Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Britain's Policy Towards the Syrian Conflict is Catastrophic Diplomacy.

On the Syrian conflict and British Foreign Secretary William Hague's push, along with France, to ease the supply of arms to Syrian insurgents trying to overthrow President Assad, Simon Jenkins in the Guardian writes,
'There could no more dreadful idea than to pour more armaments into the sectarian war now consuming Syria. Yet that is precisely what Britain's coalition government wants to do. The foreign secretary, William Hague, seemed on Monday to parody his hero Pitt the Younger by demanding "how long must we go on allowing … ?" and "what we want to see is …". Who is this we? But even Pitt would never be so stupid as to declare war on Syria, which is the only morally sound outcome of Hague's rhetorical mission creep'.
There is no dissent in Parliament as there was then against Pitt. In no other beriod of Britain's history have we been led into wars without a real Parliaentary debate as to the reasons and ideas behind foreign policy. Real Conservatives are just as angry about that as any who care for democracy.
The problem is that Hague is an immature parody of what he conceives diplomacy and statesmanship to be. This is one price to be paid in an increasingly complicated world for having mediocrities in positions of power and influence.

Wlliam Hague's foreign policy ( which simply tracks or seeks to track that of Washington ) has been from the outset that 'Assad Must Go'. That having failed, the next option is to try to counter the terms of any peace not being dominated by those London and Washington are backing.

Hague has gone even further than Washington as the Obama administration has, as yet, decided against sending arms to the insurgents and only putting CIA agents on the ground to funnel arms from the Gulf States more effectively into the hands of insurgent groups.

That the military leader of the FSA, Salam Idriss met John McCain and is leader of an organisation that basically wants to overthrown Assad, without there being the possibility of a negotiated and more peaceful settlement promised by the forthcoming Geneva Conference, bodes ill.

Hague may well not decide that British arms will go to Syria: in fact he is concerned only with trying to pre-empt and anticipate what the hawks in Washington are aiming at: a more neoconservative foreign policy which finishes off Syria as part of the 'axis of evil'. He is their model pupil.

This is catastrophic diplomacy because it depends not on the open possibilities presented by negotiation but simply trying to dictate the terms of the peace in advance in such a way that Russia has already responded to by the threat to deliver the S-300 anti-aircraft missiles.

Ultimately, the reason the USA and Britain do not want negotiations on is that the messianic policy of 'regime change' against Assad and, by extension in its ally Iran which is also being hemmed in and encircled to the east in Afghanistan. Jenkins tends to miss the bigger geopolitical objectives.

Even so, put simply, the decision to lift the EU arms embargo , even if Britain and France do not decide to directly supply arms, is bound to ratchet up the death rate of civilians in this savage civil war and expand it even further as Hizbollah in Lebanon backs the Shi'ites fighting against the Sunni dominated Free Syrian Army.

The aim of diplomacy needs to be containment of the Syrian civil war and to stop it becoming a far more destabilising regional civil warfare between rival sectarianisms: there are already indications that this is starting in Iraq, or is being provoked by terrorist actions as car bombs and attacks on Shi'ites in Baghdad.

Far from being a patriot, Hague is a traitor to Britain. He has finally sold Britain out entirely to US based 'think tanks' and 'neoconservative' ideological ideas on foreign policy as much as Blair was. This insane foreign policy is a continuation of Blair's on Iraq.

It is now the responsibility of those who wish to defend our democracy, whether real liberal, conservative or left; that is all those of integrity who care about our country and its future safety, to openly call for Hague to resign or be sacked and to call for a saner foreign policy.


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