In the battle for hearts and minds it is easy for the unscrupulous to make unsubstantiated allegations
Writing in The Daily Telegraph, Boris Johnson described the Syrian rebels as “Odious, twisted, hate-filled thugs; arrogant and inadequate creeps, intoxicated by the pathetic illusion of power that comes with guns; poisoned by a perversion of religion into a contempt for all norms of civilised behaviour”.
“They are fighting not for freedom but for a terrifying Islamic state in which they would have the whip hand…”
Boris Johnson is in notorious company with Vladimir Putin who characterised the rebels as “… people who not only kill their enemies, but open up their bodies, eat their intestines in front of the public and cameras”.
Impatient to become Prime Minster, the Mayor of London is so eager to show he is bigger than his office that he is eking out his own foreign policy even if it means joining the camp of Vladimir Putin, the butcher of Chechnya.
Meanwhile, Putin, the war criminal, is in no position to lecture anyone on human rights following Russia’s scorched earth devastation of Chechnya. In one such village of Katyr Yurt 363 people were slaughtered by the full might of Russian forces.
And how satirical for Boris to cry the possibility of Syria turning into “a terrifying Islamic state in which they would have the whip hand”, when just a few months ago he was out in the ultra-conservative Gulf states, enjoying luxuries and courting the sheiks with begging bowl in hand, where ironically he described himself as the mayor of the eighth emirate. Boris’s on camera charisma and charm betrays a scheming politician willing to do whatever is needed for personal gain.
In the battle for hearts and minds it is easy for the unscrupulous like Boris and Putin to make unsubstantiated allegations knowing full well the accused do not have the same sources or media outlets to make a defence.
In any case is there a moral equivalence between one or two incidences of alleged wrongdoing by rebels sourced from the internet and the well catalogued scorched earth policy of Bashar al Asad against the civilian population that has led to 93,000 dead (including 6,000 children) and millions displaced since March 2011, when the Syrian people stood peacefully and defiantly against their oppressive regime.
The aim of this highly emotive and false discourse is to provide justification for propping up Bashar al-Asad, with utter disregard for the loss of human life he inflicts, just as his oppressive father, Hafiz al-Asad was supported, up until the point where there is little doubt that Bashar will fall. Furthermore, despite the public divisions, Russia and the West are completely united in opposing rebels that are not prepared to do their bidding.
So blinded are they by self- interest that they fail to see the writing on the wall when it comes to the political destiny of the Middle East. The Arab Spring not only heralded the beginning of the end of western hegemony and Russian interference in the Middle East but it also foreshadowed the return of political Islam to the region.
Indeed, the hapless efforts of the West and Russia to salvage some semblance of influence by propping up dying dynasties committing heinous crimes, further exposes their bankrupt status as the world’s leading nations.