Friday, February 19, 2016

Deafening Silence

If Britain or the United States is engaged in military action and accidentally hits a school or hospital, or a wedding, or can otherwise be shown to have killed innocent civilians, you can bet that the Stop the War Coalition, and a very big chunk of the left, will scream their heads off about it.

If it's Britain, there will be people protesting outside Westminster and Downing Street, if it is the USA they will be protesting outside the US Embassy.

If Israel makes a military response to the people who have fired hundreds of missiles at their civilians, and any Palestinian civilians get killed - which usually happens, incidentally, because the people who are attacking Israel have used them as human shields, hiding their own military assets among civilian targets - you can bet there will be calls for boycotts against Israel, protests outside the Israeli embassy, criticism of the British government for not criticising Israel strongly enough, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

And actually, I can understand why people get upset about innocent civilians getting killed and I don't criticise them for it.

What I don't get is the deafening silence from all the people who would be shouting their heads off this week if it had been RAF bombers, or USAF bombers, or IDF bombers, which flattened hospitals and schools in Northern Syria and killed innocent men, women, children and the doctors and nurses who were trying to help them.

When we were debating extending the RAF military action against DA'ESH into Syria, many people expressed concern about the prospect of British bombs hitting innocent Syrian civilians. The government said that we would do our best to minimise such casualties and to the best of my knowledge British forces have been largely successful in hitting only the enemy.

But Russia and the Assad regime do not appear to have made any such attempt. Last month the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that more than 200 children were among the 1,015 people killed in Russian airstrikes between September and mid January according to one left-wing source which isn't entirely ignoring what Putin has been doing, the Guardian. The Independent too alleges that this week's attacks on Syrian hospitals by Russian and Assad regime forces were no accident but a cold-blooded and targeted attack.

Where is the condemnation of Putin and Assad from those who would have been quick to share their outrage if it had been British or American bombs which flattened those hospitals? Where are the protesters outside the Russian Embassy?

It is time to stop the killing in Syria. The only way we're going to stop DA'ESH from killing people is though a military defeat. But at the moment it appears that the forces of Russia, the Assad Regime, Turkey, and some of the other factions are ignoring the so-called "Islamic State" and butchering one another. I don't see any easy answers, but we need to stand up to Russia and Assad.

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