As the poorest Britons struggle to cope with ever-reducing incomes the PM focusses on the intervention-induced chaos in Syria

Reports of cables between Britain and Saudi Arabia, proposing secret vote-trading deals, shed light on Saudi Arabia’s ludicrously inappropriate appointment as chair of the UN Human Rights Council. They will lead many to feel even more Dazed and Confused than Steve Beauchampé.

He points out that David Cameron and George Osborne have spent the last two years frustrated by Britain’s inability to attack and overthrow yet another sovereign government in the Middle East:

“They clearly never learn – Cameron and Osborne both voted for the catastrophic invasion of Iraq in 2003 (ed: & 1991 Gulf War) and were in charge for the almost equally disastrous 2010 NATO intervention in Libya – and it is hard to overstate how bad an outcome might have resulted from further British meddling in the region. Possible consequences include Russian intervention to aid Assad, with the attendant risk of heightened tension, or worse, between east and west; the creation of an even larger vacuum into which Islamic State or any of the other militant terror groups vying for control of Syria would have moved; an earlier and swifter exodus of refugees from an even more war ravaged country”.

Assad No 10 2002

But Britain has long been ‘meddling’ in Syria. For some reason – after a honeymoon with the new leader (above outside No 10 in 2002) – relations soured. The public has never been informed as to the reason for this change of heart, or for the duration or extent of its alliance with ‘our special friend’ to support and give ineffective training to ‘moderate rebels’.

This policy is said to be rebounding on the two inept and inhumane Anglo-Saxon governments concerned

Reuters reports that on Sunday, in an interview with U.S. television networks CBS and PBS released by the Kremlin, Vladimir Putin branded U.S. support for rebel forces in Syria as illegal and ineffective, saying U.S-trained rebels were leaving to join Islamic State with weapons supplied by Washington and adding: “In my opinion, provision of military support to illegal structures runs counter to the principles of modern international law and the United Nations Charter”.

Further reading raises a question: was the Syrian uprising due to eventual outworking of free global market policies adopted by Assad’s father, which everywhere offered the usual benefits to those in power but led to rising inequality/unemployment (see steel plant closure in Teeside)?

It is on record that socio-economic inequality increased significantly after free market policies were initiated by Hafeez al-Assad (the President’s father) in his later years, and accelerated after Bashar al-Assad came to power, (see LA Times). With an emphasis on the service sector, these policies benefited a minority of the nation’s population, mostly people who had connections with the government, and members of the Sunni merchant class in Damascus and Aleppo but the country also faced rising youth unemployment rates. This coincided with the most intense drought ever recorded on Syria which lasted from 2007 to 2010 and resulted in a widespread crop failure, increase in food prices and a mass migration of farming families to urban centers. Syria had also received, in the same period, an additional 1.5 million refugees from Iraq. By 2011, Syria was facing steep rises in the prices of commodities and a clear deterioration in the national standard of living.

A complete volte face by the Prime Minister

Beauchampé looked forward to the speech to be delivered by Cameron at a meeting at the United Nations where – the allies having failed to subdue IS – he did, as forecast, call for Assad to be allowed to remain in power for a transitional period while everyone (including Britain) concentrates on ousting Islamic State.

The idea of a transitional period is ‘for the birds’ he writes, believing that neither President Putin, or the government of neighbouring Iran will accept Assad’s replacement by a regime approved by Britain or the United States.

Even more dazed and confused we await the outcome.


Posted on September 30, 2015, in Economy, Foreign policy, Government, Inequality, Military matters and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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