August 21, 2013
If it is confirmed that chemical weapons have been used today in an attack by the Syrian government then this represents a serious escalation in this conflict and will most likely mean that there will be some form of intervention by a coalition of countries whether a UN mandate is secured or not. Bearing in mind that the war in Iraq was entered into on the premise, which turned out to be false that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction he was preparing to use then the actual use of chemical weapons by a dictatorial regime in the same region will be impossible to ignore.
With the continued unrest in Egypt and in other neighbouring countries, the Middle East has become in recent months an extremely volatile region.
August 14, 2013
A military led government will apply military solutions to its problems and it should come as no surprise that this morning Egyptian security forces have started to use extreme force to clear supporters of former President Morsi camped at two sites in Cairo.
The obvious and first lesson the West should learn from this whole sorry saga is that elections do not always equate to a satisfactory or friendly democratic government and Western leaders should not get giddy when elections take place and think a western style liberal democracy will be installed the day after the election.
Secondly if the West supports elections (held fairly of course) and democratically elected governments in places where dictators/military ruled then it must be prepared for the outcome that governments which it does not particularly like or agree with will get elected! And even in this scenario the west should support the process by which the government was elected even if not the actual government. Otherwise you end up with the situation in Egypt where an obvious military coup wasn’t described as such and the west now finds itself in limbo between the proverbial rock and a hard place where it didn’t condemn outright military intervention and the ousting of an elected president and now has to look on as civilians are dealt violently by security forces and the country begins its descent into violent civil unrest.
The stance of the west in Egypt will also be viewed by various parties elsewhere in the Middle East who will no doubt conclude that coming to power through the ballot box is no guarantee of acceptance or legitimacy in government by the West and conclude that they should use means other than the ballot box to come to power.