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Posted by seumasach on October 20, 2015

Or WW3 “to stop the bloodshed”

Cailean Bochanan

20th October, 2015
Russia’s bold move to finally bring effective military force to bear against ISIL has given rise to some strange political activity in the West and heightened, collective, cognitive dissonance.
Casually turning on the TV to watch the Scottish National Party’s conference in Aberdeen I couldn’t believe my eyes when a Syrian “refugee” was given the platform and proceeded to deliver a rant against Syria’s President Assad which would be worthy of John MacCain. According to this gentleman extremism in Syria is caused by Assad and we need to establish “No bomb zones” to protect civilians. Readers may notice a similarity between “No bomb zones” and the famous “No fly zones” which also never happened.

Labour MP, Stephen Kinnock, writing in the Huffington Post gives more on the genesis of this notion:
“The suggestion that the British navy could become engaged in the imposition of a “no bombing zone” (NBZ) has emerged very recently, but nobody has said clearly how it would work in practice.”
This sounds like the daydream of a senile old Colonel Blimp recalling the good old days of “sending in a gunboat” against the Dervishes. The proposal, though, drew a standing ovation from the massed ranks of the SNP. Admittedly, many present may have envisaged some kind of future with the party, hopes which would definitively been dashed by a promptly noted failure to stand on cue. However, good sense with regard to their own prospects trumped any kind of sense with regard to foreign policy. There will , of course, be no NBZs in Syria as long as Russia are imposing their own no-fly zone.
Still, the incident puts into perspective the SNP’s opposition, as well as that of the rest of the left, to Cameron’s proposals, already dead in the water, for UK bombing missions in Syria. They are right to oppose that, but they also oppose any bombing which, of course, suits ISIL and the “rebels” very well indeed. So it comes across almost as appeasement of ISIL concealed under the fig leaf of “a diplomatic solution”. “There is no military solution” the Syrian gentleman said in the course of his anti-Assad rant. So, presumably Alex Salmond, the elder statesman, is preparing to head off for talks with ISIL to persuade them to drop their plans for the Caliphate in exchange for Western style democracy in Syria without Assad.

Or could it be, as Stop the War say, that what we need is regime change first and then carry the fight to ISIL:
“Only strong, sovereign and representative governments in Syria and Iraq can take the fight to Islamic State and provide a real alternative on the ground to its rule. External powers should refrain from any direct or indirect military intervention and concentrate instead on assisting a negotiated end to the Syrian civil war, which would be a step in that direction.”
So let’s join ISIL..sorry, “the rebels”, to overthrow Assad, ISIL’s adversary, so that we can then overthrow ISIL. The enemy is the enemy of our enemy. Or is it rather that we are our own worst enemy.
The Russians have rerun the dash for Pristina on a massive scale and in the process if reports by Thierry Meyssan, which have proved remarkably accurate over the years, are anything to go by, shown unmatchable military technology in action. Western hawks seem to be in shock and there is a general recognition that the Russians have stolen the initiative right across the board, militarily, diplomatically and propagandistically.
Yesterday’s NYT exudes impotence behind all the hot air from Republicans like Chris Christie who wants to shoot down Russian jets and the eternal warmonger, Hilary Clinton, who wants no-fly zones. Listen to Micah Zenco, a senior fellow at CFR( and a jolly good fellow too, in my view):
” But the campaign talk has also been met with skepticism from some experts who have followed the Syrian conflict, who suggest a number of flaws, including that many of the civilian killings have come in ground attacks, and that it is hard to discern how a no-fly zone would work given Russia’s recent involvement and military might.”
Yes, it is very hard to discern. We really face two options here. One is WW3 “to stop the bloodletting”, of course. The other is simply to take up Russia’s offer to from an international coalition mandated by the UN to defeat ISIL. Of course, given the immense loss of face this would entail we must reserve the right to spin this with any bullshit which we think appropriate such as claiming that it’s a “No bomb zone” to protect civilians from Assad barrel booms or that Assad will go, “at some point”, which, come to think of it,  is actually true.

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