Editorial note: If you have not yet read our mission statement above, please do so in order that you can put our blogs in context.
15 April 2012
WAR IS PEACE
Thirty-two people are reported to been killed in fighting in Syria since the “cease-fire” brokered by former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan supposedly came into force last Thursday 12 April 2012.
Cease-fire? What cease-fire?
How can people be killed during a cease-fire?
In the murky world of high-stakes international diplomacy words take on the opposite of their normal meaning.
The great powers, sometimes known as “the international community”, are using the fictitious “cease-fire” as an alibi to justify their reluctance to take military action to bring down the murderous regime in Damascus. At the end of last month the UN estimated the death toll for the year-long conflict at more than 9 000.
Accordingly, for diplomatic purposes, the fiction that there is a cease-fire must continue to be publicly maintained even if, in reality, the firing has not ceased.
Annan’s “peace” plan requires al-Assad to withdraw his tanks from towns and cities. This has not happened. Today the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported heavy shelling in Homs.
Annan has been widely criticized for his supposed naivety in believing that Assad would act in good faith and respect the cease-fire. In fact, it is hard to believe that a hardened diplomatic wheeler-dealer such as Annan actually did believe that the duplicitous Assad would comply. Annan is a servant of the great powers. He does what they bid him to do.
In the UK’s Guardian newspaper on Friday 13 April, Syrian resident Ahmad el-Khalaf is quoted as saying: “We do not feel any safer. This [cease-fire] seems to be a big deal for the outside world but for us inside Syria we are used to these people playing with the Syrian people. People in charge playing games with the Syrian people, the Arab League playing games with the Syrian People, Obama and Cameron playing games with the Syrian people.”
Editorial note: WAR IS PEACE is a slogan written on the façade of the Ministry of Truth in George Orwell’s 1949 novel “Nineteen Eighty-Four”, which depicts a chilling totalitarian dystopia.
You might perhaps care to view some of our earlier posts. For instance:
1. Why? or How? That is the question (3 Jan 2012)
2. Das Vierte Reich/The Fourth Reich (6 Feb 2012)
3. The shoddiest possible goods at the highest possible prices (2 Feb 2012)
4. Where’s the beef? Ontology and tinned meat (31 Jan 2012)
5. What would Gandhi have said? (30 Jan 2012)
Every so often we shall change this sample of previously published posts.