“The whole world is horrified by the suffering of the people of Aleppo – the bombing of innocent civilians, the murder of defenceless children. The fighting must stop now. Russia indicating its support for a 48 hour cessation of hostilities is a step forward. Let’s implement that plan immediately, so we can get essential help, food and medical supplies to the beleaguered people of Aleppo. It is only when the fighting and bombing stops that we can hope to deliver the political solution – a transition away from the Asad regime towards a new government committed to the interests of all Syrians.” Boris Johnson 19th August 2016
These words were posted on a Facebook page by people who work for Mr Johnson, they are to be welcomed and one would hope will have an impact on the war being fought in Syria and in particular the battle to take control of Aleppo. However these words were not accompanied with others that make any reference to Johnson’s personal change of heart on the Syrian issue. We need real peacemakers at the heart of our Government, but in the case of people like Johnson, they need to begin by explaining how they can make such statements whilst having made the following statements and decisions in the last few months, otherwise they are simply dispensing empty and cheap rhetoric. It is only after these inconsistencies have been ironed out that we can have confidence in our Government to bring peace into a world which is still deeply damaged by conflicts which we have created in the recent past. The following are some recent statements and actions by Johnson.
“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.” Boris Johnson 27th March 2016
“Am I backing the Assad regime, and the Russians, in their joint enterprise to recapture that amazing site [Palmyra]? You bet I am. That does not mean I trust Putin, and it does not mean that I want to keep Assad in power indefinitely. But we cannot suck and blow at once.” Boris Johnson 6th December 2015
On 2nd December along with his fellow Ministers Boris Johnson voted to drop bombs on Syria. That policy remains in force and although there were calls at the time, some 27 weeks ago, for a strategy to be created for our own military action in Syria, there remains no further news!