It’s all in the narrative (2)

As long as they can come up with a narrative line which justifies themselves Western politicians are happy.

It doesn’t matter that nearly a 1000 people are dying each month in Iraq (the majority of them civilians).

In Iraq radical Islamists have taken Mosul and are attacking other cities. This is Mr William Hague, the UK’s Foreign Secretary:

We left Iraq in the hands of elected Iraqi leaders with armed forces, with their own security forces, so it’s primarily for them to deal with.

We’ll do everything we can to relieve humanitarian suffering and resolve the long-running crisis in Syria

This is called “washing your hands”. The current crisis in Iraq is a direct consequence of the illegal, murderous and bungled invasion of Iraq which the previous UK government was responsible for.

They are like school-prefects explaining why they can’t be blamed that when they left the school canteen unmonitored there was a big food-fight. (It’s because they organised an election before they left).

In Syria the UK government is astonishingly doing it all over again. Syria has, or rather had, a stable legitimate government. The UK is now arming one faction which is trying to over-throw that government. (Non-lethal aid is a legal nicety. Jeeps, body-armour and night vision equipment are for attack purposes not defence). The result in Syria? Chaos. A long drawn-out multi-sided conflict. Far from doing everything they can to “relieve humanitarian suffering and resolve the long-running crisis in Syria” Mr William Hague and his friends are fuelling a protracted civil war. Certainly it is true that this state of civil war in Syria (which the UK is partly responsible for) has probably contributed to the recent escalation of trouble in Iraq. But it certainly didn’t cause it. The problems in Iraq have grown steadily since the US/UK departed.

Look at it: Iraq, Syria, Libya. It is hard to believe that any of these countries would be in a worse state had they not been invaded (directly or by proxy)Â by the allies (UK/US and France).

This line that an election justifies anything must be called into question. There was an election in Libya too. There is chaos there too. There is nothing in the UN charter that gives the US/UK a mandate to enforce parliamentary democracy all over the world. A parliamentary democracy may be a “good thing” but it is only part of an overall political settlement. (It may also be true that a parliamentary democracy is not a “good thing”. It seems that without democratic control of the means of production a parliament can be bypassed and tyranny installed along side the best of parliamentary democracies). But, in any event, without the consent of the majority of the people it won’t work. But not only that; in a functioning parliamentary democracy (Britain for example) the aspirations of minorities are taken into account. That is why in Britain there is a Welsh assembly, a Northern Ireland assembly and a Scottish Parliament. And why there is a continual effort to include minorities. Furthermore; the British parliamentary system evolved out of a long history dating back to Saxon times. It is the result of a long negotiation between different groups and interests in British society. This is probably why it is quite durable. Just taking the result of all that and parachuting it in on top of another society with a completely different history is not going to work. It is mind numbingly stupid. Don’t these people study history? Even if they can’t understand the theoretical point you would have thought they might have learned from experience as time after time their attempts to impose “democracy” lead to crisis and chaos. At any event the line that installing a parliamentary democracy justifies an invasion fails if it is consistently the case that the democracies you install fall apart after a few years or even just months.

But, blasÊ, and indifferent to the millions of deaths they cause they just carry on. Because they can, it seems, keep coming up with narrative lines that make them look like the world’s saviours. Lines which are dutifully handed out by the free press of the West. Lines which they  themselves believe.

Incidentally we can also note that when they attempt to export “democracy” they don’t even export the tolerant version of parliamentary democracy which prevails in Britain. If they did they would, for example, simply have counselled the “new government” in Kiev to set up a regional government in the East of Ukraine where opinion polls show a very considerable divergence of opinion and aspiration from the centre and West. Instead they have supported a military crack-down. The “democracy” which is exported aligns with the economic interests of those who are at the top of democracy in the West.


Author: justinwyllie

EFL Teacher and Photographer