-Muslim conflict, the barbarity of which convinces me how difficult it proves to build a civilised state without a Judaeo-Christian foundation.

Does anyone ever hear of Islamic hierarchies attempting to broker peace or work towards reconciliation in these conflicts? After all, while they're not committed to Jewish or Christian well-being, surely there's room for Muslim brotherly love?

26 August 2013 at 13:29  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Johnny R.

Good point. It is incredible how political leaders, two of which anyway, profess some kind of Christian allegiance, are acting as helpful fools in destroying Christianity in its birthplace.

I try to avoid eschatological discussions because we were told that it was not for us to know the time and place but just to always be ready. But even I find it difficult not to conjecture that there may be some pattern beginning to emerge here.

26 August 2013 at 13:38  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Brain Gould,

Why do you think that Obama would deliberately want to enlarge the sphere of Iranian influence ?

26 August 2013 at 14:12  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

A story published in January by the Daily Mail and since removed from its archives but the Wayback Machine has it:

‘Leaked emails have allegedly proved that the White House gave the green light to a chemical weapons attack in Syria that could be blamed on Assad’s regime and in turn, spur international military action in the devastated country.’

26 August 2013 at 14:57  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Johnny R.

Interesting, but to what ends, I ask ? Is it to destroy allies of Iran before moving on them ?

26 August 2013 at 15:05  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

@ David Hussell—Whatever Saudi Arabia wants, be it the humiliation of Iran or the Islamization of Europe, the politicians are keen to deliver it.

26 August 2013 at 15:16  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

One’s building in which his employ is situated has an interesting fire brigade rating. It’s an old awkward place with many floors and is a recognised death trap should the thing erupt in flames. The brigade has informed us that should it catch alight, they will rescue any unfortunate still inside and then, from safe distance, watch the whole lot burn to the ground.

So, with most western types out the way, one humbly suggests that Syria be given the same rating…

26 August 2013 at 16:05  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Johnny R,

Thank you for your conjecture. It's possibly plausible, I'll agree that.

26 August 2013 at 16:21  
Blogger LEN said...

Inspector... are you a scribe in a Dickensian office? you certainly sound like someone in a Dickensian novel?.
Just asking.

26 August 2013 at 16:30  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

Well said Dr Mullen.
I read many articles from Global Research because it is an independent organisation and one is more likely to get facts rather than bias and manipulation.

Tony Cartalucci writes.

The Land Destroyer quotes an article from the Telegraph stating that we and the US have been arming the Syrian rebels through arms from Zagreb sent via Jordan in 75 plane loads in November.
I think it's about time we and the western countries meddling in the Middle East fessed up and put their cards on the table before an horrendous world war breaks out.

26 August 2013 at 16:39  
Blogger LEN said...

The problem with leaving the opposing Islamic forces to attempt to destroy each other is the innocents caught in the crossfire.These civilians especially women and children seem to be treated with scant regard by either side.
We have seen in Egypt and Iran that as one dictator(or pro western ruler) is removed a far worse one replaces him.This seems to be the pattern in the Islamic World which is teetering towards a far more radical form of Islam.

26 August 2013 at 16:39  
Blogger Brian Gould said...

David Hussell, today at 14:12

If you read my comment again I think you will find I said exactly the opposite.

26 August 2013 at 16:39  
Blogger Nick said...

Apparently, a group of 80 Tory MPs are demanding a vote on military action.

In 2006, DC himself called for curbs on a Primie Minister's power to go to war. That may have been opposition-talk of course, and we know that politics has little to do with keeping your word.

Even so, it gives a glimmer of hope that some saner voices might get heard above the increasingly jingoistic noises coming from Downing Street.

26 August 2013 at 16:41  
Blogger Peter D said...

Len, that was very bad! Are you suggesting our good Inspector might be a Bob Cratchet type - an abused, underpaid clerk?

Besides, in essence he agreed with the fine article: "Assad is a devil but his opponents are all demons too. Leave them to it then, for if Satan be divided against Satan, how shall his kingdom stand?".

It's a humanitarion catastrophy but the responsibility lies with the Satan and his demons, not the West.

26 August 2013 at 16:43  
Blogger Nick said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

26 August 2013 at 16:54  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

Johnny R,
That Wayback link shuts down after a few seconds glimpse at the DM article saying invalid address and Wayback inform that their site is down, how convenient.

26 August 2013 at 16:55  
Blogger Nick said...

Apparently, it is the French who are spearheading the drive for military action, probably because Syria is an ex-colony of theirs. It probably also has something to do with Hollande.

He is currently the most unpopular French President ever, and needs a bit of war to rally the nation behind him.

In addition, they have just abolished the law against insulting the President. I guess there isn't enough room left in the Bastille anymore.

26 August 2013 at 16:57  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

That Wayback link shuts down after a few seconds

Not when I looked at it.

26 August 2013 at 16:59  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

@ Len.
Have you ever seen "The Tailor of Gloucester" ? I think the Inspector
works in the kind of place illustrated in the film, from the time "when gentlemen wore ruffles, and gold-laced waistcoats of paduasoy and taffeta"...

26 August 2013 at 17:10  
Blogger David Hussell said...


Jingoism = belligerent nationalism, agreed ?

Without defending the excesses of our jingoistic period, wars were usually waged to defend our national interest, or at least pride. But these wars of so called liberal intervention, which may have been a TB phrase, go beyond that as there is no clear national interest at stake here. Moreover the humanitarian reason doesn't work, since the new dictators and conditions seem to be worse than the previous ones.
I think it's about national politicians strutting the world stage and presenting themselves to history (they hope) as a saviour in some sense, and thereby distracting attention from their many areas of political impotence.

26 August 2013 at 17:15  
Blogger David Hussell said...

Interestingly the Conservativehome website shows far, far more opposition to an armed intervention, than support. And I know of no newspapers that are calling for us to attack Syria. So Dave will reduce his political capital at home even more I believe.
We have an out of control PM, the worst in my lifetime I would say.

26 August 2013 at 17:18  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

@ Marie1797 (16:55)—The Mail story is copied here.

26 August 2013 at 17:51  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

Johnny R
That's good. Thank you.

26 August 2013 at 18:23  
Blogger English Pensioner said...

We got rid of a nasty dictator, Saddam, in Iraq. More people are being killed there now than when he was running the country. Probably the same applies in Afghanistan, and certainly would in Syria once it becomes a free-for-all without a strong man who imposes his form of arbitrary justice. In terms of political/intellectual development, these countries are where we were in the middle ages; unfortunately they have modern weapons whereas we only had bows and arrows!

26 August 2013 at 18:55  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

I notice The Times has an article on the Copts in Egypt at last.

26 August 2013 at 18:56  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

I see that three of the Libyan oil wells have not been running for a few weeks and the others are on lower production as the country is in chaos, what government they have is unable to control the country. That means higher oil and petrol prices for us.

26 August 2013 at 19:14  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

RT has a photo gallery, ‘Christian churches in Egypt under worst attack in years’.

26 August 2013 at 19:16  
Blogger Naomi King said...

Russia will respond to the U.S. invasion in Syria.

26 August 2013 at 19:26  
Blogger Naomi King said...

Britain’s Daily Mail: U.S. ‘backed plan to launch chemical weapon attack on Syria”

Global Research Editor’s Note

We are reproducing herewith from for the record the controversial Daily Mail article pertaining to a US sponsored intelligence operation to launch a chemical weapons attack on Syria and blame it on President Bashar al-Assad.

From the outset, the underlying objective was to provide a justification, on “humanitarian grounds”, for a military intervention directed against Syria.

The original article

has been removed from the archives of the Daily Mail. It is nonetheless available at

This January 2013 Daily Mail report as well as other important texts on the recent chemical weapon attack are of crucial importance.

The countless deaths of innocent civilian resulting from a false flag chemical weapons attack are being used to justify a so-called humanitarian intervention.

The Pentagon has already moved warships to the Eastern Mediterranean.

The US and its allies are intent upon launching an all out war on Syria which could potentially evolve towards a regional war extending from the Eastern Mediterranean to Central Asia and beyond.

It is of crucial importance that the truth be known.

This US sponsored false flag chemical weapons attack is a criminal act in defiance of international law.

Global Research, August 26, 2013

Sound's a bit like weapons of mass destruction, doesn't it ?

26 August 2013 at 19:31  
Blogger Peter D said...

Or another "conspiracy theory". Is there any evidence?

26 August 2013 at 19:42  
Blogger David Hussell said...

They are pocking a stick into a hornets' nest.

Madness !

It's becoming more and more difficult to have any respect for out political, so called elite.

One can only pray for all the people.

On a personal note, I am glad that we got home from Russia before this idiocy started. However my trip to Israel in March 14 may become inadvisable.

26 August 2013 at 19:56  
Blogger JohnH said...

Bismarck said "the whole of the Balkans is not worth the bones of a single Pomeranian grenadier".

To those in favour of intervention in Syria I ask, how many British soldiers need to be worthlessly slaughtered before the enterprise is given up as a bad job?

26 August 2013 at 20:04  
Blogger Albert said...

English Pensioner,

In terms of political/intellectual development, these countries are where we were in the middle ages

Actually, it looks rather more like Europe 1900-1945, to me. Daniel Hannan produced an excellent account of what's really at stake here:

The original article carried the following map:

26 August 2013 at 20:18  
Blogger Albert said...

There doesn't seem to be much support for military action. For me, David B hit the nail on the head at 13:19.

If military action occurs it seems to be based on the following fallacy:

1. Something must be done.
2. This is something.
3. Therefore, this must be done.

However, I think it may be that the West is hoping to calm Assad down by making Western intervention seem imminent. There is something to be said for this strategy. It suffers from one small flaw: what if Assad carries on as before?

26 August 2013 at 20:23  
Blogger Albert said...

David H,

However my trip to Israel in March 14 may become inadvisable.

Don't worry. It will all be over by Christmas.

26 August 2013 at 20:30  
Blogger graham wood said...

Any volunteers to print and frame the following letter - to be sent to a Mr William Hague, c/o of the Foreign Office. London.
It should remain on his desk, enlarged, and on view for the forseeable future.


Iran is backing Assad. Gulf states are against Assad. Assad is against the Moslem Brotherhood.
Moslem Brotherhood and Obama are against General Sisi, but Gulf states are pro Sisi!
Which means they are against Moslem Brotherhood.
Iran is pro Hamas, but Hamas is backing Moslem Brotherhood.
Obama is backing Moslem Brotherhood, yet Hamas is against the USA!
Gulf states are pro-US. But Turkey is with Gulf states against Assad.
Yet Turkey is pro-Moslem Brotherhood against General Sisi.
And General Sisi is being backed by the Gulf states.
Welcome to the Middle East and have a nice day.
Mr K. N. Al-Sabah.
London EC4

26 August 2013 at 20:42  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The first casualty in any war is truth but political correctness is made of sterner stuff. In past wars if the bodywork of a UN inspectors vehicle had been ballistically modified the the headlines would scream that it had been “shot up” or something equally inflamatory. Not any more. In this war the vehicle has merely been “rendered unserviceable” I wonder if the Ministry of Truth has a dictionary of such phrases? Planes presumably can no longer be described as “shot down” so perhaps they might simply be “unexpectedly grounded” or “no longer visible to radar”. Anyway you get the idea. So stop lying awake at night worrying about Armageddon, the worst that can happen is a “Regional environmental phenomenon.” or something equally reassuring.

26 August 2013 at 20:46  
Blogger IanCad said...

Graham Wood

If that is accurate it is brilliant.
Too late for me to digest it.
Perhaps tomorrow.

26 August 2013 at 21:08  
Blogger David Hussell said...


Yes, thank you, the Daniel Hannan article usefully throws light on the artificial nature of these states, with disparate groups thrown together by us and the French. But I'm not sure that explanation works for Egypt which, as readers of the OT we know, has existed for many thousands of years. But I see how it applies to the other countries.

26 August 2013 at 21:43  
Blogger Albert said...


Egypt looks pretty mixed up too:

It certainly has very straight boundary lines, which imply artificiality. However, given that the whole region is now so volatile, perhaps not every country needs to be artificially thrown together for there to be problems.

26 August 2013 at 21:59  
Blogger Naomi King said...

Peter D @ 19:42 ...
The US and other western countries create false reasons to attack countries, commonly known as a 'false flag' scenario. I believe this latest chemical attack is a faked, staged event to get the USA to do Al Qaida's dirty work in getting rid of Assad. Russia will not tolerate this. Obama against Putin, we will see ?

26 August 2013 at 22:12  
Blogger Office of Inspector General said...

Let the place burn itself out. Or rather keep it as a permannent killing ground where muslims can practice the part of their faith which allows killing people they don't agree with. Let it for all time be a sore upon this world we can all be proud of...

26 August 2013 at 22:26  
Blogger Nick said...


I'm not sure it's something we could be proud of, but I share your sentiment about getting all the Christians out (if there are any left) and leaving Islam to solve its own "problems" by whatever means it choses.

26 August 2013 at 23:16  
Blogger bluedog said...

David Hussell @ 10.58 said, ' I do not believe that democracy and fair, open and equal pluralistic societies can be created in countries where Islam is the dominant religion.'

The corollary being that any country in which Islam becomes the dominant religion will lose its democracy.

26 August 2013 at 23:36  
Blogger Mr Integrity said...

As Graham Wood pointed out above, this is a very complex situation.

Obama and Cameron are bullies.

We have seen what 'Call me Dave' has done in this country, pushing through his filthy bills and now he wants to 'protect the innocent' in Syria.
As others have said they are all as bad as each other. At least Assad allowed Christianity to exist. The terrorists will murder every Christian after they have finished massacring each other.
We must stay out.
On the other hand, if Dave does fire missiles, he can be sure of losing the election after everything else he has done.
Maybe Obama and Cameron should go in to Syria and talk to the terrorists?

26 August 2013 at 23:38  
Blogger Gregory Morris said...

I think the old prophecy which has never come to pass may yet be fulfilled. Pray that Christians living there will be preserved from harm:

Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap. Isaiah 17v1

26 August 2013 at 23:45  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

27 August 2013 at 00:16  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

From what I understand it is France and Britain driving the desire for military intervention, with America seemingly not wanting to get involved- I'd appreciate someone like Carl Jacobs input on that thought.

The fact is the US is the ONLY power which has the capability of removing Assad from power. But the will? The desire to occupy another Muslim land? American polity is more than Obama and surely that means they are not so insane as to further destabilize the region. There is a phrase 'better the devil you know'.

And yes I will concede that Israel is a long standing foe of Syria. But the Israelis are concerned with stability. They will (and have) intervened if they think these rebels will get hold of chemical weapons or if Russia gives them upgraded ones (for fear they'll get into the Syrian/Iranian sponsored terrorist organisations). But that requires a few surgical strikes and good intelligence. Israel can handle that.

But I do not think it is anyone's interest from a Realpolitik view to get involved in this civil war. Funnily enough I hope America says 'no' to the French and British here.

Finally, from an humanitarian viewpoint this is a catastrophe, but dare I say it there are hundreds of those across the world and no one does a fig about them. Of course the 'great powers' should provide humanitarian relief. But that is all.

"For those who interpose in a civil war, will get themselves a bloody nose".

27 August 2013 at 00:18  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

David Kavanagh

I think a war in Syria would be an explicit exercise of the European model of war as Law Enforcement. The Israelis and the Turks have national interests in Syria. No western power has any such interest. Paradoxically, it is precisely the lack of national interest that justifies the a war in the minds of internationalists.

The problem is that the desire to do selfless good doesn't survive the bloodshed and expense. Without tangible benefit, the population won't sustain the war effort. Politicians know this. I don't see the US committing itself to another war in Syria. Maybe some stand-off weapons. Nothing else. Certainly nothing effective. There is no political upside in the long term.

Bad things happening elsewhere do not a US National interest create. That is an unacceptable position for those who wish to see some means of international retribution for national injustice. They desire an international police force to enforce international law in the name of international gov't. The soldier becomes Globocop with rules of engagement analogous to rules of evidence. But there is no international law, and no desire to spend blood and treasure on distant places for the sake of its enforcement.

Bluster and hot air. It is a tale told by a politician, full of sound and fury but signifying nothing.


27 August 2013 at 05:23  
Blogger David Hussell said...


I think I agree. Countries are more likely to be cohesive if everyone feels that they have enough commonality to practise compromise, and this takes time ; but as you say, the whole region is now so inflamed that even, "natural countries" could be rent asunder by the forces at work.

27 August 2013 at 08:37  
Blogger David Hussell said...


Yes, There is a distinct risk of loss of democracy in the longer term.

But on the positive side many having lived in and been brought up in a democratic country, and having seen its advantages, even in the dysfunctional form it's now found within the EU, would, I hope, resist reverting to totalitarian, theocratic models of control. But the risk remains undoubtedly.

27 August 2013 at 08:43  
Blogger Richard Bradford said...

Why does the West, particularly America, always believe that it can sit in moral judgement on others, and that democracy is the only form of Government? This has resulted in elected, but corrupt, regimes in Iraq and Afghanistan that therefore now have lost popular support in those countries.

27 August 2013 at 11:00  
Blogger david kavanagh said...


I agree with that analysis. It seems Cameron wants us to intervene in the UK and John Kerry is also making hints about intervention.

I understand that Iran has threatened to retaliate in Syria is attacked. Not good for Israel (which will be the target) and not good oil or economic recovery (the Strait of Hormuz being the other possible target- I doubt it will be, because that WOULD provoke a US response).

Andrew Evans Pritchard in the Telegraph has also written an article that the Saudis are trying to buy off Russia with some form of OPEC- Russia oil and gas cartell. This whole situation gets more surreal by the day.

One thing I forgot to mention is that I do remember that Mrs Jacobs is serving in the US military and one of Peter D's sons is in our navy. I'll keep them both in my prayers, lest the politicians decide to go for the military option.

27 August 2013 at 11:57  
Blogger bluedog said...

david kavanagh says, 'I understand that Iran has threatened to retaliate in Syria is attacked.'

There you have the nub of it, all else is peripheral, and Iran itself may lead to China. Bear in mind that China seeks to overturn all Western positions wherever it can in order to obtain the privileged access to resources and energy now enjoyed by the West.

The dilemma for the West is exquisite; destroy Assad to neutralise Iranian access to Syria, itself designed to target Israel and outflank the Saudis, or leave Assad in power as a bulwark against Al Qaeda control in Syria. There are no good options. Indeed, the correct policy response may be to target Iran directly rather than indirectly by hitting Assad.

Targeting Iran is a move that leads into the abyss. No wonder Obama is hesitant.

27 August 2013 at 12:16  
Blogger The PrangWizard of England said...

Our leadership is mad if they attack Syria. An Act of War for which they ought to be punished. Syria should be left to its own problem. We should leave well alone.
If Cameron does get the UK into the war, why would Assad not find it legitimate to attack our interest in Cyprus, as an example. Then what would Cameron do?

27 August 2013 at 12:26  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

27 August 2013 at 12:36  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

The reasons given by Obama, Kerry, Cameron and Haig for joining one side in this civil war are fundamentally emotive. I am as upset as the next person at an image of a dead child but you do not go to war on that basis. Do they think Russia and Iran would stand idly by?

93% of Britons polled are against intervention. The sheer irony of going against this in the name of reminds me of the student graffito 'fighting for peace is like ****ing for virginity'

If Dave tries it, even a 'limited' air war, I would support a military coup against him. If our run down and depleted military have the men for one.

27 August 2013 at 12:46  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

Parliament to be recalled Thursday. Email your MP.

27 August 2013 at 13:08  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

What would Cameron do if Assad attacks Cyprus? Send an aicraft carrier of course.

Oh sorry I forgot. He scrapped our last 2 carriers, what with the world being such a safe place these days.

Is Belgium sabre rattling against Assad? Because their navy and air force must be about the same as ours by now

27 August 2013 at 13:13  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

Just emailed my MP Mike Thornton, on my mobile device in my lunch break at work. Google 'they work for you' or just 'email MP yourtown' that works. Other communicants are free to do the same.

Of course if God has ordained this in order to fulfil the Isaiah 17 prophecy about the destruction of Damascus, and then on to Armageddon, it won't make any difference. But worth trying.

After all this is a democracy, isn't it? The government can't go to war without our consent, can they?

27 August 2013 at 13:31  
Blogger Naomi King said...

This has about as much credibility as weapons of mass destruction but even so Mr Cameron walks us over the abyss. But then he is in thrall to Barak 'Sunni' Hussein Obama, who bows obsequiance to the King of Saudi Arabia. Yes really, see this

Our political system is rotten,

1 Out of control

2 Infiltrated and being destroyed from within and

3 Financially bankrupted

So why not start a World War ? Makes perfect sense doesn't it ?

27 August 2013 at 13:54  
Blogger Naomi King said...

One thing is certain Damascus will be destroyed and wiped off the face of the map, that will kill a lot more than a couple of dozen children Mr Cameron. I hope you, like Tony Blair, will be able to sleep at night. It is like the blind leading the blind and them both falling into the pit of destruction.

27 August 2013 at 13:55  
Blogger Naomi King said...

MT 15:14 Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.

27 August 2013 at 13:59  
Blogger Naomi King said...

"Tony Blair has thrown his support behind a military strike on the Syrian regime to punish it for what the US last night called the “moral obscenity” of the gas attack that killed hundreds...With David Cameron set to recall Parliament to discuss Britain’s participation in the US-led action, Mr Blair said that, after Iraq and Afghanistan, he understood the “impulse to stay clear of the turmoil” in the Middle East. “But we have, collectively, to understand the consequences of wringing our hands instead of putting them to work,” he writes in The Times today. Without action, he claims, Syria will become “mired in carnage” and a “breeding ground for extremism”. - The Times

Oh yes, Tony ! ?

27 August 2013 at 14:14  
Blogger Naomi King said...

"David Cameron is facing demands to set out the legal justification for military action against Syria amid mounting unease over the scale and speed of Britain’s commitment to another conflict in the Middle East...Michael Caplan, an international lawyer, told BBC Radio 4’s World at One that ministers could find themselves in a “controversial situation”. “The difficulty here is there’s no threat as I understand it to the security of this country or the United States and therefore on what basis can we intervene?” he asked." - Daily Telegraph

27 August 2013 at 14:16  
Blogger Lucy Mullen said...

@ Steve
"The government cannot go to war without our consent, can they?

Thanks for raising big questions about democracy. Last time the Iraq War was gone about undemocratically as we all know, and parliamentary democracy was twisted insofar as false information was given to Parliament for them to arrive at a false conclusion- though the people in the country proved by and large less easily convinced.

Theoretically it should work that MPs should not be able to vote against a 93% mood against(+ more if "don't knows" are added?)in their constituencies, and nor should the party wish to run counter to 93%. Hence they either have to run a public propaganda campaign through the media (those willing to play ball) and maybe even dangle "The Official Secrets Act" in front of Parliament saying that there's good info they cannot divulge- or call it off. I cannot see the "we know secret info." bit working on the great British public at the moment, as we have seen it all before in all too recent memory with the "dodgy dossier".

93% is one hefty majority. 93% against you as if & when your constituents/your constituents' treasured sons and daughters start coming back in boxes and wheelchairs and with limbs missing(God forbid this should happen)is nothing less than grim and untenable. If the public persist it is unfeasible. Let's hope and pray that is so.

27 August 2013 at 14:27  
Blogger Harry-ca-Nab said...

It could well be a plan.

depose some secular dictators and usher in Islamists.

Let the Muslim world see what it REALLY like when unfettered Islam is unleashed.

Perhaps, after a few millions deaths they will evolve and have their Enlightenment.

Meanwhile lets not waste any more British Soldiers lives and wreck their families......

They will be needed at home soon enough !

27 August 2013 at 14:45  
Blogger david kavanagh said...


Yes, exactly. When you look at it, once one starts off, it will be difficult to see how conflict can be contained - everyone is essentially betting on no tit for tat among the countries that could be sucked into this. It does have a feel of 1914 about it.

There are also a million and one questions regarding military action. Here is my pack of the fag packet ones :

1. What is the outcome of the military action supposed to be and will it mean deposing Assad?
2.What form of military action- bombing? Troops of the ground? An occupation?
3.Who is going to be put in Assad's place?
4.What if Iran or Russia or China call the bluff and send additional aid to Syria or take direct action?
5. What will we do in the event of these responses? Declare war on them ? (!).

Again I think this is another lesson of the politicians not thinking things through.

The final matter, to me, is do they want a contained brutal dictatorship, which is busy in a civil war and directing Hamas etc to attacking its own co-believers (rather than Israel)?

An Islamist dictatorship?

Or a country in civil war, but which your troops are stuck in the middle of, with no clear way out?

It looks like we are going for one of the latter two there/

27 August 2013 at 16:14  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Well it seems like everyone is in agreement that we shouldn't intervene and I do not think we should either.

27 August 2013 at 16:34  
Blogger bluedog said...

david kavanagh, at times like this the personality of the political leadership becomes a factor in itself. In Cameron and Obama we have spinmeisters for whom the image has greater import than the substance. The fear has to be that Cameron and Obama will launch a purely symbolic strike on Syria which is designed to appease constituencies they deem currently relevant. The recipients of these strikes will be men of conviction who are playing for keeps and their response will reflect different order priorities.

As you say, once it starts, who knows where it will end.

Best to let them sort each other out. If the flow of oil and gas is immediately and directly threatened, it's time to reassess. In the meantime, pre-emption could be a fatal error.

27 August 2013 at 22:03  
Blogger Naomi King said...

Assad has said if there is a military strike against Syria from the western nations he will immediately attack Israel.

27 August 2013 at 22:48  
Blogger Hannah Kavanagh said...

Just sent an e-mail to my MP.

But there is also prayer and fasting. I've decided to undertake taʿanith (fasting) tomorrow. We are being pushed into taking sides in civil war and involving ourselves in a military conflict and war by Cameron and his cronies for his vainglory as a military leader and an election to win in 2015. That isn't right. The middle east is already in flames.

'You, Eternal One, are the Source of all blessing, our G-d, King of the universe, Creator of souls, who gave needs for to all who You created, to give life through fulfilling those needs to every living soul. Blessed is the Life-giver to the universe. Amen.'

27 August 2013 at 23:20  
Blogger carl jacobs said...

I am surprised by the level of hysteria on this thread.

The US did not conduct a false flag chemical weapons attack to justify a military attack on Syria. The flaw in this argument (not counting the unsubstantiated nature of the email 'evidence') is that the US isn't going to send troops to Syria. The lack of boots on the ground will be its permanent refutation.

There also isn't going to be world war over Syria. Neither China nor Russia could actually get an army there let alone sustain it. So where would this war be fought? More fundamentally, the major powers have no interest in fighting a war over Syria. This isn't 1914 or 1939. It's 1994 and the topic is Rwanda.

What we have is do-good liberal leadership that doesn't want to be seen in history as sitting on its hands while Assad gassed his own people. It must do 'something' but it can't do anything effective for lack of political will. So it will bluster and launch a few safe strikes - nothing that would put a pilot in harm's way. This is gesture politics. They need to be seen to act even if the act is itself irrelevant.


27 August 2013 at 23:46  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

Peter Hitchens has just posted a very powerful appeal on his Mail on Sunday blog begging people to contact their MP today. Do have a look.

28 August 2013 at 05:02  
Blogger DanJ0 said...

I'd have thought the UN Charter would actually require intervention at this point. Aside from the humanitarian issues, this conflict is destabilising the region. The sovereignty of Syria is not absolute.

28 August 2013 at 06:20  
Blogger bluedog said...

Carl @ 23.46 says, 'There also isn't going to be world war over Syria. Neither China nor Russia could actually get an army there let alone sustain it. '

First sentence; your conviction is unsettling, after all WW1 started following a random event in Serbia. WW2 became inevitable after the annexation of Czechoslovakia. Sometimes these deteriorating events take time to ferment.

Second sentence; agreed - so they wouldn't try, would they? The response would come where they have relative strength.

Remember too that ISAF is still on the ground in Afghanistan until a well advertised 2014. ISAF is resupplied through our loyal allies and close friends Russia and Pakistan.

'It's 1994 and the topic is Rwanda'. Conflating Syria with Rwanda appears completely reckless. Bordering nations of Rwanda - who cares. Bordering nations of Syria - the usual suspects and the unfortunate state of Israel. Couldn't be more different, could it?

Fancy a game of Stalingrad, anyone?

28 August 2013 at 08:04  
Blogger Rambling Steve Appleseed said...

The Peter Hitchens item is here

I know he is not everyone's favourite writer, but this is the most passionate, articulate and timely thing I recall him writing.

He appeals to all, atheist and Christian, liberal and conservative, and others of differing opinions to act together and contact their MP TODAY to argue against intervention. He puts a number of arguments one could use which I thought were well expressed and relevant.

As discussed, 'they work for you MP' will deliver the goods in moments. Email your MP today or forget it.

I spent an hour watching YouTube videos about the Syrian war last night. Beyond tears. As rockets, bullets and tank shells blew buildings and people to bits, I thought 'men and women and boys and girls used to live there'. And everyone keeps shouting up to this war god called Allahu Akbar.

These people must like killing each other or they wouldn't keep doing it. I don't want to join them.

As I have posted rather a lot about this and other stuff here lately I will take a self imposed leave of absence for a while. Kind regards everyone, I'm off to the orchard to prop up some heavy laden plum, pear and apple tree branches.

28 August 2013 at 09:01  
Blogger Naomi King said...

Well said Hannah, I spent last night with Jewish and Arab believers from the Land who accept Yeshua as their Master and Messiah, their children and families are currently back in Israel. They have an analysis similar to mine that

1 Obama thinks like a sunni muslim

2 That the situation in Syria is complex

3 That we are called to urgent prayer

4 The crisis is an Al Qaida take over

5 The intention is to attack Israel from Syria

Israel is on a war readiness footing.

These dear people asked for prayer for

1 A spirit of quietness

2 Wisdom and God's revelation in the hearts and minds of governments

3 Particularly for the Israeli government and Netanyahu

4 The readiness of the Israeli army

5 Joy that the Sovereign Lord is on the Throne

6 That the Israeli people turn to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob for their protection.

Shalom !

28 August 2013 at 09:14  
Blogger david kavanagh said...

Carl 'this isn't 1914'.

Fair point.

It is more likely 1906. We are on a long road here, potentially, if the west keeps disregarding the Russian or Chinese world view. Just because China is growing to world power status, does not automatically require a new cold war.

When you say Russia or China won't get an army into Syria, that is part of the 'gamble' you are making about future tit for tat 'operations'. Besides which Iranian and terrorist proxies can be used on one side and Saudi has apparently alleged that it controls Chechen groups, although what is clear is that Saudi is sending support to the Syrian rebels. So perhaps not today, but perhaps tomorrow or in a couple of years. When neither the west or the other powers feel that they can back down.

For the moment, it seems that the west will undertake limited airstrikes against Syria. They won't and possibly can't admit that to stop further apparent attacks on civilians would take a land invasion and troops on the ground. Because that would mean admitting to another Iraq or Afghanistan.

The west will also need to consider what the response will be from the other side. Will it be another barrage of rockets thrown at Israel from Gaza? Or something bigger? An attack against Cyprus? A terror incident in the west somewhere?

If Assad really is capable of gassing his own people and knowing in full knowledge that was the 'red line' of the UN/the West, then he is now by that logic no longer a rational actor in international affairs and is capable of doing 'anything'. Therefore the risk of some grand pre-regime change response, big or small, must be factored in here?

28 August 2013 at 12:24  
Blogger david kavanagh said...


Neither Cameron or Obama are a Churchill or Roosevelt . The spoiled frat boy and the Chicago machine politician we have.

And the French should just stick doing what they do best- eating, drinking, coffee, wine, love making and poetry.

28 August 2013 at 12:28  
Blogger The Explorer said...

RSA @ 13:31

All a democracy means nowadays is which particular bunch of clowns you choose to screw things up on your behalf.

28 August 2013 at 15:36  
Blogger Ivan said...

Best wishes, Appleseed.

29 August 2013 at 03:39  
Blogger neil craig said...

Everybody always genuflects to the assertion that whoever we are about to bomb is a devil but it isn't necessarily true.

In Milosevic's case, despite 4 1/2 years of "trial" it was impossible to find any actual evidence against him. Indeed he had gone to considerable lengths to discipline any Yugoslav forces who went over the mark - unlike our own leaders who have protected KLA leaders who, under their command as NATO police engaged in murder, genocide, child rape and the dissection of living people to steal body organs.

In the same way Assad looks more than averagely decent for the neighbourhood. He worked as a doctor in south London while the sons of the Saudi and Gulf elite blow their people's inheritance in western casinos. He has, though readers of western media don't hear of it, held and won a popular referendum changing Syria into a pluralist non-sectarian democracy over the next 14 years. If anybody thinks it could be done safely in less I would like to know how.

30 August 2013 at 16:46  
Blogger Roger Tempest said...

An incompetent US President with the gift of the gab, a mediocre Frenchman and an impulsive Brit do not make for good policy. Russia is the important player in Syria and should be shamed into taking some action against chemical weapons - if they will not the world will take note.

31 August 2013 at 19:15  

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