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Syria & Egypt – The Folly of the West: Blowback

Tom Winnifrith
Sunday 24 June 2012

How long ago was it that we were reading in the liberal media about nice young Egyptians urging President Mubarak to quit via facebook and twitter? Gushingly the BBC poured its love on these nice young people who would take Egypt into a new age of liberal democracy. And the western powers (led by that idiot Hilary Clinton, but with the full support of our own idiots , Hague, Cameron, Milliband and the dwarves who run the Evil Empire in Brussels) told Mubarak to step aside. Some of us predicted what would happen next and lo it came to pass. It has not taken long.

Egyptian elections have shown – not to my great surprise – that the nice young tweeters have no popular support at all. In downtown Cairo the popular choice is the Muslim Brotherhood who seem very unkeen indeed on Jews, Christians, folks bathing in any state of undress, alcohol, Israel, democracy, free speech, brotherly love or indeed twittering and Facebook. But we may have an alternative: the Military who are probably not very keen on any of the above either and will certainly have to pander to the Muslim Brotherhood but might at least not bomb Israel. Either way I shall have to cancel my Church of England organised gay, booze fuelled semi –nude wedding that I had planned for Sharm El Sheikh later this year. Ok I was kidding about that part but it strikes me that ( with a few Israeli stamps on my passport and for various other reasons) Egypt is off my holiday list for the next few decades.

And so we see blowback in action. The West intervenes with the best possible (albeit profoundly misguided) motives and we end up with a regime that resents our intervention and hates us. It is of course a familiar pattern. We intervened in Iran in the 1950s installing the loathsome Shah and 25 years later we found that the Mad Mullahs were in charge and hated us. In Iraq we started an illegal war and deposed the vile Saddam on a false pretext and, guess what, the place is now a mess and most folks hate us. Afghanistan, er… same again.

We in the West have no right to start these illegal wars or just to meddle. And it does us no good at all in the end. It is better, I am afraid, to let these vile despots kill their own people and in turn get deposed and be killed themselves. We do not stop bloodshed by intervening we only increase it. And it may take 25 years for blowback to come back to bite us on the backside (Iran), it may take longer (Jordan one day) or it can happen quickly (Afghanistan/Iraq and one suspects before too long, Libya). Yet we never learn.

And so we come to Syria. Clearly President Assad is like his father, who preceded him, a prize shit. He is happy to kill his own people so that he can steal all the money and cling to power. And he is happy to fund various Islamo-nutters in Lebanon to destroy that country. But while Daddy Assad tried it on with Israel he got a bloody nose for his efforts and basically an Assad run Syria does little damage to the interests of the West.

Needless to say the BBC/liberal Western media reports that many of his opponents are nice fellows who like democracy and who report back on Assad atrocities via facebook, skype and twitter. But many of those who are actually fighting Assad are in varying degrees equally unpleasant nasty pieces of work and in the end when Assad falls who do you think will be running Syria? Nice pro democracy twitterers or a range of islamo-fascist nutters and other assorted nutters. Your clue is who has all the guns and the support of the uneducated masses. Er… yes that is another nil score for the facebook/twitter candidate.

And so our choice is clear. Intervene and face resentment for doing too much/too little/too early/too late or for too short a time/too long a time and create yet another state seething with anti Western bile. Or just let them all get on with it, kill each other and in due course see regime change and then allow the new rulers to mess the place up but without bothering the West. Of course in our arrogance we will once again go for option one. It seems that only Ron Paul is, among our leaders, smart enough to learn from history and go for option two.

My clear preference is also option two. As in Libya both sides are committing atrocities. Neither side strikes me as terribly pleasant. But it is their country. We should not be wasting resource we do not have sticking our noses in as in the end it will be our noises that become bloodied as a result.

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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