Wednesday, 28 August 2013
Is This Cameron's Churchill Or Tony Blair Moment?
The excitement that Cameron seems to feel about intervening in Syria is palpable. Like many political leaders before him he's beginning to believe that he has some higher purpose beyond torturing his own countrymen. Libya was a "success" so why not Syria? Perhaps God has not only put him into a position where he can do something historically noteworthy but also put the necessary instrument into his hot and sweaty little hand. Churchill is reported to have felt this way with, perhaps, some justification. Tony Blair also felt this way and was willing to tell himself and others any lie to indulge his fantasy. The unfolding situation in the Middle East should, however, be ringing alarm bells in Cameron's head. As Lyndon Baines Johnson said about Viet-Nam; "It's a boot full of warm piss with the instructions written on the heel." There is no "answer" to the Middle East in the same way that there is no "answer" to finding yourself up to your neck in a swamp. It is deeply upsetting to see other people killing each other for no good reason but, as far as the Middle East is concerned, it is their regional hobby. The whole unholy mess is complicated by the presence of Israel there (and who's bright idea was that?), by the oil reserves it contains (perhaps God's greatest practical joke) and by the presence of the world's most insane and closely related religions. And then there is Russia, thoroughly pissed off with the West and spoiling to improve its macho image. All in all a recipe for a slowly unfolding disaster. Maybe Cameron shouldn't be thinking in terms of a Churchill or Tony Blair moment and go back to doing what he does best - going on holiday.