ANALYSIS Questions, questions…during the 1800s there were a number of crises that exercised the minds of international statesmen, starting with the Greek Question, then the Bulgarian Crisis, and then finally the Armenian Question.
On each occasion, there was a massacre, or talk of a massacre that was followed by action or the threat of action by a Great Power.
In the case of Greece, it was Great Britain, France and Russia who joined forces to end the rule of the Ottoman Empire in the seat of western civilisation.
They were acting because public opinion – that included Shelley and Byron – had been outraged at the news of a massacre at Chios.
In the case of Bulgaria, the Czar of Russia angered by a report he read about a massacre at a sleepy village of Bata, sent his forces to deal with the Sultan.
The same Russia under a new Czar threatened Abdul the damned with military intervention with each fresh report of a massacre.
None of the reports were in any way credible, and often ignored the reason why there may have been a reponse – namely that there had been actions by armed men designed at provoking exactly the response that would horrify world public opinion.
Today, after the ‘success’ of Nato’s actions in Libya, western powers backing the Arab League are pushing for a resolution on Syria, which they say will not involve military intervention.
As the pemanent members of the security council sat down to vote on this resolution, there was news of a massacre in Homs with some people protesting outside the Syrian embassy in London.
Russia and China who felt tricked into backing regime change in Libya, used their veto much to the clear annoyance of GB, France and the US.
Ban-ki Moon says the actions of Russia and China undermines the UN.
So, does tricking nations into backing a military intervention that will lead to either the hanging or public lynching of another country’s leader.
Not withstanding the countless numbers that will die as a result of airstrikes that are never accurate.