Up till now Australia has been trying to keep a low profile in the Syrian conflict. We do what the US tells us to do but we stay out of the front lines as far as possible, presumably because the Australian government has close to zero support from its own people for involvement in another foreign war!
All this has now changed. On September 18th, US forces bombed Syrian army personnel at Deir ez-Zor, and they took Australian fighter jets into the fray with them! The blood-guilt for the death of these young Syrians lies as heavily upon this country now as it does upon those who dragged us into this hell! Perhaps that’s why the US did it – at least in part! Perhaps they needed to bloody their British and Australian allies in order to get them more committed to the process? They must know that the rest of us don’t want to be there!
Of course the US is saying that this is ‘not what they intended to do’. If you listen to the cynical speech of Samantha Power at the UN, she avoids using the word ‘mistake’, and she certainly makes no actual apology for the deaths of all these young Syrians.
Perhaps an apology would have been meaningless anyway. If someone enters your house uninvited and then starts shooting random members of your family, to stop shooting and say, “Oh, sorry! I thought you were someone else” doesn’t make it OK. Rather, it begs the question as to what these gun-toting killers were doing in your house in the first place!
If the US seriously wanted to apologise for this massacre, the first things they would do is get out of the country that they illegally invaded. Of course they are not going to do that, and they are not even going to apologise to the grieving families, but does Australia really have to be a part of all this?
I listen to the speeches of the two UN spokespersons – Samantha Power for the USA and Vitaly Churkin for Russia – and I realise how much my world has changed! I grew up in a world where the Russians were the bad guys who couldn’t be trusted, whereas Uncle Sam was that benign elder figure who might have been a bit quirky in his behaviour with us kids but who always had our backs.
Now I look back and understand what was going on. That old uncle was a peadophile, preying on us kids. He hasn’t changed his ways. He never will. We might not be able to stop him, but we can choose to stop playing with him!