"...Then by summer, when the “tipping point” had come and gone, we were told that Assad was about to use gas “against his own people”. Or that his supplies of chemical weapons might “fall into the wrong hands” (the “right hands” still presumably being Assad’s).Syria’s rebels were always “closing in” – on Homs, then Damascus, then Aleppo, then Damascus again. The West supported the rebels. Money and guns aplenty came from Qatar and Saudi Arabia, moral support from Obama, Clinton, the pathetic Hague, Hollande, the whole factory of goodness – until, inevitably, it turned out that the rebels contained rather a lot of Salafists, executioners, sectarian killers and, in one case, a teenage head-chopper who behaved rather like the ruthless regime they were fighting. The factory had to put some of its machinery into reverse. The US still supported the good, secular rebels but now regarded the horrible Salafist rebels as a “terrorist organisation”.
And poor old Lebanon, needless to say, was about to explode into civil war for the second time in less than 40 years, this time because Syria’s violence was “spilling over” into its neighbour’s territory.
Wasn’t Lebanon’s sectarian make up the same as Syria’s? Wasn’t the Lebanese Hezbollah an ally of Assad? Weren’t the Sunnis of Lebanon supporting the Syrian rebels? All true. But the Lebanese did not oblige the overpaid “think-tank” bores and journos and “experts” because, assaulted as they were by Syria’s intelligence killers, they were too intelligent and well-educated to return to the midden of 1975-1990. Iran, of course, was about to be bombed because it was – or was not yet – manufacturing nuclear weapons, or might – or could – manufacture nuclear weapons in a month, or a year, or a decade from now.
Obama might not bomb Iran, he didn’t really want to, but – wait for it – “all options” were “on the table”. And so, of course, with Israel, which wanted to bomb Iran because it might, or could, manufacture nuclear weapons or was in the process of doing so, or might have them in six months, or a year, or several years’ time but – again – “all options” were “on the table”. Netanyahu’s “window of opportunity” would last, we were told, until the US presidential election. And so this nonsense continued until... well, until the US presidential election, by which time we were warned again that Iran was producing, or might, or could produce a nuclear weapon.
Israel also threatened Lebanon because the Hezbollah had thousands of missiles and threatened Gaza because the Palestinians had thousands of missiles...........
A word of advice, therefore, for Middle East potentates, dictators, Western poseurs, television presenters and journos. Do not use the following words or expressions in 2013: moderate, democracy, step down, step aside, tipping point, falling into the wrong hands, closing in, spilling over, options on the table or – terror, terror, terror, terror. Too much to hope for? You bet. We’ll even get another load of cliches from the goodness factory to replace those that have already served their purpose. ..."
Thursday, January 3, 2013
Fisk on the 'Smorgasbord'
Posted by G, M, Z, or B at 11:22 AM