Monday, 8 December 2014

Familiarize Yourself With The Branches Of "Air Force Intelligence"

'I did not want to give them what they wanted at the first [finger]nail, but after being tortured and hanged from the ceiling, the investigator said, "I will send you to the head of Airforce Intelligence." '
Not actually too graphic. Someone who thinks of themselves as a supporter of the Syrian revolution said to me the other day, "Assad is no worse than other dictators." Something no Syrian would say; noone who has been following the suffering in Syria would say, "Could be worse." But I didn't bother to argue the point, because it is usual in such cases for the other party to get offended, and to assume that you are arguing that Syria is so exceptional, there is nothing that could be done that would be worse. So I must be in favour of an American invasion, because thinking something has to be done must mean that anything is better than nothing. Never mind that an American invasion was never going to happen and was a red herring conjured by those who wanted nothing to be done about Assad. I used to find such illogic annoying when it was pointed at Communists, with the claim that if you think the ends justify the means, you must think any means is a good one, even those that lead directly away from the liberty you seek.
If Assad could ever win, it would not be tens of thousands who would be tortured and killed, but hundreds of thousands. It isn't just that he and his Russian and Iranian backers are war criminals on a grand scale, but that those who support them, even sideways by proclaiming their love of Hezbollah, are scum too, and utterly beyond the pale for anyone who wants to see a better world.
Assad can't win though, because there are so many Syrians who have gone too far for liberty ever to countenance the torture of living under him again. That is why the death throes of his régime is so destabilising, they have cast millions of refugees into neighbouring countries, forced Assad to drag other countries into the conflict. Maybe sometime the voices calling for the rebels to be armed and the rightness of such a course will force the Americans to allow it to happen, because that is the only way Syria can escape from an ever deepening catastrophe. People who agree with that may disagree with details, but I'm glad they are all in the same camp.

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