Tuesday, 6 March 2012
A Rare Foray into World Affairs
As regular readers will know, I prefer not to pay too much heed to World Affairs - there are more than enough bloggers sounding off on such matters already. However, it has been impossible to escape the relentless bombardment of news and comment (often indistinguishable) on the sorry business unfolding in Syria. I can't help feeling that a lot of needless suffering would be avoided if the well-meaning, soft-hearted 'West' and its media turned their attention away from Syria for a while and stopped giving the impression that, if 'we' were allowed to, we'd be in there helping these warriors for freedom to overthrow the Assad regime. We wouldn't and we couldn't, and, what's more, we know very little about who these 'freedom fighters' are, or how widespread their support in Syria is (the fact that they're backed by Saudi Arabia and Qatar and have links to Al Qa'eda suggests there might be something a little amiss with their credentials). Assad is a bastard leading a regime of even worse bastards, but I confidently predict that that regime of bastards will still be in place at the end of the year, and I equally confidently state that any likely replacement regime would be far worse. Better an authoritarian pluralist secular Syria than an authoritarian Islamist Syria - better specifically for the Christians and other minorities, and better, vastly better for the whole region. So I wish the western commentariat would calm down and stop demanding that 'we must do something'. With a country as big and powerful as Syria, 'we' can do nothing, and we should stop pretending otherwise. It only makes matters worse.