From Radio 4’s Today programme of 8th January(2:48:30 mark here) an item on journalists kidnapped in the Syrian conflict and this telling observation from Italian journalist Domenico Quirico, held hostage there for 152 days last year:
“The Syrian Revolution is dead. The revolutionaries are dead. In their place are jihadists and criminals out to profit from the fight.”
It reminded me of a comment I read some years ago, in an interview with a former paramilitary, reflecting on the Troubles in Northern Ireland. By the end, he observed, political idealism in the province was a mere sideshow. It had become a matter of turf war; gangsterism, plain and simple.
And in the case of Syria, let’s not forget, Britain was just a heartbeat away from becoming militarily involved in this amoral mess, thanks to politicians all too happy to talk war as long as it’s other people’s kids who do the dying.
Maybe there’s a good interview to be had between Domenico Quirico and Michael Gove…