|I just wrote another email to a politician
||[Oct. 4th, 2012|10:09 am]
With header and footer stripped - here it is:
It has been a while since I wrote on the matter of Syria and I hate having to do it because I always feel that I will be construed as an Assad apologist and I truly have no love for the man but still the situation of the people in Syria becomes worse because we (France and the US principally but also Canada others) continue to push for war. Some call me cynical for saying that and yet every action we and our allies take move us closer to that eventuality. It is like watching a bully instigate a bar fight by a thousand provocations and each time blaming the victim if they respond - or don't.
Human Rights Watch rightly criticizes the Assad regime and we pay attention but when Human Rights Watch tells us that the rebels torture and execute Syrian civilians we are deaf to it. When a Syrian bomb falls in a civilian area we are properly appalled but when a rebel truck bomb wrecks a hospital or a suicide bomber kills a crowd of people in a market we shake our heads and say "stuff happens in a war". If rebels in Canada were behaving as these rebels are behaving we would correctly know them as terrorists. The terrorism has been of such a scale that even the media has been unable to ignore it though they fail to call it that.
We have failed to call for the rebels to stop striking civilian targets and we have failed to blame the rebels for fighting in civilian areas - something that, had they not been western sanctioned terrorists we would have castigated them for saying that they hide behind "human shields".
We have failed to act as honest brokers. We continue to encourage the armed factions who, German Intelligence seem to have recently admitted, are composed largely of foreign fighters and Al Qaeda affiliates (as was the case also in Libya).
Now Turkey has been given the opportunity to escalate the situation which they have gleefully taken and seem keen to leverage further and we have said we will back them on that. Though it is clearly insane for Assad to deliberately involve Turkey by deliberately targeting Turkish civilians this is precisely the narrative we choose to pursue. Whether it was a deliberate calculated attack by Assad forces or an attack instigated by a defecting general or an attack by rebels with captured weapons the whole episode deserves to be approached with caution until we understand it and then brought to an international body for adjudication and resolution.
At least Baird recognizes this in public statements: "We obviously recognize that every country has a right to defend itself. I think we do have to appeal for calm, to not let this situation escalate out of control," - though I note that he does not extend the right to self defence to the government of Syria with respect to our proxy fighters within its borders.
I believe that Turkey would love to see this escalate out of control as they believe they can count on NATO to step in if they can provoke further attacks - I believe that NATO is eager to step in to help Turkey if they can provoke a Syrian response and I believe that Canada will happily supply pilots and other of our resources to help in destroying the wealth, history and people of yet another strategically important bit of land.
I am truly sick of these games that kill. If we wanted to change the world for the better we would push for slow peaceful changes and grow a better, safer world organically but we are ruled by impatient greedy people who use the organs of state (including the elected representatives, I am sorry to say, albeit without their knowledge) to benefit their business interests.
I know from talking to colleagues about world realpolitik that it takes more than a few desperate emails to change a person's mind - why would someone want to believe that the world was the way it is when nice moral fairy tales of good vs evil are so much more comforting? Why would a sane person wish to acknowledge their own part in a system which is so obviously at odds with their own morals?
Wars, in retrospect, when looked at with a dispassionate eye, make much more sense as struggles for territory and resources (whether that is oil, sugar cane, rubber, or human workers) than as morality fables. The older the war the plainer we see it. We can be more honest about history because all of the people involved are now dead but history isn't dead. We continue to make history today, even this moment, but we can't see it yet. All the forces of history are still acting today and the causes of our conflicts remain the same as do our methods for starting and escalating them.
Yours, with increasing disquiet,