Getting behind the Russians and Chinese on this occasion

Now that we know China is helping President Assad of Syria more than ever with army training and advanced personal weapons in order for him reclaim his country from Isil, Al Qaeda and other Muslim terrorist troops, is it not time for the Western alliance to be sensible and let China and Russia get on with it?

No matter how nasty Assad has become, his main purpose is to solidify the government control by the secular Ba’ath Party, just as Saddam Hussein was trying to do with his Ba’ath Party in Iraq — and largely succeeding in his case before being invaded in 2003.

In tofday’s papers, the intensely poignant photo of the five year-old boy with blood streaking down half his face, rescued from the latest bombing in Aleppo — whose name we now know as Omran Daqneesh — has alerted all those statesmen in the West who only want to win the war in Syria on their own terms that they’d better start taking some practical decisions from now onwards.

The quickest practical strategy to hand is to swing behind Russia and China on this occasion even though we may not like their own particular forms of governance when at home. It is one thing for Western governments to be tolerant of Muslim immigrants in their own countries. It is quite another to be tolerant of countries in which a religious hierarchy holds the majority of their populations in subservience.

Governments of countries such where women are oppressed, where girls are subjected to vaginal mutilation and where their brightest and best young people cry out for an interesting life ahead of them, deserve to be toppled if the right opportunities come along.

Religious governments have ideologies which makes them act more cruelly than any ‘savage’ hunter-gatherer tribe has ever been.  Other opportunities will no doubt come along in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Iran and Pakistan in due course. But right now, we have Syria and we really shouldn’t be making the same mistake that we made when invading Iraq.

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