Warplanes from the United States, Russia, Britain, France, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Bahrain are now taking part in a war against Syria.
All members of the war party have different agendas. Some are fighting ISIS while others are fighting the Damascus regime of President Bashar al-Assad. Others are supporting the establishment of a mini-Kurdish republic while others are intent on destroying Kurdish national aspirations.
The East-West military intervention against Syria is not sanctioned by a UN resolution. In other words, it is illegal under international law and a violation of the territorial integrity of a UN member state.
Technically, any loss of civilian life during the bombing raids is a war crime. The list of indicted war criminals from Washington to Canberra will be something to behold.
The mainstream media has responded to the re-energised air war on Syria with opinion pieces by academics, former diplomats, retired air marshals and the usual suspects. All have become “military experts” giving free advice on how to defeat ISIS.
The truth is that ISIS is not the problem any longer. Its project – to establish a caliphate stretching from Iraq to Syria – is in ruins. It has failed to establish any semblance of an economy or a civil administration in the captured tribal lands which they boldly called “a state”.
ISIS’s success always depended on community support but wherever its black flag was planted it soon became hated. Not surprisingly, beheadings, hand amputations and public beatings proved to be negative recruitment initiatives.
The initial support ISIS drew from Sunni Moslems opposed to Assad’s regime of Alawites, part of the Shi’ite faith, quickly faded. They soon rejected the crazed ISIS zealots and decided that the Alawites/Shi’ites weren’t so bad after all. Some moved to Damascus thus becoming internal refugees in their own country.
Back to Berlin
So why are the Great Powers, and their sycophantic followers (eg Australia), lining up to make war in Syria and neighbouring Iraq?
Picture Germany at the end of World War Two. The Allies rushed across France, Belgium and Holland heading for Berlin while USSR tank regiments tore through Poland to get to Berlin first. It was an unseemly scramble for “spheres of influence”.
Something similar is happening in Syria today. We are witnessing a rebirth of The Great Game, a competition between the bloodsuckers of East and West to turn the Syrian graveyard into “spheres of influence”.
The Tory-dominated House of Commons, aka the House of Humbug, is the latest to join the Syrian carve-up, voting by 397 to 223 to seize a place at the table of the genocidal feast.
The cost of the bombing operation by the US, Russia, the UK, France and Australia will run into billions of dollars. It will wound their domestic economies and deepen recessionary trends, and turn Western democracies into incipient police-governed states. Seriously, who’s the winner? ISIS or us?
Meanwhile, ISIS cadres have either retreated to Iraq to make their final stand, joined the swarm of refugees heading for Europe or bought a plane ticket home to Saudi Arabia, the US, Europe, Canada or Australia.
The Syrian war is no longer about ISIS but about who grabs what part of the remnants of the once independent nation state, the Syrian Arab Republic. Those competing for prizes are: US and Israeli-backed Kurds, Tehran-backed Alawites and Saudi-backed Sunnis.
What is Australia doing in the middle of this snafu? Heaven knows.
Journo under fire
In February the ABC despatched multi award-winning journalist Sophie McNeill to Israel as its new Middle East correspondent. The former SBS reporter has handled her risky assignment with courage and some fine reporting.
Unfortunately, the ABC didn’t have her appointment vetted by the Israeli Zionist lobby whose purpose in life is to harass journalists, artists, politicians and academics and insist they toe the Israeli line.
Their current target is Ms McNeill whom they want gagged, replaced or sacked.
ABC managing director Mark Scott has defended his journalist saying: “This reporter is under more scrutiny than any other foreign correspondent filing from any part of the world in my experience at the ABC.
“Fundamentally, I think she is doing a good job under difficult circumstances under extraordinary scrutiny.
“Before this reporter set a foot in the Middle East there was a campaign against her personally taking up that role. I am saying that she is a highly recognised and acclaimed reporter … she deserved that appointment and she should be judged on her work.”
Senator Eric Abetz, the Tony Abbott Cabinet minister sacked by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, led the witchhunt saying: “I am just wondering what research was done into Ms McNeill’s attitude to matters [in the] Middle East before her appointment and whether it is appropriate to allow somebody in that position to allow their emotions to get into their reporting.”
He employed the classic Zionist technique of hinting – wink, wink, nudge, nudge – that Ms McNeill was somehow “biased” against Israeli Jews and “soft” on the Arabs.
The Zionist-subsidised Australian Jewish News was more provocative, accusing Ms McNeill of having a “record of political activism in support of the Palestinian side of the conflict”. In this week’s edition the Tel Aviv propaganda sheet calls on the ABC to appoint a new managing director who will “stand up to the bias and lack of balance that characterises much of the broadcaster’s reporting on Israel”.
So far the journalists’ union, the Media Alliance, has done little to protect Ms McNeill from Zionist intimidation. Shame.
Sharri the shill
Meanwhile, one Sydney journalist won’t be facing Israeli scapegoating – The Australian’s Sharri Markson, daughter of pro-Zionist propagandist Max Markson of the celebrity PR firm Markson Sparks.
She has just returned from an all-expenses-paid junket to Israel which was financed by the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, Sydney’s high priests of Zionism.
Other Rupert Murdoch journalists on the first-class tour were Daily Telegraph deputy editor Ben English and Sky News’ David Lipson (who will join the ABC in the new year). They were accompanied by The Australian Financial Review’s Aaron Patrick, Fairfax Media political editor Bevan Shields and Seven News reporter Alex Hart.
Ms Markson wrote pieces faithfully following the Israeli line but notably not declaring that her trip was financed by Zionists. Nor did Patrick in the Fin Review where such professional protocols have vanished under freewheeling free marketeer editor-in-chief Michael Stutchbury.
Thank goodness for Crikey’s Myriam Robin and Guardian Australia’s Amanda Meade who have taken to task the trolling Ms Markson.
Adrian Petch, an Oxford student in the 1950s, has been bemoaning the university’s descent into colourless, sober and bland campus life.
“Where are the eccentrics and oddities from my day?” he asked indignantly.
He gave some examples of the exotic characters from his era:
• He shared tutorials with Konnie, “a Greek god” who put Chanel No 5 on his feet;
• “John” had a cousin who worked at Sotheby’s and furnished his rooms with sumptuous silk tapestries and exquisite old masters from all over the world;
• “Gorgeous” Robin was thrown through a closed window by a drunken rugger Blue whom he had invited to dance with him;
• “Lovely Vicky”, an accomplished painter and jazz singer, kept a huge pet snake in her bedroom (a place much visited by eager young undergraduates). She fed it with live mice;
• “Bruce” was a member of the Bullingdon, a club of “hooray Henries” whose later membership included Prime Minister David Cameron and London Lord Mayor Boris Johnson. He ran the Christ Church Beagles, a club of non-sporting types who hunted hares and rabbits with packs of hounds. He is now a woman.
I suspect that many of Petch’s Christ Church alumni went on to enjoy glittering careers in MI6, the City of London or the Palace of Westminster. Incredibly, the English ruling class is still asking why the Empire was lost.
Quote of the Week
“I killed for you, with these hands. You say, ‘Terrorists with blood on their hands?’ I killed more than 40 people for you. I murdered.”
– Ido Gal Razon, former Israeli soldier, testifying before an Israeli parliamentary committee