On Syria, Where's The Outrage?
Assad and Putin: Where are Stop The War now? (www.kremlin.ru)
I have just walked disgusted from my living room, having watched the House of Commons emergency debate on Syria — disgusted with democracy, disgusted with elected MPs, disgusted with humanity. I am the personification of “Disgusted of W2”.
First, there was virtually no one in the house. Maybe 50 MPs. Don’t hold me to that, I didn’t count and I only caught a little of the coverage. Fifty MPs. For an emergency debate, a matter of, well, death and death. A genocide is happening in Aleppo and crimes against humanity have been happening for the past five years. Boris Johnson, representing the Foreign Office, and as far as I could see, the Tory front and back benches, looked as though he had been hauled up before the Head of RE and asked to recite the Rime of the Ancient Mariner by heart. In fairness to Boris, he spoke out firmly against appeasement and also urged us to go and demonstrate outside the Russian embassy, which predictably set off an international furore.
Emily Thornberry, representing Jeremy peace-in-our-time Corbyn, kept rolling her eyes as though she’d been asked to pin down excluded kids at break-time. Others in the house looked shiftily at the door or their shoes. Sir Nicholas Soames and former members of the armed forces looked very depressed.
Aside from the dread I feel for the beleaguered citizens of a city razed to the ground in order to wipe out a small body of rebels and jihadists, it is hard for me not to mention the word disproportionate. I search desperately on the internet for outrage. I want to see what Jon Snow, Ken Loach, Jeremy Hardy, James O’Brien and the rest have to say about the bombardment of grandmothers, babies, the sick and dying and starving and those already hospitalised, by Assad’s foul government and the creeping bloodthirsty ambition of Vlad the Impaler II.
I am wondering, taking up Boris’s challenge, is there a protest I could join? A march to the Syrian and Russian embassies to which I could carry my placard, “IS-ASS-USSR Murderers out of Syria!”?
On every campus in the land, is there a student leader or a cleric willing to whip up the rhetoric to ban Russian academics, and boycott dates and vodka? Forgive me if such rhetoric does indeed exist, but the activities of these anti-war advocates just don’t seem to reach the pages of the Guardian or the New York Times or the other papers I read in quite the same way. Maybe the media find it hard to point fingers at an aggressor, and one who has nothing to defend, from somewhere other than the American Colony hotel, Jerusalem.