If it wasn’t so horrifyingly tragic, one would feel tempted to think the slaughtering tragedy of Syria was a sarcastic comment on the complexities of international diplomacy.
Here we have the perfect opportunity for the world to come fast together to save Syrian children, women and men shot in their backs or blown to bits as they try to reach safer heavens in neighboring countries. But not. China and Russia are against it, so the rest of the world, if they really wanted to help, can only watch as Syrian corpses pile up in front of our eyes.
Rightly, politicians and pundits around the globe have reacted with incredulity and fury to the pitiful show put on at the UN, where it takes nothing to stir passions enough to pass one condemnation after another against Israel – how come such a motion cannot be brought to pass against Assad and his bloody henchmen? From our own FM Støre (with a rather anemic press statement) to (much more colorful) Hague (listen to him here, giving China and Russia a bollocking, calling their veto inexcusable) and even the Arab Leage blasts the Syrian regime for committing war crimes against its own people. Words. Strong words, but in the end, only words. But even words can make a difference. While our otherwise verborrhagic FM minces no words on condemning Israel for real or perceived shortcomings (I am particularly fascinated with his over-reaction after last year’s border skirmishes on the Golan heights), his reactions against Assad and his ilk is almost polite. The UK FM William Hague on the other hand (and he is no friend of Israel) takes it to a very different level, he even suggests that the UN is becoming increasingly irrelevant and that the UK will consider all options to free Syria of the Assad clan ( Today_ Hague_ UNSC has not shouldered responsibilities over Syria 20 July 12 BBC Radio 4 Today Programme). This much tougher stance is also reflected in UK PM David Cameron’s public speeches, where he openly tells Assad to step down; conversely, our PM Stoltenberg, apart from a bland and uninteresting statement from the Nordic PM’s back in June, has kept shtumm on the topic. Curiously, while Syria is crumbling apart, he is busy having his photo taken next to a cow he met on a bike trip, and post it on Facebook (link is to PMs Facebook on July 18 ). Perish the thought that he is untroubled by the carnage in Syria, he has after all, been untroubled by appearing at gigs where Israel is dragged through the mud.
It is not only our top politicians who have better things to do with their time than demanding an end to the bloodshed in Syria, but our homegrown pundits too seem supremely incapable of bettering their performance vz any incident Israel has been involved in… Dagbladet has an interesting story on how the Alawites of Syria are preparing for their own state, after the demise of Assad, while suggesting that Russia would support such a solution, since their naval base in the Mediterranean would be secured under such an arrangement (I tend to think UK FM Hague has got a better grip on reality, when he says that Russia may come to pay a big price for their UN veto ). In the Dagbladet article, there is an interesting reference to to the Alawite state that existed between 1920 – 1936, which the French decided to dismantle – who knows, maybe historians and pundits will surprisingly uncover other known documents from this period, perhaps even the ever elusive San Remo conference and the Treaty of Severes?
Of course Norwegian press is full of detailed accounts of the blood shed in Syria – our journalists may have a certain taste for ripping Israel apart, but even they know when they are seeing pure evil. So for over a month now, there has been only sparse mention of Israel, mainly mentioned on the night shift, when the editor in chief is sleeping. However, the Unions, the trendy Blitzers, the ministers of the Socialistic Left party, the authors, the singers and wannabe famous’s, the doctors who report from Gaza, the Norwegian Church Aid, the Norwegian Peoples Aid, and the whole lot of sanctimonious and hypocrite ME specialists have not with one word, with one letter or half formed syllable tried to whip up a frenzy of passion as they have done against Israel.
May that be their eternal shame!
Meanwhile, we are in the ridiculous situation that the computer says no – and nobody seems to be prepared to pull the plug on it, and let fresh brooms throw out the dirt.