TWiH – “Surely, you can’t be Syrias” Edition
This Week in Hypocrisy – “Surely, you can’t be Syrias” Edition
And so it goes – another week of horror and destruction in Syria, and other round of bold-face hyperbole and “outrage” from the players, as they stand aloof from the destruction, vying for position in the – oh so vital – arena of international public perceptions. Frankly, can it comes as a surprise to anyone with a pulse that the powers that be seem more concerned with scoring points off each other, than they do with assisting the benighted citizens of the Al Assad regime (R- Ghenna East). Taking the premise of GeoPolichinelle at face value, if the situation were actually a stage production, then rather than being part of the Comendia, it would be better suited as a farce by Phillip King (think “See how They Run”), given the propensity for crossed wires, mistaken identities, and major actors walking in through one door while their counterpart steps out through another. Hilarity and an ever increasing death toll ensue – Great fun for all the family!
Honestly, where to begin? Shall we start with the much touted “cease fire” that no-one at the table, on the ground, or watching from the cheap seats had any faith in? What about the idea that the US commitment to the plan involved the Solomenic task of dividing the bad rebels from the “moderate” ones in the byzantine labyrinth that is the Syrian opposition movement, enthusiastically undertaken (well, as close as he gets to positive human emotional exuberance anyways) by Secretary of State, and human beta blocker, John Kerry (D – El Dorado)? Or we could just cut strait to the chase, and go with the US led airstrike that killed 60 members of the Assad regime forces before the ink had time to dry on the tentative cease fire agreement, which resulted in the single most spectacular piece of international political theater since Vladimir Putin got all holier than thou about the need to fight the rising tide of Fascism in his neighborhood, whilst simultaneously annexing – er, I mean liberating – the Crimean peninsular.
The moral indignation on display from the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, was a masterful demonstration of GeoPolichinelle in action – so much so that if he had appeared at the UNSC dressed as Matamoros it would not have been out of place. The sheer level of umbrage on display was (almost) comically unreal, to the point that Ambassador Powers (D – Turtle Bay) had to state her incredulity at the idea that Russia – RUSSIA! – of all parties to the conflict was demanding action from the UN Security Council. Given the almost gleeful disregard that the Mr. Lavrov has shown over the endless casualty list of Syrian civilians and US aligned resistance forces killed by Russian airstrikes, you can see why she might be somewhat taken aback by his sudden, abiding interest in accountability. In case you didn’t get the chance to watch this master of vainglorious vexation at work, let’s take a moment to reflect upon the immediate position taken by Mr. Lavarov and the Russian Foreign Ministry – you know, in order to really get the true measure of the man…
To begin with, the first statement released decided to forgo any of the traditional foreplay in these situations, and instead just went directly to “ludicrous speed” – as quoted in the Washington Post:
Spokewoman Maria Zakharova says Moscow is demanding “full and detailed explanations about whether this was deliberate support of the Islamic State or another mistake.” Zakharova was quoted by the state news agency Tass as saying that “after today’s attack on the Syrian army, we come to the terrible conclusion that the White House is defending the Islamic State.”
Yes indeed – the very first position staked out in this debacle was “Aha! This PROVES Obama is a secret terrorist Muslim.” Touché, mes amis.
Of course, this insistence on an absolute and detailed “mea culpa” was a one time only affair, as within hours of the first strike (low and behold!) another major airstrike takes place, but this time it is a UN aid convoy that gets targeted, and subsequently blown to smithereens. And, wouldn’t you know it, the convoy in question was supposed to be delivering aid to those poor bastards living in rebel held Aleppo, and was in point of fact one of the primary reasons for negotiating a cease fire in the first place. What a shocking coincidence that all the civilian aid that the Russians had been holding up at the border, refusing to allow them to go through to the starving masses that desperately need the help, were now a smoldering pile of rubble! What are the odds, eh? Of course, the full force of Mr. Lavrov’s moral indignation was immediately focused upon finding out who was responsible for this grievous crime, right?…right?…. Right????
Not exactly – after presenting what he described as the “full information” that Russia had on the event, Mr. Lavrov called for an “independent investigation” into what he felt was another “provocation” by shadowy forces intent upon disrupting any chance of peace in the region, and implied that the “shelling” was done in coordination with rebel forces on the ground. Quite why the rebels would want to shell an aid convoy was not explained, nor was the fact that, literally, everyone else clearly knew that Russia had itself carried out the attacks! Eye-witness reports from the ground could even identify the war-planes used!
So, fellow follower of the farce – what you have to ask yourself is this: Why do we bother? Or more to the point, why do they? What is all the chest-puffing and blather supposed to achieve? Did the insanity of Mr. Lavrov’s position make one iota of difference to how the players of the game saw the situation in Syria? Did one single person at the UN pause to think to themselves “hmmm, maybe the US geopolitical position really IS supporting ISIL!” Of course not! To the contrary, everyone involved has either been rolling their eyes in disgust or getting high blood pressure, as they have to wade through yet more obfuscation and bullshit. Good grief, even Ban Ki Moon (a man who was chosen for the top job of UN Secretary General on the basis that, unlike his predecessor Kofi Anan, he would be “more secretary than general”) took the opportunity afforded by his farewell speech to stick it to both the Russians and the Americans. Given what that man has seen (and compromised over) during his tenure at Turtle Bay, the fact that his last words to the assembled dignitaries roughly translate to “stop pretending that you are not directly responsible for all this horror, you assholes” is, in the final analysis, quite telling.
Not that any of this is likely to stop. Mr. Lavrov has, of course, become all indignant about accusations of Russian involvement, regardless of the fact that we all know he is lying. And for their part, while the US has admitted to the airstrike against the Syrian ground forces, let’s not forget that we are more than happy to use the old “fog of war” cliché every few weeks when we bomb another hospital, or wedding party, or,…, well, you get the idea.
The thing about this current hypocrisy is that it is so unbelievably blatant – a true example of GeoPolichinelle in action – and while this continues pointlessly on in the halls of power, on the ground in Aleppo more people die, more children suffer, and more horror unfolds. Thankfully for us, we can all just take another glass of laudanum and move on to the next atrocity, or else we might all go quite, quite mad!
And on that note, I will leave you with a brief musical number:
Chin up, my friends! Never let the bastards see that they get to you!