Syria: And your point is what, exactly?

Either the Foreign Office is not what it was when I knew it, or Mr Hague isn’t listening to his advisers. Here’s his justification for bombing Syria:

“According to the UN, the Syrian conflict is already the worst refugee crisis since the Rwandan genocide, creating nearly two million refugees and killing more than 100,000 people so far.”

If you think about this for a second, you realise it doesn’t make any sense at all. Any intensification of the fighting in Syria, caused by western attacks, is just going to increase the flood of refugees. A military victory, facilitated by the West, would do the same. Only a negotiated settlement of some kind will allow the refugees to return home.

And what on earth is this desperate comparison with Rwanda? Insofar as there was a refugee crisis in 1994, it was caused by hundreds of thousands of Hutu refugees streaming into the Congo, fleeing the army of that nice Mr Kagame. The British government offered them no help at all, and, when Kagame’s forces attacked the camps in which they were living, with massive loss of life, the British government did … nothing.

And when in 1996, and again in 1998, Rwanda and Uganda invaded the Congo and precipitated a war which claimed for more lives (between two and four million) than the Syrian conflict is ever capable of doing, the British government did … nothing.

if you are going to use (or abuse) historical comparisons, is it to much to ask that the basic facts should be approximately correct? Or do the governments concerned just not care?


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