Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The murder of a Catholic Priest filmed and put on youtube shows that the West cannot do business with the Syrian rebels, 100,000 people dead so far, this is one war to walk away from, we can't afford anymore Middle East failures, maybe a U turn is the smart diplomatic move

Dear All

At present there is a debate raging in the US and Britain about the arming the Syrian rebels, I see it as ‘regime change’ on the cheap. Rather than stablising the Middle East, the continual collapsing of Arab States has led to breakdown of social order.

I don’t know President Bashar al-Assad or what he stands for, and although Syria has been a problem for the West and Israel, it has been for generations, a key stakeholder in the region.

Syria as also a country of fertile plains, high mountains and deserts, it is home to diverse ethnic and religious groups, including Kurds, Armenians, Assyrians, Turks, Christians, Druze, Alawite Shias and Arab Sunnis, the latter make up the majority of the population.

It is a major mistake to even consider arming the Syrian rebels, these people aren’t a professional army and don’t abide by articles such as the Geneva Convention or basic human rights.

Prisoners taken are murdered in a most brutal fashion by the rebels, given the footage, the lawful government of Syria has no option but to act, whether Bashar al-Assad should remain President is another matter.

However, behind him is the Army, what was once civil unrest has gone onto full blown civil war!

The latest atrocity to take place by the Syrian rebels is the cold blooded murderer of a Syrian Catholic priest.

He was tortured and beheaded by jihadist fighters in Syria; it has even been filmed, depending where civil unrest is happening in the World, the UK’s William Hague has been promoting the concept of peace talks. Egypt is also under pressure, we have seen breakdowns in Turkey and as far afield as Brazil.

2013 is the year of riots as people unhappy with their lot riot in the hope of a better tomorrow, and it isn’t just the unemployed who are taking to the streets, educated people with good jobs are also out protesting.

The death of Franciscan Father Francois Murad has been confirmed by the official Vatican news agency, in a normal society, this act of murder would be a matter for the Police, and quite rightly so. Law and Order has broken down, we have armed thugs roaming free; much of the work done by the West hasn’t brought democracy to the Middle East.  If there is a plan by the West, it clearly isn’t working, far from enhancing people’s lives; many people are worse off due to interventions by the West. Afghanistan has been a fool’s errand, Libya is wrecked, Iraq remains in a desperate state with its infrastructure completely smashed, even such things like electricity which we take for granted are limited.

If we arm the Syrian rebels, we will be storing up trouble much in the same way that the West did in Afghanistan in the 1980’s. And look how that turned out, we help create Al Qaeda because of our failed diplomacy with the Soviets.

Father Francois, was killed on 23 June in Gassanieh, in northern Syria, he had been staying in the convent of the Custody of the Holy Land. 

Catholic.org reported:

'Syrian terrorists have beheaded a Catholic priest who they accused of collaborating with the Assad regime. Those accusations have not yet been verified.' 

'According to local sources, the monastery where Fr. Murad was staying was attacked by militants linked to the jihadi group Jabhat al-Nusra.'

Jabhat al-Nusra, also known as the Front for the Protection of the Syrian People, is an Al Qaeda associated group, described as 'the most aggressive and successful arm of the rebel force.'

These people are murderers, Winston Churchill famously talked about an ‘iron curtain’ in Europe, we are heading towards another ‘iron curtain’ in Europe in the South, clearly there will have to be changes as new rogue states emerge in the region.

Hopefully, the West will review the situation and decide against arming the rebels, perhaps, a U turn is in order, although unlikely.

War is sometimes a necessary evil as we have seen through-out history, but replacing one problem with another is never a solution, the West can ‘do’ business with President Bashar al-Assad.

I doubt it can do business with these people, they aren’t fighting for democracy.

David Cameron and William Hague really do need to face up to the reality on the ground.

 Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

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