The Case against further Western Intervention in Syria – A personal view from John Gelmini


BlairIraqWarDemo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Effigy of Tony Blair from a 2003 anti-war demo...

Effigy of Tony Blair from a 2003 anti-war demonstration against the Iraq War (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Earlier today I re-blogged an editorial from the Financial Times entitled Get tough with Syria over sarin use – I received a very detailed response from John Gelmini arguing passionately against further intervention in Syria which I am sharing below. I would welcome your views on this blog.

Personally, I do not agree with John’s view here and feel that some form of intervention in Syria is appropriate, ideally with the blessing of the UN. Also I am uncomfortable with some of the data shared by John because I have no means of validating it. However, John makes some powerful points which are worthy of further debate. Let me know what you think.


I seem to remember talk of “Weapons of Mass Destruction” and a threat that was “growing, credible” and of missiles capable of “hitting the UK within 45 minutes” prior to the invasion of Iraq.

The subsequent Iraq war which was illegal (the advice from Lord Goldsmith was never published) saw 775,000 Iraqis die, billions of pounds worth of economic damage, 1 million deaths as a result of UN sanctions, 500,000 refugees and tens of thousands of malformed babies as a result of UN sanctions and the bombing and destruction of the Iraqi water system.

This is apart from the lost lives of our soldiers, American soldiers and the billions wasted and spent on rebuilding that country which is now descending into sectarian strife.

Lord Chilcott’s enquiry which had to be a whitewash to protect Tony Blair, Alastair Campbell and Tony Blair’s inner circle from accusations of war crimes duly did its work. But the stain on this country’s reputation of 400 plus payouts by the Ministry of Defense to families of Iraqis whose relatives have been hooded, tortured and often beaten to death in custody with more cases in the wings does not help because it makes our troops look like latter-day versions of Nazi storm-troopers.

The net result of that war has been to advantage the Chinese who have done a deal with the breakaway part of Kurdistan, to enable America to steal oil (some would call it the spoils of victory), but not enough to cover all the costs of occupation, the war itself and their own casualties.

Similarly, Iran with its large Shiite population now has powerful influence in Iraq and will exercise de- facto control once we leave.

We are now told that Syria has used Sarin gas against the rebels who are, of course, backed by Britain, America and France using smuggled weapons and special forces who have been in the country for at least the past 2.5 years.

We are also told that Al Quaida is active and that we are supposedly concerned about Sarin falling into their hands.

Al Quaida means literally “The database” and they were originally set up by the CIA to fight Russia in Afghanistan, a country which we and the Americans wanted to invade as far back as the 1990s so that we could build the Turkmenistan oil pipeline and seize the mineral wealth of that country embodied in copper and lithium deposits worth $6 trillion USD. Those deposits are now being mined by China Metallurgical Corporation by 350,000 Chinese miners after the Americans cleared the area of Taliban, the Chinese agreed to continue their reluctant support of the Petrodollar and the Chinese agreed to rebuild Hamid Karzai’s damaged infrastructure.

We were told that Osama Bin Laden was killed by US Navy Seals in a daring raid in Abbottobad, Pakistan using a stealth coated helicopter when in reality he died in December 2001 from kidney failure in an American military hospital in Germany where a team of American doctors tried to save his life for more than 1.5 hours.

Le Monde was reporting Osama Bin Laden’s presence in France at a board meeting of the Gum Arabic Company (they make the gum arabic which suspends the particles in Coca Cola and soft drinks for sale all over the world). He was trained in engineering construction at Cambridge University, was a main board director of the Bin Laden Construction Company, the largest construction company in the Middle East and the builder of the Tora Bora cave complex in Afghanistan which the Americans destroyed with a 15000 pound thermo-baric bomb. At the time of the Gum Arabic board meeting which followed 9/11 and the fall of the Twin Towers, the official story via the BBC and mainstream news sources was that Osama Bin Laden was on the run yet the Gum Arabic board meetings were events this man regularly attended in earlier years.

On a regular basis we are being lied to about world events and we are probably being lied to about Assad’s use of Sarin.

The bigger issue is the endgame and what we would hope to achieve by toppling Assad and what the consequences might be.

My prognosis is that it would lead to a wider Middle East War and would make the Chinese and Russia not want to prop up the Petrodollar or Sterling and create other difficulties for us in the West without us being able to do anything about it.

A wider war is only in the interests of the military industrial complex, certain people in Israel and the 21 leading families of the world. For the rest of us it means, death, destruction and huge costs, none of which we can afford.

Toppling Assad might sound wonderful to starry-eyed idealists but:
–Who is going to take in all the Syrian refugees and who is going to pay for their rehabilitation?
–Who will replace Assad, our puppet, someone else?
–Will the Syrian rebels remain within our control if they win or will they get out of control and cause more trouble elsewhere in the Middle East?
–How do we propose to pay for a wider war given our present finances?
–What is an acceptable level of casualties for us if we are involved and how many conscripts will we need given that the British Tri Forces are too small?

Trying to be the policeman of the world and constantly meddling in the affairs of other countries where we have no business might have been our role in the past but the task now should be minding our own business and rebuilding our un-competitive economy.


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15 responses

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  8. You will never get “evidence” so hard that it would satisfy a court beyond all reasonable doubt because we have never seen the body and the body was buried at sea “in accordance with Muslim practice” which it manifestly was not.

    The videos filmed whilst he was on the run are, even to the untrained eye (all shown publicly on the BBC and other news networks), are clearly not of the same man thus giving the impression that he was alive and on the run even though we heard nothing more about his activities following 9/11.

    A man who has this sort of notoriety and is the closest thing to being the devil, Attilla the Hun and Hitler all rolled into one would, if he were alive have been masterminding other things and we would have been told about at least some of the efforts to catch him.

    Donald Rumsfeld when interviewed on television about Bin Laden some years after 9/11 but before the Abbottobad mission used the past tense throughout the interview. He was unable to say where Bin Laden was, what was being done currently to find him if anything, what he had been doing in the way of masterminding terrorism and seemed almost vacant about the man.If Bin Laden was indeed a current and dangerous fugitive rather than one who was already dead Donald Rumsfeld would have used the present tense, looked the interviewer squarely in the eye and told the viewers about the hunt or as Mrs Thatcher described the search for drug barons “the pursuit will be relentless”.

    To radicalized Wahibi Muslims, he was a Robin Hood like figure anyway, so there was no danger of making him a martyr as has proved to be the case because his kidney failure and treatment at the hands of American surgeons and earlier death was reported in Le Monde which is a respectable source of information.
    This, as opposed to the US State Department and politicians who between them come out with demonstrable nonsense, some of which is covered by my earlier posts and are a matter of historic record eg The Gulf of Tonkin and “Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq”.

    Holdings in the Gum Arabic Company or any other are not relevant to attendance at board meetings so whether or not they were “divested” in 1996 is not relevant to the argument.

    As with his body which was never pronounced dead by a coroner at the time of the Abbottobad mission and forensically examined for bullet-holes matching the bullets that killed him we are not privy to copies of documents showing the divestiture of shares or holdings or anything else.

    The authorities are the ones under long established principles of Habeas Corpus (produce the body), who have to prove the chain of events’the exact cause of Osama Bin Laden’s death if necessary by exhuming the body and having it post mortemed by 2 independent coroners and forensically examined by ballistics experts.

    Through their videos of markedly different people all purportedly the same man and by instances of wars caused by their untruths the US State Department and politicians have demonstrated that they cannot be trusted to tell the truth in this and many other instances.

    • John,

      Many thanks for the additional clarification.

      It seems that there is no hard evidence, either way so I suggest we close this particular point.

      I accept your broader comment that Governments are not entirely open with their citizens.



  9. The State Department and politicians everywhere tell us all sorts of things.

    Usually what they tell us is a mixture of lies, half truths and suppositions unsupported by the facts and it is often years later that we discover what has /had really been going on:

    1) The Gulf of Tonkin incident which led to the Vietnam War which lasted for 10,000 days and cost America 58,000 dead and 2,200 missing in action, 1 million North Vietnamese casualties, 225,000 North Vietnamese missing in action and billions in economic damage, land contaminated by dangerous chemicals and children born with birth defects even today, never actually happened.

    How do we know this?

    Answer: Because Robert Macnamara, many years later, told us so and publicly admitted that many of the things he authorized at the time were wrong.

    2) There was supposedly no plan to “take down Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Iran” yet General Westmorland can be seen on You Tube speaking clearly in his own voice about just such a plan having been shown a map and briefing documents by a Pentagon official.

    No State Department official would ever admit to such a thing but General Westmoreland as a plain spoken military man was more forthcoming.

    A look at the “Project For A New American Century” website clearly identifies countries targeted for regime change and again no State Department Official will say anything other than warm words about peace and security.

    3) Tony Blair, George Bush, Colin Powell and numerous officials told us until they were blue in the face that Saddam Hussein was a threat to the West and that he had “weapons of mass destruction”.

    After exhaustive searches by weapons inspectors no evidence of any such thing was found yet the Iraq war went ahead on an illegal basis resulting in 775,000 Iraqi dead, 250,000 refugees, 1 million maimed and malformed Iraqi children, heavy American and coalition of the willing casualties, the disgrace of Abu Garaib, billions of dollars spent on attempting to rebuild the county and fight the war and to what end?

    4) We are now being told that Osama Bin Laden was killed in Abbottobad, Pakistan by US Navy Seals using a stealth helicopter.

    The body was not identified publicly by a coroner as should have been the case with a man who has been held responsible for the mass murder of 3,500 people at the Twin Towers in New York and he was buried at sea which is not normal or accepted Muslim practice which is for someone to be buried upright in the ground facing Mecca.

    The Iman who supposedly presided over this funeral and burial at sea has not come forward and has never been publicly identified.


    Answer: We have not been told?

    The Le Monde articles about Bin Laden’s directorships differ from the State Department version of events and the videos of Bin Laden are clearly of different people, some of whom are shorter than the well over 6 ft Bin Laden and some of whom have their eyes closer together in their heads than the official pictures indicate.

    Whilst plastic surgery and hair dye can achieve a lot it cannot change the distance a person’s eyes are in their heads so why are these videos featuring observably different people and why are none of them holding up a copy of that day’s newspaper to authenticate and date the video?

    Then there is the question of language used in those videos.

    One uses the phrase “Don’t mess with our security”, which is an American phrase that no Englishman or person educated at a blue brick university like the flowery spoken Bin Laden would ever use.

    It is reasonable then to question the validity of these videos which were presumably created to give the impression that Bin Laden was at large and that he posed a threat which had to be eradicated.

    Doubtless the Navy Seals killed a thoroughly bad person and terrorist who needed to be “terminated with extreme prejudice”.

    Whether that person was Osama Bin Laden is extremely doubtful but if people choose to believe the official version of events that is their prerogative.

  10. Making bold claims is one thing, but claiming that Bin Laden died of kidney failure in 2001 while the Americans looked on, without offering even the faintest shred of evidence to support such a claim is completely ridiculous. Stating a point as though it is incontrovertible fact does not automatically make it so. John’s response made some sense before this point and I actually agree that Western (or at least British) intervention in Syria should be a last resort, if not avoided completely.

    To my mind, this is the stuff of Alex Jones’ shouty, gibberish-filled conspiracy theory radio show and the David Icke internet forum. I’ve come to expect better from this blog.

    • In addition, John’s argument that ‘we are probably being lied to’ about Assad’s use of sarin on the basis that we were ‘lied to’ about bin Laden attending the Gum Arabic Company’s board meeting falls apart when subjected to even the slightest online scrutiny…

      “The connection between Sudan and Osama bin Laden brought the otherwise innocuous gum to public consciousness in 2001, as an urban legend arose that bin Laden owned a significant fraction of the gum arabic production in Sudan, and therefore one should boycott products using it.

      This story took on somewhat significant proportions, mostly due to an article in The Daily Telegraph a few days after the September 11 attacks, which echoed this claim. Eventually, the State Department issued a release stating that while Osama bin Laden had once had considerable holdings in Sudanese gum arabic production, he divested himself of these when he was expelled from Sudan in 1996”

    • Ken,

      Many thanks for sharing your views.

      This blog operates and open policy and invites all opinions. I generally give a steer as to whether I agree or disagree. I draw the line and reject all spam.

      I share your views that the comments about Bin Laden are far fetched.

      You will see that John has now responded to you about “evidence”.

  11. Pingback: Syria and the undoing of Obama’s grand strategy – « Dr Alf's Blog

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