Aleppo Liberated – Sectarian Free For All?

Plenty of respectable people this morning pillorying The (socialist Daily Worker) Morning Star for seeming to “celebrate” the “liberation” of Aleppo by forces led by “fascist” Assad and supported by Iran and “imperialist” Russia and – whilst many of said forces now reported to be slaughering innocents.

(Note that Tatchell was probably also reacting to their criticism of his recent “stunt” – on that same front page.)

Slaugher is never to be celebrated, even if capturing the regional capital represents some kind of success in the strategic picture. Honestly have no idea what particular information the Star’s journo’s thought they were commenting on at they time they prepared the story. (Lyse Ducet reporting from Aleppo on @BBCR4Today this morning conveyed the awful facts amid the confusion.)

More significantly, we’ve no idea how much we can expect such forces to be led and coordinated given the context, but I’d presume there were plenty of opportunists tagging along to fight against … their enemies … whatever, terrorists, rebels. What’s in a label?

One thing is sure there can be no shortage of “sectarian” scores to settle on arrival. Expressing outrage at the needless killing is one thing, but choosing who to target for blame is a bit rich coming from Westerners who had no stomach to intervene.

We have responsibilities for (and interests in) the mess known simply as “the Middle-East situation”. No coincidence Aleppo was one of T E Lawrence’s Seven Pillars of Wisdom long before Sykes-Picot.

And George Osborne agrees.


[Post Note: Balanced piece from Robert Fisk in The Independent.]

[Post Note: And another balanced and typically blunt piece from Nicholas Taleb with a hat-tip to Fisk.]

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