The orgy of hypocrisy over Syria is a stepping stone to more war says George Galloway - Morning Star 11 February 2012

The orgy of hypocrisy over Syria is a stepping stone to more war says George Galloway
12 February 2012     George Galloway     Middle East and North Africa

If you fear the possibility of the war with Iran, says George Galloway, then the time is now to stand against the propaganda, meddling and drive for intervention over Syria and across the Middle East.
Share |

By George Galloway
Morning Star
11 February 2012
The orgy of hypocrisy in Western capitals over the UN vote on Syria this week was a fitting response from that quarter to the stomach-churning scenes from the incipient civil war in Syria.
How dare the Russians and Chinese vote No, they said,

seemingly oblivious to the scores of No votes, vetoes, cast by the US and its allies not only against attempts at progress in the Middle East and criticism of Israel but ranging from rejecting measures to bring food security to billions of people on the planet to ending the occupation of East Timor.

I can do no better than to point you to two pieces of journalism that cut through this hypocrisy and with razor-sharp intellect explain what stands behind it to make the clear case against the build-up for war in the Middle East - against Iran and, by proxy, through manifold intervention in Syria.

The Star's leader on Monday should go down as one of the most prescient and timely editorials this paper has ever published in its long history. And - if the editor will forgive the indiscretion of citing another publication - Seamus Milne in the Guardian on Wednesday forensically tore away the propaganda campaign of those who seek to exploit the suffering in Syria to advance a policy of, well, securing US "leadership" in the 21st century.

A growing number of people in Britain are rightly worried, very worried, about the prospects of open military conflict with Iran - other forms of war are already being undertaken, including assassination, invasion of airspace, economic blockade. It is testimony to the great campaign against the war on Iraq that public opinion is anxious.

Many can see the eerie parallels - supposed weapons of mass destruction, demonisation of a government and people, talking heads calmly debating how to escalate the tension while refusing to rule out its murderous crescendo.

Fewer see the link with our rulers' meddling in Syria, though the opinion polls show that there is equally no appetite for sending troops, fresh from the killing fields of Helmand, to the Levant.

There is, however, some support for what they euphemistically called a "no-fly zone" over Libya. That turned out to be a free-fire zone, which resulted in 30,000 dead, ethnic cleansing and the rupture of the country into rival fiefdoms run by militias against the will and hopes of the people - a lot of little Gadaffis.

Our masters, however, do see the link. They have no interest in the people of Syria. But they do have a vital interest in seeking to ensure that the outcome is a weakened Syria with, they hope, a government more pliable, more accommodating to Western suzerainty and prepared to sign a surrender peace with Israel. Crucially, they want a Syria that will join rather than resist the military encirclement of Iran.

So do the Saudis and the Gulf states, who, with double-speak even George Orwell could not have imagined, are about to launch a "Friends of Democratic Syria" initiative.

These kleptocratic monarchies don't even bother to go straight to the Arab League but instead gather as the Gulf Co-operation Council which Morocco - several thousand miles from the Gulf - is to join, presumably by dint of its monarchical and pliant nature.

They are fighting a proxy war in Syria. And they are busy now, through bribery, bulling and bludgeoning, to ensure that they dominate the opposition forces there through the foreign-based SNC, just as they structured the TNC in Libya so it would suit their interests.

A glimmer of what they are up to came with a failed attempt by Israel's supporters, and some claiming to stand with the Syrian people, to turn a leaked email exchange I had two years ago with Damascus into some heinous scandal.

I did indeed write to the government of Syria asking for their permission to take a convoy of aid to Gaza through their country and then by sea to Egypt. I did the same to the governments of Egypt and of Turkey.

I did praise Syria for its refusal to beat the path of Mubarak and the Gulf sheiks to collaboration with Israel over the siege of Gaza and with the US in the region. Do those who rile at this not want a Syria that is independent and dignified? I think they do not.

The convoy, planned as people around the world rose in outrage at the massacre aboard the Mavi Marmara and Western leaders wrung their hands and passed more ammunition to Israel, did pass through Syria, where it was boosted by massive contingents from north Africa, Jordan and the Gulf, and onto Egypt and into Gaza.

So I resile from nothing, just as all those who have resisted the Gaza siege and stood against war in the Middle East should resile from nothing.

Remember how the doctrine of liberal humanitarian intervention was deployed by Tony Blair and Bill Clinton in the lands of former Yugoslavia? We were told how the deployment of troops in Bosnia would end the killing. It did not.

That ended only with a political settlement - just as the US now recognises in Afghanistan after a decade of bloodshed and when it was on offer even before the war was launched.

We were told the 10-week bombing campaign of Serbia and Kosovo would end suffering. It intensified it. We were told it was done for the highest ideals, indeed contrary to any grubby interest - that it marked the end of imperialist hypocrisy and war.

In fact, it was the precursor, lowering the threshold to a decade of war which continues into this decade.

So let no-one be fooled. This is a stepping stone to further war. Indeed it is a proxy for the big battle, cowing Iran and its people by one means or another in order to secure a refashioned hegemony in the region.

The people who are battling to fulfil the hopes of the successful revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia do not want that. Nor do most of the people in the region. You should stand against it to.

If you fear, as you should, the possibility of the war with Iran that the Israeli hard right are pushing for, then the time is now to stand against the propaganda, meddling and drive for intervention over Syria and across the Middle East.

See also:
• Five ways to solve the crisis in Syria: Stop the War's reply to the Guardian ...
• 10 Reasons why we protest against war on Iran...
• Fact Sheet: How Iran is threatening world peace...
• Stop the War Statement: No foreign intervention in Syria...