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The Last Judgement: We Can't Afford Another Wrong Move in Syria

A false flag attack, or Assad’s 'chemical weapons'? The wrong choice could be fatal for Syria and the whole world

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

Writing at a time of great flux just after the First World War, William Butler Yeats described his vision of "the Second Coming" thus:

"Turning and turning in the widening gyre, the falcon cannot hear the falconer;

<figcaption>The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity</figcaption>
The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned;

The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity."

There is debate over just who Yeats was thinking of in this diabolical vision, with conclusions from different people based on their own prejudices. The end of the poem offers an indication:

"The darkness drops again; but now I know that twenty centuries of stony sleep

were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle, and what rough beast, its hour come round at last,

Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?"

Many times I have had cause to think of Yeats's vision over the last six years, and ponder on its strange relevance to the "anarchy" that has been loosed upon today's world, as perhaps other have done when they cite the poem's most memorable quote - "the best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity."

The despondent cynicism in this phrase, reflecting the way that "realists" see the world, is more appropriate now than it has ever been in the past, but ironically not in the way that many people interpret Yeats's lines. SImply put of course, it comes down to who one considers as "the worst" or "the best", and the current chasm between Russia and the West reflects this - our worst is their best, and vice versa.

So fundamental is this polarity of viewpoint however, that it is vital to examine it in greater detail; the protagonists simply cannot "agree to disagree" if the conflict over Syria is to be resolved and a disastrous and lethal outcome avoided.

While there have been many different currents in the war on Syria, with different opposition groups and foreign states pursuing various conflicting agendas, the Khan Shaikoun attack and the subsequent US missile strike have herded these groups into a single camp in which there can be no fence sitting. It is a repeat of George W Bush's mantra following 9/11 - "you are with us or against us" - and any Western country opposing Trump's "punitive missile strike" on the Al Shayrat airbase would be making itself into another potential US target.

America's closest allies have however fallen over themselves to support Trump's "decisive actions" against Syria with unseemly haste, and with their leaders and ministers competing for descriptions of Syria's President that sound worse than "butcher" or "very bad man". It is as if they have been waiting years for this opportunity, chastened by liberal media for "lacking all conviction" to act against "the worst" in Syria, and are now finally given the opportunity.

But how they have burnt their bridges, throwing all caution to the wind with such reckless abandon that one wonders at their sanity! Do they really not know the truth?

Suppose the citizens of these Western countries, whose senses have been dimmed by six years of lies about the nature of the war on Syria and the actions of their governments and NGOs, should finally recognise the truth, and then turn on their criminal leaders?

While Yeats's words have a poetic balance, for those fighting the "rough beast" that has been born and nurtured in Syria a modification is necessary - the best do not "lack all conviction" - far from it; they are driven by that conviction. And if any had doubts, last week's events have now made this conviction unshakeable.

There is a strange parallel with the faith of early Christians, who endured so many tests and trials to the point of death rather than deny their beliefs. The trials of those living in the West who would challenge the mainstream narrative on Syria may not be life-threatening, but parallel the self-doubts of religious faith. This is a problem that Syrians don't have to suffer, nor others whose media are not dominated by the West and have access to true information from Syria and - mostly - from their own governments. It is surely hard for them to understand just how so many hundreds of millions of people living in the West could be so deceived as to bring us to this point, where they will go to war to defend a lie.

Yet this is the case; the sight of our leaders "full of passionate intensity" as they condemn President Assad for brutal killing of "his own people", and President Putin for allowing him to, has combined with videos of suffering children to convince the whole "International Community" that military action against Syria and even Russia is both justified and necessary, and good. No commentators now refer to the fabricated chemical attack as "alleged" or show interest in an investigation; the case is proven, and Assad must go. And if Russia won't stop supporting Assad, then Russia must also be punished.

Speaking for the first time since the US and its agents launched this false flag operation, President Assad set out the simple truth, in English, to an AFP reporter. - The videos were fabricated. "Al Qaeda with a facelift" - the White Helmets - were responsible. The victims may not have died from Sarin, or died at all. The US staged this as a pretext. The cruise missile strike was illegal and unjustifiable. The US is supporting Al Qaeda terrorists to destroy the Syrian state.

"Vintage Assad" said the White House spokesman, which is true - Assad made similar claims before, and they were just as true then as now, as the White House knows.

So where to from here? Continuing the biblical theme, we could say this is "The Last Judgement" - as the future seems to depend on our judgement of Bashar al Assad. But who better to judge the Syrian President that "his own people" - on whose behalf surely those cruise missiles were launched?

Of course we already know what Syrians think of their President, as they re-elected him three years ago. Try asking them now if they changed their minds, and would like to see their dear leader "removed" and replaced by any of those traitorous "Syrians" who would rather see the US destroy their country than have to face defeat at the ballot box.

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