Re: “Hysteria surrounding Russian ‘threat’ is leading us towards World War III”, Have Your Say, yesterday.
A regular feature of this column is the level of cant and outright sophistry the readership are exposed to. There are some who blame the editorial staff for allowing the publication of this material that one would not find in other similar periodicals. I don’t have an issue with this policy; I’d rather have this than the coy use of asterisks used by the gutter press.
In war, the first casualty is usually the truth. So we found in these pages yesterday, scribbled by one of the usual alter-ego jackanapes. In a classic example of doublethink, we were led to believe that the unelected, undemocratic dictator al-Assad is “valiantly defending” his country and – get this – his people against “aggressors”, while simultaneously allowing equally mendocratic external actors to use his country as a proving ground for new weapons platforms often exposing defenceless men, women and children, al-Assad’s people, as incidental test subjects.
It should be clear by now that the ridiculous assertion blaming democracies for chemical weapons use in Syria and the UK holds no traction whatsoever; we also read, in the same noisome missive, the stupendously cynical casuistry that evidence supporting the hands of dictatorships in these attacks is based on dissembling by Western democracies, without providing irrefutable proof to the contrary. Or, to use his language again, what Orwell termed “bellyfeel” (a blind, enthusiastic acceptance of an idea).