I wonder how democratically minded people reacted to news of the defeat of the Nazis at Stalingrad during World War II. Or to the liberation of inmates from German concentration camps in Poland by Russian forces towards the end of the war.
Surely they welcomed these victories – even reacted ecstatically. I find it hard to believe otherwise.
But now I wonder. Surely the liberation of the Syrian city of Palmyra from Daesh (ISIS) occupation must be welcomed ecstatically by democratically minded people. Yet we find this pathetic hand wringing by a US State department spokesperson Mark Tonner.
He was far from enthusiastic the other day when asked if the US considered Palmyra’s liberation a positive development. Less than 24 hours before the Syrian Arab Army’s major push, Toner was asked on Wednesday if the US would like to see “the regime retake Palmyra, or do you prefer that it stays in Daesh’s hands?”
But no clear support for such a liberation. Instead, Tonner talked about “alleged violations of the cessation of hostilities” by the “regime.” How the hell could a responsible State Department spokesperson talk that way – surely he is aware that the cessation of hostilities agreement brokered by the US and the Russian Federation specifically excluded Daesh!
He effectively refused to answer the journalist’s question instead suggesting there was little difference between Daesh and the “regime” of President Bashar Assad. After giving an evasive non-answer, Toner was pressed to clarify his remarks.
“No, I mean, look, I mean, broadly speaking, it’s not a great choice, an either/or, but – which is worse, Daesh or the regime – but we think Daesh is probably the greater evil in this case,” Toner replied.
Bloody hell! With such an evasive attitude by someone representing a country which is claiming to play a decisive role against international terrorism no wonder we have problems.