River Wissey Lovell Fuller

Our Foreign Policies

April 2015

I continue to be puzzled and somewhat dismayed by our actions.  Why did we set ourselves against Syria’s Assad?  I have asked that before, he wasn’t all bad, he was tolerant towards Christians, he ran a fairly westernised country where Islamic extremists were kept under control, where girls were free to attend school and women were free to work, drive cars, wear western dress, listen to western music etc.  Of course he was rather tyrannical in the way he would not tolerate opposition, but he is not alone in the world in that.

The Americans have swallowed their pride and stopped attempting to overthrow Assad so that they can get on with removing the scourge of ISIS, but Cameron continues to see Assad as an enemy.  Our efforts against ISIS seem rather half hearted.  The problem may be that we are too ready to obey Israel and Saudi Arabia.  Israel would be very pleased to see Assad overthrown and Syria destabilised.  Syria is a front line state opposing Israel and Syria is allied to Iran, a state that seems to evoke hatred in the west, in Israel.  There are some very deep suspicions that Saudi Arabia is supporting ISIS spiritually and financially.  We must be ready to ignore the wishes of Israel and the Saudis if we are going to defeat ISIS.

As for Ukraine, the west appears to be united in its determination to protect Ukraine’s borders.  They choose to regard the situation as though Ukraine has been invaded by Russia and act as though the people of Ukraine want to keep their borders.  They seem to ignore the fact that Ukraine has a part of its population in the east who are pro-Russian and opposed to attempts to link Ukraine closely with Europe.  If they succeed in quashing the rebellion, restoring power to (the unelected) Kiev president and retaining the borders they will leave a significant number of Ukrainians very disgruntled.  It should be remembered that the area known as Ukraine has been subjected to invasions by  Poles, Turks, Tartars, Germans and Russians over the years and often subdivided.   The concept of Ukraine as a separate entity with the current borders does not date back much more than 100years.  For very many years much of it was seen as an integral part of Russia.  Surely the way towards a peaceful settlement is to recognize that part of eastern Ukraine would rather be part of a federal Russia and redraw the border accordingly, or, at least, make them completely autonomous, anything less than that will not satisfy the rebels or Russia.  I fear that the right wing Americans and our government (perhaps to a lesser extent) are just itching for a confrontation with Russia (or Putin since they like to personalise the confrontation).  Whatever we do we must not allow the US to start a war by proxy without asking the people in eastern Ukraine what they want.

If the Americans do get involved we will all be the losers.

Ron Watts

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