The road to Damascus, new version

The EU’s decision to drop the embargo on the sale of weapons to Syria, or more precisely to those lovely chaps fighting for democracy, is yet another instalment in the ongoing saga of folly.

Characteristically, the cause of arming the chaps who like to dine on human organs was championed by European leaders with an enthusiasm whose ardour was in inverse proportion to their fortunes at home.

Thus Angela Merkel, who retains a realistic hope of winning the next election, was luke-warm on the idea. Conversely, Hollande, whose own popularity with his voters has just dropped below Heinrich Himmler’s, was all gung-ho – as was Dave, who’s loathed by his own party cordially and by the others institutionally.

Instigating or escalating an armed conflict is a time-honoured way for modern governments to get out of trouble, either political or economic. Thus it isn’t beyond the realm of possibility that these ‘leaders’, along with Obama, see the current conflict as a way of reversing their own and their countries’ fortunes.

Nor is it impossible to imagine that the conflict’s spilling over to the whole region is exactly the development they seek – the more the merrier.

Russia too has a stake in the area, which she demonstrated by agreeing to deliver S-300 AA missiles to Syria. This decision lacks novelty appeal, for the missiles are part of the $1-billion-plus military contracts Russia has with Assad, her long-term client. Apart from the traditional compulsion of rubbing the West the wrong way, Putin has strategic interests involved as well: Russia’s naval facility at Tartus is her sole Mediterranean base.

By relatively new-fangled contrast, the West’s interests in Syria are almost entirely ideological, springing from the neocon domination of foreign policy in the USA and increasingly here.

Acting as the crusading arm of the American self-worshipping religion, the neocons agitate for war whenever this can be plausibly sold to the public. In this instance, they instigated and continue to scream for America’s blatant aggression against sovereign Middle Eastern states.

This is justified by incessant references to the dangers of Islamism, Muslim fundamentalism and terrorism. If the neocons really believe this, they are silly and ignorant. If they don’t and still say it, they’re devious. In all likelihood, they’re both.

As always, wrong ideas lead to wrong actions – such as the last decade of the West’s doomed attempts to refashion the Middle East in its own image. For the warmongers operate under a PC discipline that prevents them from seeing whence the danger really comes. That is, not from Islamism but from Islam.

The God of PC demands that we regard all religions as equal, and if one is to be denied an equal status it can only be Christianity. Yet Islam is an inherently and doctrinally aggressive creed that has been waging war on the West for the last 1,400 years. The actual physical manifestations of the conflict have been intermittent, as they always are in such prolonged confrontations. The 100 Years’ War, for example, didn’t feature 100 years of non-stop fighting – there were flare-ups followed by lulls. At the moment we’re living through a period of peak passions in the Islamic world.

Obviously not every Muslim is a terrorist or even a West-hater. My guess is that most aren’t. But by the same token, no revolution in modern history was perpetrated by ‘the people’ as such – it was always carried out by a small cadre of a radical elite, typically intellectuals.

‘The people’ not only never promoted those revolutions actively, but they often withdrew even their tacit support. This goes for the English revolutions of the seventeenth century, the American and French ones of the eighteenth or the Russian and German ones of the twentieth.

Most Muslims may or may not sympathise with the radical elite acting in their name, but in either case they play no active role in the atrocities it commits. That, however, doesn’t exculpate Islam any more than the relatively small numbers of Bolshevik or Nazi revolutionaries exculpated their cannibalistic ideologies.

As a result of the West’s profound failure to assess the situation properly, it’s committing one gross folly upon another – all in the name of democracy, that bull’s head sitting on top of the neocon totem pole. All any group of wild-eyed murderers has to do to rate the West’s support is to declare its undying love for democracy.

It’s hard not to notice that throughout the so-called liberation of Iraq and Afghanistan, the Arab Spring and the current anti-Assad strife, such protestations happily co-existed with Islamist radicalism of the most fire-eating kind. By giving benevolently equal treatment to Islam and decrying Islamism, the West is actively complicit in strengthening the former by empowering the latter.

If, on the other hand, our leaders had enough brains and historical nous to realise how the pitta crumbles, they’d let the warring Islamic sects, the Sunni and the Shiite, get on with it. The more they fight one another, regardless of the slogans they inscribe on their green banners, the weaker Islam becomes – and the more secure we’ll feel.

As it is, the West has used the most radical Islamic elements to unseat the most secular, and therefore least Islamic, governments in the Middle East, those of Iraq, Egypt, Libya – with Syria soon to follow. That all the deposed governments were utterly disgusting doesn’t mask the stupidity of assuming that their ousters are any better.

In fact, we’ll soon find out that they’re much worse. Meanwhile, congratulations to Messrs Cameron and Hollande for their political victory. Or, to be more precise, for their defeat of sanity.  





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