Saturday, August 31, 2013

Syria again

Following on from my recent post.

The British media seems dumbfounded that the House of Commons voted against British participation in any military intervention in Syria.

Let me help them understand.

Firstly, there are all those memories of Iraq and the sexed-up dossier.  Sadly, the UN weapons inspector, Dr David Kelly, wasn't the only person to lose his life over this.  100,000's of Iraqis lost their lives too.  As did UK, US and troops from other nations.  And still the heartache continues for the Iraqi people.

Linked to the above, the most oft-cited criticism of the 2003 invasion was the lack of any coherent plan for the next stage.  Everyone wanted rid of Saddam Hussein but no one gave thought to what or who would replace him.  The Iraqi people are still suffering the effects.

Ordinary people in the UK and US (overwhelmingly opposed to intervention, polls suggest) know, that without some kind of plan for the post-Assad era, then the current regional instability will only increase.  The business author/guru has one of his Seven Habits of Successful People as 'start with the end in mind'.  I can't believe that the aim here is just to remove Assad.

I suspect that the people of the UK also have two over-riding thoughts on Syria.

Yes the pictures and events are truly horrible but what is it to do with us?  Why should the UK get involved?  The US sets itself as the 'world's policeman' so let them stick their nose in, keep ours out!

Secondly, why should the UK spend money it doesn't have, interfering in another country? Such interference will only lead to negative consequences for the UK economy.  The UK simply cannot afford to intervene - financially so.  How can we spend millions on bombs and jet fuel while preaching the need for austerity at home?  If there are millions of £ to spare, how about putting that by and giving it back to taxpayers?  Or, since government simply chokes on the idea of reducing taxes, how about paying out to people suffering from fuel poverty as a result of idiotic green policies?

I think that it comes down to that.  I don't think that most people look to the regional instability that is now in play and the tremendous uncertainty that we all face, as a consequence.  Perhaps they do see Syria as the proxy war battleground between Saudi Arabia and Iran but the questions remain - what is this to do with the UK? 

There are of course humanitarian reasons to intervene but these reasons have prevailed in many other places and the West has closed its eyes.  I think though, that this time the scales have fallen from the eyes of the UK people and, fortunately from the eyes of UK parliamentarians.  

Oh and I won't be misled (and I suspect neither will the British public) by so called American intelligence reports.  These presumably come from the CIA?  The same CIA that couldn't protect the US Ambassador and three fellow Americans at Benghazi, Libya, last September 11? 

Ask yourself this.  Suppose that there is military intervention - we know this will only involve bombing or missiles - how will the interventionists ensure only the 'guilty' are targeted?  Then ask yourself, what's next?  I don't have the answer and I suspect that neither do our so called leaders.

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