I normally keep well away from Politics but here we have something that could affect us all. We are not the world’s policeman any more. However terrible the chemical incidents are in Syria can we honestly say that we can punish the people behind that without killing an awful lot of other people. Syria has an effective and modern air force, an effective navy and a raft of missiles. Some capable of hitting our bases in Cyprus. Supplied with arms from Russia and Iran, they are a formidable force. They are fighting a civil war against mostly imported muslim fanatics. Whatever we may think of Assad and his forces, which may not be a lot, do we really want to poke a stick into a hornets nest. Chances are that everyone, especially the stick poker is going to be badly stung. Are Cameron’s advisers telling him that it will do marvels for his popularity, now somewhere south of the poles? I sincerely hope not. So what should we do? Sit back and wring our hands? We could always leave it to Tony Blair. I thought he was the UN’s Middle East Peace Envoy? And yet he calls for attacks on Syria. Could that be to tarnish Cameron with another illegal war and deflect the flak from himself? This is a most terrible situation but the answer may lay more with Russia than cruise missiles. If we launch a first strike it could ignite a whole tinder box that we won’t be able to extinguish.
Well whatever we do I sincerely hope that we have better intelligence than we had in Iraq. Haven’t we had enough body bags already. This is our next generation of young men and women that we are sacrificing possibly for little more than a political posture. And what happens if we unseat Assad and his cronies and replace then with Al Quaeda. Boy, would that be an own goal.
So the fact is that we are tired of wars far from our shores, we are tired of seeing some of our best young people blown up, killed or crippled in these foreign wars. We are also tired of paying for them at a time of austerity. So essentially I would say “Not in my name, Mr. Cameron!”
So the people spoke and they said no. Considering what they actually said was not without proper proof. Cameron’s reaction was somewhat petulant. His, or his advisers, management of the situation was extraordinarily inept. But Cameron has not belittled the UK on the world stage. Unlike Blair, the UK is no longer seen as the poodle to the US. That will in fact enhance our reputation as one of democracy. Well, it will if the media stops rolling out the trolls that it has been doing over the last few days. Where is Cameron’s spin machine? Broken? Nursing their wounds in all probability. They probably took the view that a short decisive war would do wonders for Cameron’s reputation. When even the Tory press has turned on the PM recently something needed doing. Nothing like bleeding hearts and a good war to balance the books. Such is the moral turpitude of the Political Classes these days.
I thought this cartoon below very relevant. Just who are the bad guys? Assad runs Syria as a secular country whereas his opposition want to impose an Islamic state with Sharia law. The freedoms that the ordinary Syrians have enjoyed would go. However it depends which Syria those are part of and there’s the rub. One can hardly suggest those Syrians under attack by the army are in a free and liberal country. However the bellicose rhetoric of Kerry in the US should give us all concern. He does not care who he kills just as long as it make him look like a kick-arse american! Assad states he is fighting for the west against Al Quaeda and other Islamist extremists and terrorists. Problem is one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. Neither Iraq or Libya are exactly shining examples of US and UK intervention and we all suspect the Afghanistan will go the same way. Problem is that Syria has always been seen as an axis of evil alongside Iran by the pro zionist factions in US politics. Any accommodation with Assad and Syria would not be well received in Israel. Loyalties between the myriad groups such as Hamas around the middle east are varied and tortuous. Can we afford to let Politicians such as Kerry and Haig, prancing like peacocks on the world stage, hold sway over something as serious as this? And the chemical weapons and napalm, assuming that is what it was. The last thing we want is a purely emotional response to media photos of suffering children. That sounds a bit callous but it is not. Our first intention must be to stop it. We need a pragmatic logical response. But one that actually has a direct effect and puts a stop to such war crimes. Because that is what they are. Punishment can come later. Bad decisions are made when someone is emotional. Just look at what Blair did to us with the Climate Act. We used to have good experienced diplomats in the Foreign Office. Are there any left? And yes, it may come to pass that force may be needed but a proportional and effective application, not metaphorical carpet bombing.