Fear Of A Slack Planet
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the civilising effect of the general population on politicians.
My MP, writing in his regular blog, explained his support for ‘military action’* in Syria. Almost like he was answering my blog. Are you reading, Stephen Williams MP?
(He’s also previously written in support of ‘military action’* in Libya. I wonder if there’s a country in the middle east he wouldn’t like to bomb…probably Saudi Arabia, the harsh totalitarian theocracy, since they buy lots of weapons from Britain.)
*A quaint euphemism for killing lots of people to help them toward freedom. The Al Qaeda network seems to have a similar viewpoint on the necessity of killing people to help people.
The phrase ranks alongside ‘collateral damage’, ‘surgical strike’ and ‘targeted killing’ as one of the more sophistic and odious phrases of obfuscation in our much-abused language. As a wordsmith, I can’t help but feel that language is an utterly inadequate tool for communication when it is so easily abused in the service of power, money and murder.
Here’s what he wrote about it:
I believe it is the duty of advanced democracies to use their resources to advance and protect human rights around the world. In the main, that should be through peaceful means…But sometimes we have to wave a big stick against regimes that are not interested in diplomacy and human rights. That’s why I voted to intervene in Libya two years ago, to avert a massacre by Gadaffi. That’s why I would still vote to support British participation in a surgical strike against Assad’s ability to mass murder Syrian civilians. It would not be about regime change or taking sides in a civil war. It would certainly not be an Iraq style invasion. But it would be about doing what we can to protect the lives of innocent people from the barbarous actions of a brutal dictator.
So, that’s alright then: it would be about protecting innocent people, for the first time ever. Why would anyone have a hard time believing that? Go on, just try and deconstruct the obvious humanitarian motives of this humble, peace-loving public servant, you fucking cynic.
I, for one, look forward to backbench MPs’ passionate advocacy of military action against North Korea, Turkmenistan, Burma, Saudi Arabia, Eritrea, Sudan and Uzbekistan, since they are taking time out from their regular immigrant/welfare-recipient-hating contests to save the oppressed people of the world.
And it’s not like the nobly-inclined violence of the powerful ever hurt anyone who it was (apparently) intended to help, is it?
And how gratifying it is to know that we live in an “advanced democracy”. Perhaps his parliamentary colleagues tried to make this fantasy a reality by voting against him in the “Let’s-bomb-another-middle-east-country-that’s-no-threat-to-us-because-the-President-thinks-it’s-a-good-idea” government motion.
Since the vote was won by sanity, I didn’t get round to writing to my MP to call him out for advocating international terrorism. Sorry. I know, I know, I’m slack. I had loads to do, mind. I read Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas that week (it’s great).
The MP in question has previously written about his support for Palestinians – strangely, though, he hasn’t suggested bombing Jerusalem to help those killed by white phosphorous during Operation Cast Lead in 2008/9….
If I get round to writing to him, maybe I’ll ask why that is.
Increase The Peace.