Thoughts from an active pensioner who is now somewhat past his Biblical "Use-by date"

"Why just be difficult, when with a little more effort you can be bloody impossible?"

Tuesday, 28 May 2013


What happens to politicians, who have always seemed to be sensible people, when they get into a position of power?

William Hague has always struck me as being one of the more sensible politicians in the Conservative Party, perhaps because he is a Yorkshireman who attended a grammar school rather than being an old Etonian.  But something happened to him when he got appointed Foreign Secretary, suddenly the power seemed to go to his head!

Why, otherwise would he be advocating that this country gets involved in the mess in Syria? Hasn't he, or the Foreign Office learnt anything from our involvement in Iran, Afghanistan and Libya? The first thing he should have noticed is that nobody ever thanks us for our help and that when we pull out, given a relatively short period of time, the situation returns to much the same as it was before we intervened.

Now there is no doubt that Bashar Al-Assad, the Syrian President, is a nasty bit of work,  but he did impose a form of stability on Syria which enabled the majority of the population to lead reasonably acceptable lives notwithstanding the fact that the methods he used left much to be desired. When the uprising started in Syria, the first reaction of European and American politicians was that this was an extension of the "Arab Spring" as in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, etc., but it soon became apparent that this was not so. Whilst some of those fighting were fighting for democracy, it is quite clear that many are attempting to settle old scores whilst others are associated with the various Islamic terrorist groups and have their own agenda which is certainly not in the British interests.

Russia has decided that it will supply more advanced weapons to the Assad regime whilst at the same time, Britain and France are considering supplying arms to the rebels. But which rebels? Are there good rebels and bad rebels? The bad rebels are presumably those that are associated with the terrorist al-Qaeda organisation, but how do we differentiate between them and ensure the arms only get into the hands of "our" rebels. And assuming that Assad is beaten, what then? Will the rebels continue the war amongst themselves in an effort to gain supremacy? Will the end result be any better than the "peace" that existed under Assad? Or that that allegedly exists in Iraq? Do the politicians really think that a western style democracy might be established in Syria? Is Hague living in "Cloud Cuckoo Land"?

I believe we should keep out. If we can give humanitarian aid to help the refugees, we should try to do so, but otherwise there is no logical reason for us to intervene, either directly or by proxy. All it will do is to provide the extremists with yet another reason for hating this country.

Our only interest in the area should be to try to ensure that the conflict stays within Syria and does not overflow into neighbouring countries, and the main area of concern must be Lebanon.  Israel has made it clear that they will not tolerate Syrian weapons getting into the hands of terrorist groups based in Lebanon, and it is thus of concern that Russia is supplying Syria with modern anti-aircraft missiles. But, no doubt the US, even under Obama, will assist Israel with military supplies should the need arise.

The other neighbouring countries of concern are Turkey and Jordan which have had a huge influx of refugees. We should give help here if we can, it is a justifiable humanitarian cause. Otherwise we should keep well out of the area and leave the wealthy Arab countries such as Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States to sort out the mess if they feel it is necessary.

As for Hague, I am very disappointed. I had hoped that a blunt, grammar school educated Yorkshireman might knock some sense into the Foreign Office mandarins who seem to live in a world of their own. Unfortunately the reverse has happened and he has become one of them.

1 comment:

  1. I suspect that the answer to your "Why?" will become apparent in the fullness of time.

    There will be an ulterior motive, there always is.

    Remember this incident in a few year's time.