In the wake of the disgusting massacre of at least 110 people in Syria, most of them women and children, it is pleasing to see Foreign minister Bob Carr move quickly to expel Syrian diplomats from Australia; this type of senseless slaughter cannot and will not be tolerated.
It’s quite a quick post this evening, despite the gravity of the situation that has unfolded; I am irretrievably bogged down in work tonight, and this post is basically my cigarette-and-cup-of-tea time.
The Syrian Chargé d’affaires, Mr Jawdat Ali, was this afternoon given 72 hours to leave Australia by Foreign minister Bob Carr; also expelled was another — unnamed — Syrian diplomat.
The move is in response to the brutal slaughter of scores of Syrian civilians in Houla; a move that has mostly caused worldwide outrage, but typically elicited a splitting of the blame by Syria’s chief ally, Russia.
We have briefly mentioned Russia in the past week or so, with its posturing over mooted military strikes in Iran by Israel and its allies, and its veiled threats of nuclear war if such actions in Iran (or similar actions in Syria) are undertaken by Russia’s strategic rivals.
It is heartening, therefore, to see swift action being taken, here and abroad, despite whatever bellicose rhetoric and threats the Russians see fit to employ.
Our own government has now expelled the peak Syrian diplomatic Corp in this country; somewhat encouragingly, new French President Francoise Hollande has taken the same action in France.
Other nations have similarly responded; meanwhile, the British Foreign Secretary, William Hague, is in Russia and pressing his hosts to intervene in the situation in Syria and to take action to stop the bloodshed.
Not least, no doubt, because the Russians are being so belligerent about anyone else going in and doing it.
Former UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan — now an ambassador-at-large for the UN — is in Syria, desperately trying to salvage a peace process he was the architect of designed to stop the bloodshed in Syria and bring the troubled country to some semblance of peace.
I wish I had time to say more tonight, but I don’t; I will however include here a couple of links to coverage in the Australian and overseas press. We may return to this subject tomorrow or later in the week — it depends on how thorough the general media coverage is. At the minimum, however, I think it safe to say that the bloody episode is an outrage — a morally bankrupt, nihilistic outrage.
Clearly, this is not a political issue for analysis and debate; there may well be time for that, but I do think now is the time for strong responses for what can only be described as an unmitigated tragedy.
49 children and 34 women, many blown to bits or shot dead at point-blank range. For fuck’s sake…as brutal as it is, it’s a reminder that there are barbarians in the world; and that once there are people who no longer value life, there are people who no longer value anything.
And that should always be a sobering thought.
I hope the following links are of use/interest to those wishing to read further.