Sunday, 5 February 2012

The Boy Who Cried Wolf

I am quite pleased that the Russians and Chinese have vetoed the West's resolution at the United Nations condemning the actions of the Syrian government in its clampdown against protesters seeking to overthrow the Assad regime.

It's not that I have any sympathy for President Assad in the way that he is handling the protests. It is just that I feel the West needs to reminded again and again of the consequences of gaining a reputation as a dishonest broker.

Russia and China saw the resolution as a first step towards Western military intervention in Syria. Western governments say it was no such thing, of course, but they also claimed their military action against Libya was about protecting civilians and nothing to do with regime change. Six months later French aircraft, under NATO jurisdiction, set up a legitimate head of state for a grotesque summary execution by a mob of Western-backed insurgents - all in the name of "democracy".

The UN resolution on Libya imposed the condition that there would be no NATO "boots on the ground". Last month British authorities admitted that the SAS were involved in the thick of the insurgency. In all likelihood they were there before the UN resolution as agents provocateurs, stirring up the protests that provoked the conflict in the first place.

Western politicians seem uniquely incapable of comprehending the very simple truism that those who lie the first time are very much less likely to be believed the second time. I have found this in local politics every bit as much as it is evident on the national and international stage. They seem to expect to be trusted even when they have demonstrated in the past that they clearly cannot be, and assume a veneer of injured innocence when they are not. The moral of the fable The Boy Who Cried Wolf seems completely lost on the entire political class in the UK, as well as in other Western "democracies".

In Syria, as in Iran, the rest of the world distrusts the motives of the Western powers whether or not they happen to have honourable intentions this time around. We are told Iran is developing a nuclear military capability, but the same people told us Iraq had Weapons of Mass Destruction that could be unleashed upon our forces within forty minutes. It turn out to be a lie, but the war ostensibly fought to relieve Iraq of the weapons it didn't have continued as though nothing had happened, with barely a murmur from the British media or from the then government's so-called "opposition".

Even if Iran is developing a nuclear bomb it can hardly be blamed for so doing. North Korea has an atomic capability and has been left well alone. Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya didn't have and look what became of them.

The Iranian authorities will have figured, not without good reason, that the West has imperialistic intentions in the region and that having a nuclear arsenal will deter it from attacking them. Protestations that the West has no intention of attacking Iran will be meaningless, because the Western "democracies" have already demonstrated quite clearly that they lie with absolute impunity and cannot therefore be trusted.

All the apprehension and uncertainty over Iran's nuclear intentions is entirely the fault of Western leaders and their OCD-like compulsion to speak in forked tongues every time they open their mouths.

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