27 Apr 2011

Ian Birrell and the Illogical Justification of Libya and Syria

Ian Birrel seeks to defend Libya in The Evening Standard this evening, and by the same measure, justify any potential activity in Syria. This is my rebuttal.

He states; 'opponents must answer why they would have accepted rivers of blood flowing down the streets of Benghazi'

My initial response is that we have readily accepted rivers of blood in so many other nations, what makes Libya so different?

With such a macabre image, we are meant to legitimise what started as perhaps an understandable act, stopping one man bombing protestors from the air. As I said earlier, we now have 'no-fly-zone-with-extras'. Mission creep does not begin to explain the level to which the UK is involved.

Further to this, by supporting one side, as it cannot be denied the UK is, are we not simply providing an alternative river of blood, that of the crossfire?

Birrell is obviously pro-invasion, any man who considers Blair to be a pillar of 'missionary zeal', cannot be called a pacifist.

Let me remind Birrell that until February, Blair was waxing lyrical on the joys of his good friend Gaddafi, and his press statements are indicative of a very different intention than a philanthropic gesture to 'reshape the world'. It is emminently clear that Blair is driven by a personality bordering on meglomania and not charity.

Birrell goes on to draw parallels with Syria, talking in emotive terms of slaughter and denouncing the US for their lacklustre approach. Although he seems keen to argue their virtue as well.

Birrell actually acknowledges that previous carnage in Syria has gone uncommented upon, with Assad's father's 'crackdown' that killed 20,000 people.

Does Birrell consider we should apply sanctions to all countries where human rights abuses are taking place? We could, for example, start with Guantanamo.

But no, Birrel goes on to say we should be encouraging Arab countries to apply punitative measures. What he clearly fails to see is that this was Assad's intention, he is taking punitative measures in Damascus. Or perhaps he would prefer the punitative measures the Israelis are taking on the Hamas?

No, instead Birrell considers Turkey would be the prime opperative. Considering Birrell criticises the UN for looking to elect Syria, Birrell feels a country kept dangling by the EU for their failure to implement Human Rights is a good candidate. Now that is 'beyond satire'.

Birrell provides a convinient argument where facts are presented through rose-coloured glasses. Blair is not a hero, Syria and Libya are not the only offenders against democracy and the only way to resolve this is not implementing punitative measures, either directly or from afar.

The only part I agree with is his comment that 'the Arab Spring could turn into a long, hot summer'. Or decade.

Revolution is a fundemental part of a country ruled through oppression. But taking sides, selling guns and fighting fire with fire will not endorse the UN, the EU or Britain in any way. We are simply getting in the way of inevitable wars, and cherry picking the countries we assist is an offense of all moral sensibilities.

Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

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