Johnson praised Assad for success v ISIS. ISIS used missile attacks to cover Damascus assault

  • Assad is a tyrant
  • Two years ago, Boris Johnson was praising him for pushing back ISIS
  • Missile strikes probably illegal under international law
  • ISIS used the weekend’s US, UK and French missile attacks to launch new assault

The government ordered missile attacks against Syria last weekend – hitting facilities that appear, from the reaction of US journalists visiting the ruins, to have contained no chemical weapons.

The justification for the rush to do so without consulting Parliament was the urgent ‘humanitarian’ need to ‘do something’ to degrade Syrian President Assad’s alleged chemical weapons capabilities – and the media have, for the most part, fallen into line. Politicians and pundits alike have condemned Assad’s tyranny.

But no so very long ago, Tories who are now prominent in justifying the attack were happy to have the tyrant in power, as Evolve‘s Matt Turner pointed out on Twitter:

mt johnson assad.png

Johnson told the Telegraph:

I suppose it is bizarre to feel such joy at the military success of one of the vilest regimes on earth. But I cannot conceal my elation as the news comes in from Palmyra and it is reported that the Syrian army is genuinely back in control of the entire Unesco site.

There may be booby traps in the ruins, but the terrorists are at last on the run. Hooray, I say. Bravo – and keep going. Yes, I know. Assad is a monster, a dictator. He barrel-bombs his own people. His jails are full of tortured opponents. He and his father ruled for generations by the application of terror and violence – and yet there are at least two reasons why any sane person should feel a sense of satisfaction at what Assad’s troops have accomplished.

The first is that no matter how repulsive the Assad regime may be – and it is – their opponents in Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) are far, far worse.

Johnson was not, when he wrote this article in 2016, in ignorance of the depravities of Assad’s government. He acknowledged the use of barrel bombs and torture – yet was still chuffed “at what Assad’s troops have accomplished”.

You’d almost think Tory politicians change opinions whenever it’s convenient.

The former head of UK forces in Iraq was cut off last week by Sky News just as he began to tell viewers of his scepticism that Assad would use chemical weapons in Douma and risk Western intervention when he’s effectively already won the war.

Yet the Tories bypassed Parliament to rush to military action in the wake of a US president who appears to be trying to distract from his own investigation for potential treason.

Assad may be the monster he is accused of being – but he was not threatening the UK, so military action without UN approval is, as Jeremy Corbyn said at the weekend, of questionable legality under international law.

Yet the Tories rushed into it – coincidentally providing cover for a major ISIS offensive against Syrian government forces:

amn isis.png

Could the Tories have been eager for a distraction of their own – even if it meant (yet another) u-turn on a monster whose success against ISIS they were happy about a couple of years ago?

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  1. Hadn’t finished…

    RE barrel bombs as opposed to chemical weapons.

    There was someone else (British I think – most likely tory but I can’t remember who exactly) who more-or-less excused assad’s use of barrel bombs because they weren’t chemical weapons. Around the same time as boris did that article IIRC.

    Honestly, it’s like watching kids fighting, then slapping one of the kids because he/she pulled the other kid’s hair, while turning a blind eye to the biting & scratching…

  2. ‘Assad is no doubt a monster’ I am sorry – this is very disappointing of you – you are following Western media here. He is supported in HIS OWN COUNTRY by socialists and trade unions. It is those exiles that call him these names and there has been evidence that gas attacks have been staged to undermine him. It is a liberal country, one of the most liberal in the region and includes christians – he has never hurt them but the so called ‘rebels’ supported by Saudi & US & UK money and armaments torture and behead these christians. So disappointed in this repeat of propaganda. Remember USA has been trying for years to depose him – they want a puppet instead. Those Syrians in THIS COUNTRY come out with this ‘monster’ stuff in their warm houses, without the threat of bombs and Jihadis. Think of Cuba – and the Cuban exiles. Similar stuff.

  3. it’s boris though simple boris said put your hand on your head and that is about the level of respect I have for him and his breed, they are like schoolkids and really rather than a big red bus of lies they need a naughty corner, sit there until wanted and that is a reflection of what I think of them.

  4. For the very first time since reading Skwawkbox, I have to take issue with something you have written. While I have to admit that Assad may be no more a saint than our own wretched leaders, I do not believe he is a tyrant. He enjoys the support of 80% of the Syrian people, as amply confirmed in the elections of 2014. He is accused of many of the excesses regularly carried out by the US and he, at least, has the excuse that his country is under attack from a US financed and armed rebellion. If you want to talk about tyrants, look no further than Israel, Saudi Arabia and Zimbabwe among others. Each one of these nations has murdered far more people than Assad, and America has murdered more than all of them nations put together. If Assad had only the level of voter support enjoyed by the Tories, you could then talk about tyranny…

  5. Naive to confuse Assad’s tolerance of other faiths and his alleged 80% support with his megalomania & ruthlessness – both legacies of (and inheritances from) his father.

    Is there any western democracy with 80% support for it’s (political) head of state? I’m not sure there’s that many, and if there are, then I’m sure it’ll be on some of them small Caribbean islands and none of the bigger countries.

    Plenty in these tinpot mid-eastern & African dictatorships, though.

    That said, I’m not convinced of the sarin attack in ghouta 2013 and I’m not convinced now.

    I just know Assad’s got no redeeming features. He’s a rat, but he’s Syria’s rat.

  6. Thanks, I’ve been looking for this but I can’t find the full article.
    From memory though, Boris’ thanks went along the lines of thanks Assad for getting rid of Isil in Payamar as it’s a UNESCO site of great historical importance.
    This seems more Boris-like to me ~ never mind the barrel-bombs as humans are replaceable. Statues though, they are important in Boris-World 😡

    1. In fairness, the reference boris made to Palmyra being a UNESCO site was as much a swipe at isis, who are nowt short of wanton vandals as well as murderin’ rats as it was any sort of praise for assad.

      Although there’s no defence whatsoever for what he said about Sirte becoming the next Dubai…Once the bodies have been cleared away.

      One example of many when the oaf should’ve been sacked.

  7. Please make no mistake about Assad. He took over the Syrian dictatorship from his evil father and has been one of the most bloodthirsty despots of the ME, willing to kills hundreds of thousands of his people and destroy all the cities to remain in power. What started as demonstrations asking for the vote ended up in vicious repression forcing the people to take up arms against him. Abandoned by the world they eventually lost.

  8. What is the matter with you people? Any muppet should be able to distinguish the difference between the value of a world architectural heritage site and the lives of a few million nig-nogs. BoJo really does think that way, that really is the way the inside of his head works. By the same token he and his Cabinet colleagues were genuinely surprised at the way the Great Unwashed leapt to the defence of the Windrush children, as though they had a right to be here or something.

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