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Syrian Mother Urges Mass Defection

More evidence that a conscript army is not a reliable defender of a dictatorship. As became obvious in Tahrir Square, when the army refused to intervene, and in Bahrain, where foreign troops had to clear Pearl Square, and in Libya, where Gadaffi had to import foreign mercenaries, people will not kill their own to keep a despot in power.
Almost all the dictatorships in the region rely heavily on conscription. Almost all are critically vulnerable.

Libya In Credit UN1973

There a general chorus that freedom in Libya is simply too expensive. That British taxpayers are denying themselves hospitals and schools to prevent Gadaffi slaughtering at will.
This is an understandable response, especially for a people under the lash of George Osborne's regime. But it must be remembered that the West has been creaming the top off Gadaffi's criminal deposits for decades. So the Relief of Bengazi and the entire UN1973 operation probably hasn't cost the British taxpayer a penny, in real terms. It is all paid for in advance, and is probably still in credit, courtesy of Gadaffi Investments Inc, and the blood of the Libyan people. They are now merely drawing on their deposits, and it is the duty of the west to pay up. The consequences for renaging on this debt would not only be massacre on a biblical scale, but also a ruinously expensive war which would make Iraq look like a librarian's disco and which would disrupt oil supplies for a decade.

There is simply no choice.


Fantasy Diplomacy Volume 23. Israel to Syria's Rescue!

Israel has everything to gain and almost nothing to lose from simply opening The Golan to Syrian refugees.
Such a move would be a huge PR coup, enable the uprisings to intensify in the relative absence of civilian targets, carry first hand accounts into the outside world, and lay some very fertile ground for Israel's relationship with its new democratic neighbour.
And all it has to lose is a patch of land it occupies illegally, and will have to return someday. Far better the handover is managed in this way, by saving lives, than bickered over for years souring the new Israeli/Syrian relationship.
It's an offer they almost can't refuse, assuming a degree of sanity in the Israeli war-machine. In fact, as a proposition it is a moral gun held to Israel's head.


Celebrity Blight

The images of the dead Princess of Wales are about to be released on a TV documentary, to great controversy. Do we need to see them? What possible good can it do? - And other piercing daytime TV chat-show questions.
I would like to see them, just to get a sense of how much in control the photographer was. How professional he was able to be in the face if the photo of the century.
We despise politicians for the same reason we worship 'Celebrities', because our Human Values have become so debased in the interest of selling information, and our society so fractured and alienated as a result, that all emotions which should be shared in the real world are expressed by proxy in this cast of fantasy villains, heroes, and fairytale princesses. A form of porn, in other words. Junk life in a junk economy. The economy that killed Diana Spencer as surely as it killed the victims of the Irish Potato Famine.
The celebrity class, which includes anyone whose image sells information, are are dehumanised and degraded as any famine victim, and for much the same reason.